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Tenerife – March 2024

In March, four of our teachers travelled to Tenerife as part of our Erasmus+ project Let’s Play 2022-2024. They completed a course titled “Enough Theory, Let’s Play! – Games for developing the whole child.

From L-R: Ms. Hennessy, Ms. McManus, Ms. McElearney and Ms. Walsh

They attended the Language Campus in Santa Cruz alongside other teachers from Germany and Ukraine. The course covered both a practical and theoretical aspect to play and active learning in the classroom. On returning, the teachers had excellent ideas on how to incorporate play-based learning and gamification in the classroom to support teaching and learning.

With the focus on developing the whole child, the course looked closely at the importance of movement breaks to assist with concertation and self-regulation in the classroom. Movement breaks can be active and physically engaging or may take a calmer more mindful approach to checking in with our bodies and emotions.  The following are some ideas/resources which can be used across various class levels – 

  1. “The Wiggle Dance!” 🪱 /// Danny Go! Brain Break Songs for Kids (youtube.com)
  2. “Bouncing Time!” Dance Song 🐰 | Brain Break | Danny Go! Songs for Kids (youtube.com)
  3. Bubble Bounce! Mindfulness for Children (Mindful Looking) (youtube.com)
  4. Rainbow Relaxation: Mindfulness for Children (youtube.com)
  5. Belly Breathing: Mindfulness for Children (youtube.com)
  6. Candle and Flower Breathing – Mindful and Calming Breathing Technique (youtube.com)

 

We explored the importance of active, play-based learning through gamification which used everyday lessons/subjects to incorporate movement in the classroom. This approach to learning is something children enjoy as they are physically engaging in the lesson, often without realise they’re acquiring new content in their learning. 

  • Spelling Train this game can be completed with any class group in any subject but works well for English and Gaeilge in terms of learning spellings or vocabulary. 

To begin, you must place the children in rows of 4/5. The person at the back of the “train” thinks of a word and writes it down, while the person at the front of the “train” has a pencil and piece of paper. Starting at the back the person traces one letter on the back of the person in front of them, that person traces it on the back of the person in front of them and so on until the person at the front has received each letter. As they receive each letter they write it down on their page and at the end, the word spelt should match the word chosen by the person at the back of the “train” who picked the word initially.  

  • It’s all about focus and concentration, using our bodies to engage in learning. 

 

  1. Recite the song/poem this game can be completed with any class group in any subject but works well for reciting and practicing songs/poem. Children are placed in groups of 5/6 and are stood in a line facing a wall. The person at the back of the line is the writer and needs a pencil and paper. Stuck on the wall is lyrics to a song/words of a poem which need to be passed on line by line to the person at the back of the line who writes down what they’re told. The key thing in this activity is that each person only recites one line of the song/poem at a time! 

Eg. Twinkle twinkle little star (person 1)

       How I wonder what you are (person 2)

       Up above the world so high (person 3)    

 

The group finished first will win, once the words/lyrics written down match that of the same that is stuck on the wall. 

It was a jam-packed week of learning for our teachers, with lots of new content and ideas on how to make teaching and learning active and engaging! 😊