Prep | Kindergarten Newsdeveloper
Unit of Inquiry: How we express ourselves
Central Idea: Creative thinking allows for the expression of perspectives.
Students in Kindergarten have been further developing their understanding of the form of stories. We are discovering that not all stories are expressed in the same way. Some are expressed through drama, puppets, actions, singing and art. There are many ways a story can be told. By exploring the many forms of storytelling, students are developing their creative thinking skills.
I wonder if you have experienced different forms of storytelling at home? Maybe you have been to a play or a musical? I wonder if you have watched an opera, concert or dance? Exposure to all forms of storytelling helps our young learners to develop an open-minded attitude as they explore the perspectives of others.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
During Literacy groups, the boys are exposed to activities that help them to develop their fine motor skills. These include; poking holes through paper while lying on the carpet, picking up small pom poms with tweezers and manipulating play dough.
For ideas on developing your son’s fine motor skills you could try a few of the strategies from the list below:
- painting and drawing on paper at large easels that requires whole arm movement
- playing on climbing frames and obstacle courses that allow children to pull themselves up and build upper body strength
- filling cups, jugs and a range of different sized containers with water and pouring water during water play
- using spades, filling buckets to scoop sand and dig with hands in the sandpit
- rolling playdough with hands, using cookie cutters and rolling pins
- squeezing trigger on spray bottles to water plants
- building with smaller wooden building blocks or connecting blocks, strengthening fingers and practice control to build intricate structures (e.g. lego, small blocks)
- threading with beads
- picking up objects with tongs and tweezers (e.g. picking up pompoms with tongs and placing them in a jar)
- making smaller objects using pinching with playdough and using smaller rolling movements with fingers.
- tearing paper into tiny pieces to increase finger dexterity
- using pegs (e.g. helping to hang the washing up and squeezing each peg)
- using scissors to cut a variety of materials (paper, playdough, cardboard)
- Drawing with chalk outside on the sidewalk
- Finger painting
- Dressing and undressing a doll (including the use of buttons and zips)
- Completing puzzles with various different sized pieces
- Using large nuts and bolts to screw and unscrew (the twisting motion with fingers)
Our last Mathematics unit was Position where the boys explored the use of positional language to describe position and to give and follow simple directions. They were busy making maps, using a coding app, Bee-bots and exploring language through literature. They were also introduced to ordinal names and the terms ‘left’ and ‘right.’ You can support your son at home by encouraging him to continue practising the following language:
- in, on, under, up, down
- proximity terms such as near, between, next to
- frames of reference such as in front of, behind
- ordinal names such as first, second, third
- left, right
Our new Mathematics unit is Data. The boys will be responding to questions, collecting information, organising objects into simple data displays and interpreting these displays.
Through learning new repertoire in Classroom Music, the How We Express Ourselves Unit of Inquiry is enabling Kindergarten students to further develop their understanding of music elements such as Duration, Pitch, Structure and Tempo and use their Communication Skills to express the music in a variety of ways to an audience. They have achieved this by inverting melodies, using Solfa hand signs, notating Solfa and rhythmic patterns and performing songs using Boomwhackers and untuned percussion instruments. Social Skills have been evidenced by small and large group performance experiences and following teacher directions.
Our boys continued to explore the transdisciplinary unit How We Express Ourselves with the central idea “We express feelings with words and facial expressions”. Students learned all the focused Chinese words: kai xin (happy), shang xin (sad), sheng qi (angry), jing ya (surprised), hai pa (scared), hai xiu (shy), lei (tired), ku (cool). Beginning learners completed the assessment by listening to the teacher’s pronunciation and circled the correct matching images. Heritage learners completed the assessment by reading the Pinyin words with visual support.
Boys also learned to express how they feel in Chinese by adding “Wo/I” in front of the feeling words to make a simple sentence. For example, Wo kai xin (I am happy). They showed their learning by choosing a particular feeling, completing the Chinese sentence and drawing the matching facial expression. Moreover, we discussed the situations when they have certain feelings and learned how to say “when/dang” in Chinese. For example, Dang (when) I play with friends, wo kai xin (I am happy).
In terms of Approaches to Learning, Social Skills (Cooperation with others) and Communication Skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing) are the ones we focus on in Mandarin lessons.
Kindergarten boys are continuing their exploration of Abstract art working on the transdisciplinary unit How We Express Ourselves. The boys are currently finishing off a small abstract painting using their knowledge of warm and cool colours, lines and shapes. This term, the boys have been introduced to a range of Abstract artists including Ralph Balson, Grace Crowley, Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock and Sonia Delaunay.
This week at Delmar Gallery an exhibition has opened called ‘Colour is a kind of bliss,’ featuring the abstract artworks of Ralph Balson, Virginia Coventry, Hilarie Mais and Paul Selwood. Unfortunately, we are unable to take the boys to see the exhibition before it closes in Week 1 of Term 2, but I encourage you to visit if you can during the school holidays. It would be fabulous for the boys to see an artwork in person that we have looked at in class. There will also be drop-in workshops for children taking place at the gallery on the last weekend in April, see the School website for details. Delmar Gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday 12- 5:00pm.
During this term in FAST we have been learning about the fundamental movement skill of static balance. The skill components of a static balance are as follows:
1. Support leg still, foot flat on the ground.
2. Non-support leg bent, not touching the support leg.
3. Head stable, eyes focussed forward.
4. Trunk stable and upright.
5. No excessive arm movements.
The boys have developed their individual skills and we have seen growth over this term. We have been applying this skill to game situations. During PE we have been playing games that have been developing our ability to consider the tactics of a game. We have been playing games such as dodgeball, poison ball, octopus and others that have been developing the boys’ tactical awareness. We will be continuing to develop the boys static balance and tactical awareness over the remainder of the term.
Over the last few weeks in Chapel, the boys have been exploring the Biblical concept of “covenant” or in other words, “agreement or promise”. They have been reminded that there are many examples where God has made a gracious covenant with his people, and yet they broke the covenant. With Easter approaching, we have a wonderful example of God’s plan of salvation through His son Jesus. In week 10, we are privileged to have the visit of “Quiz Worx” – a biblical puppet / interactive show explaining the importance of Jesus’s death and resurrection. This week, the boys are experiencing a visit from the Years 10 to 12 Summer Hill group “Berea”. Berea is a Christian leadership group that helps the students equip and share the good news of Jesus. These older students will be teaching every Christian Studies class this week, visiting CIA (Christians in Action) groups and running Chapel. There are very few opportunities for our boys to share in high school events and this mission will serve as a wonderful opportunity to build relationships and share in the wonders of Easter.