May Newsletter

26/05/2015

At Jack and Jill Kindergarten we welcome and value our families and extended families into our centre, we recognise the importance of families feeling welcome within the kindergarten environment. We view parents and families as the child’s first educator and nurturer and we aim to support families in this important task.

Last Tuesday we invited families to attend an information evening where we discussed the routines of the Possum room, the importance of play-based learning and our transition to school program. We discussed the value of pre-literacy skills and we are in the process of arranging an information evening with speech and language therapist Catherine Cripps.

We gave the parents an opportunity to create a special artwork for their children’s portfolios.

The Possum’s loved seeing the artwork created by their parents. If you missed the evening or the opportunity to create a piece of art and would like to add to your child’s portfolio, please feel welcome to construct something in the Possum room.

‘’Children thrive when families and educators work together in partnership to support young children’s learning.” (EYLF,pp9)

We have attached Lilly’s piece on the importance of play-based learning, the information is current and meaningful.

In the first week of June we will be starting our new winter menu with lots of healthy and nutritious winter favourites- suggestions and family favourites always welcome.

We planted some more strawberries in the garden – hopefully the new plants will survive! However the sunflowers, nasturtiums, hollyhocks, broccoli and celery are looking like the most promising harvest items.

Warm regards,

Jack and Jill team.

 

Bilby news

We have been very busy Bilbies during late April and May; we have joined in with many lovely activities together and separately. At the beginning of the month we began our Autumn project which we enjoyed exploring. We collected leaves on our outings and from the garden and created Autumn collages. During this topic we also practised using scissors to cut the leaves, we mixed colours to make green and orange and we made an interest table with leaves and twigs which we had discovered on our nature walk and in the playground.

During April we created art projects to commemorate AZNAC day and the Bilbies listened to a talk from our soldier friend Charles Knox.

In May our friends showed an interest in Dinosaurs. The children helped to make a dinosaur table using paints, leaves, twigs, pinecones and boxes. We have participated in many craft activities to make dinosaur pictures and eggs, the children have read lots of stories relating to dinosaurs and have enjoyed the song “Dino Stomp’’.

Also in May the children were very involved in painting silk scarves for their Mother’s, creating cards and talking about their Mum’s. The relationship between mother and child is very special and educators really wanted to celebrate that with the children. We hope our families had a lovely Mother’s Day.

‘’Children learn about themselves and construct their own identity within the context of their families and communities‘’

“Relationships are the foundation for the construction of identity’’      (EYLF pp21)

We are learning lots of new songs and planning to make some new instruments over the coming weeks. The Bilbies are currently looking at farm and zoo animals.

Liz, Gemma and Val.

 

Philippa (G) painting at the easel.

Philippa (G) painting at the easel.

 

Sophie (D) creating a piece of Art

Sophie (D) creating a piece of Art

Group Music Time in the Possum Room

Group Music Time in the Possum Room

Possum News

The first half of May was dominated by Mother’s Day preparations and of course the celebration in the Room. The children had put a lot of effort into their presents: the gift card and the silk scarf as well as the learning of a new special song. The children especially enjoyed working with the new material silk and loved the technique of applying the paint via a dropper. They got to watch the paint getting quickly absorbed by the material when used as a single drop or mixing with other colours when used in slightly larger quantities. The children were visibly proud to present their mothers with their gifts and it was great to see the reactions. We received  lovely feedback and many mums were visibly impressed and proud of their children’s achievements – and this made Mother’s Day an extremely satisfying experience for everybody. On the day, we also encouraged the mothers and grandmothers present, to leave little notes or pictures for their children’s portfolios and we were very happy to see so many mums participating.

After the Mother’s Day buzz we had a few quiet days. During this time Maksim P played “Viking” a lot. We extended on his interest and made it our new little theme, as many children picked up on the interest after talking about it during group time. At first, the children explored pictures of Dragon-boats, Viking craftsmanship and clothing. Then we went from the pictures to real items, where the children had the opportunity to touch and explore items such as tunics, woollen dresses, cloaks and a hand-forged cloak-pin, deer skin, drinking horns and an originally crafted belt. At the same time we were undertaking another group art-project: the making of our own little Dragon-boat. Everybody participated at one of the different stages and the children were extremely curious and excited to see it all come together. The Dragon-boat idea then swept to other related art experiences such as painting and drawing. The Possums experimented with another new medium for this project: clay. The children loved the consistency of the material and were eager to copy some of Lilly’s suggested models, such as Dragon-boats, cups, bread bowls, spoons and similar historic everyday items. Many children actively wanted to be talked through the experience and to be shown how to create certain items. Others enjoyed experimenting for themselves, letting their creativity lead. The children demonstrated effective communication and involved learning.

As part of our intentional teaching and to put the whole Viking theme in context, we referred back to our former project of the world map, to talk about the origins of the Vikings and their trading routes as well as about Erik the Red’s discovery of Greenland. As next part of this project, the children learned about Runes and some Possums were eager to try writing those themselves. They did an excellent job and enjoyed this excellent fine motor skill exercise.  To extend the theme to a different modality, we listened to an example of historic music – the old Swedish ballade “Herr Mannelig”.

 

Last week we started to transition from the Viking theme to a new, related topic: archaeology. We are very grateful for the family input we receive for our projects.  Mordecai’s family contributed to the Viking project by providing us with pictures of an original Viking boat, that they had seen in a museum in Norway. This led us to the question, how to find old objects and artefacts. Val demonstrated how to use brushes and gentle tools to unearth hidden objects from sand. After the demonstration, we made a game out of it and the children discovered different objects, such as shells or plates. The children discussed what else one could find, and what they have seen in museums. This project is ongoing and we will see, where it leads us to next…

Lily, Shudipta, Sophie and Val

 

 

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