Term 2, Week 5, 2016 – ‘Namaste!’

Namaste (hello) everyone! Read on to review a fun week, packed with learning, starting with a virtual visit to India…


As part of exploring similarities and differences between families during Week Four, students tuned in to creating questions such as ‘Why is my skin/hair/eye colour different to my mum/dad?’ and ‘Why do people wear different clothes?’. Another of these questions was ‘Why do Indian people wear a dot on their foreheads?’. This question provided a jumping off point for Preps to begin thinking about how they can find some answers to their questions.

Here are some of the ideas they have come up with so far. We can find out about our questions by:

  • using books (especially the pictures at this stage of the year)
  • using the internet (eg. a Google search with a teacher)
  • viewing videos (eg. those provided for us by our teachers)
  • visiting the place we want to find out about

Last week, teachers provided the resources for students to put these ideas into practise. Over three rotations students explored the questions ‘Why do Indian people wear a dot on their foreheads?’, ‘What food do Indian people eat?’ and ‘How do people in India dance?’. They looked closely at pictures from books, explored teacher-selected YouTube videos, engaged in a teacher-led Google search and put four of their five senses to work while visiting a virtual Indian food market right in their own classroom!

Following their research, students were challenged to show their findings through different mediums. For example:

  • information poster
  • e-book
  • dance performance

You can enjoy one of the e-books by clicking on the link below:

‘India And The People’ (e-book created by Preps with their teacher using the ‘My Story’ app.

You can enjoy some of the YouTube videos exploring Indian Dance by clicking on the links and videos below. There is also a link to an ABC3 ‘Behind The News’ segment about Bollywood dance.

‘Six Steps to Bollywood Dancing’ – video on the ABC website


‘Bollywood Culture’ – a Behind The News ABC3 Kids News Report


Mothers’ Day Recount

Students created oral sentences which included when their recount event occurred (Mothers’ Day) and what took place. When writing, they paid attention to previous learning objectives of writing left to right and top to bottom. They also tuned in to a new writing objective/goal: ‘I use spaces’ (between words). You can see the goal strip pasted at the bottom of their page. This assisted Preps to engage in self-assessment during and at the end of the writing session.


Personal Response to Indian Kite Making

A popular recreation activity in India is to make and fly kites. Preps linked their explorations during Investigations sessions, to literacy, when they learned about this pastime, created and flew their own kites and wrote about the experience during a writing session last week.

Interactive Djembe Drumming Story

Later in the week, Mr Ramage told an interactive Djembe drumming story about the Wide-Mouthed Frog. Students listened to and provided detail for the story while Miss Benci drew a story map using the HoverCam Visualizer. Paired students then devised their own story maps.

On reflection at the end of the session, students noted that hearing a story was different to being read a story, because they were required to use their imaginations to visualise the characters and the setting. Mr Ramage also noted that story tellers may tell a story differently of subsequent occasions – oral stories can be changed by the story teller. Have a look at the version of The Wide-Mouthed Frog below and see if you can notice the differences between this story and the one Mr Ramage told.


Whole group reading strategy teaching foci:

  • ‘I point under every word’
  • ‘I use the pictures’ (to help me read words I don’t know)

Making use of these strategies habitual will greatly assist your child in reading accurately as s/he moves on to more challenging readers. You can help your child form these reading habits at home when you listen to his/her reader. There is further explanation of how to help your child do this inside your child’s Reader Folder.

Preps excelled in their Independent Reading Routines during reading sessions this week, working responsibly and independently at their Read to Self, Word Work, Work on Writing and Listen to Reading while teachers worked with small Guided Reading Groups and individual students. Well done, Preps!


We focused on ‘number’ this week. Building confidence and trust in the numbers between 0 and 10 is invaluable to a student’s future learning in mathematics. Learning experiences this week included:

  • counting in sequence by ones to and from 20
  • counting in sequence by ones from different starting points (between 0 and 100) with support of visual 100s chart aid
  • reading and writing one and two digit numbers accurately
  • matching quantities to numerals (between 0 and 10; Numicon used to represent students present in Homegroup roll call)
  • ordering one and two digit numbers
  • looking for patterns in numbers (eg. on our ‘100 Days at School’ count-up chart)
  • learning ‘number facts’ (eg. 6 is 4 and 2; 2 and 4; 6 and 0; 0 and 6; 3 and 3; 5 and 1; 1 and 5), talking about this learning and using them in games

Students are encouraged to explore efficient counting strategies. For example, during Homegroup Numeracy Routine when we ‘make’ teen numbers using Numicon, we often ‘count on’ from the biggest number with a teacher: for example, ‘we have 10 and 7 more …. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17’.

During an activity called ‘Chicken Scramble’, the ‘chickens’ gathered an armful of ‘feed’ (unifix blocks) and were then required to count how many pieces they each had. Frustrations noted by students were: losing count; having very long/very tall towers of blocks break; getting tired while counting by ones. After discussing different strategies used, we all tried making towers of ten and then counting by how many ‘tens’ we had. For example ‘I have 1, 2, 3, 4 towers of ten, I have 40’. It helped us to look at the big 100s chart while we did this, with the teacher covering each 10 with an arm while we counted.

Providing time for students to experiment with materials, talk to each other, hear each others’ ideas and try different ways of doing things helps them to construct their own understandings in mathematics.


Two special students, Gwen and Dean, visited our classroom for Philosophy session this week! They helped us to think and talk about ‘good following’ and ‘bad following’.

‘Good following’ is when we copy someone who is making a good learning choice. For example, if your teacher has said to sit down for writing session but there are no grey lead pencils on your table, it is good following to take your friend’s lead and get up to quietly find a pencil. This kind of following makes you feel good inside.

But if your friend suggests you do something you know isn’t right, you may get a bad or uncomfortable feeling inside. ‘Bad following’ is when you do something that someone else is doing, even though you know it isn’t the right thing to do. For example, going to play behind the bike shed or going down to the Big Kids Oval at playtime. Bad following gives you a yucky feeling inside – you might have ‘butterflies’ in your tummy, you might feel sad or worried.

If you are not sure whether something is right or wrong, you can always ask a teacher. Remember that the yard duty teacher at playtime wears a yellow or orange vest.

If you choose to do ‘bad following’ and don’t feel good inside, remember that you can always choose to do ‘good following’ next time!

Things to remember…

Book Fair runs for the whole week!

Monday the Geelong Cats footy players visit from 9.30 to 10.30am. Wear your Footy Colours!

Tuesday  is Grandparents’ Day and Special People Day from 2.30pm. Invite your Grandparent or Special Person to visit our classroom from 2.30pm for a fun time together!

Wednesday is Milkshake Day at snack playtime.

Thank you to all those who have returned the School Nurse Form. Please remember to return yours if you have not done so yet, even if you do not wish your child to see the School Nurse (there is a space to record your declination).

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.


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