This week has been another busy one at kinder, settling back into our routine and also changing a few aspects of it around. These changes allow the children more time to engage in activities and Karen, Fiona and myself to spend more time with smaller groups of children.
The biggest change has been the introduction of a progressive snack. This means that the children eat when they are hungry and are not required to sit together until everyone is finished. By allowing the children to choose when they eat, this gives them more responsibility over their needs. In the beginning, the children are encouraged to eat at certain times, however, by the end of the year, the children will be able to acknowledge the necessity themselves. The children are generally asked if they are hungry, which encourages them to consider the way their body feels. The children will still be asked to eat at some point during the session, though, as they can potentially get distracted and not eat at all.
This fortnight has seen the introduction of more open ended art activities. The children have really enjoyed pasting and some use the scissors when creating their art. Most commonly noticed is using two hands for the scissors. By keeping these activities out during the session, this allows the educators to spend time with the children to assist in correcting this. It is, however, a process and more fine motor activities will be encouraged throughout the room.
Additionally, some of the children have been collecting leaves for the room. These leaves have been used for artwork, dance and a discussion of autumn. The children have been fascinated with the changes in the leaves and have noted the weather changes too – “why is it sunny but I’m still cold?” We will continue to examine the seasonal changes and use these changes for further discussions and activities.
Jess, Karen and Fiona
This week we were excited to engage in some learning about autumn and Anzac Day.
A lot of the children had noticed the change in the weather but mostly, the changes in the leaves on the trees outside due to autumn. At group time we each chose a leaf and we examined it closely. The children noted the different colours of the leaves; some were yellow, some were brown and some were a few colours. One child identified that this was due to autumn and the leaves change colour. We talked about how the leaves also felt different; the brown leaves were “crunchy” and fell apart in our hands, whereas the yellow and green ones were “stronger”. We then discussed how the leaves fell from our hands onto the ground. The children hypothesised as to whether the leaves would fall fast or slowly. Then we tested our guesses. Finally, we pretended to be leaves ourselves, whirling around in the wind and falling to the ground. We noticed that when we went outside again during the next session, the children were more observant of the different leaves and the wind.
Anzac Day is on Saturday and this presented a good opportunity to bake some Anzac biscuits and learn more about the day. Jess was wearing an Anzac Day badge and the children asked her about. This began a general discussion about what had happened. This is a good example of listening to the child’s question which needs to be done when discussing serious events such as a war with the children. The children would indicate how much detail was necessary for them by asking more questions. Most were satisfied with the explanation that we were remembering a big war (a fight between adults) from a long time ago. We made the Anzac biscuits as a group, each child having the opportunity to measure or sift and mix. The children seem to really enjoy cooking experiences so we will be engaging in cooking experiences every second Monday. Finally, we watched a reading of My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day while eating our biscuits.
Jessica and Karen
We are well into Term 2 enjoying the autumn weather and observing all the beautiful leaves falling from the trees. Last week we collected two leaves each and tallied up all the colours we found so we could find out the most common colours outside. We found a lot of yellow/brown leaves and very few red colours; the children lined all the leaves into rows so we could count them and write the numbers on the board. This experience exposes the children to the natural world and supports there numeracy and colour recognition. We have coloured our own autumn leaves using natural earthy colours just like the ones we saw outside.
At mat time we have been talking about ANZAC day and what it means to us. Many of the children have a sound understanding about the Australian soldiers who went to war and that on ANZAC day we remember those people. We were lucky enough to make to batches of ANZAC biscuits which were delicious to taste hot out of the oven!
We have started preparations for Mother’s Day practising our concert songs and making special gifts (they are secret)
This week we are planting all the vegetables the children have decided to grow. Including silver beet, beans, lettuce, spring onion and broccoli. It will be the children’s responsibility to water and care for the garden so we can cook and eat all the beautiful fresh produce.
Thankyou to all th4 families bringing in boxes/cartons for our making table. We are learning about recycling to promote awareness of our environment and how we can look after it
Ext Hours room
Have you noticed the magnificent Autumn Leaves on the wall at the back of the Courtyard you look at when you come in the front door? We have been discussing Autumn and the changes in the weather and the changes that are happening in our playground and the gardens around us. The children have been encouraged to look around them and to be aware of the things they can see- too often in our hurried world we don’t have time to see all the wonderful things around us. The children have been looking for different coloured leaves and collecting these, comparing the colours and shapes they find. We have been using rakes, brooms and baskets to collect these leaves. We have also introduced the children to the “helicopter” seeds that are on the big tree near the swings – the children have discovered if they drop these from up high such as from the fort, they spin down like helicopters – great fun and an experiment to see which ones spin the best and how far they fly. We enjoyed making our own stunning Autumn leaves using eye droppers and coloured dye to colour absorbent paper- when dry, they have been hung from our ceiling in our room – they look beautiful.
Collecting leaves also provides opportunities to search for bugs and creatures , and the children have had many exciting finds – we have also had insect models on our table for the children to learn about. The children are developing a great interest in the natural world around them which is really important.
The children continue to enjoy our camping area with the “tent” and campfire – many picnics take place there.
We have been using some different building blocks this week, with some natural wooden “Architectural” blocks in our block corner based on some long coloured timber panels - the children used their imaginations to combine these with small tiles and animals and other bits and pieces – and created some imaginative and creative buildings and structures.
We made Anzac Biscuits on Friday – all children who wanted to have a turn helped us to make these – lots of stirring and mixing – and when they were cooked – we sat outside in the sun ate them enthusiastically – delicious!
We will be celebrating Mothers Day on Friday 8th May – 10.45 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. – put this date in your Diary – Invitations will follow shortly.
What will happen next week?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.