Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pukeko Update

Yet another great week in Pukeko. The children are finding new and interesting ways to use our equipment and have had the chance to explore some new activities that were introduced last week. Picture frames with some small loose parts were interesting as children made a range of different art works. Some with patterns, some with stories but all creative and different.

Also a range of small blocks were put out with some photo's of historic buildings. There was an attempt to recreate the Taj Mahal. We also introduced a story book about a hippo wanting to be the first hippo on the moon. With this book there were some small loose parts and after reading the story we asked why the children thought there were some loose parts. There were a range of answers and ideas from the children and we are interested to see what they do with it this week.

We finally had the opportunity to head to down to the construction site at the end of Winters Road. Norma met us there and we were lucky enough to watch an excavator work on digging a trench for some water and sewage pipes. The driver was very interested to talk to us and he took the time to answer some of the children's questions and give them some information about what he does. Norma was kind enough to have some lollies there to share with the children. She told us that there is an architectural student working on a design for our outdoor play space and we should be able to see it in mid June with the aim of having the space completed by summer. Thank you so much to the parents that had the time to walk with the class down Winters Road.

This week we have our celebration of learning. This is an opportunity for you to come and spend some time with us and see what the children have been up to. There are 2 session times, the first being 2-3pm where you will get a chance to see the children in play (and have a play with them). The second session is from 6-7pm. You are more that welcome to have a play then also.

Mrs T and Mrs Akhtar give the children drawing tasks to do on Fridays. The aim is for children to follow the instructions for each drawing. It has been mentioned that children have enjoyed this and have taken it apon themselves to do some at home. Here is the link to the site used. When you enter the site you are able to access free drawing tutorials. There is no need to pay any money.

We very much appreciate those of you that take the time to view our blog every week. There are often articles and information about play here as well as seeing what your children are creating each week. See you tomorrow and have a great week.

Tyson, Dimitry, Connor, Brooklyn, Lily and Leah have been practising printing their name using the correct letter formations and holding the pencil with the correct pencil grip.

They still need some support but are making good progress.

We use the Casey Caterpillar story to help print the letter shapes. Here is a guide for how we verbalise each letter.

                       “Play is the beginning of knowledge.” 
                                  George Dorsey

    Saturday, 20 May 2017

    Pukeko Update

    This week the Pukeko space has been a very dynamic  place to be. The weather has meant that play has had to be more inside than outside. However we did make the most of the sunshine
    when it was out!

    Riley has made her own version of hopscotch and shared the game with her friends.

    Jada, Charlotte and their friends created a story involving a castle with chalk.

    Inside the Moana puzzle donated to us by Honor’s family has been very popular.

    These boys loved having the extra expertise from Cam when they were creating their weapons. They also enjoyed the playing an imaginative game with them afterwards.

    Creativity is also alive and well

    We have continued to notice that most children have become very self managing during play and are able to solve many problems they have with each other, independent of adults or with minimal intervention. Transitions to and from the group learning time is potentially a time where
    conflict can occur as the children leave and return to their play situation and equipment, however the children are beginning to manage this time well.
    We are beginning to see them listen to and accept other children’s points of view, empathise with others’ emotions and often offer a compromise so that play can continue together. This is very rewarding to witness.

    Most learning occurs within a social setting and children are asked to cooperate with others in learning situations most of the day. This is the age when children are learning to play and work co-operatively with others and so by providing the opportunity for them to practise in real life authentic situations we know we are meeting their developmental learning needs.

    It's all about perception

    Sunday, 14 May 2017

    School in Finland

    Mrs T found this Michael Moore video about schooling in Finland. Mrs Watson and I watched it this afternoon and thought wouldn't this be amazing for our children.

    Saturday, 13 May 2017

    Pukeko Update

    Pukeko now has 30 children! We were joined by Riley, Arabella, Harshika and Connor this term. They have all transitioned into our space very easily.

    The first two weeks of Term 2 in Pukeko were amazing. The children were calm, focused and we noticed a lot of the strategies we had shared with the children in Term 1 were now being used independently and shared between the children. This was very rewarding to see as the children were demonstrating how self-managing they had become and were also able to share their expertise with others. We could see and hear the strategies the children were using. Many times we heard children using the exact words we would use during social coaching in the play space. Things like 'maybe you should wait until they are finished talking' and 'I will wait until you are finished, could you let me know when you are?'

    At the end of the week Mr Kingston shared some interesting data with us. Historically Year 1 classes have the highest absence rates in primary school because we encourage parents to monitor their children’s levels of well being-tiredness and coping with a new environment.  We recognise that it is a big step and the children need a lot of support to transition.

    While this is still true, the modifications we have made to bridge the transition and minimize the changes for the children with our play based approach has led to a very significant drop in absences in Term 1. In 2016, in the first half year 50% of the children in our class had less that 90% attendance. This year in the first term 0% of children have attendance less than 90%. We can only assume that the children are not as tired and in need of a break as they were when a more formal approach was used.

    The sunny weather meant we were able to enjoy play outside again this week. As well as the leaf fight we also used the PE equipment and took the construction trolley outside, using it in a number of imaginative ways. The trolley was more popular than the blocks. Transportation seems to be a strong play urge at the moment  

    Several children helped weed our big coloured pots and plant some spring bulbs- an exercise in delayed gratification! On Thursdays we have tried to get out in the afternoons with the whole of the junior school for some target games but unfortunately the weather has meant we haven't been able to. This week we will use the hall if that happens again.