A Typical Day in Junior Infants
The most important learning experience for the children in Junior Infants is play. The girls love games and hands-on learning experiences. Most lessons are short to reflect their developing concentration levels. We also do a lot of movement breaks, songs or rhymes between activities to act as brain breaks.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical school day will be hard to replicate at home. The focus is on the girls having time to play. Below you will find a selection of activity ideas. There is no emphasis on carrying each activity out or trying to fit all these things into a day. Please read the below as a guide and maybe select one or two things a day that you might like to try out.
- Morning Activities We start everyday with an activity that focuses on fine motor skills. The girls will do things such as threading, pegboards, and cutting.
- Phonics/Sight Word Practice: Daily practice is important for the girls to reinforce the letter sounds and sight words they are learning. We typically do this with a game. Ideas include using playdough to build sight words and letters, guess the sound that the word starts/ends with, I Spy, Buzz where we splat a word and the girls call out the word I have landed on, writing letters on a white board, building words with magnetic letters (cat, dog, mat, bus, etc) and finding something in the room that starts or ends with a letter sound.
- Literacy: The focus of these lessons changes over the course of the week. The activities include things such as creating an oral language story, discussing a book, listening to a book being read out loud and making predictions about the story, finding sight words in the story, free writing, writing names and the letters we have covered.
- Maths: We use concrete materials a lot in maths. Ideas would include creating sets of different numbers, practice with writing numerals, counting games and spot the missing number game. The books are used as an assessment or revision tool, the focus is on them being active in their learning with things they can manipulate in their hands.
- Gaeilge: We work in themes in Gaelige and this month the focus is on Siopadóireacht. Gaeilge involves a lot of songs, using the simple everyday phrases throughout the day, naming things in the lunch boxes or playing games asking the girls to find a particular item.
- Aistear: This is the planned play experience part of the day. The girls from the three Junior Infant Classes mix together to play with a small group. Our theme for this month was Fairy Tales so the girls have been making crowns in arts and crafts, dressing up, creating castles from lego and bricks and designing dresses for Princesses.
- Art/Music/Drama: The girls love art and will try any creative activity. Music can be as simple as making up a dance to their favourite song and drama could be pretending to be a character from a book you have read.
- Science/Geography/History: If you have access to an outdoor area this is great for the girls. They can look for signs of spring, draw a map of the outdoor space, talk about how flowers grow or what wildlife can be seen. For history, something as simple as looking at their own baby photos and comparing them to how they are today or looking at family photos/listening to family stories are all things that the girls would really enjoy.
- PE: The girls have been doing GAA on a weekly basis and have been practicing kicking the ball using the strap or laces of their shoes – this is something that they could do in the garden.