Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hard to believe another year of life, love, learning and laughter at Nayland Kindergarten has come to an end.For me it has been a fantastic year, one of challenge, inspiration, new learning and much laughter.
Thank you to you all, children , parents, families and my fellow teachers for a wonderful year, I have loved it all, and thank you for your friendship and support. I wish you all a safe and restful holiday break .
Just recently I read a great quote from a website "" which said" Children on average laugh 200 times a day. Adults laugh 15 - 18 times a day.Having a child gives you the chance to make up a pretty big humour deficit" .
Food for thought indeed.Take time to relax and enjoy your family. Remember to Laugh often.
I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou (Warm greetings to you all)
Kaiako Mary.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Metacognition in action

Be as amazed as I was today as Levi constructed a geometrically balanced sky tower.
Levi has been starting his day in the block corner for 3 terms now, and each an every day he brings new thinking and new designs to which he applies his growing knowledge and skills base.
Levi and I had been discussing why his recent buildings were toppling over, and how he could make his foundations more stable. (As there has been alot of talk about earthquakes ). He responded quickly with a fresh idea to strengthen his base by multiplying his blocks, and this soon led to new thinking about the height he could possibly build to. He started with a 1 block base, then 2, then 3 then 4, testing its strength and shake ability each step of the way.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say - Check this out.

 Levi's first goal was to make it higher than me  - all of my 1.55 metres.  
It soon surpassed me and he needed another chair to reach higher.
He measured everyone against it as they  passed by.

Levi then dismantled the top part of his tower and remodelled it with much larger blocks.  The care, precision and design were without fault.  He ensured it was strong by testing each level with a shake test, and the larger blocks were placed across ways to balance the structure.

Levi allowed me the privilege of putting the block on the top, with the help of the two chairs stacked on top of each other.

Levi and I have looked at many of the tallest buildings in the world, but this time Levi, the Burj Kahlifa comes to mind.

I wonder if you will be a structural engineer one day or maybe an architect or builder?

Simply the best

Just a little Christmas cheer for our wonderful story gran Jenny. She is the ultimate story gran turning her hand not just to reading books, but to dancing, face painting, artwork, dramatic play and mat time mahem. 
There are not enough thank you's in the world Jenny to tell you how much we really appreciate everything you do for the children at Nayland Kindergarten.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The wonderment of numbers

At 11 minutes past 11 oclock on the 11th day of the 11th month in the 11th year of 2000 Nayland Kindergarten celebrated the wonderment of numbers.

Our varied understanding of the importance of this day was celebrated by the children and teachers as they counted the seconds backwards from 20 to 0 to that moment when the number aligned.

I wonder what the children will think in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years time when they look back on this moment as they celebrate other important dates in their lives.

Signing off but not out!

Yes it is official my badge now says I am a teacher, not the Head Teacher, as Margie and I have exchanged roles.  I have had an amazing journey over the last 8+ years as Head Teacher at Nayland Kindergarten, and can genuinely say that I have loved every minute of it.

I delight in seeing ex Nayland Kindergarten children and families in the street, in their places of work and popping back into say hi.  Just the other day a young man called out over the kindergarten fence to say hi, and as I stood there looking up at him (all of 6 foot) it reminded me of the many families and children who have been a part of this place during my time. 

I would very much like to thank my work colleagues, Kindergarten Association, children, families, local schools and the wider community for the many opportunities, experiences and fun times.
The best bit is, that I get to stay in "the best job in the world" and continue to be a teacher at Nayland Kindergarten.

Thanks to Philippa for my new photo, she has certainly captured me at play, after all who would not want to play everyday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The wharenui is near completion

The walls are on, thanks to Tala and a number of children who helped bang in the tag nails to hold on the bamboo cladding. It is now time for the roof and the placement of the kowhaiwhai panels to be completed and we will have our new permanent wharenui (meeting house).
The children have been learning their waiata to be ready for the powhiri and also several children have begun learning the karanga to call our visitors onto our marae.

Lucy has made a sign reminding the children of the tikanga of the wharenui which are no shoes, no water and no food. At our place it also means no sand or mud.


The wharenui signifies a greater journey for the tamariki and kaiako of Nayland Kindergarten as we strengthen our te reo through the daily recital of our mihimihi and srengthen our use of te reo throughout our day. What a journey and what a celebration. Watch this space to see the wharenui completed and the powhiri which we will share with our community including Nayland Primary, especially past tamariki and their whanau and Akomanga wha - Room 4 and Kaiako Nicky Mason for all their teaching and support of our journey.

Check out earlier posts on this blog about our first wharenui and is you would like to learn more te reo and tikanga around this event and in everyday practice.

Lines LInes Lines

Kaiako Sue Matthews has ignited an interest with children and teachers in lines and spider webs after watching the amazing video " Our Creative Children."  The children have been experimenting and creating with string, wool, sticks, paint and beads. The art work is stunning and in many different forms.

Take a look at the movie below and see the provocation for some of our  art work over the past three weeks.

Dancing with the stars

We love to dance and dance at Nayland Kindergarten whether it be inside or out. Lady Gaga is a favourite and she is often choosen by both the boys and girls.  Of late we have created a stage in the blue room where we have audiences to show our techniques and artistic abilities to. So if you have a spare few minutes come and have a boogie with us. 

Music and dance are core elements of our curriculum and fit within the teaching teamʼs belief in the importance of creativity in childrenʼs learning and development. Musical research tells us that movement is important for brain development and visual ability. Research also tells us that children who are capable movers become confident people. Children’s ability to move their bodies and manipulate it are essential skills in learning about direction and spacial awareness. These are critical skills that are then transferred to the learning of symbols such as letters and their formation. Children need to have control of their torso, shoulders and arms before they master the ability to control finger movement.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sam's rugby boots

A Nelson author and friend to a number of our kindergarten families came to kindergarten to share her book, Sam's rugby boots.

Kirsten Taylor read to the children whilst they had lunch and they were captivated by the story of Sam wanting to play rugby and the dilemma of having to have the finest of gear.

It is a very well written story and Kirsten was generous in leaving us a signed copy to continue to share with the children and bookmarks which have her website on it. Click the link below to find out more about the story and Kirsten.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Afternoon children visit the gym.

As if the bus ride into town was not exciting enough by itself, the children had a great time exploring and challenging themselves on the equipment at the Nelson Intermediate Gym.

 The foam pit of course is a great hit with children jumping from the trampoline or off higher platforms!

The rope swing and the rings also proved to a challenge many children had a go on.

The children have a variety of physical challenges within the playground at kindergarten and this is supported and enhanced by visiting the gym where different equipment, challenges and risks are available to the children.  Often the gym sessions are not available to the afternoon group due to the gyms timetable so we were veyr pleased to be able to visit this term. The teachers were very impressed at the way children challenged themselves and managed themselves in a new environment and with many different adults.                 Ka pai tamariki.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to protect our ears

Today we had a visit from Bridgette from the Hearing Association. Bridgette showed us how loud noises damage the hairs inside our ears and how these can never be repaired.

The best advice was for children to wear ear muffs when attending events such as stock cars and concerts. Where there are no ear muffs and the children are unable to control the noise they were advised to walk away.
We have heard and seen the children put this into practice by saying " I am going to walk away, this is too loud."

The hairs in our ears stand up and wave around to the noise but when it is too loud they are squashed down and do not stand up again. The children were given pipe cleaners to use to imitate this process. Did you know that your ears can only handle loud ipod music through headphones for 15 minutes before you damage your hearing

The children then placed different sounds - represented by weighted boxes onto a sound metre to see how damaging they are to your hearing. Did you know a squealing pig is no good for our hearing!

Have you noticed the traffic light sound box on our kindergarten wall? Teachers purchased this to help children learn to self manage the noise they and others are making and to become aware of the effects it has on others.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It is official - We have changed roles permanently

As of the beginning of term four I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed Head Teacher and Lynne has been appointed as Teacher for Nayland Kindergarten.  There maybe little  noticeable change as we have been acting in these roles for the past two terms however it is now a permanent thing. I look forward to leading the Nayland team to continue to provide an exciting education for your children embracing and working alongside you and your whanau.

Lynne has been an inspirational head teacher who has taken the team, the children and the community on an amazing transformation over the past eight years and we are so lucky that she remains at Nayland to continue on this path.
Lynne on behalf of the children, their whanau, our community, teachers past and present especially myself congratulate you in your decision to change roles and thank you for all the support and inspiration you haven given and continue to give us.

"The task of the leader is to get people from where they are to where they have not been."         — Henry Kissinger   

 I think this quote sums up the amazing journey we have been on and will continue to build upon.
Fa'afetai Lava ( Thank you very much) Lynne from us all.