Last week we read this Social Story with the children so they know what to expect tomorrow and Tuesday when they travel to Ecolinc for a fun day learning all about mini-beasts! Reading this story at home with them today will refresh their memories and help them to get the most out of the day.
Please note: school hat is optional in Term 2 and depends on parent preference; if you think a jacket necessary, lightweight is preferred because it will fit into the school bag. A jumper should be worn to school. All items need to be named.
We are sure to enjoy our excursions to Ecolinc!
The teachers attending on Monday with the Pineapples and Mangoes are: Miss Elliott, Mr Campbell, Miss Evans (student teacher) and Miss Smith.
Teachers attending on Tuesday with the Watermelons are: Miss Benci and Mr Campbell.
Please ensure to provide any medication needed on the day if you have not yet done so.
How lucky the Preps have been in the past few weeks of school! From special live performances to meeting a new furry friend; it has already been an action packed term and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the past 5 weeks have absolutely flown by! It’s crazy to think that next week marks the halfway point of term two! Here is an overview of some of the fun and exciting things we have been getting up to in the Prep learning community.
Responsible Pet Ownership Visit
How incredibly lucky we were to have Michelle bring along her beautiful pet dalmation, ‘Snowy’ to help the Preps learn about how to be a responsible pet owner as well as how to stay safe around dogs. Some lucky children even had the opportunity to approach Snowy after asking the owner, ‘Can I please pat your dog?’, using a low closed hand. Needless to say, the students were all very excited to have Snowy within their classroom and learnt some valuable tips for staying safe around and respecting dogs.
Students learn how to act around an aggressive dog: here they are practising standing still and ‘quiet as a mouse’ and looking at the ground to avoid eye contact with the dog.
Noah approaches Snowy after asking Michelle if it’s okay to pat her (very important).
Measurement and Length with a stylish purpose!
In Maths the students discovered that they were to use their measurement skills to help design the ideal accessory for their teachers furry friends. Using unifix blocks, they had to carefully measure out the correct length of their teacher’s pet’s neck to create a new collar for them. As luck would have it, it just so happened to be the birthday of Mr. Campbell’s dog, ‘Basil’ (pictured looking super impressed below featuring Gilbert’s photo bombing skills)
Basil (and the other teacher’s pets) were absolutely blown away by the way their beautifully designed collars fit their necks to perfection. Luckily the students were able to check their measurements to see if the collar needed to be shorter or longer before they began designing the collar itself. Take a look at some of the students with their designs below:
Magic Words Performance
What a special afternoon we had last week as we learnt about ‘the magic words’ we can use to be kind and respectful to one another. During the performance which featured a young disrespectful boy and an alien called ‘Zanna’ form the planet ‘Zilch’; children laughed and applauded as they learnt about how they can affect others with their words such as: ‘please, thankyou, excuse me, you’re welcome’
It truly has been an eventful term and we can’t wait for all the fun that’s to come as we move into the second half of term two!
As always, feel free to leave a comment as we love hearing from our wider Prep community and your thoughts on all the wonderful things we have happening at school.
Congratulations on your first full week of school, Preps! You all did a great job by trying your best each day and taking care of each other. Well done!
This term during Investigations, students are being guided to explore personal identity and history. In the first two weeks of term, they were asked to think of something special about themselves that they could share with classmates. They were introduced to the idea of planning before creating and sharing. Their plans consisted of drawing ideas, thinking about materials needed and explaining this to a teacher before creating through building, drawing, painting or writing. Teachers supported students to consider their plans as ‘instructions’ to be used when creating. You saw this work when students took it home at the end of Week Two.
Riley planned to show a fact from his history. When he was smaller, he fell over and got a scar afterwards!
Riley used his plan when creating a painting to share this fact with others.
Students enjoyed sharing something about themselves with their audience – other students, teachers and you!
They had the chance to learn more about their classmates.
Getting to know each other better strengthens the Preps’ learning community. Strong, supportive peer connections help students feel a sense of belonging at school.
Feeling safe at school allows students to extend themselves when learning by taking risks when trying something new.
Some interesting questions were generated following this process:
Why do babies need milk?
Why can’t babies talk like us?
Why aren’t babies very strong?
Why do some people have twins?
Why is Ava so helpful?
How do we go from small to big?
How do we grow up?
Last week, to further stimulate questions about their own and others’ families and cultures, students paired up to explore information books and find interesting pictures. Afterwards they were supported to extend themselves by choosing a different medium to share a fact from their book with others.
Layla composed a song to tell others about her family. Jay and Charli collaborated by providing music and dance. You can view their performance below. (The second video was recorded in a quiet room so as to hear Layla’s words).
Koby was interested in traditional Australian Aboriginal dress.
He planned his main work, talked to a teacher about his ideas and chose his medium.
Koby showed curiosity by stepping outside his comfort zone and choosing a different medium to share his learning.
Emily H was interested in how grandmothers take care of babies.
She planned carefully and talked with a teacher before creating.
Emily challenged herself by choosing a medium she hasn’t used before – oil pastels.
Noah N found this picture of a police officer with a dog to be interesting.
He shared his wondering with a teacher while planning his creation to share with others.
Noah chose collage, a medium he hasn’t tried before, to commence his main piece of work.
Like last term, Preps will be supported to develop essential learning capabilities (the 6Cs) while exploring their identity and history. The development of skills in the areas of character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking and knowlegde construction, gives students the tools they need to become lifelong learners who can adapt with flexibility and optimism to an ever changing world.
Here are some strategies on which the Preps have been focusing as they move towards learning to write:
The most efficient way to hold a pencil when writing is by using the ‘tripod grip’. Teachers are supporting students to develop this grip. There are lots of different ways to do this. Have a look at the videos below to learn more.
Source : excerpt of video posted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxUtwO29r8
Note: we did not send any special pencils home with students. They can work on developing a tripod grip with whichever writing implement they are using (pencil, texta, crayon, white board marker, etc).
Creating written letters of the alphabet is more complex than it looks! Students have engaged in several sessions of pre-writing exercises. The sessions involve copying and tracing some abstract patterns. These patterns utilise the muscle movements needed to write the letters of the alphabet. As these movements become more familiar, it frees up concentration for future focusing on correct letter formation (that is, starting each letter at the same place each time and forming it the same way each time, as they will be taught).
Click on the link below to access your own free downloads of pre-writing patterns.
After clicking on the link, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the pink text that says ‘writing practise’. Scroll down again and click on the pink text that says ‘pre-writing practise printables’. See screen shots below if you need help to find them.
Imogen practises some of the patterns we use when we write the letters of the alphabet.
At home you can play ‘Mr Squiggle’ by both creating a ‘squiggle’ that is a pre-writing pattern, swapping squiggles and turning them into a picture.
Story Train Excursion What an absolute ball the Preps had on Friday as we chugged our way down the train tracks from Drysdale to Queenscliffe! They were so excited to be treated to some very funny and entertaining stories along the way. We even learnt that we have some very talented actors and actresses in our group as they joined in with role plays and interactive story telling. It was a big day which involved catching a bus, then a train and even walking to the park for our stories. Needless to say, after all that fun and excitement there were a few tired faces on the train home as our little steam engines began to run out of steam. We hope you enjoy the video and photos below as much as we enjoyed our wonderful and magical day with the students.
We are all looking forward with excitement to the Story Train Excursion, this Friday (March 3rd).We have been talking about the excursion at school, watching videos of steam trains, role playing and also reading a Social Story about the excursion. Social Stories help children prepare mentally for events and situations encountered in everyday school life.
Reading this Social Story at home together will help your child get the most out of their first Prep excursion!
Welcome to the Prep Blog for 2017! This blog is one of the many tools which help us to keep you informed about all the exciting things we have going on in the Prep classroom (in addition to our regular newsletters, assemblies and diary notes). At Grovedale West Primary School (GWPS) we like to regularly use the blog to help students to reflect on past learning experiences which helps them to make connections with new learning tasks and to build upon their understandings.
For those parents new to GWPS we recommend that you remind yourselves of the rules that we agree to when using the Prep and JPod (years 1 and 2) Blogs. You can find these at this link:
We love it when we receive comments to our blog posts and we encourage you to comment when you can as the students (and teachers) love to know that the blog is being enjoyed and valued by the wider school community.
Come on our learning adventure!
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to this very blog to be notified by email whenever we have some exciting Preppy learning goodness to share with you. Simply enter your email address into the ‘Subscribe to follow our Prep Blog’ section located close to the top-right hand corner of the Blog itself. Note: this may not be visible on mobile phones but will show up on tablets and computers. If you have any troubles, feel free to pass your email on to one of the Prep teachers and we can subscribe for you 🙂
What a terrific start!
What an amazing time we have had getting to know the Preps during the last two and a half weeks! We have been highly impressed by the calm and positive approach they have taken into their first two weeks of school. The children have had a fantastic time settling into their new learning environments whilst getting to know their teachers and making many new friends along the way.
The Prep team would like to say a massive thank you to all the Prep parents for being so supportive of your children during our first two weeks of the year. We have been so pleased to see you taking on a guiding role with the children’s morning routine, whilst also allowing them the opportunity to take responsibility for, and develop their independence with these tasks. The Prep Team are really looking forward to getting to know your children even better over the coming weeks and are excited about creating learning opportunities which will help them to progress with their learning in a fun and engaging environment.
Here are some photos of the Preps enjoying their first two weeks of school:
The last full week of school has flown by, full of friends and fun. The teachers have enjoyed sharing lots of special end-of-year experiences with the Preps before we send them off for holidays and then into Year One. We have delighted in sharing the learning journey of each and every Prep and we are so proud of their achievements this year. We especially congratulate students on the hard work they have put in to develop the characteristics of good learners. These important qualities (like being curious, talking about their interests, asking open questions, choosing research tools relevant to their question, using resources carefully and caring for the environment) will provide a springboard into learning next year and also for years to come.
Below are a selection of moments from your child’s last full week of Prep, 2016.
Preparing for our excursion
Role playing walking on the path to the rock pools.
Role playing looking after smaller children who may use the playground with us.
Getting inspiration for sandcastle building.
Matilda, Kaley and Kodi prepare independently to put on a show.
Connor enjoyed building with Nathan.
Lily and Ruby T put on a puppet show about looking after other people’s things.
Emelia, Summer and Alexia explored the needs of new born babies.
Checking the heartbeat.
Performance space prepared by students.
Indpendently putting previous learning to good use!
Lucas and Ruby investigated the planets.
Rokhsar found out about what bugs eat.
Relaxation using a ‘Smiling Minds’ online resource.
Followed by teacher-led origami boat building.
Students followed a step by step process modelled by the teacher.
They helped each other.
Once boats were made students placed them onto their tummies and watched them move up and down as they breathed.
Several days this week have also concluded with mindfulness activities.Practising mindfulness helps students find inner calm and learn to regulate their emotions.
Thank you all for the support you have given your child’s learning this year in so many ways– reading with your child at home, writing and responding to diary communications, staying in touch with classroom learning via the blog, prep newsletters and take-home notes, helping in the classroom, helping on Milkshake Days, Kids’ Kitchen and excursions, attending assemblies, attending special presentations of learning like Book Week, Mulitcultural Day, the School Concert and the Prep Performance.
We know you and your children will feel right at home in the Jpod next year!
We look forward to seeing you at the whole school assembly tomorrow (commencing at 2.15pm) and at the Family Picnic (5.30 – 7pm) if you are able to attend.
We wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season!