Term 4, Week 9, 2016 – Concert Congratulations!

Hi everyone,

A big CONGRATULATIONS to all the Preps (and of course, students from all levels) for their wonderful performance at the School Concert yesterday!!! 

You each did your very best on stage and showed great citizenship skills by helping each other and by being a respectful and appreciative audience. Matilda and Summer J merit a special mention for the way they each helped their friends on stage. WELL DONE!!

The week leading up to and after the concert flew by! Here are a few highlights…

Maths

Some students experienced an introduction to fractions last week. At this stage of Prep maths thinking, this means exploring what it means to break a whole object into parts. These parts can be equal or not equal.

Afterwards we talked about the special names given to the pieces of an object that has been broken into equal parts. If something is divided into two equal parts, we call each part a ‘half’. If it is broken into four equal parts, we call each part a ‘quarter’. We created some halves and quarters as a whole group, using play dough. Then students experimented with their own play dough.

Hands on exploration led some students to question which names are given to equal parts that number more than two or four. Reuben and Jye created eight equal pieces. They talked with a teacher about what each piece would be called (‘eighths’) and then had fun extrapolating their new learning to other scenarios – ‘What if there were ten pieces?’

The next day, students revised their new learning and then put it to use to create Paul Klee inspired art. They were provided with paper shapes (squares, triangles and circles of different sizes) and required to fold then cut these shapes into halves and quarters. Once cut into two or four equal parts, these shapes were used for artistic purposes. Students talked to a teacher about which fractions of the whole they had used for different parts of their art work.

Writing

Students reconnected with the recount genre in preparation for completing an end-of-year writing sample.

They also enjoyed Wacky Wednesday Writing!

Buddies!

The Preps of 2017 met their future Buddies today during a Teddy Bear’s Picnic themed final Transition Session. While the Prep Room was humming with future students, current Preps had a great time with their Buddies in the Sipod. They created Christmas Craft together in the form of hand print reindeer.

Things to remember

  • Prep Performance (Citizenship Learning) – Tuesday December 6th, 2.30pm – 3.15pm, in the Library (see note sent home today)
  • Preps visit the Mipod Festa next Thursday, December 8th (see note sent home today)

Thank you

Thanks to everyone for returning the End Of Year Excursion permission forms! As with other special events, a Social Story will be read with students prior to the excursion after which it will be posted onto the blog.

Have a great week!

The Prep Team

Social Story – School Concert

Hi everyone,

Here is the School Concert Social Story we read to students today. Reading it at home together will help your child mentally prepare for the event.

 

Social Story – Prep Excursion for Concert Rehearsal at The Arena

Hi everyone,

Here is the Social Story we read with students this afternoon before Library Session. This story helps Preps prepare mentally for our upcoming excursion to The Arena this Thursday. When we get to The Arena students will have opportunity to become familiar with the performance space and to practise their acts on stage.

Reading this story at home together will help your child gain maximum benefit from our excursion.

Term 4, Week 8, 2016 – So Long, Swimming!

Hi everyone,

The Intensive Swimming Program concluded yesterday, inclusive of Thursday’s traditional fun finale – a visit to the exceedingly popular Water Park! Many small heads will sleep soundly on pillows this weekend in well-earned rest, following a wonderful fortnight’s work spent gaining essential water familiarity and survival skills – skills that may one day save their lives or those of others.

During the Swimming Program, Preps excelled in:

  • demonstrating positive attitudes to learning new skills
  • listening to their swim teachers in a busy environment
  • displaying personal organisation in undressing/dressing and keeping track of belongings
  • taking care of each other over the last few days when tiredness set in

A big thank you also to all our parents, who enabled students to come to school well-rested and ready to make the most of this important learning opportunity. And also for your support in empowering Preps to develop independence in self-care tasks like drying-off and dressing following their lessons.

Well done, everyone! And thank you Mrs Burns, for organising this invaluble swimming experience for us!

Believe it or not, there was more to the week than swimming alone…

Investigations

Small groups continue to work on developing skits. The skits will form a ‘patchwork performance’ showing different facets of civics learning. This learning has focused on what it means for each one of us to be important and valued citizens in our community, whose good choices (citizenship) benefit the people and places where we live, work and play.

To this end, Preps have been required to draw on previous learning about Performing Arts (Snugglepot and Cuddlepie excursion in Term 3) and current Performing Arts experience (Concert Practise). They are using this learning to inform their project (eg. to create props, costumes and scripts) and also to edit their work (feeding back to each other about voice volume, actor position and clarity of the message).

Last Thursday work ceased before the end of the Investigations session for a mid-project reflection exercise. Two quiet classroom spaces were created with students roughly halved between them. Each group’s skit was videoed in front of an audience of classmates, using recently purchased iPad tripods and microphone booms. Next week we will review the videoed rehearsals together. This will allow groups to self-assess and make improvements.

Reading

Guided reading groups were held, as were whole group read aloud’s and digital text viewing followed by discussion. Our reading strategy focus was on inference. Making inferences and predictions are closely related comprehension strategies – that is, they help us understand what we are reading. They differ in these ways:

  • Predictions can usually be confirmed or denied through further reading (eg. ‘I think Ben will fall off his bike’ – the reader turns the page and the picture or words relate that Ben fell off his bike)
  • Inferences are not clearly confirmed or denied through reading (eg. ‘I think Goldilocks decided to go for that walk in the forest because her mum was doing the Saturday cleaning and she didn’t want to do any chores’. We are never told why Goldilocks went for a walk but we are free to infer the reason and state why we think this is so)

Two digital texts used for inference purposes last week were:

  • Shaun the Sheep (the lack of words and excellent facial expressions/body language make this animation a rich and fun way to practise inference)

and

  • This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

After viewing This Is Not My Hat, students were asked:

  • What happened to the small fish?
  • Did he get away?
  • Was he eaten?
  • What might happen next?

The inferences were varied:

  • The little fish was eaten/got away
  • The hat fell off the little fish’s head while he was hiding and landed right on top of the big fish’s head, so he got his hat back
  • The little fish hid inside the hat when the big fish got it back. When the big fish went to sleep later, little fish stole it again
  • He found another hat just like the big fish’s hat and gave that to the big fish. He kept the real hat

During this conversation Preps asked the teacher to scroll back and forth through the text pictures in order to justify their inferences by referring to their own interpretations of the pictures and text. You can do this together when inferring at home – ‘I think … because …’

Writing

Writing linked to reading – Preps were given a brief to design a hat for little fish so he did not have to steal one! After drawing the hat they were asked to describe it in writing.

Free Writing Friday was FUN yesterday! It is wonderful to see students excited about writing what is close to their hearts!

All students did a fabulous job of listening to teacher feedback and using it to ‘re-work’ their writing in order to improve the piece. Feedback differed according to student needs; it is most effective when students have opportunity to put it to use straight away rather than waiting for the next writing session.

The focus and sense of purpose displayed by Preps during writing yesterday meant they had time to receive and use teacher suggestions for improvement and extension.

The effort they are making during writing sessions means they are getting better at writing! Great work Preps!!!

Maths

Students revised prior learning about sharing. You can see their work below and perhaps make up your own sharing stories and games at home! 

 

Mindfulness

In the midst of such a busy week, Preps were supported in emotional self-regulation. The ability to self-regulate emotions means developing the skills needed to identify your feelings and take action if needed. You may have seen this visual display in the Prep Room.

Yesterday we discussed the feelings we might have in each different zone and the actions we might take if we would like to move out of this zone. For example:

  • In Blue Zone, we might feel sleepy! This is OK if it’s bedtime, but if it’s learning time we need to move out of Blue Zone and into Green Zone, which is just right for learning. One way we could do this is to do some yoga poses, sit up straight or take some big, deep breaths
  • In Orange Zone we might be feeling quite wriggly and excited and find it hard to focus. This is OK if it’s Christmas Morning and we are opening our presents! But if is’t learning time, Orange Zone might not be quite right, so we need to take action to move back into Green Zone. Some ways we can do this are by choosing a good learning partner or enjoying a quiet activity like a puzzle or colouring. We can let teachers know we are in the Orange Zone and ask for help to find a calming action.
  • In Red Zone we might feel upset, angry or frustrated. It’s OK to feel upset when something is wrong, but it can be hard to think clearly and sort out problems when we feel like this. We need to take action to move back into Orange Zone and then into Green Zone. Some ways we can do this are by asking for space, counting to 10, taking deep breaths or going to a quiet place like the Book Corner or a garden bench if it is play time.

Telling someone how we are feeling is a good first step for getting back to feeling OK if we are in Blue, Orange or Red Zones.

Here is a ‘Cosmic Yoga’ – Star Wars Story you might like to try together at home!

As the year draws to a close and Prep stamina is tested, we will endeavor to include opportunities for the development and practise of mindfulness throughout the school week.

Preps have also enjoyed watching The Nutcracker ballet during eating times during the last fortnight. 

The Nutcracker is being performed by the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet on December 20th and 21st this year.

the-nutcracker-arts-centre-snip

Link to further information about the upcoming Arts Centre Melbourne performance of The Nutcracker

Things to remember…

  • ThursdayPrep Concert Rehearsal Excursion to The Arena
  • ThursdaySchool Concert starts at 7pm at The Arena (A Social Story will be read with students prior to the excursion and the concert after which both will be posted onto the blog)
  • FridaySecond Transition to Year One in the Jpod (11.30am – 1.40pm)
  • FridayPrep 2017 final Transition Session (Teddy Bears’ Picnic with Buddies) – 9am to 11am
  • FridayKids’ Kitchen 

Have a great week!

The Prep Team

Acknowledgements:
Books for making inferences and predictions – Becky Spence (thisreadingmama.com)
This Is Not My Hat teaching ideas – www.teachingideas.co.uk
The Piggy Sharing Story – The Prep Team (pictures from Google search)
Piggy Sharing Activity – Lauren Kuhn (lovelaughterandlearninginprep.blogspot.com.au
The Sharing Game – (downunderteacher.blogspot.com.au)
The Little Pigs Song for Children – The Happy Ape (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWjUSHimgAA)
Zones of Regulation – Leah Kuypers (zonesofregulation.com)
Cosmic Yoga – Cosmic Kids Watch Page (http://www.cosmickids.com/category/watch/)
Mrs A. (GWPS) for telling us about Cosmic Yoga
Piotr Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker Ballet in Two Acts from the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersberg, December 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtLoaMfinbU)

 

Term 4, Week 8, 2016 – Class Timetable for Wednesday

Hi everyone,

Hopefully you have had lots of little eyes on the clock checking for bedtime and reading the time to you!

Here is our timetable for tomorrow in case you would like to talk about the coming day with your child tomorrow morning before school.

On Wednesdays during swimming, the Sharks have Science after Snack Play and then they eat lunch and play outside before getting on the bus to go to the pool. The Dolphins have Group Time in the Prep Room after Snack Play. Then they eat lunch, play outside and have Science before getting on the bus to go to the pool.

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