Children Are Helpers

During term time our room can get a little messy with so many toys coming in and out for us to play with.

Before we went on holidays for Easter we talked to the children about having a tidy up of our toys at the centre.  All of the children need to learn they they are responsible for helping to keep our toys clean and in the correct place.

First we cleaned up outside.  The children layed out all of the sand pit toys onto the lawn for Mrs Grant to hose.  Mrs Gayle pull all the toys out of the shed and swept.  Chelsea, Jayda and Isabel helped Mrs Grant wash the gym mats.  We all collected the rocks that had made their way around the area through out the term and put them back in the dry creek bed.  In the holidays the families are coming to put another coat of oil onto our cubby/fort.

Inside we cleaned up the home corner and put things neatly back into their containers and we restacked all of the indoor blocks onto the trolleys.

Our Pre School will be easy to clean in the holidays and we will have a tidy centre to learn in again next term.  We all appreciate a clean centre far more if we have a role in keeping it clean.

We also help cut up the fruit for Morning Tea, put the hand towels on the hooks, water the plants, tidy the mats and switch off the lights when we go out.  We are a Community of helpers at our Pre School.

Easter Fun

We love Easter at Pre School in Manangatang.  It is one of those rare weeks where ‘sometimes food’ is allowed to be consumed.  This week we made Bunny Bag Puppets from a pattern and example that Anders and his Mum made at home and Easter Baskets to put out for Easter Bunny.  We put shrinky wraps around boiled eggs and we ate boiled eggs for Morning Tea.

We went to the town park for a sausage sizzle and a play.  Mrs Grant laminated pictures of eggs and we had fun hiding and finding them for each other.  Easter is a yummy celebration.


Tay got some new hens and roosters this Term.  One rooster is called “Tay” and one hen is called “Cheyenne” (after Tay’s Pre School friend!)  We have been saving our food scraps for Tay to take home to his chooks each day.  They have grown quite plump!  This week Tay brought in two eggs that his hens have laid for Morning Meeting.  Today we went for a walk to Tay’s house and we took our food scraps with us to feed to them.  We are learning that rather than throw scraps out, we can feed them to chooks and then they will lay us eggs.  The recycling message can be practiced at any age.

Puppet Show

Today Tay brought some very special puppets in to share for Morning Meeting.  They were finger puppets hand knitted by his Great-Great-Grandma.  They were very old and special.  We talked about playing with these puppets with respect and treating them with care.  To have a puppet show we needed a puppet theatre.  We found a large voting booth box and set about turning it into a theatre.  Mrs Gayle and Mrs Grant put on a puppet show for us to model how it was done.   This was a good time to reinforce our ‘audience manners’.  We can laugh and smile and clap and listen but it is not respectful to talk during a performance.   We worked in pairs and presented our own puppet shows to the group.  This is great to develop our imagination and communication skills.  Next we will try to retell some popular Fairy Tales and Traditional Stories.

Writing a Song

Today Chelsea wanted to write a song.  She asked teachers how she would write a song.  Teachers said “We have never written a song before.  How do you think it would look?”  At this stage we were unsure whether she meant the ‘words’ or the ‘music’.  It turns out that she wanted to write the music.  Chelsea said she thought it would look like dots and she started drawing.  She wasn’t entirely happy with what she had done (but we could recognise that she was writing musical notes) and turned the page to have another go.  I gave her a example of sheet music and then she started again.  Isabel joined her at the table at this stage and they worked side by side.  Our challenge as teachers is to take this song and transfer it to instruments with Chelsea.


Today we all got our instruments out and the children who wrote the songs got to lead our playing by being conductors.  We talked about where we go when we get to the end of the line and how reading music is like reading a story.


Symmetrical Towers

Hailee built a tower with the indoor wooden blocks yesterday.  The structure of the tower was complex and it was symmetrical.  I talked to Hailee about her tower and explained that symmetrical meant that if you cut it down the middle the tower is the same on both sides.  In reflection time Hailee and I explained this to the other children.  We left the tower over night with our ‘Don’t Touch’ sign up.  At morning meeting today I challenged the other children to have a go at making a symmetrical tower.  We discussed who they could go to for help if they got stuck.  They all said, “Hailee!”  When Lachlan asked Hailee for help, the tower wasn’t turning out the same design as Hailee’s.  She was worried about this and spoke to me.  I said, “But look it is still symmetrical!”  Hailee went on to redesign another symmetrical tower for herself.  It was more complex than the last one.  Stay tuned because I hope this activity will inspire some other children to have a go.

Mrs Grant printed off some pictures of famous symmetrical towers and buildings from around the world to stimulate our building today.  Some of us recognised the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  We have had family members visit it.  Helping children make connections with their experiences and new learning is a powerful learning strategy.  Children who have had some experience with the Eiffel Tower will connect this to their learning about symmetry and further develop their knowledge of the tower and Paris.  For children where this knowledge is new, the next time they hear someting about the Eiffel Tower they will be able to connect this to our learning at Pre School.  And so we build our complex knowledge of the world around us.  Today we used a variety of materials to construct towers.  Some children choose pictures and teachers worked with them to construct their towers.  The popular towers were “The Leaning Tower of Pisa” and “The Eiffel Tower”.

This week Hailee and Cheyenne made symmetrical pictures with the shape boards and Hailee drew a symmetrical monster.  We can see symmetry coming out in all areas of our learning at Pre School.



Flying Dentist

We have all heard of the Flying Doctor, but today we had the Flying Dentist visit our Pre School!    The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDSV) developed the Mobile Dental Care Program (MDCP) in partnership with Dental Health Services Victoria and the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch.  The MDCP was launched in August 2012 and is being piloted in the Northern Mallee Region Victoria.  Michael and Jess came to talk to us about how to keep our teeth clean and healthy foods to eat.  They used a big plastic mouth to show us how to brush properly and then we got a new toothbrush and toothpaste to each have a go at cleaning our teeth.  When our carers came to pick us up from Pre school we took turns in sitting on the chair and having our teeth checked.