Fun Learning Tips for the Holidays

Hi everyone!

If your kids are stuck inside on a rainy day looking for something to do, why not try some of these ideas?


Below is a selection of games/ideas using everyday objects/situations. All you need is one of the game boards (you could draw up your own together), 2 six sided dice and some colour pencils.

(These ideas are credited to the website:

You may need to help your child match numerals with number words. Have some objects available so your child can ‘make’ the numbers if s/he would like to do so (eg. marbles, buttons, pasta, match sticks).

As mentioned in previous holiday learning tips, link maths to everyday activities. This term we have focused on addition and subtraction.

Tell each other number stories using concrete objects. For example:

Addition stories

  • If you’re shopping for groceries together ask your child to help select items like fruit or vegetables and turn it into a number story – ‘We’ve got 4 bananas in the trolley and we need two more. How many do we have altogether now?’. Addition strategies can be used according to your child’s needs – counting all, counting on, number facts, doubles, doubles and one or two more. Students have mostly worked with numbers between 1 and 10 when engaging in addition, except when counting on because knowledge of the verbal counting sequence supports them to work out these problems (eg. ‘There were 42 monkeys in the tree and one more came along, so there were 42….. 43 all together’.

Subtraction stories

  • Or, ‘We baked 12 muffins and ate 4. How many do we have left?’. Encourage your child to count the items that are left. If you are drawing subtraction stories like ‘There were 8 frogs on the log and 4 hopped away. How many frogs were left? ‘ have your child cross out the frogs that hopped away and count how many are left.

Make your own ten pin bowling game at home (using empty water/soft drink bottles and a tennis ball). Encourage your child to say how many pins s/he started with, how many got knocked down and how many are left (eg. ‘I had 10 pins, I knocked down 5 so I have 5 left’).


As always, enjoy reading lots of stories together! A love of reading helps children develop into lifelong learners! Following on from our excursion to see the live show of ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, you might like to visit the library and begin to explore other classic works of Australian literature together. Some ideas are:

  • ‘Seven Little Australians’ by Ethel Turner
  • ‘The Magic Pudding’ by Norman Lindsay
  • ‘Blinky Bill’ by Dorothy Wall
  • ‘Dot and the Kangaroo’ by Ethel Pedley

Dust off some of those Magic Words games/activities you already know, like:

  • Magic Word Snap
  • Magic Word Memory
  • Magic Word Treasure Hunt
  • Take turns to pull a Magic Word from the hat/bowl and put it into a (verbal) sentence
  • Motorised Magic Words – place some Magic Words next to your child’s train set tracks/toy car circuit and have him/her say the Magic Word as the vehicle passes the word
  • Use chalk to write Magic Words together on the path in your yard
  • Look/Say/Cover/Write/Check


Keep a holiday journal

Whether you are heading off on far flung adventures or staying home for the holidays, your home group would love to share some of your journal entries when you come back to school for Term 4!

Tell each other stories!

  • Make storytelling dice like we did in Week 8 (print off paper 3 paper dice templates (see link below) or try small empty boxes; use magazine cut-outs or your own drawings to create one ‘character’ die, one ‘settings’ die and one ‘special object’ die; take turns to roll all three dice and weave a story for each other! Encourage your child to use storytelling language to open the story (eg. ‘Once upon a time….’; ‘One sunny/wet/windy/snowy day…’; ‘Once there lived a …..’; ‘A long time ago….’)
  • Draw your story – stories have a setting, a character(s), a problem or challenge and a solution. Encourage your children to draw a story in three sections or boxes: introduction of character/setting; problem;solution. If they wish, encourage and help them as needed to add writing to their story

Link to paper dice template (when you follow this link, click on ‘printables’ and then search up ‘dice’).

Performing Arts

Why not have a look in your garden and make up your own nature based characters, like May Gibbs? You could draw your characters and make up a story about them. The setting could be your very own backyard! Once you have created your characters and story, you could act out the story with some help from brothers and sisters, friends and mums and dads! Remember that you can play more than one character by changing your voice and your costume items. In ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, the person who played Mrs Snake also played Mrs Fantail and Ragged Blossom! The person who played Mr Lizard was also Mr Possum, Mr Kookaburra, Mr Frog and a Big Bad Banksia Man!

We hope you have a fantastic holiday! See you all in Term 4!

The Prep Team

Help the Jpod students collect data for their Games Expo!

Hi Preps and Families!

Last week we learned how to collect information about some things that people like or don’t like. This helped us get to know our home group friends a bit better! Next term we can use these skills to plan our Pizza Activity Night!

The Jpod students are collecting data too and they need your help. They want to find out what you like and don’t like when you are playing games so they can make fun games for kids to play at their Games Expo in Term 4. You can read about their real-life learning project by clicking on the link below:

Link to Jpod class blog post about the Great Games Expo

You can help them by doing a quick survey (follow the link below; it only takes a few minutes). Parents will need to help you read it – and they can do it too!

Follow this link to the Jpod Great Games Expo Survey


If you have a QR code reader app on your device you can scan the code below and it will take you to the survey monkey site.

Thank you for taking the time to help the Jpod with this exciting and fun project!

The Prep Team

Term 3, Week 10, 2016 – Nuts about Gumnuts!

Hi everyone!

It’s hard to believe Term 3 is at an end! It’s been an exciting term – students have tried their best every day and made great progress in their learning. Congratulations on all your hard work and focus over the last term, Preps!

One of the highlights of the term was the Prep Performing Arts Excursion last week. During the excursion students displayed wonderful citizenship skills by listening to their teachers, walking carefully in public areas, using inside voices in public places, looking at exhibits with their eyes only and by being good audience members. Well done, Preps! Also, a special thank you to all the extra helpers who helped make our day so fun – Mrs Burns, Mr Ramage, Miss Geary, Simone and Zach.

Below you can hear May Gibbs speak about her work:

This interview sourced from:


Excursion preparation linked with writing this week, some of which you saw in the excursion iMovie. In addition, students were exposed to elements of performing arts and asked to discuss their feelings and thoughts throughout. For example, early in the week they listened to short, selected pieces of music and chose different coloured pencils to express how the music made them feel. We talked about how different feelings can come and go when we listen to music. During a play like ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ the music might sound a bit scary and we might feel a little worried during some parts of the story, like when Mrs Snake is near. Later we start to feel happy and calm again when the music becomes playful and light, and the characters we care about are safe!

Following the excursion, Preps reflected on their experience…


Students are developing a strong sense of audience during the Inquiry process.

Maths – Focus on information/data representation and analysis

Students learned that ‘data’ is another word for ‘information’. Humans are able to see and process more information more quickly when that data is represented in the form of a graph. We learned about ‘picture graphs’. These are also sometimes called ‘pictographs’.

Another way people can collect and analyse information is by creating a tally. After learning about tallies as a group, students created their own questions, collected information and analysed the results during reflection time at the end of the session.

Usually, data is collected with a purpose in mind. Next term, Preps will put their new skills to work as they collect, represent and analyse information pertaining to the planning of their Pizza Activity Night on October 10th. For example, we will need to find out which are the games students would most like to play and which music is most in demand when it comes to dancing?

A ‘thank you’…

Thank you to all our classroom helpers! You have provided invaluable support to learners this term as you listen to students read, test their Magic Words and share the celebration as they make gains in learning. We greatly appreciate your help!

Things to remember…

First day back at school for Term 4 is Tuesday October 4th (Monday is a Pupil Free Day).

Now, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We hope you have a safe and happy time together during the term break. See you back at school, well rested, on October 4th, ready for Term 4.

The Prep Team

Noticeboard – Term 3, Week 10

Remember to bring in your special object to contribute to our class sculpture! Something significant to you, no larger than 15cm x 15cm, which you will paint silver and add to the sculpture. This item cannot be taken home again as it will be attached to other objects, so please choose something that you don’t mind leaving at school.

Term 3, Week 9 – ‘Creativity is contagious, pass it on’ (Albert Einstein)

Hi everyone!

Only three school days to go until our Prep Performing Arts Excursion! In preparation, students spent time last week immersed in various creative arts…


After viewing a video clip of highlights from a children’s live performance (see below), Preps engaged in a ‘See, Think, Wonder’ exercise. Teachers scribed their thoughts on a Google Doc, enabling home groups to have a live chat about the topic from their respective home group areas (see screen shot of live chat session below).

The ‘wonderings’ were re-visited on Friday afternoon before the end-of-week ‘dance-off’. A teacher Googled images of ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ performers in costume. There was a mixture of relief and disappointment that the actors will in fact be wearing clothes and bottoms will not be making an appearance!

The Arts Centre sent us a special link to some videoed read-alouds of ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ stories that we haven’t read yet, like ‘The Dragonfly Races’. We watched one of these together last Tuesday after which we created our own talk show, complete with host and visiting celebrities, like Mr Lizard, a Boronia Baby and even Snugglepot and Cuddlepie themselves! Students wrote down questions they would like to ask the characters who came on the show. You can read some of their questions below:

Students were also given opportunity to enjoy ‘out of the box’ (free choice of topic/genre) writing. Some chose to write about an upcoming exciting activity, others tried a story using the ‘story boards’ from last week while others elected to write a letter to a special person.


Our focus was on reading, comparing and ordering two digit numbers using knowledge of the counting sequence and decade names. Students enjoyed maths in their ‘Emus and Kangaroos’ groups last week. This gave opportunity for them to work with partners they may not previously have learned with during maths while learning to:

  • read the numbers ’12’ and ’20’ correctly
  • read two digit numbers to 100 (two digit numbers are read from left to right, like words. Teen numbers can be confusing because the second digit is spoken first – eg. 16 – ‘six – teen’. A good tip to help your children read teen numbers is to remind them that two digit numbers that start with a ‘1’ are ‘teen’ numbers)

They played a version of ‘Beat My Number’. The aim is to make the biggest number. You might like to play this at home! How to play:

  • Make nine small opaque cards (eg. use cardboard)
  • Write a numeral on one side of the card (only use numbers 1 to 9) and place them upside down
  • Use a piece of paper each and draw two adjacent horizontal dashes
  • Take it in turns to turn over a card
  • Decide if you want to put it in the ‘tens’ place (on the left) or in the ‘ones’ place (on the right)
  • Talk about strategy – a number with more tens in it is bigger than an number with less tens
  • Once you have placed your number you may not move it
  • Use a 100s chart to check which number is biggest (numbers closer to 100 are bigger)

Some students went on a ‘number hunt’! They were asked to cut out different numerals from magazines. Then each student was challenged to make both the highest and lowest number possible with the numerals at hand. They used up remaining numerals created any two digit number and reading it. This would be fun to try at home!

You can help your child read two digit numbers by finding them and reading them together when you are out and about!

Philosophy – ‘What is Art?’

Students discussed this question together at the commencement of Philosophy session, in preparation for our visit to the National Gallery of Victoria next week.

Following discussion, Preps viewed the following artwork in ‘Emus and Kangaroos’ groups and participated in interpreting it. A live Google Doc was again used to share thoughts between groups.

Photo of this painting sourced from:

Investigations – Audience and Purpose

Preps focused on:

  • clear identification of target audience when showing learning
  • developing a strong sense of purpose while learning (Why am a finding out about this? What do I want my audience to get from my work? – information? entertainment?)

To this end, they viewed short video clips of concerts aimed at various age groups (The Wiggles, One Direction and The Arctic Monkeys). Preps discussed the target audience of these bands and the likely intention of the artists producing the work.

Things to remember…

Thursday – Prep Performing Arts Excursion

  • Please ensure you arrive at school on time on Thursday! The bus leaves at 9am and we plan to arrive back at school by 3.15pm.
  • Students are required to: wear full school uniform; bring healthy snack, lunch and water bottle in school bags; bring any medication required
  • Encourage your child to go to the toilet before coming in to the Prep Room. This will help us leave on time
  • Please feel free to ask a teacher if you have any questions or concerns about the excursion. There will be limited time for talking to teachers on the morning of the excursion
  • A ‘social story’ about the excursion will be read together at school on Monday and sent home with students on Monday for you to read together
  • We have a lot of adult helpers for the excursion (teachers/student teachers). Student groups will be very small (about 1 adult to 5 students)


Friday – Whole School Assembly in the gym at 9am

  • Wear your Footy Colours and bring a footy colours scarf to school for the Parade of Champions followed by ‘The Longest Scarf Competition’
  • Parents/Carers/Friends are all welcome
  • Teacher/Student Football Match following assembly (senior students will play while more junior students barrack under supervision from non-playing teachers)

Friday – Last Kids Kitchen for Term 3

  • Pie Day
  • Orders accepted until Tuesday September 13th
  • No late orders will be accepted due to catering requirements

Friday – Early dismissal from school

  • School finishes at 2.30pm for the last day of Term 3

Curriculum Day – October 3rd

  • Pupil Free Day for the first day of Term 4

Have a great last week of Term 3!

The Prep Team


Term 3, Week 8, 2016 – ‘Tell me a story…’



Inspired by their experience with Matteo the Storyteller during Book Week, students experimented with finding their own storytelling voice.


We are tuning in to interesting words and asking questions when we read. Whole group read alouds of ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ stories provide an excellent chance to practise these strategies seeing as some of the language used by May Gibbs in these stories differs from that used today.


Students worked in home groups during numeracy sessions last week. They revised and practised strategies we can use to help us when engaging in addition and subtraction problem solving.

House Party!

Congratulations Green House, for winning the most house points in Term Two! We hope you enjoyed your ‘House Party’ in the gym last week! 


Our learning focus during Investigations last week was encouraging students to maintain an awareness of audience and purpose while engaged in their Investigations inquiry. Developing this skill assists students to use time wisely, stay on task and to reach their intended goal.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

We hope you enjoy a lovely day together tomorrow!

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.

Noticeboard – Term 3, Week 8, 2016

Also, all Lion’s Club Raffle Tickets (sold and unsold) and money raised, were due back last Friday. If you have yet to return yours, please do so as soon as possible. Thanks!

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!


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