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Childrens working theories


The childs developing brain A students world Learning at the carpentry table
ISSUE 12 July 2013

NEWS & VIEWS Issue 12

Contents
EDITORIAL:

The childs developing brain


IT TAKES A COMMUNITY TO RAISE A CHILD:

2 3 5 6 7 9 10

Gone fishing
A DAY AT KINDERGARTEN:

Childrens working theories A students world at Kindergarten


ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN:

Great community. Great education. Great kids!


GERALDINE KINDERGARTEN News & Views Magazine 25 Wilson Street, Geraldine 7930 Tracey Nelson 03 693 8888 EMAIL: geraldine.kindy@xtra.co.nz
HEAD TEACHER: PHONE: BLOG:

Learning at the carpentry table


BEHIND THE SCENES:

AGM 2013 Report


HOME & KINDERGARTEN COMMITTEE:

A busy year so far!

geraldinekindergarten1.blogspot.com
GK NEWS & VIEWS ARCHIVES:

kindergartengeraldine1.blogspot.com DESIGN & PRODUCTION Fi McCafferty 24 Hislop Street, Geraldine 7930 PHONE: 03 693 8237 EMAIL: fi@saltmines.co.nz

Editorial |2

The childs developing brain


A FEW WEEKS AGO Ashleigh and I were privileged to be part of a large audience in Geraldine who heard Nathan Mikaere-Wallis (X Factor Education Ltd) speak on the developing brain.

The key message throughout Nathans speech was how important the first three years of life are for a childs developing brain. His workshop included some of the interesting facts below: Our genes only contribute to 30% of our brain make up; the other 70% comes from the transcript the brain develops from the way it interacts with its environment in the first three years. From the experiences young children and babies have in those first three years, the brain decides which part of it to keep and what it no longer requires. The time when our brain is being used to its fullest potential is when we are engaged in conversations, so the more a young child is interacting with a nurturing adult the brain thinks, This is a complex world, Id better wire my brain to deal with all these interactions, and consequently shapes itself. These interactions in the first two to three years of life are ideally with the person that they are most emotionally attached to, i.e. a primary caregiver.

Nathan highlighted our upside down education system where early childhood has the least amount of funding and teacher acknowledgment. Yet all the research proves the first five years are the most important. Nathan advocates for early childhood educators as the architect or sculptor of the brain, the rest of the school system as merely the polishers. This affirms all we do here at Kindergarten. Encouraging children to self-manage rather than being managed by external sources such as rewards or punishment was seen to be the most critical factor in how successful a child became at 35 years of age. This was more important than qualifications or IQ. The reassuring news for all of us is good enough parenting will ensure that our childs brain will develop just fine. Neglect and abuse, however, will stop the development of the frontal cortex, i.e. the area of the brain that controls intelligence and self-regulation.
TRACEY NELSON

ABOVE: Althea and Hayley are both

using their brain at its highest capacity as they are engaged in conversation, problem solving on the iPads.

Interesting facts:
It costs approximately $300,000 per year to keep a prisoner in jail. Approximately $3,000, as a one-off investment in every young child in New Zealand, would decrease the likelihood of them ending up in prison. Babies are born with a brain that weighs 350g. By adulthood it weighs 1.4kg, but by three years of age it already weighs 1.2kg. Most outcomes in terms of the developing brain threeplus years of age.
NATHAN MAKERE WALLIS

3|

Gone fishing
Nohonga tahitanga /establishing a sense of community.
WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO have our Kindergarten situated close to so many wonderful places of interest. As part of our commitment to whanaungatanga/ relationships, and following childrens islands of interest, we have planned to take small groups, a maximum of 12 children at a time, with a teacher and a minimum of two adult support people, to visit places of interest on as many Fridays during the term as possible. Kindergarten policy stipulates the ratio of one adult to four children (1:2 near water). The visits will be related to and enhance the learning that is already happening at Kindergarten. However, there will be occasions when it is beneficial and appropriate to introduce the group to something new. We call this the

provocative curriculum. There will also be the opportunity for changes, allowing for these experiences to be, authentic, spontaneous and fun. If you are able to help with these outings, please add your name to the weekly roster on the sign-in desk. Some suggestions and places visited so far, have been: park, library, museum, river-bed with Fish & Game representative, artist, and Talbot Forest. On Friday, 17 May, after a continued interest in fishing, researching facts on fish using the ipads, making fish with: wood; ropes; sticks and paper; and sharing fishing stories at Kindergarten group times, Louise, Liz and four parents (we were lucky that other whnau met

it takes a COMMUNITY to raise a child |4

us there, too) walked from Kindergarten with 12 children to the Waihi river footbridge area. The eager bunch of fisher-people were met by Hamish from Fish & Game New Zealand. Hamish was well prepared, having samples of river life in containers ready for us and charts to help us identify what we were looking at. There was a link made to Kaitiakitanga, practises related to environmental management, one of these practices being resource indicators, where resources indicate the state of their own mauri/wellness. Hamish explained how stream life was an indicator of a healthy stream and asked the children what there might be more of (fish) if these small creatures were there in larger numbers (the smaller creatures being food for the fish). Next the real fun began. Ben and Hamish dressed in thigh waders, Hamish carrying the expensive fish attractor on his back as

they waded in to attract. It wasnt long before two eels and a brown trout were caught. Once back on dry land, the catch was placed in a tank. The childrens faces peered in at the fish and we had a time to observe and talk. Hamish helped an eel relax by using a special chemical, and we were able to touch it, feel the sliminess and learn that fish should never be held with dry hands. The hour and a half was jam-packed with learning and a heightened awareness for what is very close to home. By recognising and valuing childrens interests as authentic and important we were inspired and encouraged to find out more. Isnt that what being life-long learners are all about? Connecting with our communities regularly can only happen with your support. Kia ora ma tou awhina/thank you for helping.
LIZ MILLS

Family Support
Deana Averill is Geraldines Community Family Support worker and comes to Kindergarten every Tuesday morning from 8.309-30am for an informal coffee session. We hope you will come along and join us. You may have questions about parenting or behavioural issues, blended families, separation, thoughts about school, agencies available in our community and in the wider community, how to talk about difficult issues with children... and more.

5| a DAY at Kindergarten

Childrens working theories


WHEN REFLECTING ON professional

A childs voice
When hanging out the washing with two children the sun disappeared behind the clouds. I wondered, Where has the sun gone? One told me, I think its gone away because its sick of us talking. The other child told me, I think it is going to sleep.

development sessions presented by Keryn Davis, I realised how fortunate our children are in the way that we teach now compared to my first few years of teaching. When Liz and I trained, we studied topics and themes that were determined by the teachers. A classic example was that for the season of spring we made daffodils. These were made by us, the teachers, cutting out the petals and leaves and instructing/ encouraging children how to attach these to a straw and then to glue a patty pan onto the petals after they had coloured them in. Yes, they learnt that daffodils came up in the spring, but it wasnt the authentic learning that happens in our environment today. The teaching style is quite different now, with us teachers supporting children in their interests as they play/work together. Our Early Childhood curriculum (Te Whriki p44) states: Knowledge, skills and attitudes are closely linked. These three aspects combine together to form a childs working theory... A working theory can develop in any area of play, as a child has an idea, or an interest. If a child is curious about something they are

going to have a thirst for knowledge. What better way to do this than engaging in conversations with both their peers and adults. They can observe, listen, participate and contribute with their ideas. It is through these interactions that they begin to make sense of how things work. Here are some of the childrens working theories around volcanoes: Its made of sugar and water. It has hot, hot rocks. Lava is very hot. It has rocks all around so the water cant get to it. Volcanoes are made out of rock and the lava makes it come out. Actually earthquakes can make volcanoes. If the lava goes down the hill it will burn all the trees. Working theories can become more complex as children change or add to their ideas after listening to others or revisiting experiences. It might take a few discussions before they, most likely in a roundabout way, come to the correct solution. A question to ponder: Do we have to give them the correct answer straight away? GAEL WILLIAMS

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A students world at Kindergarten


AS PART OF OUR ROLE as a teacher at Geraldine Kindergarten we are invited to support students from providers of Early Childhood study. They attend the centre for 45 weeks at a time and have a great opportunity to be involved in all aspects of teaching and learning. During their time, they get to know the children and families very well.

parents stop and read with their children as they made comparisons with the pictures and the reality. She wrote:

I have watched the amazing lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly. We have all watched with great wonder the changes that have taken place and, through the interest and queries of the children, have learnt some amazing facts along the way. To help find some of the answers to these questions, the children and I have looked up information on the computer, in books and asked our friends. It is through watching the physical changes and the finding of information that the children are beginning to understand more of the wider world and how it works (natural science). They are problem-solving by finding ways to answer their own questions, contributing as they work with and alongside their peers in active discussion, and are developing verbal communication skills for a range of purposes. I have really enjoyed my time exploring all of this with the children and their whnau and want to thank them for sharing their knowledge and experiences with me.
Brigetta was amazed that the children were interested for as long as they were; as they were with the planes. Children enjoy wallowing in activities and what is exciting is pondering all the possibilities of how to find out more. LOUISE SHERRATT

I have been really fortunate to have some wonderful students who have all brought something special into the Kindergarten. Students have only a very small window to introduce themselves and to get to know the children, often choosing an activity to find out things and build relationships. Last year one graduate simply offered some coloured paper and a book that instructed how to fold paper planes. She quietly sat and chatted with the children and got to know a child who talked about going in a helicopter. The paper planes were visible for quite some time because this particular student took time to totally engage with the children. Notably, she worked at the childrens pace even as she questioned if she should keep doing it. Children will keep returning to things that not only they enjoy doing, but who they like doing things with. My Term 1 student, Brigetta Smith, began by introducing caterpillars to our bare swan plants. She set up an area at the childrens height and placed books linking to the butterflys life cycle. This sparked an interest for children and we saw

610cm
Just ONE sneeze can travel up to SIX metres (610cm, to be exact), spreading mucus laden with viruses and bacteria into the air. This is why we need to teach our children to catch their sneeze in the crook of their elbow. Visit www.sneezesafe.co.nz for more information.

7| always MORE to learn

What learning really happens


IN OUR MORNING AND AFTERNOON sessions, the carpentry area is often a place that children begin their time at Kindergarten, to learn and test new ideas and skills, and to learn about working alongside others. The carpentry table provides a place where some children feel comfortable and secure - from here they can observe others, and learn the rules and routines in their new environment.

Children begin exploring the tools and materials available, they discover what each tool can do by simply attempting to use them and follow on to manipulate the full use of the tool. Once they feel comfortable with the tool, the real creating begins. Over time and with repeated experience children become more skilful; as they use more advanced tools, develop ideas accordingly, and analyse and apply solutions to problems, often adding more complexity to play at the carpentry table. Children are provided with a range of additional materials to work with and are free to experiment as they wish, supported by guidance from the teaching team.
TOP: Innes and Levi are working together

to saw a piece of wood, developing their social skills LEFT: Dog in creation, more meaningful when used in actual play.
FAR RIGHT: Carpentry is serious business

requiring the use of fine motor skills.

Here at Geraldine Kindergarten we are very lucky to have our own building frame that children in the morning session were able to help construct. This is a popular part of the area that is always being added to; children use prior knowledge and understanding to influence their additions to this structure.

|8

at the carpentry table?


As children work together to co-construct their ideas, they are practising skills that can be transferred into real-world settings. As children play at the carpentry table they are: making decisions about design, shape and what materials to use, where they utilise problem-solving skills gaining increasing control over their bodies through development of hand-eye co-ordination, manipulative skills, muscular strength and development of fine and gross motor skills (e.g. holding a nail in place requires small-muscle coordination, vital to aid the development of early writing skills) developing mathematical and scientific knowledge, for example, the understanding of length, size, balance and force learning to observe, predict and experiment building vocabulary for negotiation, asking questions, expressing an idea fostering creativity with a broad avenue of possibilities learning/and or practising the concepts of sharing and cooperating as they work together using the same materials As children complete projects to their liking, they are building self-esteem. This is even more powerful when their constructions are used in other play experiences. These are just some of the possible learning outcomes while children are engaged in play at the carpentry table. Encourage your children to take pride in their creative masterpieces (wherever they are created), show an interest and question theories behind their creations! The carpentry area provides a space where your children are able to learn skills and knowledge to support them on their journey through life.
ASHLEIGH McPHERSON

Calling all parents!


The INCREDIBLE YEARS Parenting Programme is coming to Geraldine! So what is the programme about? Its designed to develop positive family relationships, empower parents to make change and to manage difficult behaviour with practical step-by-step suggestions, and help in handling everyday situations parents face. This programme is free; it will run during the day from 14 August 4 December, 9.30am-12:30pm in Geraldine. Daycare for your nonschoolers is available. Please talk with one of the teaching team or Deana Averill if you are interested.

9| BEHIND THE SCENES from the Board of Trustees

Annual General Meeting 2013


2013 BOARD OF TRUSTEES
President: Matt Morrison Treasurer: Max de Bonth H&K Delegates Jess Talbot Esther Sabey Committee: Ash Pace Allan Short Sarah Patrick Sarah Vincent- Weaver acknowledged and thanked for the fantastic job that they do for our Kindergarten. This committee plays a vital role in the success of Geraldine Kindergarten and on behalf of the Board I would like to thank them very much. I would also like to pay tribute to Karen Pace, who has recently stepped down from her role as co-ordinator of this committee. Karen has contributed so much over the last two years and her work has been greatly appreciated. The 2012 Annual Plan has been completed and our General Manager, Helen May, has undertaken an appraisal process based on this Annual Plan. Sarah FoleySmith and myself oversaw this appraisal process and we were very pleased with the outcomes. New Zealand Kindergartens held their National Conference in Wellington, in August. Gael Williams, Helen May and myself attended this event. It was an extremely well organised conference that provided great opportunities to network with other associations and learn more about our role of governance. Tracey Nelson appointed to the role of Head Teacher (November 2012). Ashleigh McPherson achieved her full teacher registration.
MATT MORRISON, GDFKA BOT PRESIDENT
Extract From Matt Morrisons AGM Report. Full copies of the AGM papers are available to view at the Kindergarten.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2012/2013


Congratulations to the teaching team for joining the International Habits of Mind Learning Community of Excellence. This was an amazing effort and a special thank you needs to go to Louise Sherratt for her leadership and input into this award. A wonderful celebration was held on June 11 to mark this occasion. Over 50 families attended a shared lunch and it was great to see so many people in the Kindergarten. A special thank you goes to Michelle Prouting (for organising the food), the Home & Kindergarten Committee and the teaching team for making this day such a success. It was also great to have the opportunity to strengthen our links with the High School on this day. We were privileged to have Bianca Sheed and the Geraldine High School Kapa Haka Group perform for us. Interior painting has been completed. The Home & Kindergarten Committee has completed its second year and these wonderful people need to be publicly

his site: Check out t

2013

TERM DATES

TERM 1: 22 January - 19 April TERM 2: 6 May - 12 July TERM 3: 29 July - 27 September TERM 4: 14 October - 20 December

RESPECT EXCELLENCE LEADERSHIP TEAMWORK PERSEVERANCE ACCESSIBILITY

BEHIND THE SCENES from the Home & Kindergarten Committee

|10

For your

diary:

Keep your calenders clear in October this year, for the Home & Kindergarten Committee major fundraising event:

THE HOME AND KITCHEN WALK 2013


This will be on Sunday 13 October and our main sponsor this year is Milestone Homes. This event is a great profile raiser for the Kindergarten within the community, and offers the opportunity to view some fabulous kitchens in new and older homes. If you are interested in joining our committee to help run this special event and meet new people at the same time. Or, if you have a kitchen which you would love to have on show on the day, contact Janene at 693 7693 or 022 614 1590.

A busy year so far!


In the first term of the year we said farewell to our Home & Kindergarten Committee Co-ordinator Karen Pace. We greatly thank her for the fantastic and positive leadership she brought to the committee, and we wish her well with her future endeavors. Janene Adams has now taken on the role of Committee Co-ordinator, and we look forward to organizing many more fun events in the future. Term Two started with a fun Disco at the Geraldine Primary School Hall, which was organized by the Home & Kindergarten Committee. We had a fabulous turn out of children along with parents, and fun was had by all! The committee had great enjoyment in organizing this event, and we hope to hold another disco in the future as the feedback has been very positive. Thank you to everyone who purchased a 2013 Kindergarten Tea Towel from the fundraiser leading up to Mothers Day. This has been a great fundraiser, and has been well supported by the kindergarten families. More tea towels will be available for purchase later in Term Three.

information :
See our noticeboard in the Kindergarten entrance for any upcoming events, meeting details and a list of the committee members. We welcome anyone who would like to become more involved with the Kindergarten to join us and have fun while making a difference. Please contact Janene at 693 7693 or 022 614 1590.

For your

RESPECT EXCELLENCE LEADERSHIP TEAMWORK PERSEVERANCE ACCESSIBILITY

DESIGN DIRECT MARKETING COPYWRITING PHOTOGRAPHY

Fi McCafferty
03 693 8237

Logos, business cards, letterheads, press ads, posters, brochures, invitations, menus, newsletters

fi@saltmines.co.nz

Wilson Street, Geraldine 7930

PHONE:

03 693 8888

EMAIL:

geraldine.kindy@xtra.co.nz

BLOG:

geraldinekindergarten.blogspot.com