Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Discovery TIme

 After having our parent help in the class our discovery time included thank you letter writing, playing doctor and much more. 

A group of children decided they wanted to write thank you notes to our parent help.  We looked at how letters are usually started with "Dear ...." and we explored the language of a thank you note.

Socio-dramatic Play
We had lots of children exploring the doctor's office.  They were discussing and diagnosing which parts of the bodies were sore and looking at x-rays. The language being used was all around parts of the body.  

Some of us were playing teacher and school and we were practising writing words we know and others that we could make up!

Fitness and Movement
During discovery we have been choosing different exercises to build up our muscles, get our energy out and make sure we are taking care of our physical needs.

 Building and co-operative playing
There has been lots of negotiating and coming up with games together.  There has been lots of car games this week and building parking structures for the cars.  There has also been house and hut building.  During this type of play we really practise using our negotiating and discussing skills.  We use team work and sharing and practise turn taking.  This type of play can be really hard for us, but we are working a lot on using our words to express our ideas and how we are feeling.  Every time we practise we get a tiny bit better!

There has been lots going on and we have tapped into the curriculum by way of Science, Technology, Writing and the arts.  That's just to name a few! 

Chinese Medicine and Nutrtition

This week we were really lucky to have some parent experts come in and teach us a bit about what they do for their jobs.  Two of our parents came in to share their knowledge around Chinese Medicine and Nutrition.  Rachel explained to us about the way Chinese medicine believes in channels in our bodies and how acupuncture helps deal to blockages within those channels.  She demonstrated acupuncture and cupping on us teachers and the kids got to watch!

We looked at the needles and Rachel explained that the needle is only taken out of its packaging right before using and is only used once before being destroyed.

 She showed us different sized needles and explained about how far they go in.

Then we got down to the nitty gritty and got some acupuncture done.

I explained what it felt like and that it didn't hurt.

Next we were on to cupping.  Rachel explained that lots of Olympic athletes use cupping to help with sore muscles and she told us about two different cupping techniques.  One of them uses fire to create the suction and the other uses a hand-held pump.


It looked strange but really just felt like a strong, but not sore, pinch.

Storm came in and discussed nutrition with us.  She told us all about foods that have protein and potassium and we had a big talk about which foods are always foods, which are sometimes and food and which are rarely foods.  We had a big discussion around how one food could be a sometimes and rarely food based on how much you have of it.  For example, you could have one biscuit sometimes, but you would rarely have six biscuits.  Then we sorted pictures and made posters for our class.

Overall it was so much fun and we learned so much information!  It also helped us get more information around positive health choices we can make.  When we are thinking about our wellbeing we know it is physical and emotional.  This was another piece to our puzzle of understanding about a healthy mind and healthy body! Thank you very much to Rachel and Storm for making the time and sharing your passions and knowledge with us!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Transition to School and Connecting with ECEs

The children in our class come from many different early childhood centres around Wellington.  As part of our transition to school program we try to visit most students at their centres before starting.  Children are invited to Rising 5s for up to 2 terms before they start and have visits as well.  
2 weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to go visit some of the children that will be starting this term in Autahi at their centres. This is so worthwhile as it allows the children to be in a place they feel comfortable and confident.  They show me around, tell me what they like to do and explain what they do on a daily basis.  
We had lots of fun and I know more about each of these children now. 
We also had KinderCare come visit us with 6 almost-school-aged children and a few teachers.  We got to be the hosts and show some of the things we do in school and some of us got to reconnect with our early childhood teachers.  It was lots of fun and we practised being big buddies and giving others a taster of what our school is like.  

Emotions and Empathy

Our relationships with others are very important.  They have the ability to effect our days and our moods.  At the start of the year we looked at our power on the playground and how what we does has a direct impact on others.  We are revisiting and exploring the ideas of emotions and having empathy towards others and have been practising the skill of recognising emotions in others and thinking about what we can do for others.
We have been reading picture books that illustrate different emotions and empathy.  The first is about making friends and recognising people's strengths and the second is about recognising that we are all different and if we look at each other with love, we will always see the wonder in each other.  Both stories do a wonderful job of displaying the type of empathy we are talking about having.  

We have also been writing our own little books called, "I Have Empathy."
In these books we look at basic emotions in others and what we can do to make a difference. 

In our investigation into and exploration of emotions we have been doing a bit of drama and role-play.  Stepping into our Empathy Boots, each child acted out an emotion and it was the rest of our jobs to figure out that emotion. 

This exercise allows us to recognise facial expressions and body language and link them to emotions.  It's important for us to be able to identify how we and others are feeling and then to know what we can do about it.

Another way we have been exploring emotions, empathy and character strengths is by looking at what we feel are our strengths.  We had 8 strengths to choose from and had to each draw 2 mini self portraits and place our names on the top 2 that we felt were most like us.  we were choosing from I try new things, I help others, I stand up for myself, I have good manners, I am loving, I look after others, I don't give up and I am patient.  
 We placed our names and then we discussed what we noticed about our class.

Many people identified themselves as being loving, trying new things and not giving up.  With these strengths I have no doubt that our class will continue to take notice of each other's emotions and find new and loving ways to look after each other and show empathy.