Friday, September 16, 2011

A visit to Nayland primary playground

This morning while half of the kindergarten were away on an excursion, the rest of us took the opportunity to visit the Nayland primary school playground. For some children this was their first visit to school and for others it was one of many opportunities they have had to become familiar with the school environment. The school play equipment offers new challenges for our children and I love to see their eagerness to give it all a go. Today we were joined by some of the junior school who had been on an excursion and returned for a late morning tea and play before heading back to the classroom.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Broadgreen students Creating challenges

We value our proximity to Broadgreen Intermediate and the opportunites our children have to be part of the older students learning. Today the Broadgreen students task was to create challenge courses appropriate for our 4 year olds.
What a great job they did. Jumping in a sack into hoops, tossing dice into a bucket, weaving through cones, jumping hurdles, crawling through tunnels and running under the parachute. It was an opportunity for our children to show off their skills. Challenges like these are important for developing listening, co operative skills, the ability to follow instructions and work as a team. The continued development of agility, coordination, body and spatial awareness, creating pathways in the brain is important for learning.

It was very special for some of our children to have their older sisters and brothers leading the session.
Lucky us we have one more session with the Intermediate students before the end of the term.

We visit Nayland Dental Clinic.

This week the Kakapo and Penguin groups went for a visit to the new dental clinic at Nayland Primary.We were given a tour by Helen and Glenys , two of the dental nurses who are based there. All children in the Stoke/Tahunanui area will come here for dental check ups and dental care.We were able to see the examination rooms , some people got to sit in the chair as well. The dental nurses talked to us about the importance of brushing your teeth every day , two times a day.They encouraged us to brush our teeth, tongue and gums too. Each child was given a tooth timer to use to help them remember to stay brushing for two minutes each time.These have been a big hit and I have heard that some children have enjoyed using their timers so much they have brushed their teeth several times a day since Tuesday. Kapai.The new clinic looks fantastic and the staff were friendly and welcoming.The children came back full of their adventure and readily shared their experience with their friends at kindergarten and with whanau.

A request that we as teachers often hear is "Can we do face painting?"Sometimes as adult will be the painter but invariably children will take over the task themselves. I love being the observer on these occasions listening to the conversations, watching the concentration on their faces as children look into the mirror, plan their work and begin to create. Sometimes they choose to paint themselves and other times negotiate with a friend to paint each other.The buzz of a group of busy creators is inspiring, and so I grabbed a few shots for you to enjoy as well.
Exploration and curiosity are valuable and very important tools for learning . By being given the opportunity to paint their own faces children continue to learn about themselves as a capable, confident explorers and learners, who are able to ask questions and make interesting discoveries. When children are given the tools and materials for the job and the freedom to make their own choices and decisions , they will also be developing the skills of problem solving. Having the freedom to play with materials with no fixed outcome in mind also helps them discover that learning is a creative and enjoyable experience.
Here at Nayland Kindergarten this is the type of learning we value and promote. We want children to be free to explore, to learn at their own pace and build the idea in their heads of themselves as capable and confident explorers and learners. Our job is to make sure the tools are available for them to use, the environment is set up for them to explore safely and that we as teacher are co - explorers with them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sandpit Fun

With the warmer spring weather the sandpit is proving to be a popular place with both the morning and afternoon children as they have fun with mixing water and sand and exploring the properties of both these substances. Children are busy making cakes, soups and other wonderful concoctions, digging holes and ditches and creating rivers, lakes and what ever else captures their imaginations. And this afternoon was no exception and the sandpit was again a hive of industry. A large group of expectant children helped me to create a volcano and the excitement when the blue lava flowed was ear shattering!

Then there was also the group of children who got busy digging holes and ditches to make a "water volcano", as one little guy explained to me. It was great to see the cooperation between these children as they all worked together, and I had no doubt that no adult help was required when I got told, "This is very dirty work for adults but it's okay for kids".