- October 11, 2018
Welcome to The Infants' Home's weekly news roundup.
Bugs in nature
An interest in bugs of all sorts (although bees and spiders currently top the list) has been growing in Gorton Preschool. We have observed children making bees out of Mobilo and flying these around the garden in search of nectar, and talk of hives has even been occurring. We created a learning space where we added some posters, small plastic bugs, leaves, wood and other things from nature, hoping these will stimulate more discussion, learning and play. We also put some drawing materials in this area, which has helped children to reflect their learning and understanding through wonderful creations.
The children have been so excited to gather together and explore different kinds of insects, such as scorpions, ants, bees, spiders, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. The drawing easel has been well-used throughout the experience. Children have engaged in observing the insect models, and added their own thoughts, and have made a variety of insects related to their drawings. They have been proudly sharing these with their peers. Some of these have included: a “magic snail” a “spider with many legs” a “red back spider”, and a “first dragon”. To foster children’s understanding we also read some books on different bugs. Many of the children enjoy story time and take this opportunity to actively participate in the group discussions.
Projects and inquiry-based learning have been an ongoing part of the program in Johnson House. Often these can stem from children’s interests or can be developed through intentional teaching components.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR, 2009) recognises inquiry as a central component in effective learning, not only in early childhood, but also throughout life: ‘Active involvement in learning builds children’s understandings of concepts and the creative thinking and inquiry processes that are necessary for lifelong learning’.
The concept of reusing and recycling has been one of the projects developed in Johnson House. The children have been collecting a range of loose parts to reuse and develop into art and will be exhibited as part of the Arts Festival Display. Stories have also inspired the children to create art, and rocks have been colourfully decorated to link into the storybook of You be You, which focuses on individuality and being proud of who we are.
Gardening also continues to be a developing project as the children focus on planting seeds and talking about what they need to make them grow. The educators have been encouraging the children to follow and investigate their own ideas, helping to foster learning not only the specific ideas under investigation, but supporting the children to exercise their growing sense of agency and autonomy and promote inquiry, curiosity and exploration as valuable approaches to learning.
This week the children were very interested to continue to follow their interest in singing a familiar song–The Wheels on the Bus”. They were building on their music skills as they kept the beat of the song while singing and played the egg shakers. The children also were very focused as they did the actions of the song with shakers.
Uncle Terry brought his didgeridoo on his visit this week. We learned to blow through our lips and move our tongues up and down to create a vibrating sound flowing through the didgeridoo. This is a great exercise to strengthen the facial muscles which we use to produce speech! Traditionally, the didgeridoo is only played by Aboriginal men. However, there is no restriction in the Dreaming law for women to play didgeridoo. Uncle Terry told us that the didgeridoo is still played in ceremonies and also for entertainment purposes. His intention is to educate our community of the music produced by didgeridoo, also acknowledging that his tribe does not ordinarily play the instrument. Aboriginal people in northern Australia are more famous for their connection with the didgeridoo. We also revisited some of the dance movements we learned last week–sasa, emu dance and kangaroo jump.
It’s lovely how the infants are developing familiarity with Uncle Terry’s presence in the program. His visits are always received with excitement and curiosity. This morning we gathered to learn about a traditional musical instrument from the Aboriginal groups in Northern Australia. At first when Uncle Terry blew into the didgeridoo, the children frozen on their seats. It was quite loud, and some of children were a bit scared, while others were showing curiosity and asking for a turn! We also revisited creating rhythm with tapping sticks and exploring the different rhythms and rhythm paces.
A small group of children at Robinson House preschool have recently been going on walks and collecting different natural materials to make a birds nest. The group of children and educators started making a big nest using some of these materials. As the base of the nest we are using an old cane chair which we found on our walk. We placed big sticks, bark and leaves inside the base of the nest. The educators encouraged the children to also weave some of the sticks and leaves into the sides. There was some rope at the top inside the base, which we were able to use for weaving these items in. The children also collected a few more sticks in the back outdoor area where we are making the birds nest. They have enjoyed this experience, showing curiosity, fascination, creativity and wonder learning about their natural environment and the life cycles of some birds. We will continue to add more materials to the birds nest as our project emerges, and we’ll also be making some clay eggs and birds to go in the nest–stay tuned!
Today day is the day the teddy’s bears have their picnic at The Secret Garden in Avalon! The children have been interested in teddy bears and home corner, so Educator Leanne set up a picnic for the teddy bears in the garden. This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to extend their interest in dramatic play as well as well as to engage in play and social experiences with others. There were lots of cups of tea and cakes for the children, the teddies and Leanne!! Bon appetit!!
Are you, or is someone you know looking for childcare? The Infants' Home currently has vacancies across all age groups and is enrolling now. Call today on (02) 9799 4844 to find out more, or see here.
Join us next week for more news from The Infants' Home.
site by Still Moving Design