Term 2, Week 2, 2016

Hi everyone! Here are some of the moments that encapsulated the preps’ learning this week…


Guided Inquiry: ‘Personal Identity – My Family’

As you saw during Week One, students discussed and shared some of the things they like, that help make up who they are. Last week, students began to think and talk about some of the very special people in their lives – their families. One of the ways they shared this information with the prep learning community was through creating videos. In order to do this, they tuned in to the technical aspect of operating the video camera on the iPads, worked together to film each other, edited and revised their work and shared it with their group. This experience involved negotiation, persistence, feedback and a sense of audience, relating to three of the 6Cs – collaboration, character and communication. You can see a sample of their work below:


The numeracy focus last week was on reading and writing numerals, the verbal counting sequence and accurately counting a collection of objects by counting each object once. A variety of games and learning activities offered different ways to engage in these learning foci. One popular game not pictured below was the ‘Number Treasure Hunt’ – pairs took turns to hide a laminated numeral outside; the partner then had to find it, with tips like ‘warm….hot….boiling!’ and ‘cool, cold, freezing!!’; once the numeral was found the seeker read it out loud, getting help from his/her partner if needed. This would be a good game to play at home!


Our focus author during Library sessions is Aaron Blabey. We read ‘Sunday Chutney’ in Week One and ‘Pig the Pug’ last week. While enjoying the read aloud, students note rhyme, Magic Words in the text, starting sounds and pictures and discuss the books’ themes like belonging, treating others as we would like to be treated, sharing and regulation of our emotions.

Each reading session during the week now encompass a mix of:

  • Guided Reading with a teacher
  • Read to Self
  • Read to Someone
  • Listen to Reading
  • Work on Writing
  • Word Work

Students have been doing a wonderful job of transitioning between their different learning experiences during reading sessions, making the most of their learning time.


In preparation for our Whole School Assembly Anzac Service last Thursday and Anzac Day coming up on Monday, students tuned in to the meaning of Anzac Day in an age appropriate manner. We read ‘Anzac Ted’ together and teachers explained that many Australians offer assistance to others during unsettled and sometimes dangerous situations (for example, during times of fighting/war and natural disaster, like flood or earthquake). Sometimes, the helpers may be injured themselves or feel a bit frightened while they are helping others. On Anzac Day we think of the people who go to help others even though it might be scary or uncomfortable. Thinking of their hard work, on Anzac Day, is a way of saying ‘thank you’.

Letters and Sounds

Students continue to enjoy a wide variety of short, game based learning experiences during Letters and Sounds sessions. These include:

  • short songs with actions
  • rhyming games (eg. ‘Doggy, Doggy, Who’s Got The Bone’ and ‘I’m thinking of something that rhymes with bed, I use it to think, it is my ….. (head)’
  • starting sounds games (eg. ‘I spy something/someone starting with …… (the sound, rather than the letter name – eg. ‘Sssss’ for ‘Sally)
  • Magic Words games (Snap!; Memory; Treasure Hunts; Word Sorts; putting the word in a sentence; finding the word on the Magic Words list when the teacher calls it out)
  • oral blending (eg. asking students to pass the ‘h – a – t’; students blend the sounds together, say the word ‘hat’ and pass it)

Things to remember:

  • No school on Monday April 25th – Anzac Day Public Holiday
  • Next week, please send a photo of your child with some family members ready to use next Friday (April 29th). If possible, they will need to be able to keep it and attach it to their work
  • The last session of Kinderlinks will be held next Friday (April 29th) from 1.30 to 2.30 in the Prep Room. The theme is ‘Music Fun – Beat the Drum’ with special guest drummer Mr Ramage!

We hope you have a safe and happy long weekend and look forward to seeing you all next week!

The Prep Team

Fun Learning Tips for the Easter Holidays!

Hi Preps and Families!

We hope your holidays are going well!

If you would like some fun learning activity ideas to try in your holidays, have a look below!

Memory Games

Prep students depend on their memories a lot as they begin to learn to read and write. For example, when learning Magic Words, when connecting sounds with letters of the alphabet and when writing letters and numbers. Here are some memory games you can play together:

‘I went shopping…’

You may remember this game from when you were small – it’s an oldie but a goodie! It’s easy to play when you are in the car. Just in case you haven’t played it before, this is how it goes:

  • play in a pair, or with the whole family
  • take turns; the first person says ‘I went shopping and I bought a ….. (choose anything you like, one word choices work best) cat’
  • the next person says ‘I went shopping and I bought a …. (must mention all previously bought items in order) cat and a (chooses a new item) ball’
  • the game continues with the next person ‘I went shopping and I bought a cat, a ball and a … cake’

Feel free to help your child if s/he can’t remember an item. Play for as long as the child is having fun, (or as time allows!) stopping if they are not enjoying it. Any amount of time spent playing this game will help develop their memories.

What’s missing????

Ask your child to select five objects to place on the floor/table between you. Spend some time naming the objects together, then ask your child to turn away and close his/her eyes. Remove one object and place it behind you. Tell the child s/he may turn around, look at the objects and tell you which one is missing. Then swap roles – you turn around, close your eyes and your child removes an object. If this is too easy, gradually introduce some more objects. As above, play while it is fun, stopping as soon as it isn’t.

Magic Words Memory

Thanks again to Mr Ramage and his son Banjo who have given permission to use this video filmed a few years ago when Banjo was in Prep. It’s important to take note of what Mr Ramage says regarding using about five Magic Words when you play this game, consisting of three your child knows well and two they are a little unsure of, giving lots of opportunity for success while building on their learning.

Oral Language/Reading/Writing


Holidays are a great time to encourage children to think and talk about their local environment, seasons and daily weather. Here are some conversation starters/activities based on three of the key questions (1. What are places like? 2. What makes a place special? 3. How can we care for places?) found in the Victorian Curriculum Foundation to Level 2:

  • How can we tell (Nanny/Poppy/Dad/Mum/) about our visit to the (pool/park/skate park/bike track/movies/library/beach/bush)? What was it like there? Encourage your child to think and talk about what s/he could see, hear, smell, touch, taste. Did it take a short time or a long time to get there? Did you walk to somewhere close or drive to somewhere further away?
  • Talk with each other about special places you visit. What makes them special? Is it the people, the natural features like the sea, the activities you can do there or how you feel when you go to that place?
  • Look at a map together if you are going on a trip. Read familiar place names to your child and point to them (eg. Geelong/Melbourne etc). Talk about different lines/colours on the map (eg. blue for rivers, red for big highways, black for smaller roads; lines marking state boundaries)
  • Draw a map together including special features of your street (eg. my house, post box, corner shop, park, friend’s house)
  • Talk about the ways you ‘look after’ the special places you visit. For example, when we visit the bush, skate park or beach, we take our rubbish home with us or put it in the bin; if we go hiking, we walk on the track so as not to squash growing plants; at the library we treat the books and computers with care.
  • Look for autumn leaves when you go for a walk; name the other seasons
  • Describe the weather to each other (what can you see, feel, hear?)


Enjoy lots of stories together! Take some extra library books with you when you visit relatives and make the most of those other willing story tellers (Nans and Pas, Uncles and Aunts…)


Part of our learning last term focused on developing an attitude of gratitude, as John Butler sang about in our Juniour Assembly item song ‘Better Than’.

  • Talk with your child about the things in your lives for which you are thankful and draw a picture together of some of these things
  • Make a ‘Thank You’ card for the Easter Bunny! Your child will probably need you to write any words down for copying
  • Construct a useful item for the Easter Bunny using Lego, blocks, play dough, kinetic sand. You could make Easter Bunny a house, a turbo charged car or a nice deck chair for relaxing after all that hard work!


  • Play ‘Simon Says’ using ‘location words’ (eg. ‘Simon says, “Stand in front of your brother/behind the chair/on top of the hill” etc)
  • Location words students tuned in to during Term 1, Week 9 were: left, right, above, below, on top, underneath, over, under, middle, next to, beside, forwards, backwards)
  • Practice verbally counting from zero to 20 in order (or to whichever number your child can accurately count from memory; if s/he has difficulty with any of the numbers between 10 and 20, you can help)
  • Play ‘What’s the number before/after, one smaller/one bigger, one more/one less than ….. (between zero and 20 or zero and 10 if your child finds counting to 20 to be difficult). If your s/he can count in sequence to a higher number than 20, play the ‘before/after’ game up to that number
  • Make a hungry ‘ Monster’ (or an Easter Bunny; Alien; Crocodile; Transformer; Dinosaur; Unicorn; Fairy) out of cardboard and a box; take turns to throw small items (scrunched up scrap paper/blocks/balls/uncooked pasta pieces) into the mouth, counting as you go. When you miss the mouth, it’s the other person’s turn. See how many you can get into the mouth before you miss it! Start off aiming for accurate counting of each object entering the mouth from one to 20; move past 20 if your child is keen to do so, helping with the oral counting sequence as needed
  • If you’re talking about rainy days, why not try this numeracy craft activity?


For the dinosaur loving student, remember that the Melbourne Museum has both a special exhibition ‘Jurassic World’ and a regular free entry exhibit ‘Dinosaur Walk’ which you may enjoy visiting with your family! You can find out more by clicking on the links below.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Dinosaur Walk Melbourne Museum

We hope you enjoy these ideas for some of the ways you can talk, learn and have fun together over the holidays!

Please remember that these suggestions are not homework, but just some ways you may enjoy learning together at home if you have the time and inclination.

The emphasis is on relaxed and fun! Enjoy!

The Prep Team

Term 1, Week 8, 2016 – Learning for Life: The 6Cs

As you know, learning at Grovedale West Primary School is linked to the ‘6Cs’: character, citizenship, communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking/knowledge construction.

The special events of last week gave opportunity for Preps to develop and strengthen some of the personal qualities and skills necessary for their roles as confident, compassionate and responsible global citizens.

Fun Run – Character

Wow! What an amazing effort! Students approached their first Fun Run with with a positive outlook and enthusiasm and they all did a fantastic job on the day! Well done Preps!

In addition to promoting good health and providing an enjoyable way to raise money for their school, the Fun Run experience helps students  develop an understanding that grit, tenacity, perseverance and resilience are important in life, work and the world. For example:

  • determination during practice runs in PE in the lead up to the day, built stamina
  • stamina enabled them to keep going and give the run their best shot even though the day was hot
  • resilience and good sportsmanship were discussed and practiced before, during and after the run
  • students supported each other through the challenge, looking out for, encouraging and congratulating each other.

Clean Up Australia Day – Citizenship

Congratulations to all students in Yellow House on winning ‘The Golden Bin’ trophy for the most rubbish collected (by weight).

After discussing the effect of litter on the environment and exploring the ‘Clean Up Australia’ website with a teacher, Preps actively engaged in making a change by participating in the clean up of our school. Preps also show a keen awareness each day of their own responsibility to avoid littering – they unwrap and dispose of any packaging present in their lunch boxes before they leave their eating circle inside the classroom. Many students are also bringing ‘Nude Food’ to school, that is, food without any wrapping/packaging.

Classroom Monitors

Commencing last week, students were given special jobs to help our learning community run smoothly. These roles will be rotated among students each week and will provide both a reward for good learning choices and the opportunity for learners to demonstrate personal responsibility.



During Investigations sessions last week, students continued to identify personal areas of interest, either independently or with assistance from a teacher. They put into practice their learning about perseverance by seeing projects through to completion. Here is some of their work!

During pack up after Investigations, students showed respect for their resources and classroom environment by putting materials back into the correct places. This leaves the room tidy for everyone to use next time and also prevents waste.


Reading for fun and learning forms part of each day in prep. For example, we often enjoy:

  • a read aloud story before Letters & Sounds sessions and as part of Library session
  • digital texts to get us thinking (before writing, philosophy or maths)
  • ‘Read to Self’ for short periods
  • using pictures to help us learn new things in Investigations
  • finding Magic Words in our Readers before the bell goes in morning home group circle

The ‘Charlie and Lola’ digital text below helped us to think about what it means to be ‘a good sport’ before we participated in the Fun Run. Later we made posters to show our learning (pictured above in this post). You can also see them on display in our room!

Magic Words – Learning Magic Words will help your child to read and write!

We love to hear about the fun ways you learn your Magic Words at home! Matilda’s Mum took Matilda and her brother outside to play a game! Great idea, Tania! Click on the ‘Learning Tips’ tab on the right of this page if you would like some more ideas about fun ways to learn Magic Words at home! Remember we all learn Magic Words at different rates – just do your best!


Last week in Maths we learned about the numbers and words that help us put things in order (ordinal numbers). Students drew pictures of themselves and their friends racing in the Fun Run.

Later in the week students listened to a story which included ordinal numbers.

Afterwards they put this learning into practice.


Students completed a writing sample last week.

Things to remember…

Monday March 21st – Whole School Photos

Thursday March 24th – Last day of school for Term 1

  • Whole School Assembly in the gym commencing at 9am
  • Easter Raffle Drawn at Assembly
  • School finishes at 2.30pm

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.


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.


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!


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



Term 4, Week 8

Wow! Week 8 was an awesome week of fun and learning!


Students continued to demonstrate considerate behaviour towards classmates, teachers and other community members during the second week of the swimming program. They were also amazingly organised, getting changed efficiently and keeping track of all their belongings. Well done, Preps! Playing in the Water Fun Park at the pool on Friday was definitely a highlight of the week!


On Tuesday, students prepared for their visit to a local kindergarten by brainstorming questions to help them find out the kind of games new preps might like to play for learning next year. Afterwards, we walked down the the Grovedale Community Hub Centre and spent some time with the kinder kids there.

Upon our return to class, students chose their own groups and nominated a learning game they would like to make. Before heading off to finalise plans together, students could be heard asking each other ‘But where is the learning?’. Using feedback from each other and teachers, they planned and commenced constructing some fun learning games for the new preps to enjoy next year.

This project is rich in opportunity for students to develop ‘the 6Cs’ – that is, the qualities and skills required for lifelong learning! For example:

  • Character: students are seeking feedback and using it to improve their games; they are working through challenges and setbacks with perseverance and grit (eg. if one material like sufficient numbers of cardboard tubes, is unavailable, students are thinking about a substitute materials and using them with excellent effect!)
  • Citizenship: the children are highly motivated by the reason behind their creative ventures – to help the new preps next year have fun while they are learning! Some students are verbalising that they are looking forward to helping the preps next year.
  • Communication: preps are really challenging themselves to think about what will be fun for the new preps next year. They are tuning in to the importance of bringing the learning in their game to the forefront without too many unnecessary distractions/decorations
  • Creativity: students are displaying the perseverance required to hold onto their vision until their task is brought to completion
  • Collaboration: preps are engaged in some effective teamwork – listening to and incorporating each other’s ideas, speaking respectfully and sharing equipment
  • Critical Thinking and Knowledge Construction: students are testing their games to see if they have the desired effect; they are using what they know, to teach others; they are applying logic and reasoning (for example, Remy and Yize showed their ‘Dinosaur Game’ could be useful for students to learn about the passage of food from mouth to bottom and also about the importance of eggs in the life cycle of dinsosaurs)

The teachers are looking forward to playing some of the games with students next week!


‘Making a book for a friend’ has been very exciting this week! Early in the week, preps asked a friend what kinds of characters and settings they would like in a story book/narrative piece of writing. Equipped with this information, pairs have separated in order to write and illustrate a book for their friend. We are all looking forward to reading the stories our friends have written for us. Without giving too much away, here are some opening pages…


Students were introduced to the concept of ‘sharing’ this week. They played two games, one which involved ‘sharing’ a certain number of counters between the number of groups indicated on a rolled die. They scored two points if the counters could be shared with no ‘left overs’ / ‘remainders’ and one point if there was a remainder.

The other game required them to place a collection of objects into certain sized groups (eg. putting 20 ‘biscuits’ into groups containing only two biscuits each and finding out how many groups this makes). Students had opportunity to begin constructing an understanding of ‘sharing’ through use of concrete materials like counters and play dough and talking with their partners.

Things to remember…

Thank you to everyone who has returned the permission slip for the impending pre-concert visit to The Arena.

Please remember to return consent forms for the End Of Year Excursion to Barwon Heads if you have not already done so.

The last Kids’ Kitchen Special Lunch Day will be held this Friday December 4th. All orders with correct money are due in on Wednesday December 2nd.

Students will enjoy two transition sessions to the Jpod this week – one Monday and one Wednesday.

School Concert this Thursday night!

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.


T4 W4 Preps lead the sharing about the animal friends’ adventures in our community

Well, our visiting animal friends are certainly enjoying finding out more about our community as they go home with different students each week!

Students are doing a great job creating their own writing with drawings or photos to match. They are showing a real awareness of their audience, including things of interest to their peers so there is lots of questioning, exclaiming and laughter during sharing!

In week four, preps led their own communication circle when sharing the journals. Small groups rotated throughout the room, spending time with different children who had taken an animal home. You can join in with some of the circles by watching the video below.



Here is our learning for Week 5:


Junior Assembly will be held on Friday November 6th, at 2.45pm.

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.

Term 4, Week 4 – Lights, Camera, Action!




What amazing team work preps displayed this week! They worked hard to complete their ‘movie sets’, refine the message they wished to get across about their special person from the community when filming their animations and finally filming and editing their work!

The teachers were very impressed with how you worked together in your teams, respectfully talking about all of your different ideas, listening to each other and reaching your team goal of finishing your animation. Well done Preps!!!!

You can see the wonderful film sets below.


In other news….

Students completed a unit of work on animals in Italian and created these wonderful masks as a finale!

School Concert…

As mentioned in the Prep Newsletter this week, preps have a dress rehearsal for the school concert on Thursday 12th of December. Their items are based on the ‘Cinderella’ fairy tale. The dress rehearsal gives students a chance to experience what it feels like to get their dance moves on while in costume! Families are asked to supply a costume for their child.

Some costume ideas are:

  • Cinderella (in her rags or in her ball gown)
  • Prince
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Mouse
  • Ugly Sister
  • A pumpkin

Have a great weekend and see you all next week!

The Prep Team.



Term 4, Week 3 & 4

Hi everyone! Why not check out the new Prep News Board started up by students last week? It is located in the Book Corner. Last week students posted comments about their ‘Minute To Win It!’ experiences during writing session. They will have opportunity to comment on other parts of the school day and to respond to classmates’ comments, too. Feel free to see what’s new on The Board when you drop off your child!

This week students focused on correct use of the conjunction ‘and’ in writing. After trying out some amazing circus skills, they wrote about their funny feats using ‘and’. For example, ‘I can hoola hoop and juggle’. While learning new writing skills, preps are doing a great job of remembering the ones they have already learned, like using a full stop to finish a sentence, an uppercase letter to begin and re-reading to ensure their writing makes sense.

Students enjoyed poetry read alouds of some Roald Dahl ‘Revolting Rhymes’ last week as part of their exposure to a wide variety of text types during reading sessions. They even experimented with creating their own poems! This week they are tuning in to reading letters through read alouds of ‘The Jolly Postman’, ‘Dear Greenpeace’ and ‘Click Clack Moo: Cows that type’.

During numeracy sessions students continue to focus on addition, subtraction and two digit place value.

During Investigations in Week 2, students were inspired by one group’s animation showing an aspect of the community they felt was important. Last week they brainstormed people who make a positive contribution to our community. This is the list they came up with:

Following this, preps were placed into randomly chosen groups of three. Each group jointly chose a special person from the community on whom to focus their research and learning. Their directive was to consider why these people are important to our community with the aim of creating an animation to showcase this learning for others.

To this end, groups have planned together; explained their plans to a teacher; experimented with using the ‘I Can Animate’ app and commenced building a diorama which will function as a mini film set. Filming will take place this Thursday.

This experience is giving opportunity for preps to develop skills needed for life long learning, in particular, collaboration. The video below shows some prep thinking about their community learning and about their experiences with group work.


Speaking of community, Mr Ramage’s special bear, Ed, has some friends visiting from overseas. These friends are taking turns to go home with students for a week each in order to learn about our community. Preps are helping the friends record their experiences together by creating their own writing and drawings for the journal that accompanies the friend. Students may also include photos if they like.


Have a great week!

The Prep Team.

Term 4 Week 2 Literacy & Numeracy

Inspired by the Jpod’s new look, the Prep Class Blog has had a colour makeover to celebrate Spring!

In other learning last week….

Reading – Exploring different text types!

Students continue to be challenged by teachers in guided reading groups to independently choose and use CAFE reading strategies while reading readers. You can encourage this when you read at home with your child. If they are stuck, wait three seconds then ask them ‘Coach or time?’

As a whole group, we read a newspaper article about bees from a kids’ newspaper, a children’s magazine and a ‘Dennis the Menace’ comic strip. Students linked the comic strip to the digital text of the ‘Dennis the Menace’ cartoon and movie. All of these texts present information in different formats and for different reasons. At home, talk with your child about the different text types you see around you. For example, if you are looking at a kid’s magazine together, discuss what message you think the author wanted to get across to you and why different colours, font sizes and text boxes may have been used. If you’re reading a comic together, consider the shapes of the speech/thought bubbles, caption boxes and the print features – why do you think that word is in bold type? Why do you think the author wrote that sentence in all upper case letters?

Last Wednesday we had some special visitors in to read with us! Grovedale College Year 7 students came over to share the different books they had created, with the preps. Preps were treated to a range of texts – fiction and non-fiction created using mixed media of drawing, painting, collage and digital format. Before session end students shared their favourite books and asked some questions about the book making process. They learned that the Year 7s plan before making, just like preps do!


Individualised focus areas for writing last week were: learning to use connectives correctly (like ‘and’, ‘then’, ‘because’); correct use of a full stop and upper case letter to begin a sentence; re-reading writing as you go to ensure it makes sense.

When your children write at home, encourage them to always re-read their writing before they are finished.

Seeing as their were lots of birthday parties in the holidays, students were given opportunity to write about one of the best parties they have ever been to! Here is some of their work…

Maths – subtraction & two digit place value…

Some students were introduced to the concept of ‘subtraction’ – they were exposed to other words that mean the same thing, like ‘take away’ and ‘minus’. Students told each other number stories & used tens frames and counters to model their stories for a friend. At home, tell subtraction number stories to each other using real life objects (eg. socks). Students are only working between 0 and 20 at this stage.

Other students are consolidating two digit place value learning. Solid understanding of place value is an essential foundation for further numeracy learning and will help students get to grips with the slightly tricky ‘teen’ numbers! Learning took place while playing the card game ‘Go Fish!’ with place value playing cards.

Concurrently, students continue to revise previous learning during ‘warm ups’ that help them tune in to the impending numeracy session. Two recent warm up games have been ‘Bump!’ and ‘Doubles Bingo’. ‘Bump!’ reminds students that when adding a small number (like 1, 2 or 3) to a larger number, counting on is a good strategy. ‘Doubles Bingo’ teaches children that they can learn useful facts to assist them in problems requiring addition. Numeracy strategies are like reading strategies – you can choose the strategies you know when you are solving maths problems! At home, give each other ‘Doubles Facts’ quizzes (students will let you know which doubles facts they are ready for). Start with doubles facts to 10. Use household objects to model the doubles if they find it difficult!

Investigations Creations

Following our short community walk in Week One, students identified people and things in our community & considered why they are important. Working individually or in small groups, they received a ‘building license’ once they had planned how to show their learning and set to work on their creations. After a gallery walk to share the learning it went on display and can be viewed in the prep room.

Here is a snapshot of the learning taking place in Term 4 Week 3:

Have a great week!

The Prep Team.


Prep Inquiry Learning, Term 4, Week 2

During Guided Inquiry Learning in Investigations this term, preps will build on their Term Three learning about developing the personal qualities of a lifelong learner.

These qualities can be summed up under the heading of ‘The 6Cs’:

  • character
  • citizenship
  • communication
  • creativity
  • collaboration
  • critical thinking and knowledge construction.

They will also be considering how they can use their learning to effect positive change in themselves and/or the people/environment around them – this is called their ‘So What?’

Last week an important event for our community was The Geelong Show. One student was involved in showing his prize winning cows, other preps were eagerly anticipating sharing in the fun and food, others had never been to a Show before and began constructing an understanding of the event from information shared as a class.

A’T-Chart’ thinking tool was used to record student thinking about why this event is important for our community both before and after learning. Preps worked in small teacher guided groups to explore different facets of The Show: Sideshow Alley; Horse Jumping; Music and Entertainment and Emergency Services Demonstrations.

After a short period of immersion in these areas, learners collaborated to creatively communicate their learning to classmates through role play. This required careful listening to teammates and use of feedback to improve the final product; thinking about the message the group wished to convey to others; the application of perseverance and grit to bring their envisaged role play to fruition in a tight time frame and of course respectful, productive dialogue within their team while working on this group project.

The iMovie below documents some of the joy experienced by students as they develop lifelong learning skills through hands on play based learning experiences.


The Prep Team