‘You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way’. Dr Seuss
Kindergarten are off and racing and have had a wonderful start to their school learning journey. They are settling into class routines and expectations and have been approaching learning tasks with great excitement and gusto!
When asked about starting Kindy this is what some of the boys said:
“My favourite thing has been playing on the equipment”. Beau
“I’ve liked drawing”. Elliot
“I like playing in the bush kitchen”. Riley
“I like learning and making friends”. Joshua
“I liked meeting Miss Smallhorn for the first time”. Benson Z
“I like shooting basketballs”. Austin
“I like playing with my friends”. Leon
Kindergarten have enjoyed playing fun ‘get to know you’ games and have worked on developing friendships through developmental play opportunities. These learning experiences have formed part of their first unit of inquiry into ‘Who We Are’.
As part of this unit there has been a strong focus on developing the learner profile attributes of being caring (being a good friend) and being principled (making good choices). Kindergarten are learning that it is okay to make mistakes and that making mistakes actually helps us to learn and improve. They have also been learning about the power of ‘yet’ e.g. I cannot read ‘yet’! It has been lovely hearing the boys start to use these words when talking about their learning and new experiences.
Kindergarten have been busy little bees learning how to work collaboratively and independently in literacy and numeracy activities. They particularly loved our shared reading text, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. We had fun re-enacting the story, going through the long wavy grass, through the thick oozy mud and finally running away from the bear! We then used binoculars and went on a bear hunt into the school bush. We found lots of bears that were hiding!
We have also been learning how to read books independently, focusing on the reading strategy ‘Eagle Eye’ (looking at the pictures). In independent reading sessions, the boys have loved sitting in the Kindergarten ‘Book Boats’ and ‘scoop chairs’.
There has been a strong focus on developing the boys’ phonological awareness skills. Research has shown that these skills are extremely important in order to develop good reading skills. Having good phonological awareness skills means that a child is able to manipulate sounds and words, or ‘play’ with sounds and words. By engaging in word play, children learn to recognise patterns among words and use this knowledge to read and build words.
Kindergarten have been practising the phonological skills of: rhyming, breaking words into syllables, thinking about onset (e.g. ‘c’- cat) and rime (e.g. ‘at’ – cat), identifying initial and end sounds, segmenting words in sentences, and blending and segmenting sounds.
Every morning we engage with the THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills) picture chart. English words are produced using a combination of 44 individual speech sounds called ‘phonemes’. These phonemes can be represented in writing using the 26 letters of the alphabet, either individually or combined with other letters. This approach to teaching phonics helps the boys understand that there are lots of different spelling choices (letters) that can make certain sounds.
In numeracy lessons the boys have had great fun making patterns and developing their counting skills using a variety of counting strategies, such as ‘line up and count’ and ‘move and count’.
We are looking forward to seeing the Kindergarten boys take off in great leaps and bounds and develop a love of learning. They are certainly on their way!
Miss Smallhorn – Kindergarten Teacher