Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My Aistear Journey: Myself and My Family

Book Corner
The theme I chose to use to begin our Aistear journey in Senior Infants was 'Myself and My Family'. I am planning to keep this theme going for the rest of the month as we get used to this new play system.

My centres are as follows:

1. Roleplay: Home corner

For my home corner I set up my Ikea kitchen in the library area. I have some Home Corner Display Resources on the walls (pictures, a fireplace, a flower pot, a T.V., labels, etc.). I also leave a box full of extra items in the play corner for them to use in their roleplay too. These items include copybooks, notebooks, crayons, dolls, pens, a phone, a newspaper, etc. During the day I have a storage box located under the noticeboard and in front of the kitchen for the children to sit on when they read library books. For Aistear time, we move this and use it as a table/bed/chair/food preparation surface in the house. It also creates a separate space for the play area as it sections it off from the rest of the classroom. 
Home Corner
Playing tennis and Playstation
Washing up

While they are playing we discuss who each person is in the house and what they are doing. They make dinner, wash up, set the table and eat. The 'children' take part in other activities in the house, while also helping their parents with jobs around the house. During the playtime, we use vocabulary based around food, utensils, parts of the house and various kitchen processes. It also offers an opportunity to discuss things like fire safety, food safety, turn taking, being responsible, etc.

2. Arts and Crafts: Playdough Figures

I printed and laminated a class photo of the children for them to use when making themselves out of playdough. The children practice rolling shapes, making marks on the figures and we discuss the various body parts and their proportions.

3. Sandplay:

The children can practice writing their name in the sand, drawing some of their favourite things  in the sand and building their house using the buckets and other equipment.

4. Construction: Lego/Blocks

I give each child a laminated picture of their school and request that they build their school out of lego, blocks or cubes. We discuss how many windows they need to include, which parts of the building are tall/small, etc. Sometimes they end up building more of an indoor floorplan of the classroom or the school so I get them to name the rooms, point out the furniture, show me where the office is, discuss who works there, etc.

5. Small World: At School

The children have the opportunity here to play with the Happyland school children, teacher, family, pets and the school building. We discuss and act out what things the children will be doing during the day, what the family do after dropping their kids to school and what the children will do when school is over at the end of the day. One day, the Happyland children even went to visit the park that one of the children in the construction area built outside the school!

Some children went to learn how to swim!

Next week, I will be writing about some ways I structure my Aistear lesson and practical organisational advice if you decide to use Aistear in your classroom. If you missed last week's post on organising your room for Aistear, you can find it here.

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