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


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The diggers arrive at Manaia

It was with much excitement and delight the tamariki watched on as the team from Manaia Excavators came to replace our old rubbing safety matting.
This was a great example of authentic learning in a real context. As the tamariki watched on their minds were ignighted with thoughts and questions. With clipboards in hand they documented their observations.
Jasmine watches the diggers at work

Arlo shows Liam what its going to look like

"It's going to take all day" Harry
"The dump truck is coming"James

"The bucket is going under the concrete'Unai"No under the stones"
"The stones are under the ground" Ciara
"Another thing concrete is under the stones" Liam
"They're helping each other"Harry
"When are they going to be finished" Dunixi
"They're going to work all night" Florrie

"Have a look at what it's going to look like"Florrie states

"How are they going to fix the holes" Lucy"When I come to kindy next it's going to look different"

Lots of the tamariki were inspired to draw on the clipboard while watching the diggers at work

Showing a picture to Robyn Harry states"This picture is like the one Becky's at ,it was tidy" Harry describes visiting teacher Becky who is teaching at Forest View Kindergarten this term. Harry has been to visit Becky with his Mum and liked the bark in their playground. The photo the children are looking at is of Forest View Kindergarten's playground.

"Dunixi draws a treasure map for a hide out under the bark"

"There's the digger scooping up and the two people sitting on the blue carpet(where the children watch from)"Liam

Sophie describes her drawing" This is the digger and the man getting all of the mat because it's got holes in it""These circles are the mats"Sophie

Sam fully focussed drawing the bark as it is delivered

Watching the new drainage coil going in.

While Liam creates a safety sign Lily's imagination is sparked. "It's a rabbit that's scared because the monster wants to eat the rabbit. Sometimes monsters like to eat rabbits"Lily states

Liam's saftey sign "No camping, no playing, no children because the digger and the truck are worrking to get the rocks and the dirt out. Stop!. Do not go in those rocks because the builders are there. When they stop we can get there"

"putting in the bark"James

Archie's digger

Testing out the new bark safety surface.
"Its like warmy" Sophie
"It feels lovely" Harry
"Tickling my feet"Lily
"It is real smooth and you can bounce on it" Ruben
"Comfy like a pillow" Jasmine
"Too squsihy, it's smelly!" Arlo I
"Really, really squishy" George
"It feels really soft and cuddly" Cobie
"It feels a little bit ....actually it's bark!""It's more bouncy" Ciara
"It's good for digging holes in because it's soft"Shae
"Squsihy like a blanket" Riley
"It's so qusihy, we can dig holes and bury ourselves up" Liam
"It's so soft" Caiomhe
"It's like a bed" Acacia

Thanks you to Jeff Andrew from Atomic Furniture for our beautiful new gate leading to our enticing new natural playground. Let the play begin! Sally