Saturday, February 15, 2014

Summer - sand + water = Fun, science, engineering and social skills.

What do you get when you add sand + water + enthusiastic learners?  During the  past two weeks the afternoon children have been gravitating towards the sandpit and mostly staying there all afternoon.  Working together in groups to create rivers and pools of mud, wonderful to jump, splash and sometimes even swim in.  Powerful learning takes place while children work in small groups,  finding out how to work together, problem solving through trial and  error, and finding new and different ways to make things work. You might call this “PLAY”, but for children it is very serious work as they go about their business, exploring the properties of sand and water with their whole body, creating waterways to redirect water and learning how to share spaces                                                 with others. Powerful learning indeed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Bug Hotel is open for business

Kaiako had been discussing the interest in bugs and insects and how some centres have containers set up for children to view insects etc inside. Thinking about our garden and the fact we like children to explore the bugs in their natural habitat etc I went searching for an alternative viewing place and came across bug hotels! Google image the words and you will see all types of amazing structures.
I printed off some examples and then a team of children joined me to plan, build and construct Nayland Kindergarten's very first bug hotel
There was a whole community of builders who worked on the house with children helping each other manage the large black pipes and the taking turns at the sawing.

After construction we began to fill the tubes and pipes with things we thought the bugs might like. Thank you Reuben for bringing in the pea straw and other things you thought about. Children found sticks, bark and leave from the kindergarten garden to add.

There was a quick trip to Margie's to gather bricks for the base of the bug house. That was heavy work. Well done guys! Ka pai to mahi.

Have you discovered it yet?  

Angus and Reuben became the leaders of the project and worked on it to the very end, preparing the site, laying the house in place and making a very cool sign. 

 To date we have seen spiders, lady bugs and baby cockroaches.