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.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Links- Don't forget these!

Please check out our literacy links, numeracy and transition to school sites. they have lots of valuable and interesting information that you can view and also comment on

The little digger visits kindy

The footpaths are being constructed on our side of the street this week. The tamariki have been watching the workmen with interest and after we talked with them they gave us an opportunity to have a real life experience on the digger!