Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Funky Monkey Visit

Yesterday the morning session went to see the Funky Monkeys. We had lots of fun dancing to their songs and trying to help them find Dizzy the Dog. We had lots of wonderful mums come and help too. Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Hula skills in progress


The practising continues..... we are getting better and better.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hula Mania


The interest that Lia's hula hoop sharing has sparked has been amazing!

Children have been persisting and practising, some for four hours straight, days on end with incredible results. The hard work has paid dividends with some very confident and competent hula hoopers. The chipmunks song I am now hearing when I go to sleep! The children have become apt at using the stereo also to replay their song too. It has been fantastic to see them sharing at mat time their developing skills with their friends and peers. It takes guts to get in the middle and show what you've got. I am constantly amazed by our children and their growth,development, confidence and ability to contribute and support each other. What fantastic children we have here and i am so privledged to share in their learning. Ally

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Congratulations Abby on Your Registration

A very special evening for Abby celebrating her registration as a Teacher on Friday night at a function provided by NZEI at the Verandah by Hamilton Lake. Jo, myself, Bev (Abbys mum) and her partner Brendon attended and we were very proud of her and her achievement. Abby has worked hard over two years to demonstrate her ability to be a passionate, knowledgable teacher. She is this and more. Well done Abby.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Children's Artwork

Please take the time to click on the curriculum link - creative expression. On this page you will find the children's amazing artwork that they have been doing. Lately painting has taken off with reinspired enthusiam - we are very proud of the wonderful work our Tamariki do. Please take the time to look at their work too.

'Art' is often seen as static - describing a finished product. but more than that art is a lively process of engagement that is reflective, creative and deliberate, that deepens and extends children's learning. - Ann Pelo, The Language of Art.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hula Hooping


Lia has really starting something going at Grasslands with her amazing hulahop skills. After watching Lia a lot of the Tamriki decided they wanted to have a go and have been practicing all morning to see if they could get as good at Lia. Love the music. Thanks Lia Ally and Office Jo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Funky Monkeys

Guess who dropped into visit us...THE FUNKY MONKEYS!
They are promoting their upcoming show and we got our photo taken with them to share with you all. COOL AH..we think so. They were surprised as the usual is photos with children not the teachers LOL

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toasting Marshmallows

On Friday last week we toasted marshmallows in the Sandpit over an old milo tin. The children were so excited. We were very authentic in our experience - breaking twigs of the bushes to use as skewers. The children had a fantastic time trying to toast their marshmallow just enough, some were however a little charred!

It was a fantastic practical learning experience for the children. We discussed and modelled safe fire use and risk management and the children were able to build apon their developing working theories for making sense of the natural, material, social and physical world.

We only stopped because we ran out of marshmallows!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Skateboard Project

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Noah has been very passionate about skateboards in the last couple of weeks, and has become very focused on building them. This photostory documents his 3rd skateboard creation and the inspiration he has provided for the other children. Well done Tamariki, you have shown a lot of independent and creative thinking building your skateboards, you should be proud!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our Adventure

We had quite a lot of excitement here at kindergarten this morning, Les from down the road came to visit us. He had been doing some gardening and had found a sleeping hedgehog in the garden. Several children took turns having a cuddle before we decided to find a place in our garden to put her. First Aragorn, Kya, Kaia, Ashton, Jeneah, Chikoia and I went back down the road with the wheel burrow for some leaves for her. Les showed us his guineapig before he went a collected some hay for us to use instead. Then on the way back down the street we were lucky enough to discover a dead bird lying on the foot path. We brought it back to kindergarten to share with the other children. It had very beautiful and colourful feathers. Ally took lots of pictures so that we could investigate what type of bird it was. Kaia seems to think a bat may have killed it. After the excitement of the bird, we found a place in the garden for the hedgehog and Renee and Jeneah kindly built a little garden fence to keep her safe. Thank you girls, that was such a kind thing to do. We'll keep an eye on her to see when she will wake up.


Pet Snails at Kindergarten

Monday, October 12, 2009

Final ICT Report

Staff have finally finished our final report summarizing our research over the last three years. We are very proud of our combined effort. The report is on the sign in desk, please take the time to read it and feedback to staff. Thank you for all your support and time taken in your surveys, you are so appreciated. THANK YOU Staff


Staff had an amazing time at Ulearn in Christchurch. A big day the first day with us starting at 2.30am in the morning for shuttle pick up to Auckland. The pre conference workshop by Margie Carter was inspiring and affirming.
Between staff we attended 26 workshops on different ideas around ICT and innovative teacher practice. The keynote speakers Gary Stager, Derek Wenmoth, Margaret Carr were interesting and thought provoking. We have a lot of reflecting to do!!!!  Our presentation was very successful with a range of people attending from The Ministry of Educartion, ERO Education review Office, Secondary teachers, Primary Teachers, Principles, Correspondance Schools and other Early Childhood Centres. We were challenged and affirmed. A great experience, well done to the team. We have worked hard for this.
A great team building event, the weather was reasonably kind  and we managed to get some shopping in too! Looking forward to sharing with you our inspirations and ideas. Ally

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Having a blast at U-Learn

Hi Everyone, we are in the South in Christchurch this week at the U-Learn Conference. We had a great flight down and there was heaps of snow on the Southern Alps.

Yesterday we did our presentation and we were able to share heaps of your cool learning.We were so proud of you.

Miss you
Jo Ally Jodie Abby

Friday, September 18, 2009

Honey Bunny


Honey Bunny arrived in the neighbourhood over three weeks ago and nobody has claimed her! So she has joined our kindergarten whanau and she is beautiful, friendly and snuggly. Honey Bunny loves the celery, broccoli and silverbeet from our garden. She is keen on the parsley too...fresh breath! She is going to be able to visit with you all over the weekends and possible the holidays too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Twisters

We wanted to share this story with you as this has been a popular activity with the children lately. It encourages them to work as a team, as they look out for and support each other, negiotate and turn-take, all valuable skills in social development. To enlarge this story don't forget to double click on it and use the back arrow to return to our blog site. Thanks, Jodie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Gingerbread Man

This is the infamous Gingerbread Man song that your children may have been singing/talking about at home. This is a very popular song/story at kindergarten and has been for the last few terms. Today we finally got a chance to video it for the blog, the children did a fabulous job. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Water play and scientific discoveries

The fine weather has encouraged a great deal of water play over the last couple of weeks, especially in the sandpit. Click on the group learning story to enlarge to read.
Thanks Abby.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Salon

videoThis is a video of the salon that the children set up in the family corner. I unfortunately had been taking still photos and switched to video mode without turning the camera but still felt it was just too gorgeous to not show you all. My apologies for being a dizz! You'd think I'd have sussed this out with 3 years on an ICT contract. LOL! Anyway enjoy our video and we are taking bookings for a fabulous style and massage (which you may need to get the crick out of your neck after viewing this!!!!!).


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swing Challenges


The learning that's happening:
We have recently purchased some new swings, pulleys and ropes; this combined with some fine weather has given the children the opportunity to experiment and enhance their physical skills and capabilities. In this video clip the children are practicing their abilities, gaining increased control over their bodies, gaining increased agility, co ordination and balance, are building their self confidence and physical strength, are working together, taking on challenges and managing risk. This is just a small snippet of their swing capabilities.


Wombat Stew Grasslands Style

videoOn Tuesday we made Wombat Stew. This came about after one of the children discovered a photographic story about some Wombat stew that children from 2007 had made. We read the real story of Wombat Stew then made a list of things we wanted in our Wombat Stew. As you can imagine it had lots of sweet stuff in it!

On Tuesday morning Teacher Jo and Office Jo took Tyne and Ebony to the supermarket to buy the ingredients on our list. All the morning children helped to make our stew. They did a fantastic job because it was scrumdiddlelylious!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hokey Pokey Biscuits!!

Process Cooking:
The gingerbread man has been hugely popular at kindergarten lately. We sing about him, read about him, dance about him and of course we bake him. This morning the children asked to make him again, not having all the ingredients we improvised and settled for Hokey Pokey biscuits instead. They were delicious!

What we are learning:
1. We learn about the equipment used - spatula, mixing bowls etc.
2. We learn and extend upon early literacy skills - reading the recipe cards that are laid out numerically, following the instructions and writing down our name on the cooking list.
3. We learn new groups of words - stirring, mixing, beating etc.
4. We learn maths concepts - 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, half a cup etc.
5. We learn early science concepts - chemical reactions, temperature, hot and cold, rising etc
6. We learn about textures - salt and sugar, flour and icing sugar, oil and water.
7. We learn about taste - lemon, sugar, flour, sweet and sour.
8. We learn patience, waiting in line and waiting for our cooking to cook.

Most of all we have fun and hopefully can sample our creations!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jahrome's Voice


Today Jahrome and I had a play with windows movie maker documenting his story about the day that the digger visited his house. What a cool story. Thanks Jahrome.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Laura's Puppy Cocoa

Laura has a new puppy and she brought the puppy named Cocoa to kindergarten back at the start of July to show us! I finally put the photos up for everyone to see! Isn't Cocoa cute?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Making a Sally Lunn using mashed Potato!

videoWe made Sally Lunn Buns with our left over potatoes from the Matariki Boil Up. If you view the slide show you will learn the recipe. Give it a go. It tastes great especially with sultanas added to it!

We hope you try it and enjoy it.


Friday, July 3, 2009

End Of Term 2 Newsletter

Have a safe and happy term break, we will see you all back next term Monday 20th July.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Friends the tamariki's perspective


Our children have definitely got it sorted about being a good friend. Their contributions at a mat time discussion confirm it. We are so proud of them and they role model our good friends policy every day seeking help when they need it..which isn't very often as they are very articulate at expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings. What a great place to be!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our visit to Rhode Street School

videoWe visited Rhode Street School today. We learnt about the things that happen at school and we had lots of fun exploring the junior playground with some of our old and new friends at school. Miss Ryan and her class were so welcoming. We always enjoy our visits to the 'big' school.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Parachute Fun

The parachute is a favourite with children and staff. It is always a noisey and fun time. The parachute is a wonderful cooperative activity requiring all the children's participation to manage the parachute. It is a wonderful tool for engaging the children who may be a little whakama (shy) during mat times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Under the microscope

videoOur Digiblue microscope is wonderful because it allows the children to observe objects, insects, spiders and other creepy crawlie creatures in minute detail. It is interesting what children do notice and how they perceive things. Living and moving creatures under the microscope have the ability to capture children's attention for longer periods of time than inanimate objects. Our seemingly lifeless bald caterpillar came to life and Elijah, being familiar with 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' story by Eric Carle, was able to use his knowledge of what caterpillars eat to excite the wee fella into moving.

Remember our links!

Just a wee reminder to you that we have 6 other useful blog sites attached to our main blog that we have constructed. These can be found on the right-hand side of our home page under the heading Curriculum Links. Click on the green links to get to the curriculum blog of your choice.

Please take a look and feel free to suggest other ideas for these sites either by leaving comments or by talking to staff.

Curriculum Links

  • Adventure Bear
  • Creative Expression
  • Habits of the Mind and Your Child's Learning
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Transition to School

We love your feedback and want to make these sites work for you and your child.

Kia ora

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kia ora everyone

I just thought I should write to you all to explain the process I have gone though while doing this blog on the children and their adventures with Adventure Bear (Addy).

Three times a week I have been choosing a child that has been displaying 'being a good friend', helping to tidy up without having to be asked, or just something that reinforces being part of a team at the kindergarten.

When the children come back in the morning with the camera and Addy, I take the time to sit somewhere quiet and listen and document the child's voice. Once I have all the information I need I then move to the next step. I print the photos out and put them all into a scrap book that the children have decorated. The scrap book is accessible to the children so they can be looked at whenever they want to. This is all then posted onto Adventure Bears Blog that you can access from the kindergarten blog. Check it out. Thanks for your support.

Bye for now Tiffany (student)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Allie and Juno Visit

Today we were lucky enough to have Kaia and her mother bring in their much loved family pets, Allie the lop eared rabbit and Juno the guinea pig.
Claire, Kaia's mum talked to us about what Allie and Juno eat, and showed us how Allie likes to be held - Upside down with her feet in the air! She likes to be held tightly like a baby on her back, then she closes her eyes and goes to sleep. She is such a beautiful rabbit and so placid, letting all our children give her a cuddle while she lay on her back. Juno was a bit more timid, Jo held on to him while the children gave him a little pat so that he didnt get to frightened being introduced to so many children at once.

Thank you very much Claire, Kaia and Che for bringing in your very special family members, we enjoyed having them here and all the cuddles we got to give them.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Adventure Bear

Hi my name is Tiffany Hedges I am a student from the University of Waikato and will be at Grasslands kindergarten for seven weeks starting last Monday.

I have a project that I hope you will all enjoy reading about. My project is about strengthening relationships between home and kindergarten. I have decided to introduce to the tamariki Adventure Bear (Addy). He is a delightful bear that will be coming home with the tamariki. He will come with a digital camera so you and your tamariki can take pictures of Addy having fun at your place.

I hope you all enjoy your time with Addy. I cannot wait to see his adventures in the future.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cold Day? Hot Chocolate!!!


The weather has been so cold lately. Yesterday afternoon I tried warming up with a milo. Elijah mentioned how good it smelt and how he wished he could have one to keep warm. I felt like a meany drinking it in front of him, but made up for it today with bottomless hot chocolate and marshmallows all morning!
Several of our children utilized this offer to its full extent, not just having seconds but going back for 3rds and 4ths!! Its a great way to stay warm and enjoy each others conversation on a cold Autumn day.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Link!

Check out our new link called 'Creative Expression'. You can click on this link to go to the site. It is found under Curriculum links on the right hand side of this blog. Abby has created this new site to show case the children's work on display in and around the kindergarten. It also shows you the everyday masterpieces/treasures made and the creative talents your beautiful children have. We are very proud of the children. We hope you enjoy their work.

Thanks the Staff

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jodie's Graduation

To share Jodie's special day click on top of her story. It will enlarge into a full page. Use the back arrow at the top left hand side of the screen to go back to the blog.

Congratulations Jodie! We are so proud of you.You look very clever in your gown and mortar board!

Love all the staff and children at Grasslands Kindergarten.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Farewelling Dad

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Recently I have taken some time out from work because my dad lost his battle with cancer in the holidays. I have been spending time with my mum as we come to terms with not having Dad with us. We are grateful that we have so many wonderful memories to carry with us and of course Dad is ever present in our hearts. He was a great man and I shall miss him forever.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Caring for our Axolotls


Our Axolotl tank was looking rather grim after the holidays. I decided to clean it out with the help of some friends who have a strong interest in our slippery friends.
The learning that's happening...
We learn lots of things when we clean out our tanks; such as encouraging the proper care of living things, educating children on the correct handling of our Axolotls and our fish, how to feed them, the way in which we clean out the tank, and how we change the filter and add water ager to protect their skin.

By having hands on experience and contact with our animals here at kindergarten our children are able to develop healthy attitudes and interests towards animals, that has the potential to become a life long passion.

Tyne and Elijah have a strong interest in our Axolotls. Tyne handles them with great care when we clean them out and is now very good at feeding them especially when i am away - this is great because nobody else will touch them!!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jibidi Update

I mentioned during the holidays that i would keep you updated with our new Jibidi song. The children are full of enthusiasm for it and it is requested and danced everyday! Here the children are joining in on the song and it's actions during the session. They are very competent and confident with the actions and rhythm of the song. On this particular day it was played over and over by a group of children unassisted by any teachers.



Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is a good friend?


At Grasslands Kindergarten we talk lots about being a good friend, what a good friend is and does. I interviewed small groups of children to gather their thoughts, ideas and insights.

It was very enlightening.


We have been using ‘Playing as a good friend’ at Grasslands Kindergarten for quite some time in order to provide simple and consistent positive guidance for children. It doesn’t come naturally, but it does work. It’s now part of our kindergarten culture and will work if used at home as well.

What is ‘Playing as a Good Friend?’

There are three basic rules:
1. We don’t hurt anyone (or use rude gestures)
2. We use good words (includes: No shouting, and using appropriate tone/pitch of voice)
3. We listen (to each other, to the teachers, and to parents/whanau)
For this to work, it is important for the adults using this with children to support each other and be consistent, especially with the language we use. For example rather than saying to children “Are you playing nicely?” we say , “Are you playing as a good friend?” This is more meaningful because we have discussed with children what being a good friend is and what it means to be a good friend to each other. This is continually reinforced and reflected upon in daily practice and in interactions with children and between children.

What do we do when children forget to play as good friends?

First we stop the child and find out what happened, asking questions like “Tell me what happened?” We listen to what the child says, and acknowledge their feelings. We are very clear about the behaviour we are trying to address. For example, we say “You stopped playing as a good friend when you hurt/didn’t listen to/ shouted at ….” Sometimes the issue can be resolved on the spot. We encourage children to think of alternative solutions to the issue through strategies such as asking, “Can you think of another way that you could have asked for that/said that/done that?” We often model the appropriate words and/or behaviours to help the child. For example, “ You need to use your words to tell ——— what it is that they are doing that you don’t like”, “You need to tell ————— how you are feeling and ask them to stop.”

We love hearing your feedback. Please post a comment. Ally

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fishing Success

These are my boys Paul and Cam with their catch of the day. They wanted to share with you via the blog their wonderfully big fish they caught. Whoppers ah!
They spent some time with their dad in the holidays and went to the Coromandel fishing off the mussel barge. Great fun. Cam caught himself a 9 pound snapper. and paul a decent sized trevally Their dad organised for them to be smoked and we have been enjoying smoked and fresh fish for dinner. Thanks Dad!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our Easter Holiday at Opotiki BRRRRR

Yes we slept in Fluffys Truck!!!!

Thursday we headed off late with our king size bed the 3 kids mattresses, 4 bikes, 1 motorbike, 1 tent, 1 BBQ, 1 couch, loads of blankets and food. The locals and my husband assured me it would be warm.....we woke to a frost the first morning!!!!!!

Arriving late at night we were focused on getting into be with what bedding we could find! What a difference after camp mother had been through camp!

Each morning the boys were up before the sun!!!!! to go fishing. They would roar off on the motorbike to the designated fishing area and no be seen for 2-3hours! They had some success with us enjoying yummy smoked kahawai.

We had a great adventure in spite of the cold nights and bed at 7pm. I don't know that it will be next years Easter Adventure though!

Even Jess enjoyed the holiday but found the nights cold insisting that she be under the covers on the beds!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The bigger bigger digger.


Jahromes mum Ra brought in her camera and shared the photos of the bigger bigger digger at their house doing their driveway with us. Awesome photos and what great timing with the work going on the footpath outside the kindergarten. Thanks Ra.

Happy Easter and Happy Holidays

Happy Easter to all our whaanau. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to seeing you all back on Monday 27th April for the start of Term 2.

We have had a busy and long term so everyone is in need of a good rest. The staff hope you are enjoying viewing your child's learning from term one on our blog and sharing the day to day activities that occur as part of our programme. Please take time to add your comments as we love your feedback.

Take care
The staff (Ally, Jo, Abby, Jodie and Office Jo)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mauri Ora

Today staff had their induction into the Mauri Ora programme as part of our on-going commitment to bi-cultural practice. We have all identified this as an area of professional development. Mauri Ora is a free 12 month in-home programme (NZQA level 2) run by Te Waananga o Aotearoa that helps us learn about things Maori. We are very excited to be undertaking this programme particularly as a team. We hope our understanding and sensitivity of the Maori world will be more evident in our teaching practice as our knowledge increases during this period. We have a lovelykaitiaki to support us on our journey ...

Monday, April 6, 2009

We had K9 Sense visit us toaday with thEIr friends Sky and Zea. This is a very valuable service that StEph and her team provide, teaching the children about dog safety.

The best way to approach a dog and what to do in tricky situations!!! The tree, the rock and fist out then shoulders and chest is best! Talk to your children about what they learnt today to reinforce the importance of keeping safe around dogs. Watch the video with them, talk about what you are hearing and seeing.


Jibidi Dancing


The tamariki have been learning a new dance called Jibidi for the last week. It requires some coordination and control of our bodies...which can be quite challenging and a bit of a giggle for children and staff. Remembering to choose our friends for turns after managing this feat is an accomplishment!!! Stepping out in front of a group trying something new is a real confidence tester and our children are building these skills in a supportive and very encouraging environment. Ka pai to mahi tamariki - Good work children.