This week we have been preparing for Father’s Day, when the Dads or another special person will be visiting Kindergarten on the Friday morning 4th September to spend time with their children doing Kindergarten activities, and we have some songs we have been practicing, and some special gifts the children have been making. It’s especially exciting when these gifts need to be hidden so they will be a surprise. Next week we will be completing these and finalizing our preparations.
The children have been noticing and discussing that Winter will soon be over, and Spring will be next. Even though it has been cold there hasn’t been much rain, and we noticed that our garden was getting very dry and our plants were looking very thirsty. So it has been the children’s job to water our plants that are in pots and our vegetable garden. Our vegetables are thriving, and we decided it was time to pick some of our wonderful broccoli. So on Wednesday the children gathered around our garden and we worked out which was the best one to pick, and also noticed that one of the plants had gone to seed which meant that seeds would fall onto the garden and grow (the natural life cycle of plants). We duly picked our broccoli, and after the children had eaten their lunches we ate our very own homegrown broccoli – it was delicious. Not all the children had some but many did, and came back for more. We should have enough to do this again in another week. It is very exciting for the children to be able to eat something they have planted, cared for and watched grow until they are able to eat it – this promotes healthy eating and an awareness of what is good for you.
The children are still finding fungus and toadstools growing in our playground, and bugs to discover, and they search every day. It was wonderful to see some children spontaneously lying in a circle reading and discussing the Information/ Reference book about Fungus that is always available to them, along with other Reference books .The children are really interested and enthusiastic to find out about the things they find - showing an interest in the natural world around them.
We have been playing games, which require the children to concentrate, focus, remember and make decisions - all-important skills, such as “What’s Missing”, our Recycling Game and our Bingo Games. The children learn that playing these games means recognising that games have rules that they need to follow.
Our drawing table is always busy, full of children experimenting with a variety of drawing tools and different sizes and shapes of paper. Their drawings and paintings are becoming more and more detailed, and the children are able to follow their ideas and interpret these onto paper. They are also able to extend these interpretations into stories about their drawings – this encourages their imaginations and ability to translate their ideas into words – experimenting with language.
We are learning about how to say Hello in different languages, and have started to collect, with the help of our parents the children’s names written in other languages, which we will put up on our wall for the children to compare. We will do this in as many other languages as possible – finding out about our world.
What will happen next week?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.
This week we have still had the chicks in our kinder room. The children have very much enjoyed watching them grow and all got excited whenever they could hear the chicks cheeping. We still had limits of two children looking at the chicks at a time so as not to crowd the box. It was fantastic to hear the children echoing the words of the educators; “only two people at the table”, “just looking with our eyes”. We were all sad to say goodbye to the chicks and I am sure that we will have lots of questions next week about where they have gone.
Earlier this week our stick insect died. It had been observed by the educators that it had appeared unwell as it was not eating. It had also been with us at kinder for 2-3 years which is roughly their lifespan. We chose to keep the stick insect’s body within the room so the children could see it. At mat time I explained to the children that the stick insect had been very sick and had unfortunately died. Some of the children said they were very sad about this and others seemed to have less understanding of what this meant. There may be some questions asked at home about the stick insect’s death. We are hoping to get another stick insect in the future.
The theme of investigation has continued in the room this week. The children made some secret pictures using white pastels and water colour paint. This was very exciting for the children to see the picture reveal itself to them as they painted over it with the water colours. We also had a closer examination of magnets with our magnet investigation table set up, along with some magnet games on another table. The children investigated how the magnets worked by testing the different materials in our magnets box. This is important for both their understanding of how magnets attract and repel each other, but also their trial and error skills.
Finally, we have been working on our presents for Father’s Day/Special Men Day. This is a special surprise present and involves some experimentation which the children love. Each present is unique to the child and it is very exciting for them to create these with their special person in mind. I will send out a reminder email regarding this breakfast and if you have any queries, please do email me or speak to me at class. The children look forward to these special days and the preparation for it is almost as much fun as the event itself!
Jessica, Karen and Fiona.
It’s been a great fun week – with our 10 little chickens growing each day, from the tiny balls of fluff to 10 energetic, chirpy little chickens - we watched them grow and develop, we talked about how their wing feathers were growing and how they were starting to try and fly about in the Brooder, but that they still needed to have the warmth of the light globe to keep them warm, which was what the mother hen would do on the farm. We talked about their Life Cycle, what they eat and how they are able to look after themselves very quickly, finding their own food. We were able to hold them this week which was very exciting, and all the children were able to do this if they wanted, some children were very confident, others were hesitant and needed encouragement. The children learnt how to hold them very gently - supporting their feet on one hand so they felt safe, and enclosing them gently with the other hand – the children discovered if they sat very still and quiet, and gently stroked the chicken they were holding, the chicken would be calm and content, and in some cases even went to sleep. Unfortunately, they went home on Friday, (we had had them for two weeks) – some to an AELC family some back with the farmer. We were sad to see them go, but the children had had a great hands on learning experience, and had been encouraged to care for and respect small living things.
One of the children’s favourite activities is drawing, and the children very cleverly sat in front of the chickens and drew the chickens from real life – although the children said it was hard as they wouldn’t stay still. This exercise required the children to observe, concentrate, remember, and to be able to put these thoughts down on paper – quite an achievement.
We also experienced another life cycle this week – our Stick Insect which lived in our room died. We talked about this and showed it to the children who were able to look closely. This led to some very interesting discussions about what happens when something dies – it’s body stops working, and all the things the body does, stop. Why did it die – probably because it was very old. This was not a frightening experience, but an interesting one for the children. We learnt that every living thing eventually dies - somebody then said – but batteries die!! We left the body of the stick insect for the children to look at and discuss with each other. We did tell the Mothers about this episode so they would be prepared for any questions. We will discuss other life cycles to increase our knowledge. So we experienced both ends of life this week – the beginnings with the eggs hatching and the end with the death of the stick insect – real life!!
What will happen next week ?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.
In our room, it is clear that there is strong appreciation for animals. The children have been very excited about having the chicks in the room still and were sad to say goodbye to them on Thursday. However, having the chicks in the room has been a fantastic learning experience for the children as they are able to see the chicks grow and begin to understand what goes into looking after the chicks. Additionally, it has taught them about being gentle with living creatures. On Thursday the children were very excited when I got one of the chicks out for them to each have a pat of. We talked about staying quiet because the chick might be a bit scared being away from his brothers and sisters. We also discussed only using two fingers because we needed to use gentle hands on the chicks. This love for animals has been reflected in the children’s imaginative play with many pretending to be animals while we are outside. In response to this, we will continue the animals theme for much of the term. Later in the term we will have a visit from the mobile farm which I know this group will particularly enjoy.
Unfortunately, earlier in the week our stick insect died. It had been unwell for a couple of weeks leading up to its death and it had also lived for approximately 2-3 years which is the life expectancy for stick insects. At mat time, we had a discussion about the stick insect had died and briefly outlined what that meant. Though most of the children seemed to not quite understand what this meant, a few appeared to be sad about this news. We do hope to get another tick insect in the future. We also have the silk worms hatching soon, so it was a timely lesson in that with death comes new life.
In outdoor play there continues to be a lot of cooking with mud pies and sand cakes being the most common. On Thursday some of the children were particularly interested in ants. We were fortunate enough to have some glorious sunshine and perhaps the ants were enjoying it too because we found them in lots of different places outside in large groups. Two children investigated a line of ants moving along the fence and noticed how they were all following each other. Another two children built an ant nest out of tanbark for the ants to live in. Finally another few went hunting for ants on the path around kinder. They were all very careful not to touch the ants so they could keep going about their work.
Inside we have begun working on our Father’s Day presents. The children are making their special surprise gifts and are very excited about the process. Each gift is unique to the child and involves some science and experimentation. There will be a reminder email going out to all of the parents very soon regarding this afternoon tea and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me and talk to me at class.
Jessica, Karen and Fiona.