I know the majority of my posts have been all about my travels around Ireland, but I thought I should write at least one post about my actual teaching experience! So, here goes. I have spent the last three weeks working with a 2nd class (2nd grade) teacher and her students. Given that the curriculum and teaching style in Ireland is pretty different than it is in the U.S., my teacher taught most subjects but did have me teach about one to two subjects per day. In one week, teachers at St. Oliver’s will teach Gaelic (Irish), religion, maths (they add an ‘s’ on the end), English, geography, history, science, health, P.E., music, art, and drama. That’s a lot to get to in one week! Here is what I taught in my three weeks:
2D Shapes- We worked from students’ workbooks to learn about common 2D shapes, found some examples of them in our classroom and at home, and played “Quiz-Quiz-Trade” with some flash cards I made to practice the characteristics of the shapes we learned about.
Angles- We worked from students’ workbooks to learn about what angles are, found that they are in some of the 2D shapes we learned about, learned what a right angle is, and practiced making our own angles using popsicle sticks.
Symmetry- We worked from students’ workbooks to learn what symmetry is, how to draw lines of symmetry on objects, and drew half of a picture so that their partners could finish the drawing and make it symmetric.
Shops From Long Ago- We looked at the similarities and differences of shops in Ireland in the 1930’s and shops today. (They call stores, ‘shops’). We looked at a short video of what shops were like in rural Ireland in the late 1930’s.
John Barry- We learned about John Barry and how he was appointed commander of the American Navy but was originally from Ireland. We also learned about John Phillip Holland (the inventor of the first submarine to be purchased by the Navy) and Roberta O’Brien (the first woman to be named commander of an Irish Navy ship. Students then got to draw either the USS Holland (Holland’s submarine), or the LE Aisling (O’Brien’s ship).
All About Chicago- I showed a PowerPoint of the U.S. and Illinois, explained where I lived, and showed a few pictures of signature Chicago things (Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and the L). The kids were fascinated with the skyscrapers and how big the city is.
Water Conservation- We used a workbook page to find out exactly how much water we use during our daily routines (in liters). We then talked about different ways we could conserve water on a daily basis.
The Water Cycle- We used a workbook page to learn about the four parts of the water cycle. Students then created a flap book to illustrate and define the parts of the water cycle we talked about.
The Five Senses- We used a workbook page and a PowerPoint presentation to learn about the five senses, how we use them in everyday life, and why they are important to us.
Spring Bulbs- Tomorrow we will be learning about the different parts of the plant, what plants need to survive, and will be planting spring bulbs so students can take care of them and watch them grow.
Painting- We painted a scene from their poem they were working on, “Homework, Oh Homework.”
Cutting and Pasting- We worked in groups of four to cut and glue pieces of construction paper into 2D shapes to make one scene on a larger piece of paper.
Drawing- We drew the other half of a symmetrical picture from a magazine.
Tomorrow will be my last day working with my 2nd class, and on Tuesday I will be going into a 1st class to help out with their Christmas play and to do a little teaching and assisting individual students. I am sad to say goodbye to my 2nd class students but am looking forward to getting to know another 1st class, too!