Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reading to Franklin

Franklin, our turtle, is just the coolest pet. The children really love him. He just loves it when children talk to him and run their finger along the tank. He will follow it backwards and forward. Better still, he loves it when children read to him as Daisy did in this picture. He just sat by he book for the whole story.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sack races

A fun way to end the week was with sack races. What a lot of coordination that takes!

Making apple juice

Over the past week we noticed that we had an abundance of apples. What to do with them we wondered ...
Since we have a juicer it seemed like a good idea to make some juice. There was a wave of enthusiasm to cut up the apples and place them into the top of the juicer. As the children took turns with the juicing Archie and Joel set up a shop to sell the juice. To buy the juice the customers had to make some money to give to the shop keepers. They decided that the juice should sell for $2 a cup. Once the task was complete James took the pulp down to the worms.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unleash the Goo developments

On Monday the 9th of March we introduced the idea of creating a animation video for the Cadbury Creme Egg Competition. The children were shown some ideas from last year on 'You Tube' and then encouraged to share their ideas for a story line. The video can have any theme but needs to demonstrate a way of 'Unleashing the Goo' from a creme egg. The children spent most the week thinking about different ways to 'Unleash the Goo' and drew pictures to represent their ideas. As a number of the ideas were similar we narrowed the story lines down to a selection of around eight. We developed a voting form and the children voted for their most favourite story. The concept of a creme egg falling from a helicopter and melting on top of a volcano was the most popular by a long shot. We began to think about what we were going to use for a volcano and decided that we would probably need to make one of our own. We decided to use plaster of paris to create a volcano mould in the sandpit. After some exploration around the size it would need to be we dug a very large hole in the sandpit and moulded the plaster of paris into it. We had some initial difficulties with the plasters consistency but managed to get it just right and the top layers of the mould looking fantastic. We left the plaster to set over night in the sandpit and removed it the next morning. The interest from both adults and children has been fantastic and there was a lot of helpers as the volcano was dug out of the sandpit. The mould was actually very successful in the end and just needed some creative design to re layer the top half that hadn't quite set. We arranged a space for the volcano to be set up inside and have been working on set design and experimenting with the melting of a creme egg before we begin filming in the next couple of days. The project has had a huge amount of interest so far and we are all enjoying the various stages we have needed to work through as we develop of animation and competition entry. Keep an eye out on the white board for daily updates and the blog for the exciting pics.

St Pattie's day fun

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Celebrating St Patrickʻs day

Top o the mornin to you.
As is tradition at Botany Downs Kindergarten, we celebrated St Patrickʻs day today.  The wearing of the green, the eating of the green and of course ... the Irish dancing.   What fabulous community support we had for this event.  Thank you to all those who made the day such a success.  We were so pleased that we could share the day with our four lovely visiting teachers from Singapore.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cadbury chocolate is a favourite with everyone!

We have introduced the 'Unleash the Goo' Cadbury creme egg competition to our morning children and it has already had a flow on effect into our afternoon. A number of PM children had asked about the creme egg display on the kindergarten wall, so I shared a couple of videos off 'You Tube' to give them a sense of what the morning children have been working on. While we were looking at the web sites we discovered the 'Cadbury Gorilla Add' where he is playing the drums to a Phil Collins song. A group of children decided that it looked like he was having so much fun that they would copy him. Out came the drums from the music shelf and the music created in time to the video was just magical. Check it out!!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Uncle Ian offers professional advice

Jacob, guess who came to visit us today ... your Uncle Ian.  He just happens to be the ICT professional development consultant for the Auckland Kindergarten Association.  Yesterday we hosted an ICT cluster meeting for all the local kindergartens.  Uncle Ian has such a wealth of ICT knowledge; we love it when he comes to share with us.  We just had to have a photo taken with him so that we could show you that he has been to visit.  He says that he might be Uncle helper one day.  That would be good, wouldnʻt it?

Mia draws our attention to St Davids Day

Mia, how excited you were as you arrived at kindergarten with a bag full of goodies from Wales.  "My Mum is from Wales,"  you announced.  I guess that makes you half Welsh, doesnʻt it?  March 1st is St Davidʻs Day.  St David is the patron saint of Wales.  a little while back we had a boy at kindergarten called Jac, and he was half Welsh.  He shared some of the history with us but we have to admit that we just didnʻt remember about it this year.  Just as well you reminded us.  You would think that it is a date that I might remember as I have a Welsh name ... Bronwyn.  I am going to try and remember this date next year.  Thanks for sharing with us Mia.  This is how we learn about different parts of the world.

Letʻs have a look at it under the digital microscope

The interest in collecting cicada skins continues.  Nathan arrived at kindergarten with a container of skins to share for news at group time.  There was such a flurry of interest that we just had to have a look at them up close ... and what better way to do that than with the digital microscope.  Elsa decided that she was in charge, repositioning the skins for a better look.  What a fascinating process.  They all decided that they were glad that they didnʻt shed their skin.

Brumpa comes to visit

We get to hear so much about Brumpa and his farm that it was very exciting to have him visit kindergarten.  Oliver, you tell us that you want to be a farmer when you grow up ... just like Brumpa.  The pictures in your portfolio show some of the good times that you have together on the farm.  How cool that Brumpa could come to kindergarten to spend time with you and to have a look at your portfolio.

Foot to the pedal

Having been opposed to having bikes at kindergarten in the past, I have been surprised at how well the children have been using the donated bikes creatively and co-operatively.  So, when I saw this bike with a sidecar advertised I wondered if it would continue to promote this relationship building type of play.  It was a wet morning when the sidecar arrived so we set up a track inside.  The combination of carpet and a passenger made for challenging peddling.  I am sure the muscles had developed over the space of a morning!  Letʻs hope that it is fine on Monday so that we can try it on the concrete outside.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Making potions

An interest in colour mixing has evolved into the making of potions.  Day after day new potions are created through the mixing of colours.  Todayʻs potion was very, very black!

The inspiration continues

After Joel created his rocket a couple of weeks ago we have noticed that there has been an immense interest in the creation of rockets.  Sophieʻs rocket is just one example.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sorting according to shape

Izaak, we noticed that you were on a mission!  You were intent upon sorting the magnetic balls from the magnetic sticks.  With speed you pulled the magnets apart and before long you had two piles ... one with the balls and one with the bars.  We might have to find some other things for you to sort.