Congratulations on your first full week of school, Preps! You all did a great job by trying your best each day and taking care of each other. Well done!
This term during Investigations, students are being guided to explore personal identity and history. In the first two weeks of term, they were asked to think of something special about themselves that they could share with classmates. They were introduced to the idea of planning before creating and sharing. Their plans consisted of drawing ideas, thinking about materials needed and explaining this to a teacher before creating through building, drawing, painting or writing. Teachers supported students to consider their plans as ‘instructions’ to be used when creating. You saw this work when students took it home at the end of Week Two.
Riley planned to show a fact from his history. When he was smaller, he fell over and got a scar afterwards!
Riley used his plan when creating a painting to share this fact with others.
Students enjoyed sharing something about themselves with their audience – other students, teachers and you!
They had the chance to learn more about their classmates.
Getting to know each other better strengthens the Preps’ learning community. Strong, supportive peer connections help students feel a sense of belonging at school.
Feeling safe at school allows students to extend themselves when learning by taking risks when trying something new.
Some interesting questions were generated following this process:
Why do babies need milk?
Why can’t babies talk like us?
Why aren’t babies very strong?
Why do some people have twins?
Why is Ava so helpful?
How do we go from small to big?
How do we grow up?
Last week, to further stimulate questions about their own and others’ families and cultures, students paired up to explore information books and find interesting pictures. Afterwards they were supported to extend themselves by choosing a different medium to share a fact from their book with others.
Layla composed a song to tell others about her family. Jay and Charli collaborated by providing music and dance. You can view their performance below. (The second video was recorded in a quiet room so as to hear Layla’s words).
Koby was interested in traditional Australian Aboriginal dress.
He planned his main work, talked to a teacher about his ideas and chose his medium.
Koby showed curiosity by stepping outside his comfort zone and choosing a different medium to share his learning.
Emily H was interested in how grandmothers take care of babies.
She planned carefully and talked with a teacher before creating.
Emily challenged herself by choosing a medium she hasn’t used before – oil pastels.
Noah N found this picture of a police officer with a dog to be interesting.
He shared his wondering with a teacher while planning his creation to share with others.
Noah chose collage, a medium he hasn’t tried before, to commence his main piece of work.
Like last term, Preps will be supported to develop essential learning capabilities (the 6Cs) while exploring their identity and history. The development of skills in the areas of character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking and knowlegde construction, gives students the tools they need to become lifelong learners who can adapt with flexibility and optimism to an ever changing world.
The last full week of school has flown by, full of friends and fun. The teachers have enjoyed sharing lots of special end-of-year experiences with the Preps before we send them off for holidays and then into Year One. We have delighted in sharing the learning journey of each and every Prep and we are so proud of their achievements this year. We especially congratulate students on the hard work they have put in to develop the characteristics of good learners. These important qualities (like being curious, talking about their interests, asking open questions, choosing research tools relevant to their question, using resources carefully and caring for the environment) will provide a springboard into learning next year and also for years to come.
Below are a selection of moments from your child’s last full week of Prep, 2016.
Preparing for our excursion
Role playing walking on the path to the rock pools.
Role playing looking after smaller children who may use the playground with us.
Getting inspiration for sandcastle building.
Matilda, Kaley and Kodi prepare independently to put on a show.
Connor enjoyed building with Nathan.
Lily and Ruby T put on a puppet show about looking after other people’s things.
Emelia, Summer and Alexia explored the needs of new born babies.
Checking the heartbeat.
Performance space prepared by students.
Indpendently putting previous learning to good use!
Lucas and Ruby investigated the planets.
Rokhsar found out about what bugs eat.
Relaxation using a ‘Smiling Minds’ online resource.
Followed by teacher-led origami boat building.
Students followed a step by step process modelled by the teacher.
They helped each other.
Once boats were made students placed them onto their tummies and watched them move up and down as they breathed.
Several days this week have also concluded with mindfulness activities.Practising mindfulness helps students find inner calm and learn to regulate their emotions.
Thank you all for the support you have given your child’s learning this year in so many ways– reading with your child at home, writing and responding to diary communications, staying in touch with classroom learning via the blog, prep newsletters and take-home notes, helping in the classroom, helping on Milkshake Days, Kids’ Kitchen and excursions, attending assemblies, attending special presentations of learning like Book Week, Mulitcultural Day, the School Concert and the Prep Performance.
We know you and your children will feel right at home in the Jpod next year!
We look forward to seeing you at the whole school assembly tomorrow (commencing at 2.15pm) and at the Family Picnic (5.30 – 7pm) if you are able to attend.
We wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season!
‘We do not remember days, we remember moments’ (Cesare Pavese, Italian poet & novelist)
Memorable moments were in abundance for the Preps last week as they experienced their first Full Dress Rehearsal for Concert and their first Transition Session in the Jpod.
Full Dress Rehearsal
Climbing into a furry, sparkly, elven or in some cases snowy costume, inspired students to sing and dance their hearts out as they gave outfits a trial run.
Transition to Year One
On Friday, current Preps spent a happy morning engaged in Science and P.E. while the Preps of 2017 came to school! After Specialists and snack play our Preps arrived at the Jpod for the much anticipated first Transition Session, even staying to eat lunch with their future classmates! After lunch play, the Prep Team heard some of the highlights before Preps turned their attention to preparing for the commencement of school swimming on Monday. We look forward to hearing all about their Jpod experiences next week!
Students wrote about some of the things they are looking forward to when they are learning in the Jpod next year…
They also enjoyed Wacky Wednesday (free) Writing!
Teachers continually assess student understanding during daily activities and use this information to plan appropriate learning experiences for students. However at this time of year, assessment takes on more of a ‘summing up’ role as the team prepares to send Preps in to their next learning area. This information will help students take a running jump straight back into their learning when the new school year begins!
While assessment takes place during numeracy sessions, students have opportunity to practise previously learned skills through playing familiar maths learning games together. Last week, some students made posters with the open brief of recording ‘something (or things) you learned in maths this year’. Prior to commencement, we discussed some of our learning areas like addition & subtraction strategies, money and measurement (eg. length & weight). You can share some of their thoughts below. They filmed and recorded their own reflections.
(Music in iMovie credited to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra5AO2Ca5PI&t=282s
At the end of Week 5, small groups of students were work shopping short skits in preparation for a Prep Performance. The skits are designed to bring a message to their audience about how citizens can make the community a better place by practising good citizenship – working together, obeying laws and caring for nature and the environment.
Some groups started by making a story board with help from a teacher. Students were encouraged and assisted to sequence their skit and review their story to see if it carried their intended message clearly.
Next, they considered props needed while acting. We saw lots of props when we went to see ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ last term. Preps connected with their learning around performing arts last term and used it to inform their project. Last Monday they got to work creating props.
On Thursday, students rehearsed their skits using the new props. They checked them for durability, size and usefulness. Teachers helped take note of any alterations needed.
Students had a great time learning about and writing limericks and acrostic poems in writing sessions last week. They especially enjoyed sharing their work with parents and friends at Junior Assembly on Friday. Those who presented verse to the audience demonstrated developing public speaking skills – they stood tall, spoke clearly, and politely listened to their friends in turn. Preps who did not present also had an important role to play – they encouraged classmates during a quick rehearsal before assembly and gave wonderful feedback, like ‘I can’t hear you, could you speak a bit louder?’ or ‘That was so funny!’. They also helped their friends by being a fantastic audience during assemebly – sitting quietly with eyes to front and hands to self and laughing quietly when something was funny. Well done Preps!
You can see the limericks and acrostic poems that were shared at assembly below. Poetry comes to life when read aloud so hopefully next week we will be able to record some students reading their verse. We also watched the video below together, to learn how to write limericks.
Jayden & Jordan B
Lily & Ruby T
Owen & Summer S
Will H & Conner H
Willow & Zaidyn
Reuben & Lucas
Summer J & Connor D
Rose & Kodi
Last week students also completed their information posters about native Australian animals. Be sure to stop in and have a look at the display!
Information poster display in the Book Corner.
New reading strategy…
Our new reading strategy last week was ‘Flip the Sound’. This means if you are trying to read a word you don’t know and you have blended the sounds in the word together but it doesn’t ‘sound right’ when you cross check it, see if any of the letters in that word could make a different sound. For example: ‘cake’ can sound like ‘c – a – ck – eh’ when each letter is ‘sounded out’. But if you flip the short ‘a’ sound and turn it into a long ‘a’ sound, the word sounds quite different.
Work On Writing…
Each reading session has a Work On Writing (WOW) component which required students to use provided resources to write as independently as possible. During this time other students will be Listening to Reading, using a Word Work phonics app or engaging in a Guided Reading session with a teacher in a very small group. Last week, WOW linked to our rhyming focus in writing sessions.
Students shared books containing rhyming pictures.
They also had opportunity to provide their own rhyming word by selecting a single picture and thinking of their rhyming word to match it.
Students are writing independently of teacher input during WOW but they do talk with and help each other.
Students continue to consolidate previous learning and use these understandings to provide a foundation on which to build new comprehensions.
Consolidating previous learning…
Once students are grounded in linking quantities to numerals 0 to 10 and in the concept of addition, automatic recall of number facts assists students make mental calculations.
‘Adding to 10’.
‘Adding to 10’.
‘Adding to 10’.
Writing numerals 1 to 10 correctly. Apart from conscious practise like this, students are given feedback on their numeral writing during learning experiences & the chance to rework.
Modelling 3 digit numbers using ‘number expanders’ & MAB.
We used the ‘number expanders’ to focus on the hundreds, tens and ones present in each 3 digit number created by students. As students progress in their mathematical comprehension they will be able to use number expanders to help partition and rename numbers. For example, 567 is made up of 5 hundreds, 6 tens and 7 ones. It is also made up of 567 ones … 56 tens and 7 ones … or 5 hundreds and 67 ones.
New Addition Strategy – ‘Make a 10 to Add’
It can be easier to add numbers together when we work with tens. For example, 10 + 6 may be easier to mentally calculate than than 9 + 7. Everyone thinks differently and uses their ‘maths brain’ differently. Students need a variety of maths strategies in their tool belts, just as they do when reading. They are then able to choose which strategy is the most efficient for them when solving a problem that requires mathematical thinking. ‘Make a 10 to Add’ is another addition strategy to add to their tool belts.
New Addition Strategy
We can add this to our ‘Addition Strategy Tool Belts’.
Learning this strategy starts with adding a single digit number to 9.
You take one of the ‘ones’ from the smaller number and use it to make a whole 10. Then you add the left over ones onto the 10.
Students practised this new skill at their own pace.
Using concrete materials like blocks helps students visualise numbers and trust their calculations.
They also practised their new strategy playing ‘Memory’ with these cards. Counters were made available so students could model their thinking.
Last week students were asked ‘What is your role in our Community? We watched the video below and learned two new words – ‘citizen’ and ‘citizenship’.
This video helped us learn about citizens and citizenship.
We learned that ‘citizens’ are the people who live in a community. When citizens do things to make their community a better place, they are practising good ‘citizenship’.
Students talked, drew and wrote about how they help make their community a better place!
Ava and her mum cook for sick peopole.
Matilda plants things with her mum.
Bradley cares for people.
Lily picks up rubbish.
Afterwards, we wondered how we could share with people what we know about citizenship and making our community a better place.
How can we show what we know about what we can do to make our community a better place?
As you can see, this group of Preps has a flair for drama and they have decided they would like to ‘put on a show’, a performance, like ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’. Small groups were created and students have begun work shopping short skits which will enable them to share their message with you. Stay tuned for updates!
In a similar vein, make sure you drop by the Prep Room to have a look at our class sculpture. This was inspired by our excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria last term, where we viewed the Subodh Gupta exhibition entitled ‘Everyday Divine’.
Students worked with teachers to put it together in Week 4.
It was suggested by students that a barrier similar to those we saw in the National Gallery would help protect the delicate construction.
They named it ‘Silverchair’.
Many everyday special objects were contributed, painted & carefully placed (thank you to Mr Ramage for the Liquid Nails!).
Miss Benci’s love of coffee made it into our sculpture. Can you spot your child’s special item?
Well, as you can see, your children pack a lot in to one week! As we journey through Term 4 it is important to remember that Preps can become quite tired this time of year. In addition to extending themselves academically, emotionally and socially daily, they are also preparing for transition to the Jpod (first session coming up this week), the School Swimming Program (Weeks 7 and 8) and the School Concert (for which they have been practising hard!). As you know, they may require a bit more down time than usual and it is especially important that they continue to have a regular bedtime to ensure enough sleep to cope with the demands of each day.
Here is some of the learning undertaken last week…
Investigations – Guided Inquiry: Our Community
As you know, during Weeks 1 and 2, students focused on what they know about their community, creating artefacts and writing to share with the visiting friends and their classmates.
On Monday last week, the whole class enjoyed viewing a ‘My Story’ created by Owen and Lindsay. The boys had worked with a teacher during Week 2, to access Google maps in order to get an idea of where Grovedale fits into the global community.
We saw screenshots they captured of earth, Australia’s states & territories, Victoria, Grovedale and also a bird’s eye view of our own school!
Later, we discussed what ‘community’ means. A community is the place we live, work and play! There are different kinds of communities: urban, suburban and rural.
We talked about why it is good to live in our community.
Jack: ‘We do fun things’.
Indigo: ‘You can live next to your favourite place’.
Conner H: ‘We have hospitals’.
Ruby J: ‘We have playgrounds’.
Will H: ‘We can go to the beach’.
Willow: ‘We can play netball’.
Zaidyn: ‘We can play cricket’.
Indigo: ‘We can paint’.
Following this we set off on a Community Walk to get us thinking about things we want to find out about our community.
We saw playing fields & Grovedale College
A playground with adjacent tennis courts
A football club
Shops we use sometimes
On return from our walk, students brainstormed questions about things they wanted to find out:
Later in the week, they used books, apps and teacher selected videos to find out about their questions. Below you can view one of the selected videos.
Students also used this app in an effort to answer their questions:
Tune in to future posts to see what they find out!
Writing -Narrative focus
Students continue to stretch themselves when writing, according to their own individual focus (eg. using spaces; using upper case letters to start and full stops to finish; writing a whole sentence or more than one sentence; experimenting with punctuation). In addition, as a group, they continue to enjoy exploring different genres of writing. For example, they wrote recounts in Weeks 1 and 2, of their holidays and of the Prep Activity Night; revisited procedural writing while planning their gourmet pizza construction, and narrative when they drew and wrote their own ‘problem’ for a shared read aloud story.
Last week, Preps delved further into narrative text construction. Some experimented with writing a complete short narrative piece including a character(s), setting, problem and solution. You can read some of these in one of the posts coming up next week.
Others explored creating a solution to a problem. These students took part in a shared read aloud. The teacher stopped reading just before the problem in the story was solved and it was up to students to think, talk, draw and write their own solutions! We loved hearing their ideas for how they thought the story should end!
In this story Little Mouse ran away to find the perfect family. Would he ever go home again?
Nathan thought he might climb a long ladder to live on the moon.
Lily decided he may go to the snow.
Henry mused that perhaps he would go to live with polar bears.
Bradley wrote from Little Mouse’s point of view: ‘I went to my tent and watched the volcano ….’
Next, they created their own character as a group using a new app named ‘Character Creator’. Each student thought up a sentence about her, told a friend and wrote it down.
Using the Character Creator app, students took turns to choose a head, eyes, mouth, arms etc. They voted on names and called her Alexia.
Maths – Introduction to Sharing
After a warm-up whereupon student were required to share themselves equally between chalk circles in home group, they heard and created number stories as an introduction to the idea of sharing (division).
You can enjoy this new learning with them below by viewing the iMovie.
Below is a You Tube clip containing animated sharing stories your children might enjoy. Why not make up some of your own at home?
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.
Rhiannon said she would like the Preps to share in her learning about fish tanks. Below, you can view the iMovie she created with Miss Hoiles.
Hailey and Lily were keen to share their learning with the Preps by putting on a show. They carefully set up the ‘Buzz Room’ with tables and chairs.
After Lily and Hailey announced the starting time for their show, students were guided to the exhibition space by this sign.
The girls demonstrated their model of space which showed why we can’t see all of the stars during the day.
After playing ‘Octopus’ outside on the new blue basketball surface, Willow is interested in why fish die when they are out of the water. She would like to show her learning to the Buddies and the Mipod (who were also playing ‘Octopus’ at them time).
Taj the Zebra dropped in on us last week from his home in South Africa. After meeting him, we wondered what it is like to live in South Africa. Here is some of what we found out, using teacher-selected pictures and videos to find answers to our question.
Citizens of South Africa like to dance and to sometimes wear colourful jewelry. Some students explored traditional dance and everyone investigated popular styles of personal adornment.
Preps found out about different styles of traditional South African jewelry and then created their own versions.
South Africans like to eat meat! We learned about four distinctly South African dishes:
‘Bunny Chow’ (a big favourite with the Preps because of the name and because you can eat the whole thing, bowl and all, seeing as it is made out of bread! Please note: there are no actual bunnies in Bunny Chow!)
‘Boerwors’ (another favourite, because the shape of this popular sausage caused a lot of giggling)
‘Biltong’ (some students were fascinated that the strips of meat must hang for 2 to 3 days in the drying box in order to become crunchy)
‘Bobotie’ – like a three layered Shepherd’s Pie minus the potato (first layer is rice, second layer is mince, third layer is egg).
We were interested to find out that while the dishes are different to what we have here in Australia, the ingredients are the same as what we use to make the things we like to eat (for example, we use mince meat to make spaghetti bolognaise; we like sausages but ours are straight).
Students practised showing their learning to others by making posters. A good poster has an easy-to-read heading, pictures and facts to match the pictures. All Preps experimented with the medium of collage when creating their posters.
Students uncovered facts about everyday life in South Africa and showed their learning by working with a partner to create a group information text (one per home group). These will be on display in our classroom for you to have a look at with your child. A good information book has a title and author(s) on the front cover. Each page has a picture with writing to tell a fact about the picture.
They found out that some things about life in South Africa are the same as here (for example, children go to school) and some things are different (for example, some houses look a lot different to the ones in which we live).
As you know, our school is involved with the ‘New Pedagogies for Deep Learning Global Partnership’. This approach to learning focuses on assisting students to develop the skills they will need to become life-long learners. These skills can come under the headings of the 6Cs – Character, Citizenship, Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking & Knowledge Construction.
Our investigations this term have encompassed a strong element of Citizenship by fostering an awareness of the differences and similarities between individuals, families and various cultures. We have aimed to help students develop an appreciation that diversity makes our local community, our country and our global community a stronger, better, more interesting place to be. As students continue with their education and their lives, it is hoped that they use this understanding of their own and others’ cultures to consider global issues in relation to diverse values and worldviews.
Next week we go on excursion to Ecolinc! During the excursion, Preps will focus on adding to the learning about plants that they have been undertaking in Science Specialist classes this term. Part of this learning will take place in Ecolinc’s vegetable patch. To this end, we tuned in to thinking about vegetables during writing sessions last week. Teachers found that the Preps already knew the names of many vegetables and displayed a wonderfully positive attitude to this important food group during our discussions.
Following a walk to our school vegetable garden, home groups made their own ‘gardens’ – drawing some of the vegetables they saw, then using Letters and Sounds knowledge and/or copied writing to label their creations before ‘planting’.
We took the learning outside before writing!
On return to class we viewed photos of observed vegetables and talked together to identify them.
After thinking, talking and drawing, students wrote.
Finally, vegetables were planted. Look for your child’s home group garden!
Later in the week, Preps practised descriptive writing skills while engaging in ‘partner writing’. Each pair chose a vegetable photograph, orally described it in relation to colour and shape, then wrote together to create a page in their home group ‘Vegetable Book’. Ruby T and Rokhsar wrote ‘The cauliflower is white and looks like a cloud’. This learning linked to numeracy as students used their recently acquired knowledge of 3D shapes to describe their vegetables. The books will be on display in our classroom.
During the week’s final writing session we all engaged our sense of taste before participating in a rich writing task . That is, a writing activity that encouraged students to use the writing skills some of them have acquired so far (like using Magic Words when writing, writing left to right, top to bottom, leaving spaces between words and using Letters and Sounds knowledge) while being supported by teachers with use of a ‘word shower’ to write tricky words (like specific vegetable names and descriptive words).
Students had a chance to touch and smell the raw veggies.
It was exciting to taste them once they had been roasted.
Here is some of their work:
We consolidated our three focus strategies:
point under every word
use the pictures
use first sounds – get your mouth ready to read
During Whole Group time, Preps focused on what it means to ‘Read-To-Someone’:
sit elbow to elbow and knee to knee
sit still to read
look at one book together
use reading strategies
use quiet voices
read the whole time
Teachers have been spending time assessing students over the last week during Reading, Writing, Letters and Sounds and Numeracy sessions. This information is used for reporting purposes and also to ensure students are exposed to learning opportunities that fit their individual needs.
On Friday afternoon after lunch the atmosphere in our classroom was one of generosity and good nature when the Year 5 Buddies came down to visit us for a session. They brought with them some carefully selected picture story books and read to the Preps. Afterwards they talked about the book together and drew pictures as a response to the book. The consideration of the older children towards the younger ones was wonderful to witness. For example, one Buddy went back to a favourite page several times at the Prep student’s request; another Buddy went on a tour of the room led by a Prep, culminating with meeting her favourite soft toy that had been brought to school that day for playtime; some Buddies spent time with several Prep students whose own Buddies were not at school that day.
Thank you, Year 5s!
Things to remember…
Please return your consent forms for the Ecolinc Excursion if you have not yet done so.
Hello everyone! We are so happy you can join us on our latest virtual journey to Brazil…
During Luna the green tree frog’s visit, Preps practised their growing skills in how to find answers for our questions and also in showing learning during Investigation Inquiry Based Learning sessions. Students collaborated in research, using teacher-selected sources of information via books and the internet. They worked together to communicate their learning using mixed media of construction (paper/feathers/play dough); dance (samba) and electronic information texts (My Story app).
Students are showing increased confidence in presenting learning and thinking in a variety of ways. They are encouraged to try new media, ask for help when needed, learn from and teach their friends when trying new things and to take great pride in the effort expended in putting new skills into practise.
Following the exciting visit by two of the Geelong Cats football players, Preps wrote recounts. They ‘kicked goals’ also, by remembering to write left to right, top to bottom and to put spaces between words. We also talked about adding more detail when writing a recount (eg. ‘Who? What? When? Where?)
Writing skills were also put to good use to create passports to enable safe travel to and from Brazil.
It’s important to provide learners with adequate time to practise newly learned skills. To this end, we enjoyed a read aloud of ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson and then created a ‘word shower’ in our home groups before creating an oral sentence and writing. We have done this previously when describing our mothers prior to Mothers’ Day.
The Gruffalo in all his glory.
Creating a ‘word shower’ before writing helps make our writing more interesting.
Students came up with some wonderful adjectives.
Students focused on a new reading strategy this week: ‘use first sounds – get your mouth ready to read’. They continue to use the two more familiar strategies we focused on last week: ‘point under every word; use the pictures’.
During Guided Reading Groups teachers ask students to talk about which strategies they are selecting for use during their reading. If students can talk about the process of reading (eg. choosing a strategy, seeing if it works and if not, choosing a different strategy) they are able to take a systematic, problem solving approach to reading. They are also empowered to help their friends during ‘Read to Someone’ – when one student helps another with his or her learning, they are likely to both become stronger in that area.
We had a measurement focus in numeracy sessions this week: ‘Capacity’. Students explored the meaning of ‘capacity’ as a whole group and spent the week measuring the capacity of different objects using a variety of informal units of measurement.
Students compared solid 3D objects like 3D shapes, with hollow objects to come up with a definition of ‘capacity’.
They explored the capacity of different containers.
Some students discovered their measurement was more accurate if they minimized the spaces between blocks.
They came up with different ways of keeping track on their units of measurement.
Oliver H shows his thinking about what would hold more or less than a red plastic bucket.
During exploration students were supported to verbalise their thinking accurately: ‘This bucket has a capacity of 10 yoghurt containers’.
Learning with purpose: we all made a container designed to hold a handful of popcorn…
… then we filled it and ate popcorn at the ‘movies’!
Thank you to all the wonderful grandparents, great-grandparents and other special people who visited our classroom last Tuesday. It was so lovely to have you with us! The children enjoyed your company greatly and we hope that the conversations you had together while working on your take home gift warmed your hearts.
Things to remember…
Thank you for returning your School Nurse forms. If you have not returned yours yet, please do so this week.
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!
Looking carefully at pictures in books helps Preps answer their questions.
Students experienced the aroma of an Indian market spice stall.
They perused and discussed teacher selected videos showing Indian dance.
A close look at pictures led to detailed observations.
Following their research, students were challenged to show their findings through different mediums. For example:
Posters depicting learning about Indian food.
Information posters have a title, pictures and words/facts to match the pictures.
Use of the ‘My Story’ app enabled students to show their learning by making an e-book.
Students try some of the dance moves they researched.
You can enjoy one of the e-books by clicking on the link below:
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.
Preps create their own Indian-style kites.
They had the perfect windy day to fly them before writing.
Students considered their writing goals, used Letters & Sounds learning and asked teachers for help when needed.
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.
Mr Ramage built the story asking students to provide certain details.
Students later ‘mapped’ the story, working in pairs.
This required them to consider the order in which the frog met other animals…
…details of the story setting…
… and to consider the scale of their drawings in relation to the page.
Students collaborated on their 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!
Word Work using the ABC Phonics app.
Listen to Reading (e-books).
Work on Writing (Silly Sentences).
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
‘8 is ….’
Students ‘make’ their number facts using different colours; ‘say’ their learning to a teacher and record their learning using numbers and words (eg. ‘8 is 4 and 3 and 1’).
Two digit number Bingo.
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.
Hungry ‘chickens’ prepare to gather their dinner.
Reuben created groups of 10.
Will talked with a teacher and decided to try making towers of 10.
Gracie experimented with creating towers of 11.
Ruby found that making a very long tower was frustrating because it broke and it was easy to lose count.
Rose found it was hard to keep track of big numbers counting by ones.
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’.
Gwen and Dean help us think 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).