Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cold and wet weather at kindergarten

Monday 12th August 2013

The wet and windy weather that we experienced to-day at kindergarten provided great opportunities to link what the children could see and experience with some of our Maori legends around Rangi - the sky father and Tawhirimatea - the guardian of the wind.
Last term the children had been very interested in the story 'In the beginning' by Peter Gossage so it was pleasing to see so many recalling what they knew and bringing the story to life. the children were fascinated by the strength of Tawhirimatea as he blew in the rain clouds and set their ribbons dancing and there was great excitement when Rangi sent down a shower of hail stones letting us know his power.
(Written by Dale)

Wind and shadows is what it is all about.

Lets not get our trousers wet.
Hands on exploratiion

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Nursery Rhymes Story Telling

Following our little lamb visit the other day, Mary had a little lamb was one of the favourites nursery rhymes this week plus some others.   We have noticed little pockets of  children discovering new ways to enjoy the nursery rhymes....and retell them in different ways. 

London Bridge is falling down!

While sharing the ipad, Ben, Finlay and Finn discovered the London Bridge nursery rhyme.  They were so excited to have found it and played it over and over, singing along with the tune.   The graphics showed children playing the old fashion game of London Bridge and the boys wanted to do it too.

 Next we shared it with everyone at mat-time.

Mat time is always an opportunity to involve everyone.  So we dramatized the London bridge nursery rhyme with everyone joining in.  All the children made a really long London Bridge by joining their hands and 2 by 2 the children would have turned crawling through the bridge and forming it again at the end.

Admittedly, it was a bit of a challenge to keep it going, as not everyone understood the concept right away... but it was so much fun... and practice makes perfect...

... and eventually everyone had a turn going under the bridge.

Children find meaning and make connections in lots of different ways.  Dramatic acting enables them to be expressive with their ideas and cement their understanding. They gain familiarity with songs, tones, words and phrases which enables them to safely experiment with ways of story telling.
...And what happened to Mary's Lamb?   Just ask Keira and Finley
Keira and Finley discover using the magnetic board a lovely way of expressing the nursery rhyme, Mary had a little lamb and retelling it as a story in their own words.  

Keira:    "It followed her to school one day... oh no, to school one day, you cant go to school, oh no no no!" 

 Keira:   "It made all the children be naughty!"

Finley:  "I don't want to go home, I want to stay at school!"
(Finley hides the lamb behind the school house)
"No I'm not coming out"
(Mary comes along)
Keira:  "Its ok now, come on."

This is such a wonderful moment of Keira and Finley collaborating their ideas expressively and creatively, almost adlibbing, using the foundation of the nursery rhyme and with flexible thinking, telling the story in their own way.  Both focussing on a particular character, and giving that character more personality. 
I cant wait to see what other ways children find to explore these nursery this space! 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Little Lamb visits Kindergarten

Over the holidays one of the sheep on Leanne's farm rejected her one of her twin lambs and it needed hand feeding if it was to survive.  Of course, as teachers do, Leanne thought this was an excellent hands on learning opportunity for the children.


The lamb came to Kindergarten for her morning bottle feed.
The children could see how hungry she was as she wagged her little tail frantically and how fast she drank her special milk.

Leanne showed everyone the little lamb jacket that was used to keep the lamb warm on really cold nights because when she was first born she didn't received the goodness of the mother's milk and she didn't have any fat to keep her warm. 

Now she is just over 3 weeks old and her fleece has grown and she is putting on lots of weight and getting fatter.  Soon she will be far too heavy to pick up!


The children had lots of questions and comments:

"Why does her wool feel soft, like ice cream?"


"Why do they have hooves?"

This subject led to an interesting discussion about all kinds of feet and how they are different

"Her wool feels like carpet!"
This question led to discussion about what clothing is made from wool.


   "Why do you cut off their tails?"
We were able to share information with children about the important procedures needed to keep animals healthy such as docking lambs tails, drenching, shearing and vaccinating.  
A few of our children have had a lot of experience on family or friends farms and were able to share their knowledge.

"I thought the lamb would be all white, but its not."

 It is great to enable the children to have these close up, hands on experiences and learn about how farm animals are looked after, what they eat, how they behave, how they smell and feel.

This learning experience enabled active exploration for the children to develop their theories, share knowledge, make connections and gain understanding of nature and the living things and creatures in our environment. We hope the children will develop a sense of respect and responsibility for the all things in the living world and how to care for it.

It seems natural that we continue our learning from last week of the traditional nursery rhymes and therefore link our lamb visit with those rhymes that we all know so well....  Baa baa Black Sheep...  Mary had a little lamb... Little Bo Beep.   Don't be surprised if you hear your children singing these little tunes!