Sunday, June 18, 2017

Scientific theory

30th May, 2017
At Manaia we love to question and theorise with our tamariki. This term we have had a number of children interested in creating scientific experiments to test out their theories. Jiajia and Acacia started off a table of experiments. Acacia was convinced that if she placed a crayon in water and left it to soak it would turn into lipstick. The following day when checking her experiment Acacia confidently picked out her crayon and said "see it has turned into lipstick". What great determination and conviction.
Jiajia was keen to see if she soaked her cardboard box in water whether it would turn back into paper pulp. Over the following week Jiajia reguraly observed her experiment delighted to see that the box was breaking down and that she could then add the soaked paper to a paper pulp mix we were soaking to make paper.
Harry and Victor had also shown an interest in experimenting and choose to see if they could change the colour of water by grating chalk and leaving it to soak. The following day when I asked them if their experiment had worked, they walked over to the table and checked."Yeah!" and carried on back outside to play in the sandpit. Although their interest seemed to stop here, they both engaged a number of other children in their experiment, with further chalk experiments following.

Supporting the children's interest Brocks Mum brought in this beautiful orchid and suggested the children might like to experiment using some dye. Daisy, Gemma and Poppy used droppers to add blue dye to the water.

Victor, Jackson and Brock observe and theorise how the orchid is changing while having their kai.

Jiajia talks about her paper pulp experiment with friends Naia and June. Later Naia creates an experiment with friend Anna.
"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference"-Aristotle

Developing these questioning and theorising techniques allows science to be an authentic part of the children's learning. From observing solids turn to liquids when baking, to seeing how sand is easier to mould when water is added. The end result is often not so important to them, more importantly the ability and value we show our tamariki when we firstly take time to listen to their question. Sally

Link to Te Whariki: Through exploration children develop an understanding that trying things out, exploring, playing with ideas and materials and collaborating with others are important and valued ways of learning.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Being Kaitiaki

As part of celebrating Seaweek and in support of the maori principle of kaitiakitanga-being good nature guardians, all our kindergarten tamariki headed down to the Kiteone Road Reserve for the morning.
Our nature programme children were keen to share their knowledge telling the other children how to keep themselves safe down at the beach and sharing the types of fun activities they could choose to do.
On our walk down to the beach several children looked for our special maunga Mount Manaia in the distance, but it was hidden in cloud. Mt Manaia is the special maunga we have written a waiata about.
Once we reached the beach the children spread out and enjoyed a variety of explorations alongside enthusiastic whanau.
Some children chose to create sand sculptures, others hunted for crabs in the mud, or fished off the bridge.
Our kinesthetic explorers explored the mud, jumping, running and splashing and some even chose to use the mud as an art medium painting the mangrove tree trunks!
For morning tea we enjoyed a hot chocolate and home baked biscuits that the tamariki had prepared the day before.
After an action packed morning we headed back up the hill to kindergarten.
It was a great morning of fun exploration in nature learning alongside our kindergarten community and made possible by our fantastic whanau support.Sally

Enjoying the freedom and pure exhilaration of running down the hill

The tamariki vote whether to go to the beach or reserve

Painting the mangroves, great tactile exploration 
Meaningful literacy in action 

Discovering tiny sea creatures to care for 
Enjoying morning tea

 Cause and effect!

Toitū te marae a Tāne
Toitū te marae a Tangaroa
Toitū te iwi
If the world of Tāne (all living things on land) endures
If the marae of Tangaroa (the lakes, rivers and sea) endures
The people endure

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tai, Riley and Shae Jammin'

Shae, Riley and Tai each chose a few instruments to try out.  At first their playing was quite individual but increasingly they picked up on each others' beats and rhythm, jamming and creating their group sound. Keep an eye out for them at a Smokefree Rockquest in the future.
I hope this is the part of the video you wanted to see on the blog, Shae, Riley and Tai. I hope it has your favourite bits in it.
Posted by Anne

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Magic of Felting - Transformations

Young children learn through experiences that shape their neural development, experiences that activate their senses and build connections with, and extend, knowledge they already have. These experiences – with people, places and things – are part of the experiential curriculum we provide at our kindergarten. ‘The Magic of Felting - Transformations’ is an example of this.

At Manaia Kindergarten we often comment on how lucky we are, to be located in the vibrant community of Whangarei Heads, where the yearly Easter Art Trail is testament to the many artists and artisans who inhabit our lovely peninsula.

Recently one of our local fibre artists, Tricia Culina, generously offered to spend some time with us at the kindergarten, teaching us about ways wool can be transformed.

Haeley with her friend Natalie's lamb.
Many of our children are familiar with sheep – they are a common sight in paddocks around the community.  A year or two back, Holly’s dad arrived at the kindergarten with some sheep and his shearing gear, and gave a shearing demonstration (Blogpost Nov. 2013). We still have some of the wool from that time.
On her first day with us, Tricia guided the children in using the drum carder, and hand carders, to transform the tangled pieces of fleece into soft and fluffy wool. The tamariki needed to listen carefully to Tricia’s instructions for using the drum carder, to keep their fingers safe during the process and to know when and how hard to turn the handle. 

The hand carders required skills too:  laying the fleece in the right direction and pulling the paddles in opposite directions to comb the fleece out. The children crowded around the table, waiting for their turn. They delighted in the softness and lightness they were able to achieve with this process of carding wool, holding it against their faces and smelling the ‘sheepiness’ of it.

On her next visit Tricia brought some dyed, carded wool and taught children and teachers how to make a ‘geode’, a felted multi-coloured ball. Around a central ball of wool, the children layered their choice of colours, until they had a soft fist sized ball.
With Tricia’s help they poured hot soapy water over the ball, and then gently squeezed and squashed the ball, around and around.

As they worked the ball, they could see it getting smaller and feel it getting firmer. Tricia explained how the fibres were shrinking and becoming matted together. It required perseverance for the tamariki to reach their goal, a firm ball half the size it had started from. But there was an exciting moment waiting at the end of all that mahi.  When their ball was ready, the children watched with anticipation as Tricia used the big scissors to cut it cleanly in half. Eyes sparkled and smiles widened as the beauty of their work was revealed – every one different but every one a delight to its maker and others watching. 

We would have loved to keep those beautiful geodes at the kindergarten for all to enjoy but the children’s attachment to them was too strong.  They insisted on taking them home to show their whanau that very day - and what better reflection on their learning than to share with their families all they had found out about the magic of felting.

Many thanks to Tricia for all her time, her gentle guidance and the sharing of her expertise. We look forward to our next opportunity to learn about transforming wool with her. 

Posted by Anne  22nd November 2016