Prep Friendships 2015
Welcome back to Term 3 at White Hills PS. This has been a very busy term learning about Indigenous Culture and Australian Animals. We have been working very hard on our school production where we are dressing up as “nice” sea creatures and performing in the production with the remainder of the students in our school. We have begun attending Jets Gym which we love and some of us have enjoyed riding on a bus for the first time! We gained a lot of information during a visit by Wildlife Experts bringing in Australian Animals such as kangaroos, kookaburras, snakes, frogs, possums, lizards and bats (which we could not touch!) We even had a singing performance from Cackles the Kookaburra who kept us entertained for quite some time! We sang, danced and laughed when the Music is Fun Band came to our school and enjoyed a visit by The Blurbs during Book Week. We learnt about safety around dogs with a visit from a lady and her dog, Panda, from the Responsible Pets Program. We look forward to attending the Alpha Productions show of Beauty and the Beast which occurs at the end of term. We have been very fortunate to have some great adventures and see some amazing sights this term.
We have almost perfected our quiet reading in the morning and come into school ready to start our day, knowing our routines and building stamina with the work we do. We have built an ever-increasing bank of words we can recognise which makes reading easier, with some of us reading books that we never thought we could. We are far more confident and willing to attempt tasks and enjoy the learning along the way. Whoever thought that we would be reading books with two and three sentences on each page!
We are putting together 2 very special books of our writing about Australian Animals & Indigenous Culture to place into our Learning Portfolios at the end of term. We want to show our parents how far we have come with our writing and computer skills and drawing abilities. We are working hard at perfecting our hand writing each day and work independently to achieve our goals we set for the semester.
In maths we are focusing on numbers 1 to 20 and learning about ordinal number and more difficult 2 dimensional shapes and some 3 dimensional solids. We are participating in more hands-on experiences where we build our understandings of number. We have begun forming graphs on the data we collect and learning to represent our data in different ways, through pictorial and bar graphs, etc. There is so much more to maths than just counting 1 to 10!
Check out our photos from School Production and also our wildlife animal pictures! You’ll be amazed at all the exciting adventures we have had.
Welcome back to Term 2 at White Hills PS. We have begun this term remembering and discussing the reason for Anzac Day. As a whole school the Prep students participated in an afternoon of remembrance and got to make their own poppies and a wreath to share with the service.
We continue to focus on good reading patterns and building students’ stamina with reading. We are continuing to learn and develop different strategies to help us stretch out the sounds we hear in words and then blend them back together again. It’s very important that students are reading nightly to support their learning during the day and this increases not only their stamina in reading but their confidence level as well.
We are writing on a daily basis, improving our handwriting skills and learning about the different purposes of writing. For example:
Phonics & Spelling: how to use our phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words.
Handwriting: how to use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
Language: Extend our vocabulary, exploring the meaning and sounds of new words. Such as “once upon a time”; “on the weekend I” & ‘today we” etc.
Purpose: attempt writing for different purposes, using features of different forms such as lists, stories, instructions, letters, retell of stories etc.
Helping your child with writing at home will also help them to form letters correctly and understand the different purposes of writing. Write a letter to Nan or Pa or write about their reader they take home for example.
In maths, we are focusing on numbers 0 to 10 through different activities such as games, computers, writing & hands-on activities where children get to explore and represent numbers in a variety of ways. We continue to explore shapes, measurement and volume & capacity in different learning environments.
We have begun our Perceptual Motor Program on a Monday afternoon where our Prep students are participating in a range of activities focusing on hand & eye coordination and body movement.
Our integrated unit this term is about Toys from the Past. It has been fun so far looking at toys our grandparents used to play with and compare these to what students are playing with now. We look forward to sharing some of these toys with each other when grandparents come and spend the morning with us soon.
Grandparents Day is approaching on the 22nd May, where our classrooms are open to share and learn with our grandparents and special visitors. We will be sharing a lot of fun activities and look forward to sharing our photo display with you!
Education Week begins Monday, 18th May through to the 22nd May 2015. Our classrooms are open on Tuesday, 19th May and we would love for you to come see the amazing things we can now do!
Our prep children are working very hard at the moment in establishing good reading patterns. We are working on building their stamina in reading whilst employing strategies with them to help them sound out words, look at the pictures in the story and think about what might be happening. We are working heavily on the letters of the alphabet and the sounds that the letters make. You can discuss with your child the reader that they bring home each night, by sharing comments about the cover of the book, the pages and what the pictures might mean; pointing to the words as they read along, enjoying reading time with your child as time together to relax and share after a hectic day. It’s important that reading is an enjoyable time for the children, so they see reading as a fun activity and not a daily chore.
Even though your child is beginning to read they still need to have the enjoyment of being read to by mum , dad and grandparents nightly with the experience of a weekly visit to the library.
‘Few children learn to love books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word; someone has to show them the way’ (Prescott, cited in Trelease, 1984, pg. 48.) Trelease, J 1984. The Read Aloud Handbook, Penguin.
Building Friendships At School
Our preps have worked hard at building friendships in this Term and are learning about being a good friend. In following the principles of the You Can Do It program, getting along has been a huge focus . We have discussed with children what makes a good friend and have worked with them in putting together classroom rules that helps them to achieve healthy friendships that include respect, caring, sharing, listening and keeping our hands to ourselves, which are also the main focuses in our classroom rules.
The You Can Do It program was developed in Australia, at the University of Melbourne, by American psychologist, Professor Michael Bernard, it has been used extensively in the US, the UK, and across Australia, including many schools in and around the Victorian region.
It is a program with the goal of fostering the social and emotional development of children, assisting them to develop to their full potential. Within a common theme of developing RESILIENCE, the program focuses on the five key foundations of CONFIDENCE, PERSISTENCE, ORGANISATION, GETTING ALONG and EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE. Positive Habits of the Mind provide the "nuts and bolts‟ that support these foundations. A program such as this becomes all the more successful when it is embraced by as many as possible in the student's world.
Kooka, Pancake making & Pirate Day
The students enjoyed having Kooka come to the school and shared in the opportunity of having their photo in the Bendigo Advertiser. It was a fun day that also inspired some great drawings and simple sentences put together by some of the Prep children. It is simple fun activities like this that engage and inspire students to draw, write and discuss the events of the day, which becomes a truly authentic learning experience for our prep children.
This term we have been focusing on the numbers to 5, shapes, patterns and spatial awareness in respect to direction, movement, volume, length relating these experiences to the children’s interests. We have a lot of hands on experiences, making, modelling, story- telling and games were children can transfer their knowledge and perceptions in mathematical concepts. Our Michael Ymer program is the driving force of our maths program providing authentic learning experiences for our children.
Our perceptual motor program works to develop our students physical motor skills that provide the foundations necessary for success in their early school years. Our PMP program aims to develop your child’s perceptions and understandings of himself/herself in relation to her/his world, through movement/motor experiences. During this time the children are having a great deal of fun, time away from their classroom in order to improve their coordination skills and fine motor skills. Students learn through explicit instruction before engaging in the physical activity and therefore must carry out the instructions given.
"Before he can learn that “p” is down and “b” is up, he must learn when he is down and when he is up. Directionality must become a part of the body scheme before any child can have a real appreciation of the directionality of letters, numbers and words.” Capon, J. (1975). Perceptual motor development. Belmont.