16 August 2019
Term Three is always a very busy time of the year, not only because we are gearing up for the Art Show, which is the Kindy’s biggest day, but also because of the way the children play and learn. They have been here for long enough that they are extremely comfortable with each other and the environment, they understand their responsibilities, their social skills have developed a great deal and they are ready for extended, rich play in collaboration with others. Our job at this time of the year is to provide interesting provocations and resources, to try and spark more complex thinking and skill development.
Because the children are feeling so confident at Kindy, we have observed many instances of children teaching each other skills. How to join boxes together to make a car that has 10 wheels and reversible lasers. How to make coloured mixtures by grating chalk and combining it with water. How to make an alien house out of plasticine to create an alien village. Peer to peer teaching and learning is an incredibly effective way to acquire skills, often more effective than learning from a teacher. It has the additional benefit of building the self-esteem and confidence of the child passing on their knowledge and skills, and this is something that we strongly encourage between children.
We have introduced new tools to expand the children’s experience and learning of practical skills. The children relish the opportunity to use real tools, and so we have been using sewing needles, saws, hammers and nails, screwdrivers, palm drills, and even the electric drill in meaningful and purposeful ways. Our Father’s Day present this year has required an array of different tools and methods – the children are very much looking forward to presenting their dads with the gift that they made from scratch. We have also been exploring pulley systems and we are working on the idea of making a zip line – this one is requiring a lot of thinking from both children and teachers. We have also been pulling things apart, like electronic games that no longer work, keyboards and typewriters, to see what is inside and find out how they might work. We are always encouraging the children to be curious, to ask questions and to try to solve problems.
We have recently been selecting books for group story time that feature characters experiencing a range of emotions. As we read the story together, we stop to notice facial expressions on the characters – what are they feeling now? Why might they be feeling sad right now? These are questions that we ask the children during story time. The ability to recognise and label feelings is a key social skill. Being able to read how another person is feeling and respond appropriately enables getting along with others. Being able to identity our own feelings enables us to understand what makes us happy, sad or anxious, and helps us, over time, to learn to regulate our emotions. The Kindy children have shown great interest in analysing and discussing the expressions and feelings of book characters and have shared sometimes surprisingly insightful reasoning. So that’s emotional literacy – in terms of language literacy the children are loving playing rhyming games and making up spontaneous rhymes throughout the day. Rhyming is a key element of early literacy development - rhymes teach children that words are composed of consistent sounds that can be played with to make other words - some real and some silly! And the silly is the fun part.
Thank you to our working bee team for keeping the Kindy neat and tidy.
To our committee for securing us the $1200 Rotary grant which we will put towards Bush Kindy resources, the Shell grant which we will put towards new home corner resources, and the Grill’d donations jar which we would love to put towards either some new books or a climbing wall.
To Adam and crew for modifying our fence near the climbing tree.
Thank you to our families for interesting donations of upcycleable junk.
To our staff for going hard at Art Show preparation!