Hello Reception Families,
Here we are, almost at the end of another fantastic term! It has been a great term of learning and fun together. Our students are continuing to develop their confidence and capabilities as they learn and grow. We’ve successfully participated in a new experience, Student Led Conferences, we have continued to learn about our five senses, we’ve practised our learning around numbers and letters, and we’ve been working on our singing too. Keep reading for a summary of our learning and experiences!
Student Led Conferences
Congratulations to our students who eagerly and enthusiastically shared their learning with their families during our Student Led Conferences! It was fantastic to have families on campus, sharing in the celebration of all that our students have been learning. During the week, we discussed what we needed to do, we practised the activities at each of our Learning Stations, chose which extra experiences we would like to have available and reflected on our learning areas that were ‘glowing’ and the spaces where we could do some ‘growing’. It was great to see our students feel a sense of ownership in our classroom on Wednesday, knowing that it is their space to explore and share. Students demonstrating how capable and competent they are and taking time to reflect on their learning helps them to see themselves as learners who can grow and change. Thank you for coming in and celebrating with your child; I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did!
Our Five Senses
This fortnight we have moved to learning about our sense of smell and sense of taste. Students have been exploring scents such as peppermint, lemon, lavender and orange and investigating a beautiful bunch of scented roses. We’ve discussed if we like or dislike the scents and the things that they remind us of or smell like. Now we are beginning to discuss using different senses together to learn, such as what we can feel, hear and smell. In the coming days we will be making popcorn to help us experience using all of our senses. We will be following all current hygiene guidelines and social distancing measures. Students will bring their popcorn home to eat.
Students are continuing to develop their curiosity and inquiry skills through this learning. These are vital learning dispositions that support students to wonder about the world around them, and to have the skills to investigate their wonderings. When we record what we are learning, students are engaging in literacy and numeracy work but also learning about scientific processes of experimentation and data collection/evaluation. Curiosity and wonder are open doors to worlds of learning.
Recently we have been having lots of conversations in class about the concepts of inclusion and friendship. As students engage in dramatic play opportunities such as our kitchen corner, our babies, and dolls’ house play, they are working together to create imaginary play scenarios where each person has a part to play or a role to act. When students have a vision for their play and the world they are creating, it can be hard to include someone who enters the play when it has already started. Equally, it can be hard to understand that playing with one friend or group of friends, doesn’t mean that others who we are not playing with are no longer our friends.
These are complex and tricky concepts for our students to wrestle with, but are also great moments for us to encourage students to ask if they can play with their peers, and to encourage those who are playing to expand their game to include newcomers. Prompts such as: “What job could they do in your kitchen?”, or “What can you share with them so they can play here too?” are invitations for students to expand their imaginary worlds. We’ve discussed what it means to feel ‘left out’ and how sharing with our peers can make sure that we all feel included. Developmentally students are moving from associative play (aware of and playing around others with minimal interaction) to co-operative play (playing with others and interested in both the activity and the people engaged in it). A characteristic of associative play can also be the tendency to view friendship as something that can only happen with one person at a time. As these phases of play progress, students add complexity to this thinking and begin to understand that they can play in groups or with different friends at different times. This is a transition filled with social learning and it’s been great to see the growth and progress our students have been making.
While preparing for our Student Led Conferences, we have been revisiting all of the phonemes we have learnt. We discovered we can make lots of words with these sounds and have had fun blending and segmenting words. Our latest storybook, Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach, provided a great opportunity for us to revisit our learning around words that rhyme. It was great to see the growth in students’ ability to identify and create rhyming words. This is a vital part of phonemic awareness and a foundational skill for reading and writing.
Over the break, as you are reading with your child, you might like to discuss the sounds we have been learning: /m/, /a/, /f/, /s/, /t/, /i/, /o/, /r/, /g/, and /d/. Singing our class songs, like Mr Clicketty Cane (link on Seesaw), is a great way to practice hearing and producing rhyming words.
As with our literacy learning, we have spent time in the past fortnight revisiting our numeracy learning in preparation for Student Led Conferences. Students have been working hard to refine their counting and patterning skills. These are foundational skills for mathematical understanding and conceptual knowledge and as such, they are skills that we revisit time and time again. Some students are extending their learning in these spaces by identifying and recreating counting rules (such as counting in twos or threes, or manipulating numbers in addition), or creating their own patterns without the assistance of a prompt card. As always, it is great to see students’ knowledge grow and develop and I hope you enjoyed seeing this on display on Wednesday.
“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns” – G. H. Hardy
Morning Routines – Term 4
Next term, students who arrive early for school will have the opportunity to play on the field and in the undercover area between 7:30-7:55am. This initiative will become part of our daily practice as a regular chance for students to become more familiar and comfortable with the school’s largest play area. As they enter Prep, the playground can feel like a very big, even slightly intimidating place for students. By utilising this space in Term Four, we aim to make students feel even more comfortable with the broader school environment. During these morning sessions, students who arrive before 7:55am will drop their bag by the playground in a designated spot, before putting on a high-visibility vest so that they can be easily spotted by supervising teachers. Students will be brought up to class at 7:55am by a Reception staff member before starting their learning for the day.
During Term Four, we will be creating further opportunities for students to visit the playground and other school spaces and will be sure to keep you updated on our explorations of the wider school.
Also, during Term Four, Miss Allie will be working with students in Year One. We look forward to seeing her around school and when she pops into class from time to time. Thank you for your support over this term, it is truly appreciated. Wishing you all a restful term break and looking forward to seeing you again to continue our learning in Term Four!
Ms Lauren Rosanowski