Term 3, Week 7, 2016 – ‘You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!’ – Dr Seuss

Hi everyone!

Glad you could join us for a quick zip through your child’s learning last week!

Book Week

This wonderful week of the year was enjoyed by all as we celebrated the joy that books and stories bring to our lives! We also enjoyed the company of many parents, siblings and other special people during our Costume Parade and Book Week inspired whole-school Art activities. You can catch up on the fun or relive the highlights by watching the video below!

Reading and Writing – Re-tells, Book Reviews and Junior Assembly

We read a lot of stories together last week! Students retold some of these tales by drawing and writing. They voted for their favourite book, wrote book reviews as to the reason for their vote and shared this learning with others at Junior Assembly on Friday. Well done to Jye who opened the Preps’ Assembly segment, Alexia who closed it and to Nathan, Conner H, Emelia, Willow, Jordan B, Matilda, Ethan and Ruby T who spoke so clearly when presenting their thoughts to the audience. Well done also to Preps in the audience for showing respect and courtesy to those speaking out the front!

Maths 

Students had fun together exploring different games and activities designed to build number sense and fluency. Teachers spent time with each student to gain a sense of individual progress in numeracy understandings. In home group, students continue to engage in numeracy routines which link with everyday activities.

Philosophy – ‘Are Transformers better than Shopkins? How about Star Wars?’

These hot topics were up for debate in Philosophy last week! Students practised concurrence and dissent with the opinions of others in a civilised manner, using the language ‘I agree’ or ‘I disagree’ and providing reasons for their statements.

Investigations – ‘I am a good learner by … choosing resources carefully’

Students tuned in to considering their intended purpose before selecting a material for use in showing learning. For example, if paper is needed to jot down ideas while planning, scrap paper will suffice. If paper is needed for the front cover of a book or for a poster, then a new piece of coloured or white paper should be chosen.

Things to remember …

Milkshake DayWednesday

Fathers’ Day Breakfast Friday

Prep Performing Arts Excursion Consent and Payment due back by Friday

Have a great week!

The Prep Team

Term 3, Week 6, 2016 – Everyone’s an Entrepreneur!

Maths

Step Right Up! Sideshow Alley has come to town…

While exploring Australian coins last week, Preps learned that you have to make money to spend money!

Pop-Up Shop

Later in the week Preps tested just how far $10 could go when purchasing craft items with which to create a cardboard tube monster.

Reading and Writing – ‘You’ve got mail…’

Last week was Education Support Staff Week, so we looked for ways to say ‘thank you’ to those special people who support the learning and administration of our school. And what better way to do this than by writing them letters!

All that letter writing gave Preps good reason to polish their reading skills – whether to check that their letter made sense before delivering or to read their very own letter from a friend!

Speaking and Listening

If you haven’t seen a ‘Mystery Box’ at your house, you will be seeing one soon! Students are taking it in turns to take home a special box into which they may place an item of personal significance. During home group on Mondays and Thursdays, classmates must use thoughtful questioning to guess the contents of the box. Once revealed, the student has opportunity to share why that object is special and to answer questions from peers.

Teddy Hospital

Teddies, kids and teachers learned about how to keep our bodies healthy at Teddy Hospital last week. 

Olympic Closing Ceremony

 

Things to remember…

TuesdayBook Week Dress Up Day

  • come dressed as your favourite character!
  • Costume Parade in the gym at 9am
  • parents/special friends are invited to the Parade and also to join in the Art Activity with their child/children, from 10 to 11am

WednesdayStoryteller ‘Matteo’ visits our school!

FridayKids’ Kitchen

Upcoming Prep Performing Arts Excursionconsent and payment is due by September 2nd

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday!

The Prep Team

 

Term 3, Week 5, 2016 – Ready, Set, Go! Prep Learning Picks Up Pace In Term Three…

Hi everyone!

Take a moment with us to pause at Term Three’s halfway point, to celebrate the leaps and bounds in learning made by Prep students this term!

Writing

Preps followed the global gaze all the way to the Olympic Games during writing sessions this week! They learned about the 2016 Olympic Games mascot, Vinicius, then designed their own! Have a look at the display in the Book Corner of our classroom and you can enjoy all of their creations!

Follow this link to find out about Vinicuis together at home.

Later that week, students considered their own strengths…

On Friday Preps tried ‘out of the box’ writing. Teachers provided a ‘seed’ which students watered with their imaginations, growing individual pieces of work!

Reading

Our focus CAFE reading strategy last week was ‘Skip the word and come back’. This strategy works best if the unknown word is not at the end of the sentence but rather embedded within the sentence. Skipping the unknown word and reading on, may prompt the student to work out the tricky word based on the structure of the rest of the sentence. If the student then thinks she knows what the word is, she goes back and re-reads the sentence, crosschecking the tricky word (‘Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense?’).

Maths – focus on ‘number’

Philosophy

Preps viewed episodes 4 and 5 from the ‘Class Do Jo Growth Mindset’ series. In these episodes, Mo Jo discovers that when we seek out challenges our brains get stronger. He also realises that sometimes when something feels hard and we keep trying and don’t give up…things don’t always work out how we planned but this is OK because every challenge makes us stronger and more likely to succeed in the future! You can watch episodes 4 and 5 together at home by clicking on the small, stripey icon in the top left corner of the video below.

 

Investigations

Students are identifying a target audience for their learning and putting thought into the needs of their audience. For example, they are working hard to ensure that writing which communicates their learning is clear and easy to read.

They are also working with teachers to learn and experiment with different ways of presenting learning to an audience. Before each Investigations session last week, home groups explored several options by which they may choose to communicate their thinking.

Don’t miss out on any of the action! Be sure to check out (below) some of the different ways your creative and brave children are showing their learning to each other and the world!

Gracie, Liannah, Jayda and Ebony worked with a teacher to create an iMovie to share what they found out about penguins.

Karla and Oliver worked with a teacher to make an iMovie showing their learning about the human body. Their target audience was the Preps so they premiered their movie during Investigations on Friday.

Matilda and Kodi created a story about two girls having a slumber party. Working together, they created a miniature set complete with puppets and drew the characters and sequence of their story. They worked with a teacher to develop the script and held rehearsals after which they asked for feedback from friends before putting on the premiere show on Friday. Afterwards they reflected on the importance of using an audible voice when performing live and collaborated with a teacher to transfer their story to an iMovie for your enjoyment!

Special events coming up next week…

Teddy Hospital comes to the Prep Room on Wednesday August 15th! Remember to bring your Teddy to school with you on Wednesday!!

Olympic Games Closing Ceremony will be held on Friday August 19th from 2pm to 3.15pm. Parents and friends are very welcome to attend. All students are representing a country they have selected and are encouraged to wear their country’s colours, national costume or sports uniform for the ceremony. The countries chosen for each grade are:

  • Prep A – Japan (red and white)
  • Prep B – Egypt (red, white and black)
  • Prep C – Italy (red, white and green)

Things to remember…

At your earliest convenience, please return consent and payment for the upcoming Prep Performing Arts Excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Playhouse Theatre so we can finalise numbers. Thanks!

Have a great week!

The Prep Team

 

Term 3, Week 4, 2016 – Investigations Learning: Developing a sense of audience

Developing a sense of audience

Last week Preps continued to be supported in identifying their audience when presenting learning undertaken during Investigations sessions. Having an audience in mind gives purpose to learning. Asking themselves the questions ‘Who would I like to see my learning?’ may help them in this.

Term 3, Week 4, 2016 – Time To Party! Happy 100th Day of School, Preps!!

It was mostly sunshine indoors and out last Thursday when the Preps celebrated their 100th Day of School! 

We spent a happy day admiring each other’s costumes on parade, decorating and eating cupcakes, reading stories, playing games, planning and building straw towers in teams and creating a ‘100’ themed piece of art for display in our room. You can share some of the highlights too if you like, by having a look at the iMovie below!

Festivity and learning went hand in hand last week…

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence refers to the skills required to identify and manage our own emotions and to empathise with the emotions of others. We know as adults that big events can cause us to feel a range of big emotions, like excitement, happiness, elation and also sometimes anxiety and apprehension. Once we had waved goodbye to mums and dads following the Costume Parade, students were given opportunity to share with others how they were feeling inside. Many students found it comforting to realise that some of their friends were feeling a bit worried about our big day, as well as excited. We discovered that sharing how we are feeling with trusted people can help us feel better inside. We read a story about a girl named Jessica, who experienced emotional highs and lows on her own 100 Days at School. You can read it together below if you like.

Reading

Students were introduced to a new CAFE reading strategy: ‘Retell’. This strategy helps students to understand what they are reading. When undertaking a retell, students think and talk about:

  • The characters and setting of the story – Who was in it and where did it happen?
  • The main problem or challenge in the story – What went wrong? What was hard for the characters?
  • The solution – How did the problem get fixed?

Students drew retells of shared read aloud stories and talked about their retells with friends and teachers.

Writing

Students access and use familiar tools which promote independence when writing. Some of these tools are:

  • Magic Words lists
  • Visual alphabets
  • ‘Tin Lids’ – for recording an oral sentence before writing
  • ‘Phoneme Fists’ – an oral strategy taught in Letters and Sounds groups which helps students ‘break words up’ into sounds before writing the sounds down
  • ‘Spacemen’ – paper strips with astronauts printed onto them to assist students in placing spaces between words

Students write best when they are very interested in their subject matter. Cupcake were a hot topic and so were ‘funny animals’!

Maths

Students further investigated weight last week. They compared objects that are ‘lighter’ and ‘heavier’  or the same/equal weight as each other and also measured classroom objects using informal units of measurement (blocks).

Well done on a great week Preps! See you on Monday for your 102nd day of school!

The Prep Team

Term 3, Week 3, 2016 – ‘All the world’s a stage…’

Hi everyone!

Prepare to share our amazement as you take in the many ways Prep students extended themselves during learning experiences last week!

Junior Assembly

Inspired by an awakening ‘sense of audience’, students created dramatised ‘number stories’ to showcase learning about addition and subtraction to classmates, parents and Jpod students at Junior Assembly last Friday. They collaborated to create props and costumes, accepted and used feedback to improve performance and displayed perseverance by practising together several times before assembly. The confidence and clarity with which they spoke and acted was tribute to careful and enthusiastic preparation.

Special mention must be made of classmates who constituted some of the audience – their attentive, respectful and appreciative listening made it easier for their friends to share learning.

Well done Preps! 

Investigations

As mentioned above, last week Preps began to consider the existence of an audience for their work. As they progress through school, students will be supported to identify an audience and choose a method of delivery designed to best communicate their learning/message to that audience.

Students also tuned in to the importance of choosing an appropriate research tool. For example, if you want to find out about how bananas grow it won’t help you much if you look at a book about the Olympics! We talked about Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series – when Hermione wants to find out about something magical, she looks in a book that is about magic.

During Investigations, students need to ask themselves: ‘Is this book/app/picture/video helping me answer my question?’ If not, they need to choose a different research tool.

‘I am a good learner by…’

 

Philosophy

Sometimes, it can be hard to ask for help if we don’t understand something at school. In the video below, Mo Jo helps Katie to see that asking for help is OK because it can help us learn and other people like to help us! We are all good at different things – sometimes we will be able to help someone else and sometimes we will need to ask for help ourselves!

Click on the striped square icon on the top left of the video below and select ‘Episode 3’ to view the video we watched together, titled ‘The Power of Yet’.

During Home Group Philosophy Circles, students made some of the following points:

  • if we give up our brains get lazy but if you don’t, our brains get SMARTER!
  • if you keep trying, your brain grows!
  • if you ask for help you might learn more
  • if you don’t ask for help the problem could get worse

Speaking and Listening

During Home Group each day, students are given opportunity to share thoughts and experiences with their teacher and classmates. Sometimes sharing occurs from their places in the circle, at other times they may sit or stand at the front of the group.

Students are supported to:

  • look at their audience
  • use an audible speaking voice
  • use full sentences.

During Home Group sharing we have recently enjoyed hearing about Lily’s new bird named Pete, who can say ‘Do you have a biscuit?’ and who has just learned to dance! We were also fascinated when Emelia shared the mobile phone she made at After School Care, using plastic and sticky tape. So far, she and Alexia have caught two Pokemon during playtimes!

On Friday we had an extra special treat when Rhiannon brought in her guinea pigs to meet the Preps! She and her mum did a wonderful job of answering the many questions generated by the visit.

Reading

New CAFE reading strategy: ‘Re-read like a reader’.

If children read a sentence in their readers in a halting, ‘robotic’ kind of way, encourage them to ‘re-read’ the sentence ‘like a reader’. That is, in a voice that sounds like talking. Use of this strategy will help students understand what they are reading.

Library – visualising while reading

During part of Library session, we are reading from an Enid Blyton book containing short stories. This book doesn’t have many pictures so students are encouraged to use their imaginations to picture the characters and settings, while listening to the story. Some students say this is like ‘making a movie in your head’! It is important for readers to acquire this skill because it leads to increased enjoyment of reading. We are certainly enjoying practising!

Writing

As you are probably very well aware due to rising levels of excitement, next week we are celebrating our ‘100 Days at School’ Party!! So in order to prepare for cooking cup cakes together next week, we have begun to learn about procedural texts, like recipes. Procedural writing usually tells the reader which items are needed and what to do with them. After labeling the ingredients and sequencing the method required to make Fairy Bread, students had a go at creating their very own recipes!

Maths

Students experienced further opportunity to practise subtraction and addition while playing games, role playing and problem solving. They were challenged to use both operations during each session, encouraging flexibility in the application of learning to real life situations (eg. games, number stories).

Things to remember

Milkshake Day this Wednesday.

100 Days at School Party on Thursday – dress up as whatever you like! Bring a gold coin donation for charity.

Have a great week!

The Prep Team