As the Easter Holidays come to a close, teachers, students and parents begin to prepare for more distance learning. Here are some resources to support the learning process and build some routines even as school closures are extended.
Since we will be living and learning in this context for the foreseeable future, it’s good to build in some structure and routines to help shape the days and make them more manageable. Below is a sample schedule that you can adapt or use as is with your kids. You can access it to make your own copy here.
Creating an online classroom.
Some of the most popular communication platforms for schools are
When teachers create classes on those platforms, they can send regular communication to students and families as well as post work from other websites for students to complete.
Edcite is an example of a website that has additional tools and practice sets for students and interacts nicely with those communication platforms. Teachers can easily integrate Edcite assignments with your main communication space so students get used to checking one site.
Set healthy expectations.
Most students and parents welcome the engagement from teachers during this time, but it’s important to remember that this is a stressful time for everyone. You cannot and should not try to recreate your regular school day during this remote learning experience.
This is not just a switch to distance learning—this is emergency distance learning during a pandemic. Be gentle with yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or others. Everyone is doing what they can.
Resources in Irish
Below are just a few of the educational resources available online in Irish for a variety of school subjects.
Irish language skills
The cartoons and programmes on Cúla4 are not only great fun for kids, they have educational benefits too. They are an enjoyable way to learn new words and keep language skills sharp, particularly for those who do not speak Irish at home.
Music can provide the same benefits (and encourage some exercise!). Our favourite music resource at the moment is the series of lovely animated songs for kids by Anam an Amhráin.
Reading and spelling
Online books with audio from Léigh Leat and Séideán Sí are great for building vocabulary and improving listening comprehension, and children can read along if they wish.
The Interactive games from Cód na Gaeilge (CCEA) are a good complement to reading practice. They use a phonics approach to help children learn to read and spell in Irish.
Across the curriculum/Other subjects
Edcite has interactive exercises designed by teachers in Irish for a variety of school subjects, including maths, history and geography. You can check out those exercises here. Teachers or parents can create an account and find exercises in the assignments library for their children to complete.
RTÉ has a new hub with printable activity sheets in Irish for different school subjects.
Language resources for parents
There are excellent online resources for parents who are working with children on Irish but are not fluent themselves. Reading books is a great way to connect with children while stimulating their imagination and starting what might turn out to be a lifelong grá for Gaeilge!!
A very useful resource for story time is ABAIR.ie, which reads out any text you enter in your choice of dialect. This is particularly helpful for reading homework or any double checking any pronunciation doubts you might have.
The dictionaries at focloir.ie and teanglann.ie are excellent resources, giving accurate translations and can also help with grammar exercises (teanglann.ie has a grammar wizard that conjugates verbs, among other things).
Anam an Amhráin: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7eHsgMDRovxQHRUn09_UCpMc4Reyqb37
Cód na Gaeilge: http://legacy.ccea.org.uk/curriculum/gaeloideachas/eochairch%C3%A9imeanna_1_2/r%C3%A9ims%C3%AD_foghlama/teanga_agus_litearthacht/c%C3%B3d_na
Cúla4 : https://www.cula4.com/ga/
Edcite as Gaeilge: https://www.edcite.com/social/profile?user=gaeilge
Léigh Leat: http://www.leighleat.com/scealta.html
RTÉ learn: https://www.rte.ie/learn/
Séideán Sí: https://www.seideansi.ie/aiseanna-eile.php
This post was written by Edcite and the ABAIR team at the Phonetics & Speech Lab, Trinity College Dublin.