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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I bring you an interview with Liam Murray who is secretary of Ficheall, a network of teachers around Ireland who teach chess in primary school. Among the topics discussed and the resources mentioned are the following:

  • Is chess a curricular or extra-curricular activity?
  • What students learn from playing chess: developing their social, cognitive and mental fitness skills
  • How he organises chess teaching in his own classroom, using the lesson plans on the website and adopting a “(mini-) game-based” approach
  • Organising a school chess tournament
  • Helping students lose and win gracefully
  • Using a points system to decide who wins a game of chess with limited time to play
  • Describing the game of chess (what is meant by checkmate and castling?)
  • History of the game
  • How chess compares to draughts
  • How children respond to playing chess
  • How Liam first became involved in teaching chess in schools when he was a student teaher
  • How different children respond to learning or playing chess
  • Playing face to face versus playing on apps or computers
  • Children getting better at chess over time
  • The “Masters” competition (for fifth and sixth class) and the “Budding Masters” competition (for third and fourth class).
  • Children playing chess from first class onwards
  • Why it’s good to play chess with players who are better than you (“If you’re not losing, you’re not learning”)
  • Resources available on the Ficheall website
  • The Ficheall network of teachers
  • How inter-school chess tournaments are organised (the “Swiss System, ” timing games)
  • The role of chess arbiters in inter-school tournaments
  • Relationship of Ficheall to Moves for Life
  • How Liam got interested in chess himself
  • Follow-on opportunities for children to play chess
  • Opportunities for playing chess in post primary schools (Leinster Schools Chess Association)
  • The use of clocks in professional chess games
  • What is school for/what are schools for
  • Volunteering with Graham Jones and the Solas Project
  • How he is inspired by the selfless dedication of teachers
  • Evidence-Based Teachers’ Network
  • Anseo podcasts
  • Book Bounce by Matthew Syed.
  • Book Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.
  • Book Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I speak to Professor Nell Duke from the University of Michigan School of Education about literacy education and project-based instruction. Professor Duke was a keynote speaker at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Literacy Association of Ireland. Among the wide range of topics we discuss on the podcast and the resources mentioned are the following:  

  • The role of project-based literacy in promoting reading and writing development
  • The importance of purpose and audience for children’s writing
  • Sources of project ideas: Edutopia, PBL works, Nell’s website
  • Identifying sources of project in local communities
  • Incorporating student voice and choice into projects
  • Teacher preparation to design the flow of a project work with students
  • Nell’s website – Inside Information Downloadables
  • The importance of audience beyond teachers, parents and grandparents
  • Working alone versus working in groups on projects
  • At what age can children begin to work on project-based literacy?
  • The ideal duration of a project
  • The balance of literacy goals and cross-curricular goals in project-based literacy instruction
  • Educating children from an early age about trustworthy sources. The use of the mnemonic WWWDOT (Who? Why? When? Does it meet my needs? Organisation of site/text? To Do List for future)
  • Molly of Denali
  • Helping students move beyond bland responses to peers’ work
  • Various templates mentioned available here.
  • Why reading is so hard for many students to master
  • The DRIVE model of reading (Deploying Reading in Varied Environments)
  • The value of teaching sound-letter relationships; deliberately teaching phonics, morphology and text structure
  • Gaps between research on reading instruction and the practice of reading instruction
  • Reliable sources of research evidence for teachers: Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse; Practice guides.
  • Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators General Education Leadership Network Early Literacy Task Force and Literacy Essentials.
  • International Literacy Association.
  • Literacy Association of Ireland.
  • Responding to differences among students in a literacy classroom: small group literacy instruction
  • Why it’s important to teach reading and writing together. See work by Gram and Hebert (2010).
  • What parents can do in the home to promote literacy achievement
  • What a typical working day is like for her and how she manages her time
  • Knowing what not to do in teaching
  • Not this but that book series.
  • What schools are for
  • She loves reading: Reading Research Quarterly (Journal of the International Literacy Association), Scientific Studies of Reading, Review of Educational Research.

In her keynote address Nell referred to the following websites, which were not mentioned in the podcast. I'm listing them here because they may be of help to some listeners.

High Quality Project Based Learning

Pow+Tree Writing Strategy

She also referred to this article which was a meta-analysis of process writing.

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune: David Vesey

My guest on the programme this week is my colleague in Marino Institute of Education and the person behind the social media identity, Little Miss Teacher. She is Clara Fiorentini and we talk about play, literacy, phonics, early years education and much more. Here are the topics we discuss and the times at which they appear.  

  • Why she started posting on social media (1’33”)
  • Her thoughts on the new language curriculum and her interest in literacy, especially early literacy (7’00” and 24’11”))
  • A typical day in her classroom (with a focus on literacy activities)
  • Different kinds of play 12’03”
  • The kind of stories she used in her teaching (14’35”)
  • Phonics and literacy instruction (16’22”)
  • Literacy in more senior classes (21’42”)
  • The phonics programme she participated in developing, Sounds Like Phonics (23’46”)
  • Her approach to teaching (26’48”)
  • Returning to study for a master’s degree in children’s literature (29’50”)
  • What schools are for 33’41”
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on her (34’48”)
  • Who inspires her (39’13”)

Among the resources and materials mentioned by Clara were the following:

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell

Goodnight Mr Tom by Michell Magorian

David Walliams

The book with no pictures by BJ Novak

Rita Pierson – Ted Talk – Every child deserves a champion

Jen Jones on picture books

 

My recommendation:

Podcast: Speak-Up Storytelling with Matthew and Elysha Dicks

Book: Storyworthy: Engage, teach, persuade and change your life through the power of storytelling by Matthew Dicks

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

This week's programme is the last for the school year 2018-19. We look at topics relating to the end of the primary school year: school tours (in a continuation of my conversation with Caitriona Cosgrave and Martin Kennedy from last week's programme), summer courses for teachers (with my colleague, Dr. Gene Mehigan), and presents for teachers (again with Martin Kennedy and Caitriona Cosgrave).

I wish all listeners to the podcast a great summer. I always love to get your feedback on it by e-mail (insideeducation@dublincityfm.ie) or through Twitter. Similarly suggestions for future topics or guests are always welcome.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

This week I follow up on last week's programme where I shared some of my own ideas about school tours by talking to two practitioners who have lots of experience of organising school tours and field trips - as teacher and as principal. Caitriona Cosgrave teaches second class in Scoil Áine Girls School in Raheny and Martin Kennedy is principal of Scoil Cholmcille in Skryne, Co. Meath.

Among the topics discussed on the programme are:

  • School Tour venues and activities
  • Choosing a school-wide theme for school tours; variety and continuity in tours
  • Bringing parents on a school tour with children
  • Creating memories on school tours
  • Learning on school tours
  • Going abroad for primary school tours
  • Preparing for school tours

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I continue my conversation on teaching literacy in the early years with Dr. Tara Concannon-Gibney from Dublin City University. The occasion was to mark the publication by Routledge of Tara's book Teaching Essential Literacy Skills in the Early Years Classroom: A Guide for Students and Teachers. Among the topics we discuss on this week's programme are:

  • Her definition of literacy
  • Digital texts and literacy
  • Why some children struggle with reading
  • How parents can help their child to read
  • How a parent should react to a child reading when the child comes to a word that is not known
  • Advice for choosing a book for a child
  • The benefits of repetitive reading of texts
  • Poetry and literacy skills
  • How she became interested in the area of literacy
  • How she went about writing the book

In the course of our interview Tara mentioned texts by the following writers: Mem Fox, Georgia Heard, Lucy Calkins, Oliver Jeffers, Hervé Tullet, and Julia Donaldson.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

The guest on this week's programme is Dr. Tara Concannon Gibney who is an assistant professor in Dublin City University. The interview is to mark the launch of Tara's new book Teaching Essential Literacy Skills in the Early Years Classroom: A Guide for Students and Teachers, which is published by Routledge. Among the topics we discuss this week are the following:

  • Why she wrote the book
  • Phonological awareness and how to develop it using games
  • Using big books to teach literacy (e.g. Owl Babies)
  • How to teach phonics
  • Sequence for teaching phonics
  • Developing fluency
  • Teaching concepts of print
  • Tier 2 vocabulary
  • Comprehension strategies – Gradual release of responsibility model
  • High frequency – Dolch - words
  • Guided reading literacy centres
  • Role of play in developing language and literacy

 

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme music composed and arranged by David Vesey

On this week's programme I bring you the second part of my interview with Professor Anne O'Gara, former President of Marino Institute of Education and current board member of Tusla. Among the topics we cover in this part of the interview are:

  • The role for inspectors in our education system
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Recognising learning
  • The Home School Community Liaison Scheme – Establishment and Purpose
  • Dr Concepta Conaty’s vision for the Home School Community Liaison Scheme
  • Her primary teaching experience
  • What schools are for
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on her

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

This week I'm delighted to bring you the second part of my interview with Niamh Dunphy, the teacher behind the blog and social media resource Irish Primary Teacher. Among the topics we talk about on the programme this week are:

  • Plans for developing Irish Primary Teacher
  • Where she gets her lesson ideas
  • Using the store to encourage users to remain on the website
  • How she reviews products for the Reviews section
  • Clothing and teaching
  • What she likes most and finds most challenging about teaching
  • Differences between teaching in England and teaching in Ireland
  • Her favourite subject to teach
  • What she has learned from teaching to date
  • What are schools for?
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on her
  • Who inspires her
  • Why she finds Instagram better than books
  • A change she would make in her current school
  • And much more!

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I speak to Niamh Dunphy, the person behind the hugely popular Irish Primary Teacher, blog, Facebook page and Instagram account.

Among the topics we discuss in this first part of our interview are:

  • Why she set up the blog, and pages on Instagram and Facebook
  • Her positive and negative experiences of teaching in England
  • What she knows about her audience
  • Dividing content among various social media platforms
  • How teachers support each other through social media
  • What posts are most popular
  • Dealing with trolls and negative comments
  • How much time it takes

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