Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Miracle happens at Kindergarten....

Today we witnessed a miracle!  One of our butterflies hatched.....I noticed a very minute split at the bottom of our chrysalis which had turned from black to transparent....

... It took a lot of patience as one cannot hurry nature, but it was an opportunity to discuss the process.

The children surrounded the swan plant, craning their neck to see creation in motion.

What a wonder to behold....

       Cameo is really excited about the new arrival

 Olli tells us about his caterpillars at home

 Madison marvelling at the show

 Madison and Tayla share the magnifying glass to get a better view

Reece made links through one of our wonderful resource books.


Toby quietly checks the butterfly's progress.
Later in the day, the butterfly was released but not before checking to see if it was a boy or girl - it had a small dark spot on each back wing, that makes is a boy!

Documented by Karen                                                                        25th February 2014

Monday, 24 February 2014

Apo the Greedy Taniwha, Puppet

We waited with anticipation for the puppet show, counting down the sleeps and finally on Friday it was here!
Jeffery and Whaitaima invited us in with a musical greeting with a lovely mix of modern and maori tradition, singing waiata, playing the bongo drums and blowing the conch shell. Everyone couldn't help but follow the musical sounds which was a lovely way to begin the story of Apo the Greedy Taniwha. 

Jeffery: welcoming us with drumming and the sound the of conch shell

Introducing Jeffery and Whaitaima

Apo is a greedy Taniwha, who wanted to eat up the little Maori boy (Huia, the biscuit boy)

The story took us on a journey into lands where we met the guardian spirits ...

... Tanemahuta, the guardian of the Forests, birds, insects and flowers...

 The children participated by being part of the forest.



Huia hides in the forest (behind the children)  from the Taniwha

Rongo, guardian spirit of agriculture (the kumara) and peace.

The children were invited to hold up their kumara mounds and form a circle around the taniwha to stopped him from eating the little boy.

Ruaumoka, the guardian spirit of the rocks and volcanos!

As the boy hid amongst the rock, the children rumbled the rocks and created a volcano eruption to scare away the taniwha!


Next came Tawhirimatea, the guardian spirit of the winds and storms.

The children participated in creating a tornado of wind to blow away the greedy Taniwha

The little boy Huia escaped in his waka which was carried by the wind and storms.  There he met....

.. Tangaroa, the guardian of the sea, and all its creatures.

All the children had a chance to be a fish from Tangaroa's ocean

This puppet play was very interactive with the children and enabled them to be actors in the drama. Everyone had a turn, even those quieter children who didn't want to get fully involved could hold a fish and swim it about without being the centre of attention.
Even some of our parents were drawn to the fun!

Our children have a good knowledge and are quite familiar with the guardian spirits of the Maori legends.  The 'In the Beginning' book is one of our favourites and is read and talked about frequently at kindergarten.  The puppet play consolidated a lot of their previous knowledge  form this story enabling the actors to be, and feel, and reflect on the important roles of these characters. 
Thank you to Jeffery and Whaitaima... we thoroughly enjoyed every moment


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Nature Encounters



Reece and Lila are searching for eggs on the swan plant.

 "Look, I found one!"  - Ryan

It is that time of year again when our interest in nature is alive!  So much is happening—   we have Monarch Butterfly cycles happening right here at Kindergarten,
 Molly and Olli search and search
 We found a teeny tiny spider and a lady bug as well as an egg
 also, a really big caterpillar!
 acorns dropping from the tree, a young very friendly ‘tui’ visiting, lots of gardening and of course, the cicada migrating above ground.
Some children have been bringing in empty cicada shells they have discovered outside of Kindergarten. 
Olli, Ellie and others listened intently as we studied an informative book on the life cycle of the Cicada.

We discovered that baby cicada live in the soil for 3 or more years!  Then at night they crawl out and up a tree to perform their final moult before emerging as an adult with wings. 

Toby was enthralled by the idea that the boy cicada was singing to tell his lady he loves her (I sang a little song and embellished it a little….).  We also, talked about the technical side—how the sound is made by ‘tymbals’ (bit like cymbals clanging together) that are on each side of their abdomen.

From the mat where children explored plastic insects and finger puppets along with book resources...

...we moved to the 'Wild Area', carefully, quietly creeping down the stairs to retain the peaceful atmosphere.  Here we listened to the birds and cicada's singing.

After checking out the canopy above them, hunting for the singing cicada’s we set out upon an insect hunt. 

Toby discovered an empty cicada shell on a tree trunk ...

 ...which led us into further discussion and an additional hunt for more shells.  Thankfully, we managed to find a shell for each of the little ‘explorers’. 

Baron also finds a cicada shell.

After examination, they were carefully placed into the magnifying jar we had brought with us.

With living creatures coming and going, the wonder of life and creation and there being something new every day, I suspect this interest will continue for a while especially as we have five chrysalis due to hatch in the next week or so.

By Karen  5th - 14th February