Term 1, Week 7, 2016 – Building character

Hi everyone!

Thank you for coming to Junior Assembly last Friday afternoon! Students and teachers loved having so many families present to celebrate some of the learning that has taken place in Term One. I’m sure you’ll join the teachers in congratulating Prep and Jpod students on being both an awesome audience and fantastic presenters/performers! The teachers were all proud of the consideration students showed to their classmates by sitting quietly and giving their attention to those who were speaking or performing. The Jpod students who ran Assembly were awe-inspiring in the way they spoke with such composure and confidence and the Preps gave a wonderful, enthusiastic dance performance! Well done!

If you couldn’t make it, here is a rundown on the learning represented through dance by the Preps at their first Junior Assembly.

Positive Mindset

Prep students have spent a lot of time this term learning about how they can make the world a better place for themselves and others through the things they choose to think, say and do.

This learning has taken place through:

  • Puppet Shows – two student puppets, Gwen and Dean, helped students experience what it is like for their friends when someone chooses to make poor learning choices in class and also how good it feels to change your behaviour when you realise you are not making a good learning choice!
  • Shared stories‘Have You Filled A Bucket Today’ by Carol McCloud is referred to almost every day by someone in the Prep learning community. This story teaches us that when we say or do something kind or helpful, we make other people and ourselves feel good (filling our invisible buckets with good feelings). However, when we choose to do the opposite, we dip into our friends’ buckets making them feel sad and our own buckets get holes in them through which our good feelings leak out. This book provides young children with a powerful mind picture of the effects that our words and actions have for good or bad on the ourselves and the people around us. ‘The Grouchy Ladybug’ by Eric Carle was used to start a discussion about our emotions. What makes us feel grouchy inside? What makes us feel happy? When we choose to see other people as friends and treat them kindly, like the Friendly Ladybug, the world is better for everyone.
  • Social skills strategy teaching – ‘The Six Finger Rule’ empowers students to take control of social encounters that may not be going the way they would like, giving a range of positive actions & words to work through before seeking help from a teacher if needed, resolving the issue and moving on.
  • Music appreciation – The song ‘Better Than’ by John Butler helped bring all of this learning together for students. This song speaks about living ‘in the moment’, enjoying the things you are doing and the people special to you today and not worrying about things that have already happened or might happen in the future. Students spent time identifying the things and people they appreciate in their lives and discussed the importance of leaving resolved problems or challenges in the past, enjoying today and facing the future with a positive outlook.
  • Dance – The Performing Arts feature prominently in the new Victorian Curriculum. In preparation for giving their performance at Assembly students: explored and created their own dance moves; worked with a teacher to represent their moves with a symbol on a flashcard; decided as a group on the sequence of dance moves; used props (streamers) to enhance their performance and practiced engaging the audience with eye contact and smiles

In other learning last week…

Developing character traits for 21st century citizens! – Investigations

While students identified and found out about their individual interests this week, they tuned into the importance of developing the personal characteristic of ‘perseverance’. We discussed how this means trying our best, not giving up, keeping going until we finish something even if it takes a long time or is sometimes a bit hard. We talked about how good we feel when we practise perseverance and finally feel proud of our achievement! Teachers enjoyed hearing students relate this learning to different areas of their lives, like practising for the Fun Run or doing their best dancing for their special people at Assembly. Below are two of the of the stimuli viewed by students before discussing and putting perseverance into practise for you to watch at home together if you like.

Here are some examples of how students persevered in Investigations last week:

Indigo created a wonderful story and drew pictures to match. Working with a teacher, she rehearsed the story, took photos of her illustrations, put it all together on the ‘My Story’ app and finally published her work by sharing it with the class on Friday. You can enjoy her story too! Well done Indigo!

Ava and Ruby T made a stage set, home-made puppets, rehearsed and presented a puppet show for the class this week. The show was about a sad butterfly who didn’t have any friends until one day she found a friend and felt happy. Perhaps inspired by this story, Jack also created his own ‘set’ and puppets to perform ‘The Sad Possum and Ladybug Show’ for his classmates. He worked with a teacher to sequence his story, carefully introducing his characters and the story setting, the problem (possum was sad because he had no friends and everyone he asked to be his friend said ‘No!’ until he asked Ladybug who said ‘Yes!!!’). In his ending, everyone lived happily ever after. Alexia has been working with a teacher to make a puppet theatre to go with her tree puppets. We look forward to hearing her story! Well done Indigo, Ava, Ruby T, Jack and Alexia – you showed perseverance last week when you kept going with your work, rehearsing and improving it until it was your best work.

Philosophy – team work skills

Small teams were ‘thrown in the deep end’ when teachers asked them to move four balloons to a set point without using their hands or letting the balloons touch the floor. Following the first attempt, home groups work shopped the result: What worked? Why? What didn’t work? Why? What should we do next time?

Following this, small groups of cross-legged students were challenged to see how many ‘taps’ of a balloon their group could have before it touched the floor (keeping bottoms on the floor). Later we discussed our experiences. We found out that it’s really important to use a friendly voice when you work in a team because people are more likely to co-operate with you. Also, if everyone works together towards the same goal you can achieve more. For example, if someone liked to hit the balloon really hard and made that their own goal, the group couldn’t achieve a very high score. If everyone worked together to get a lot of small taps, they group could get a high score.

Reading

Book Boxes – students received and filled their book boxes with a selection of books (one each of picture story & information books and three readers).

Read to Self – they were introduced to an important reading routine, ‘Read to Self’. Before reading sessions, students will be given the opportunity to read to self for very short periods. This involves collecting their book boxes, finding a comfortable place in the room by themselves and quietly looking at their book for the whole time. At this stage of the year, most students enjoy independent reading by looking and thinking about the pictures and looking for Magic Words in readers. During this time, teachers read with individual students.

Writing – writing with purpose

What’s in a name?

Werribee Zoo is running a competition to name two of their new Maremma puppies! These puppies have a very important job to do – they protect the endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot from animals that might eat it, like foxes and cats. Without these Bandicoot Bodyguards, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot may become extinct (like the dinosaurs)!

Name Our Guardian Dogs

The Maremma breed of dogs are intelligent, strong and independent and the zoo is looking for names which reflect these character traits. During writing session last week students talked about this initiative, drew pictures of the puppies, told each other what they would like to call them and copied their names down. Teachers will enter the names into the competition and maybe our class will win a prize!!! Anyway, win or not, we are proud to be a part of what Werribee Zoo is doing to look after our native animals!

Lists

We all know lists are a great way to help us remember things! Lots of students have helped with shopping lists at home. Last week, we learned that lists need: a title, dot points and we need to use a new line for each item.

Students put this new learning to use when they created their own lists about ‘What good dancers need’!

Maths – subitsing

Last week students were guided to see small collections of objects (to six) as a group and use this as a basis for ordering and comparing collections of numbers. They played a variety of games with their teachers and friends using materials like plastic animals, play dough, Numicons and counters to build this skill.

Play at home – playing games that require dice (like ‘Snakes and Ladders’, ‘Monopoly’ or other board games) will help your child develop confidence in trusting the patterns they see.

Things to remember

Easter Raffle 

  • Tickets cost 50 cents each
  • Raffle drawn on the last day of Term One (March 24th)
  • Lots of great prizes including a hamper!
  • Thank you for donations you have made to this raffle so far! We are still accepting donations if you would like to contribute to the raffle prizes

Monday March 14thPublic Holiday (no school)

Thursday March 17th – Clean Up Australia Day Buddy Activity 

Thursday March 17thFun Run (on the Oval). Remember to ask your friends and family to sponsor you!

  • Prep Girls run at 12.30pm
  • Prep Boys run at 12.40pm

Friday March 18thKinderlinks

  • ‘Let’s Make Music’
  • 1.30 – 2.30pm in the Prep Room

We hope you all enjoy time together this weekend and look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday!

The Prep Team

 

 

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