Thursday, 30 June 2011

Maori phrase for month of July

E matekai ana koe? - Are you hungry?
Kua pai koe? - Have you had something to eat?

Fire Evacuation Drill

This morning we held a notified fire evacuation drill. This went amazingly well as the children were assembled on the hill within seconds of the alarm going off. Our new children were not fazed at all and responded just as well as our old hands.
Tino rawe tamarki ma
Homai te pakipaki

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

0611 June Newsletter

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Mana's racing car

Last week I spent some time with Mana doing the racing car puzzle. Mana requested this puzzle, as it's one of his favourites that he has completed many times. Mana is always so excited to do any of the floor puzzles because this is an area of interest and he feels confident that he can do it all by himself. On this particular day, Mana asked if I could help him, but then said, "I can do this puzzle all by myself, but I want you to help too", which I thought was nice. It was so great to see a sense of accomplishment in Mana when he had finished it; he was very proud. This is a great example of how Mana takes responsibility for his own learning and how much the confidence in himself has grown since he has been at KIDSPACE.


Another happy tale...

After spending time with Donnagh reading stories on the couch, he continued to read books. Noah took an interest and sat up on the couch with him. Donnagh really liked the book 'Another happy tale', about the new born baby being raised on a farm with the baby pigs. When I was reading with Donnagh previous to this, he had requested this book three times, so it appears to be a favourite. He was excited to share it with Noah and point out his favourite parts of the story. A number of times I heard the boys laughing, while engrossed in the story. I could see that they were getting pleasure from reading through the book and exploring the pictures together.

Children develop an expectation that words, pictures and books can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform and excite (Communication goal three, Te Whaariki).


Welcome to KIDSPACE Levy

We welcomed Levy to KIDSPACE on Monday. She has settled in well and has made friends with Ataahua, Emily and Isabella. The girls have enjoyed playing outside in the swing together, playing in the garden and looking after Squeezy the guinea pig. Levy helped with baking choco chip biscuits yesterday too. We are looking forward to getting to know Levy and her family more over the next few weeks.

Whaanau Evening

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Best of mates

Noah and Joshua are such great mates. Every chance they get, they are playing together. The imagination between those two boys is amazing. They make up their own games and simply love being boisterous.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Acacia


Happy 2nd birthday Anika


Welcome to KIDSPACE Brayden

Welcome to KIDSPACE Brayden! Brayden has had a good first week at KIDSPACE. Although he misses his mummy dearly, he has enjoyed exploring the new envrionment and engaging in some activities. Brayden has enjoyed stories on the couch with teachers. He also loved getting his hands in the messy play... he appeared to enjoy the texture and kept going back for more!

We look forward to getting to know Brayden and and his whanau more.


Monday, 13 June 2011

Fun with Slime

Last week I made a large batch of pink slime, and upon pouring it on the messy play table, I watched to see who would be the first to explore this gooey mass, and it happened to be Scarlett.
Initially she approached the table with caution, looking unsure as to what it was.
First she poked the tips of her fingers in to it. After repeating this several times, she then summoned up courage and put her whole hand in. She then took the next step and placed her other hand in as well. What fun.
Once she realised it was nothing to fear, she became really involved, even exploring the taste before spitting it out after discovering that it was made from soap flakes.
It was wonderful to observe the enjoyment she gained from exploring this unfamiliar medium, and I intend to introduce her to some other forms of messy play in the future.
Scarlett is developing the knowledge that trying things out, exploration, and curiosity are important and valued ways of learning, as well as the attitude that not knowing and being uncertain are part of the process of being a good learner. Monica

Friday, 10 June 2011

Welcome Jack

We have a new member to our KIDSPACE whanau, Jack, who has settled in very well. On Jack's very first visit, he showed a real interest in the sandpit digger, scooping up loads of sand and placing it in a large pile. Yesterday, on Jacks first full day, the sandpit is where he chose to play once again, and upon seeing the digger in the shed, requested that I get it out for him.

Well what fun he had, and he spent a very lengthy period engaged in his work.
Jack is already developing a feeling of belonging, and having a right to belong, in the early childhood setting, as well as the knowledge that trying things out, exploration, and curiosity are important and valued ways of learning.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Early literacy skills

To encourage the development of early literacy skills we have placemats that the children use to put their lunch box on at lunch time. Each child personalises their placemat and then their name is written top left with a photo alongside. This is then laminated. When the children get their lunchbox they then identify which is their placemat and sit down. Yesterday, while I was making a placemat with Charlie, Donnagh asked if he could make a new one. He drew a picture then wrote his own name at the top. Donnagh proudly showed me his mahi and identified each letter in his name. Through active exploration Donnagh is developing a concept of letter sound, sense and shape which are pre-requisites for reading and writing.

New teachers at KIDSPACE

Mollie and Libby took the initiative and organised the children for group time yesterday after lunch. This demonstrates that Mollie and Libby feel comfortable with the routines of the centre and are confident taking responsibility for their own learning and care. I was impressed with how respectful the other children were as they listened and supported when required. When I got to the mat Libby told me that they were the teachers and were going to read a book to the children. Libby and Mollie understand that words and pictures convey meaning and can be used to entertain others. Rie helped with reading the words and Libby would point out different things in the pictures. It is great to observe how confident Libby is becoming and how able she is at taking on a leadureship role in the centre.
Rie - June

Friday, 3 June 2011

Making shapes to sound

Today I wanted to explore children's interest to establish sound-sense-shape relationship. I could see many of them (generally those above 3 1/2 years) interested in shaping their names in developing letters. When I thought about writing I remembered physical differences in their hands holding a pencil. I discussed the matter with Irene and suggested Tarquin holding the pencil making a three point grip (which is good). The angle of pencil to the paper is also 45 degrees. Most of the children in the centre are developing this skill through encouragement to write their names. Charlie is developing his skill by holding a crayon in the proper method. I think it would be a good start to transform meaningful sounds into shapes (letters) beginning from children's names. If it prospers well, numeracy will also be shaped on paper. Irene has tested Tarquin, Donnagh and Charlie and shared their interest with us.

May Newsletter

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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Meghan joins our team

It's official! Meghan finishes her practicum this week and next week will switch her home centre practicum to KIDSPACE. She will do 3-5 on Thursdays and 9-5 on Fridays. Tamara will be Meghan's peer support teacher.

Welcome Meghan, I hope you find your time at KIDSPACE enjoyable and rewarding.

Important Blog Links

On the right hand side of the blog page we have added two important links. The first one takes you to the Child Forum's summary of the Government's ECE Taskforce report, An Agenda for Amazing Children, which was released yesterday.

The taskforce have made 65 recommendations, although it remains to be seen how many of these the government will choose to implement. The report clearly recognises the huge impact of high quality early childhood education. There is some information on the KIDSPACE noticeboard about the report and some copies of this mornings Dominion Post article about the benefits to families and society of high quality ECE.

The other new link is to the Fightflu website, Don't let the 'flu get you! This colourful, easy to follow website has lots of useful information on keeping winter chills and ills away.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

We welcome Charlie to KIDSPACE

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Happy Birthday Ann

Fishing Fun in the Sun

Over the time I have been at KIDSPACE I have noticed a growing interest in fishing. Last week Tamara, myself and a small group of children including Emily, Isabella, Mana, Tarquin and Donnagh decided we would go fishing with magnets. The children enjoyed casting their fishing rods made from bamboo and string into the river they had drawn themselves. This great interest is enabling the children to learn about the wider world and how it works.