This week we purchased a worm farm to set up for the children to learn more about composting and caring for worms embedding learning about caring for our earth through care and respect for the environment. The children helped unpack the compost bin and set it up, first by collecting water to soften the coconut mulch then adding the worms once the mulch was ready. The children were then involved in discussions around what the worms need to eat to live and what foods they can and cannot eat.
They can eat watermelon – Piper
Broccoli – Aanya
Banana – Sophia
Blueberries – Cormack
Carrot – Theo
Old food scraps – Joshua
They can’t eat
Mandarins because they are sour – Meha
Limes – Ashton
Eddie – lemons
We then talked about creating a sign for our worm farm with images of the food they can and cannot eat. Zaylee suggested “we can put a tick for the foods they can eat” and Enzo suggested, “yes and across for the ones they don’t eat”. The children then worked collaboratively to create their own sign for the worm farm, drawing images, writing words, and making symbols allocating roles collaborating and co-constructing their own learning.
The children in the treasure room have continued their project work concerning the native birdlife within the preschool grounds. They have been working collaboratively to create an inviting environment that will not only encourage the existing birdlife to stay but will invite new birdlife in to live too. One of the children’s main focuses was to create a birdhouse. The children had previously drawn up plans and blueprints to gather their ideas and had begun to create a 3D replication using wooden blocks and collage materials. The children took the opportunity to reflect upon what they had created when they noticed a few essential items missing such as fans, alarms, and lights.
Logan ‘We need to make the birds an alarm so it keeps out all the bad guys.’
Lachlan ‘Yeah it goes WOOOP WOOP!’
Mark ‘WOOOP WOOP!’
Hayden ‘And it scares the bad guys away from the nest so they can take the baby birds.’
Stella ‘I think we don’t have lights either.’
Zoey ‘How will the birds see in the house without lights . . . .especially after bedtime when it’s all night time.’
Theodore ‘I think we forgot the fans too cause when it is hot the birds will need a fan to cool off all their feathers.’
The treasure educators could see that the children wanted to add these working items as they saw them as being vital to the birdhouse. After some careful thought, discussion, and research, the educators provided the children with a simple circuit set. The educators explained how the moving parts could be placed in a sequence to make a working light and light switch, an alarm, and a fan. This immediately sparked the children’s curiosity and they set to work on the challenging task. They worked collaboratively to follow the pictorial directions and carefully choose the correct part. The children successfully placed the pieces in the correct order to create a working light, fan, and alarm and help complete the finishing touches to the birdhouse.
Hayden ‘That’s amazing!’
Zoey ‘Look it works!’
Theodore ‘No bad guys are getting into the nest now!’
Stella ‘And the birds won’t be scared anymore cause they can turn on the lights!’
Theodore ‘I love this!’
Lachlan ‘Me too!’
Zoey ‘This was so much fun!’
This particular facet of the project has allowed the children to explore STEAM within a meaningful context. The children have been given the opportunity to work with electricity, problem solve, negotiate and collaborate their ideas. More importantly, by following the children’s true lines of inquiry, educators were able to continue to instil a genuine love of learning within the preschool setting.
The Sparkles friends have extended their interest and hands-on tactile learning through making playdough this week. They assisted the Educator to measure and mix ingredients to make the dough and then rolled, manipulated and cut out shapes to create gingerbread cookies, cupcakes, and ice creams. These types of sensory experiences allow the children to further develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and social skills when working with peers in a collaborative play environment. This provided opportunities for imaginative play when making ice creams and gingerbread men and we discussed the idea of making our own gingerbread men cookies or salt dough ornaments.
The home corner shop continues to support the group’s social and emotional development through role-play opportunities using the cash register, computer keyboard, shopping baskets, and real-life food containers. The friends have explored their senses further during the week by smelling the tomato paste container and herb jars. We are looking forward to providing further opportunities to use our senses by adding herbs to the playdough and spices to our gingerbread men decorations.
Sustainability- recycle week
The Preschool Children have participated throughout the week in waste audits where they have monitored and documented the recycling, compost, and rubbish in our morning tea and lunch boxes. Along with this, the Children had the opportunity to use our art area paper waste to create new paper by shredding it into small pieces and mulching it with water over a few days. It was then added to our paper frame to dry. We are looking forward to using it for Christmas cards and tags.
Educators have supported the Children in choosing the correct bins for rubbish, recycling, compost, and soft plastics along with collecting our yoghurt lids for lids for kidz. Thank you to those families who have donated items to be recycled and the many bags of lids to donate.
Sustainability Project/Outdoor art area
The children have shown an interest in working on a small project creating a laughing kookaburra using recycled materials. This started as Meha drew a kookaburra and Educators admired her work. Matilda joined in the conversation and said that she can make beautiful things using stuff. The educator wondered and asked her about the stuff that she was talking about. Matilda said that she can make things using bottle tops. This conversation continued on and pictures were shown from an exhibition in Charlestown where all the artists had made and displayed their art using recycled stuff. Riley was very excited and asked if they could make one.
The educators were amazed by their ideas and interest as they engaged in a conversation about using recycled stuff. We thought and talked about all the experiences that they have been working on this year using recycled materials. Meha said that she is happy to draw the template for her peers to add the recycled materials. We invited them to share more ideas and recorded them. We collected items and also asked the girls to collect some if they can.
We have made connections with Rachel from Sustainable neighbourhoods asking her for more support. She has sent ideas and links to the website and has also suggested the opportunity to include our work in her socials and in the exhibition next year.
We are very excited to see where this leads.
Our Preschool friends participated in their first orientation visit to Kindergarten on Thursday. This visit helps children and families familiarise themselves with their new school, teachers, and peers and helps to form first connections and relationships with their school community prior to starting school. The children were very excited to be a part of this important event and proudly wore their new shirts to Preschool.
We have been very lucky to be part of the school community and build on these relationships throughout the year with our extra-curricula activities.