Welcome to Liv's room. To clarify, Liv is short for Olivia, but due to our principal having the same name, I answer to Liv! I love that we use our first name with the children as this really emphasises our school ethos. This year, 2019/2020, I have 22 children in 1st and 2nd class. This is a busy room as I have to prepare the children for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, help the children adjust to the demands of independent work and the curriculum, and squeeze in a whole bunch of fun!
As I have 2nd class, the preparation for First Confessions begins in January, along with the Do This in Memory programme, that Fr. Ronnie Boyle organises. Our First Confessions usually take place in Letterfrack church at 10am mass, during the month of March. Fr. Ronnie asks the children to take part in Sunday masses by reading or bringing up gifts as part of the Do This in Memory programme. Our First Holy Communion usually takes place on the 3rd Sunday in May every year.
I enjoy station teaching and at times ask the parents to volunteer their time to support me. Last year I have parents come in in Sept for Literacy, January for Maths & June for board games. It works really well & parents enjoying seeing their children in the classroom setting.
I really enjoy Theme Teaching, as do the children. I pick a different theme every month. I also ask the parents to come in and offer their range of knowledge and abilities that might link with my themes. I have learned that children really enjoy learning about different countries, so I pick one European country and one International country a year to focus on. They are given the chance to taste some food native to that country. So if you are a well travelled parent, we would love to hear about it.
Every year 1st & 2nd class are offered the opportunity to plant a tree in the gardens of Kylemore Abbey. This is a lovely day out as once the trees are planted, we retire to the coffee shop for a drink and a bun, and a warm cuppa for the teachers...
Music is a very important part of our school ethos. Learning the tin-whistle starts in my room. I enjoy teaching this as they are always very enthusiastic and progress quickly through the tunes. I also love to sing, so song singing plays a big part in my room. I feel its important that children learn a traditional Irish song during their time in my room, one of their favourites being Rattling Bog.
We partake in a concert every 2nd year called Granny and Grandpa's day, which happens during December. My room display their singing and tin-whistle ability, along with reciting a poem.
We are lucky to have a parent who offers to teach the children yoga throughout the year. This year Stephaine will be supporting the teachers in implementing the PE curriculum. We also travel to Clifden, usually in January, for our aquatics strand.
Being surrounded by many artistic personalities in this area, we are lucky to be given the opportunity to take part in Sea Week (October) and Bog Week (May) every year.
I actively encourage children to practise Mindfulness and Meditation every week. We all have very busy lives and helping the children to focus on the present moment and observe their thoughts will help build positive mental health and self-esteem in children. This year the whole school with practise Brain Breaks & learn Mindfulness through the MindUp curriculum.