Sunday, March 13, 2016

A challenge on the Nature Programme

Each Thursday the ten oldest children attend the Nature Programme down to Kiteone reserve. I attended a leadership course at Outward Bound last year which has given me the confidence to challenge children to try new things and to take themselves outside their comfort zone, as this is where the greatest learning takes place. On today's nature programme the children were really wanting to move and were up for a challenge, so once we had crossed the long bridge, I asked them what they would like to do. Go back along the reserve or continue along the beach? We voted and they took up the challenge. I explained to them that as the tide was quite high we had to really stick together as a team and nobody was allowed the water to go past the half way mark on their gumboots. As the tide was going out and with the knowledge I have of the beach, I was confident that we could make it. This adventure helped the children to work as a team, as they negotiated ways to get around bushes, who was going to lead, and ensuring we stuck together as a team for safety. Along the way we were able to make exciting discoveries on the foreshore, identify the different types of seaweed and to stop and experience the sounds of the sea with our eyes closed. This was a truely magnificent experience for the children. Becky

Aria leads the way across the long bridge.
Noah leads the way on the adventure.

Stopping for a well deserved hot chocolate and piece of blueberry cake.

The tide is quite high. Cole sends a Nikau frond
 boat out to sea.

We find an interesting specimen. Could it be whale vomit (Ambergris)? This provided a lot of amazing conversation.
Another find- perhaps a lemon fish?
               Grace leads the team through some
                thick undergrowth.
Nikki crosses the bridge safely and observes the current
moving quickly under the bridge.
Cole collects a variety of seaweed along the way.
Theo identifies the different seaweed we are finding
by using the book he brought.
Russell checks to see if it is his whale we can see in the
 distance, while Elliott checks the depth.

Cole leads the way safely along the ledge.

             Harry tries to catch a fish.

We found a heart leaf for Aria, to say goodbye, as it was her
last day at kindergarten before she goes to school.

Fantastic whānau

We are very fortunate at Manaia kindergarten to have amazing parents and caregivers. As a teaching team we would like to acknowledge the fantastic input parents/caregivers have in our kindergarten. The following pictures are from this term, there are many others. We would like to thank everyone who is part of our amazing community, from those whom volunteer to do projects with the children, those whom attend the weekly nature programme, those that make their children's birthday special by doing an activity with the children, those that pop in for an hour or two to support the teachers while they work with the children and the amazing people whom help clean up at the end of the day. We truly appreciate you all. Thank you.

Whānau is a tree of strength connected from the stars to the earth. With every birth and union a new branch is created. We all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain the same.

There is a huge amount of interest in horses, so to support this and Natalie's last day at kindergarten Mel brought their two miniature horses Teddy and Lassie.
Maya enjoyed her ride around the kindergarten.
Natalie shows great confidence as she shares this experience
with the children at kindergarten.

Theo confidently rides around the kindergarten.
Elliott came into kindergarten especially for  a chance
to ride on the horses and absolutely loved it.

Greta and Tom make a variety of fruit juices with the children.

Cole creates a healthy fruit juice with carrot and orange.

Angela makes fruit kebabs with the children to celebrate Cobie's birthday.

Cobie creates her healthy fruit kebab.

Archie the tiger.
Liz and Jo came in to do some face painting on dress up day
Liz paints a beautiful butterfly on Nikki.
Nikki, Macy and Aria.

Grace chooses a cheek butterfly to compliment
her Elsa dress.
Maya the tropical butterfly.
Elliott paints the background for the ocean mural as Bridget  looks on supporting her.

The children draw and create sea creatures for the mural. Bridget has been coming in each week to work with the children on this project.

Jacb, Jayde and Keir draw sea creatures for the mural

Keir is very proud of the dolphin he makes.

Bridget helps Elliott to sew on some seaweed.

Judy came in to make delicous smoothies with the children.
Arlo, Jayde and Jasmine help Judy make fruit smoothies - watermelon, banana, orange, nectarine.

Jadye, Jasmine and Arlo sample their smoothies. "Tastes yum!" comments Jayde.
"It's cold on your tongue, and is good." comments Jasmine
Noah creates and enjoys his orange juice smoothie.

Cody, Caoimhe and Dulcie work alongside each other creating amazing cardboard sea creatures.

Dulcie works alongside Tilly as they
create cardboard sea creatures.

Cam fixes the trucks with Jacob, Jayde and Cody. The old wheels had worn out, so new wheels are attached to ensure they last longer.
Jayde carefully attaches the washers and then wheels.
Cam, Jayde and Jacob add the finishing touches, some glue to ensure the trucks wheels stay where they are and are stronger.

Guthrie helps the Robbie, Acacia and Cody transfer the rain water.

Russell gets some assistance to put up the new coat hooks.

Stacey helps the children to create with their imagination.
                                             Ka pai tō mahi whānau - great work families.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Acting out the whale story Part 1


Here is one of the many dramatizations the children participated in after viewing the Whale rescue video in 'The Ocean Around Us' post below. Aria takes the part of the baby whale, Maya and Holly are the fishermen, and Macy and Grace are the whale watchers. Many other children took turns trying out the different roles.

"Children possess a hundred languages, a hundred ways of thinking, of expressing themselves, of understanding .The hundred languages are a metaphor for the extraordinary potential of children, their knowledge building and creative processes, the myriad of forms with which life is manifested and life constructed"
Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Acting out the whale story Part 2


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Ocean around us - Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

Since the beginning of term children have been sharing their stories and creating representations of their understanding and experience of the sea. This post will illustrate some of this learning as it develops.   (Posted by Anne)

Becky created a provocation on the light table with some blue cellophane, seaweed, shells, driftwood, netting and plastic whales.
The children used this space in different ways over the morning. Here Grace and Florrie make use of the lower shelf of the light table to  include 'the deep sea' in their play.




  A Story about Orca          By Elliott and Grace

  Elliott used her storytelling skills to create an orca adventure  for video. Grace took up her idea and was joining in with her whale as the video finished.  In Grace's story her orca did get free of the net and the two whales continued to swim around the ocean together, finding food.

A Find on the Nature Programme  25/2/16

Coincidentally, a few days later, on the nature programme, Nikki found some pieces of nylon net lying on the beach. Speculating on what might have caused the net to be there Nikki said, "I think a seal might have been trapped in it. But he's gone out of it now. Maybe some hunters put him in there. I've seen (pictures of )them many years ago being trapped." When asked if they were still trapped these days she said she thought so. "What do they do that for?" I asked. "Just to be mean to them," Nikki said. Nikki thought we should take the net off the beach. "Because we don't leave rubbish on the beach," she asserted. Other children joined in the discussion, talking about other sea creatures that could get caught in nets - birds, dolphins, sharks. Theo mentioned that a person could trip on it because it was hard to see on the beach and Macy, Aria and Grace all worried that horses could get their hoofs caught in it. All the tamariki agreed that the net should be kept out of the water and off the beach. So Nikki packed it into her bag and took it back to the kindergarten.

The Whale Rescue Video 26/2/16 
Back at the kindergarten, as we teachers discussed our day, the story of the finding of the net sparked a connection for Sally. She had recently found a fascinating whale rescue video and shared it with friends on Facebook. We made a plan to share it with the children at kindergarten the next day.  Throughout the day, children viewed it, showed it to their friends and family, and discussed it.
As we gathered on the mat before lunch I did a guided storytelling with the children. They took the roles of baby whale trapped in the net, fishermen setting the net to catch fish to eat, and sightseers finding the trapped whale and setting it free. The role of trapped baby whale was especially popular so we had to agree to continue the game later so more children could experience it. We also provided plastic sea creatures and pieces of net in the water trough for the children to play out the entrapment and rescue. This too, was a very popular activity. As the day finished,  the children were planning to play more of these games when they came back to kindergarten after the weekend.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Conversations about Weta

(Posted by Anne)

Keir, Grace and Bo discuss the weta they found and what they notice about them.

 Bo, Grace and Keir continue their discussion.