Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The alterations

At the end of term it was all hands on deck as we packed up the storerooms and cleanerʻs room. Thanks to Althea, Gerry and the crew of workers. What a humungous pile of ʻtreasuresʻ we ended up with! Thank goodness we were able to store most of it in the dance studio. You would have to ask how we fitted all those treasures into the spaces .... we only hope they will fit in our new storage areas. Our lovely builder has been hard at work ... and now we have ʻthingsʻ from one end of the kindergarten to the other. Sometimes it just doesnʻt pay to look! There is dust as far as the eye can see! It certainly highlights our cobwebs. Weʻll keep you posted on the developments.

Lewis, our resident expert in mobile phones

Lewis, you always have something of interest to say and share. We have noted that you a have a particular interest in cellphones. You couldnʻt believe your eyes when I showed you my cellphone and you discovered that it didnʻt have the capacity to take photos and video. How archaic is that! Because I always have my camera on me I just havenʻt found the need to update my phone ... but I must do it one day. You told me that you are going to sell your cellphone to your little sister (your Mum later told me that it is broken!) because you wanted a flip phone. When Gillian showed you her phone you lost no time in writing your name and taking a photo of Caelan, our drummer extraordinaire. What a sociocultural shift we are seeing in communications. It made me feel old to explain that when I was his age I was on a party line using morse code and you had to turn the handle to make the morse code!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ballerinaʻs can do anything

Our ballet day on Thursday saw a sea of ballerinas arrive at kindergarten. While the focus was on bar work, working in front of the mirrors and dancing to Swan Lake there was certainly time to enjoy our favourite activities at kindergarten. Kristina chose to be a sandpit ballerina.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The day the ballerinaʻs came to town

Well, dance continues to be a focus at Botany Downs Kindergarten. It is rather like singing with your feet. Over the past weeks our Emilys have been introducing us to ballet. Not one of my strong points ... but hey ... we like to move outside our comfort zone! The interest gathered so much momentum that we designated Thursday as ballet day. We didnʻt send a note out or anything, we just told the children about it ... and low and behold, we were inundated with the most beautiful ballerinaʻs I have ever seen! There was a sea of pink tutus. The music was on and Emilyʻs ballet bar was at the ready. Rubin shared a ballet DVD with his sister in in and his sister donated her old leotards. Emily was such an encouraging teacher guiding the children through their moves. Isnʻt it great having an emergent curriculum. We certainly couldnʻt have planned a better day. Thanks so much to all those who made the day a success.

Dancing with the Stars

What a magical moment to behold! As I was walking by the mat area I spied Peter walzing around the beautiful Ruby in his arms. On my return sometime later the dance was still in progress. We do lots of dance at Botany Downs Kindergarten, in fact we have a dance studio but this is the first time in a long long while that somone has initiated ballroom dancing. Perhaps ʻDancing with the Starsʻ has been a provocation. Peter, your Mum tells me that you like to dance at home. This is certainly evident as you had the moves ... and the twirls under control. What a pity you are leaving us. I would have loved to follow this up.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saying farewell to Katie

Some people make a mark in your life, and Katie is one of those people. Katie has been our professional support manager for the past wee while ... and what a great support she has been. As she was leaving to have a baby in early May we just had to think of a cool present or two to get her. Just in case she should forget us we gave her a suit for her baby with our photos on the front (lest she should forget!). We gave her a potty with yellow jelly set in it and a picnic bar set in the jelly. We showed the children at group time and they were stunned to silence! We also knew Katie had not decided on a name for her baby boy. We found a money box with the name Patrick on it ... so now he is to be called Patrick. What else are friends for? Katie, thank you and all the best for the future.

A visit from Heather, the vet nurse

The children have expressed an ongoing interest in cats. A wee while ago we purchased a number of cats from the $2 shop (where else does a kindergarten teacher shop!) to add to their play. The children carried them around individually and in their cat carry case. They were so popular that the children decided that a vet clinic was definitely needed to tend to their sick animals. That was duly built complete with examining table and xrays. As the interest deepened it was decided to call on the expertise of our friendly vet nurse, Heather. Heatherʻs children went to Botany Downs Kindergarten many, many years ago and Heather still comes in from time to time with interesting animals for the children to look at (see previous blog ... visit of the lambs). Heather told the children that she looks after animals who are unwell or who have had operations. Heather told us that she used to be a zoo keeper at the Auckland Zoo. On this ocassion Heather introduced us to Petey, the lop earred bunny. Heather, thank you for your contribution to our programme.

We would love to borrow a ballet DVD or video

The morning children ar SO into ballet at the moment. They are very capably led by our two Emilys. We are seeking a ballet DVD or video that might add further provocation to this interest. Can you help? On Thursday 17th April we are planning a ballet day. if you have anything that pertains to ballet, please bring it along on Thursday. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our visit to Te Tahawai Marae

Throughout the years we have maintained our contact with Te Tahawai Marae, visiting on a regular basis. Our aim is to introduce our children to Maori protocols and to build on our kindergarten programme. Yesterday we were welcomed by Panetuku Rae. We were intoduced to the notion that the baby flax leaves in the centre of the plant and the ones standing beside it are the prents. The leaves on the outside symbolise the grandparents and extended whanau. Inside we learnt about the history of the wharenui and then we painted rocks, did a weaving, made a maori pattern called a kowhaiwhai and then we decorated a whare. Thank you Te Tahawhai marae.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Now itʻs a 4

Bryan, you are always such a pragmatist! Today you discovered lots of strips of wood in the wood bin and immediately your imagination was set into gear. You set about planning and setting out your creation, two adjoined squares. As you rushed to show me your works the unthinkable happened ... two sides of the square fell off. The expression on your face said it all .. it was not great. Then you recovered your composure and said "now itʻs a four" and a smile crept across your face. What a practical transformation! Good thinking.