Monday, March 30, 2009

Tauranga Presentation

On Saturday I went over to Tauranga with Sharon Carlson Our Core Education Facilitator to present to 2nd yr students with the Bay of Plenty/Tauranga Polytecnic.
It was a great opportunity to share our journey about blogging with them, the why, the outcomes and the amazing contributions staff, children and whanau are making to the kindergarten blog and their child's individual blog. They were easy to present to and asked questions at the end which was a good indicator for presenting on my behalf. I had incited some real interest!!!! A great professional opportunity with more to come.

 Part of our contract is to disseminate our findings to whanau and the wider community. We have plans to disseminate to our colleagues who are interested next term by providing professional development workshops in blogging. We have teachers visiting our kindergarten seeking knowledge and information about ICT and we are creating a spotlight for the Ministry of Education about our findings. We will be having a whanau information evening next term to share with you our fantastic supporters, contributors and posters and for those who want to know more. Thank you for your support it continues to be a challenging and rewarding journey.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jo's bush visit

I was enjoying a walk through the Forest and Bird Reserve on Waiheke Island with my children and took these photos which I thought I'd share so you can see I do have another side to my life outside of kindergarten too. We often get to share what you do at home through the children's portfolios but we don't get to share about ourselves!

The kauri and nikau forest is just so peaceful and everywhere you look there is so much beauty. It is nice to get away from the city and back to nature and important for my children to see the New Zealand bush as it was before we began replacing it with farmland and settlements. As I'm getting older I'm beginning to realize the importance of sharing what makes New Zealand unique with my children and also sharing some of the experiences that have shaped me as I have grown up. I think as I watch my dad loosing his battle with cancer that I am beginning to truly appreciate what it is to share our history with our whaanau so it is not lost.

We had a piwakawaka (fantail) nearly land on us. It was just so cheeky but very beautiful too as it danced around. Unfortunately I kept missing the good close up shots possibly because I was so excited it was not frightened of us.

I found a stick insect that had died that we will look at under the microscope at kindergarten. I wonder if it will look as interesting as the cockroach we looked at last week!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Process Cooking, making Muffins!!

For the past few weeks we have been process cooking, this is an extendion of the children's strong interest and skill in cooking.
Some activities need steps to get from start to finish to get the expected result. Process cooking is one of these activities, here we follow a series of steps to get to the end product in this case muffins!

As time has progressed the children have become more skillful, confident, knowledgeable and empowered to manage the process themselves.

The Value of Process Cooking
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!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pizza Hut Watch Out!

This morning we made individual pizzas using scone dough as a base. The children chose their own toppings then we baked them and tasted them. Only two children chose not to be involved and only one child tasted their pizza and chose not to eat the rest. All in all the children were successful in making themselves a delicious snack I think it's safe to say!
We had quite a production line going and I have a new appreciation of Pizza Palour employees working to time deadlines on their orders!
I don't think Grasslands will be starting up a Pizza franchaise in the near future though despite the tamariki being great little cooks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Opening Up our Blog

Please click on the image to open to read. Please take the time to read this newsletter. It is in regard to making our blog site public to extend acess to the wider community.

Parent Feedback.
"hi just looked up manaiakindy blog and i am very keen on u using grasslands blog to reach the wider community. (also tried to add my zoo photos to sydneys page but have forgotten how to do it!)
Finally sydney is away this week in wanganui but will be back next week"

Tania Neale
March 18, 2009 11:18 AM

Undercover Cody's Visit

Today we had Undercover Cody visit us at kindergarten. This video shares with you the discussion about being sunsafe with the tamariki.

We learnt the actions to Undercover Codys song today. The tamariki were a little overwhelmed with his presence :-) but were great listeners and participated.

Ka Kite Undercover Cody!

He thought our kindergarten hats were cool!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Books and more

A group of our children are very interested in writing and book making. It’s wonderful to walk around the kindergarten and discover children using all sorts of medium to develop, practice and extend their early literacy skills. Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually learn to read and write.

Here is a sample collection of some of the children’s work.

The learning that’s happening:

Print motivation – an enjoyment in books and reading.

Print awareness – developing an understanding about reading and writing. That words are read left to right and top to bottom.

Learning about the parts of a book – cover, title, author, pictures and words.

Narrative skills – being able to understand and tell stories and describe things.

Letter knowledge – letter recognition and developing an understanding of how writing is constructed, letters make up words, words make up stories with meaning and purpose.

Dress up Day

Dress up day was loads of fun and well supported by our whanau and children. Some very innovative and popular dress ups and characters arrived at kindergarten. Ally had to then go to a Head Teachers Meeting in the afternoon. They appreciated the look and hoped you all had a great day.