Hello Reception Families,
We’ve passed the halfway point of the term this fortnight and we are excited about what we have learned already and the opportunities that are ahead of us! DUring the last couple of weeks we held a very successful Wattle and Waratah Mufti Day, enjoyed visits from our buddies, our morning class attended the Early Childhood assembly and our afternoon class enjoyed a visit from our Student Representative Council. Read on for some updates on our play and learning.
Our classroom veterinary clinic has been very busy with many animals needing help! Students have expanded their play by adding further play resources and an office/retail space with a computer and cash register. This adds to the different roles students can take on in their play and invites them into further negotiations and roleplay. In this space students are building their sense of empathy as they care for animals and each other both in imaginative play and through their interactions. The morning students had the opportunity to visit Jurassic Garage this week as they were on site for a Prep/Year One incursion. It was a great compliment to our learning to see and hear about animals and how to care for them. We have documented this video in images and stories to share with our afternoon students too.
“Whenever children say ‘Let’s pretend’ a new landscape of possibilities for learning is revealed. When children pretend, they try on new feelings, roles and ideas. They stretch their minds along with their imaginations.” – Curtis and Carter, An Everyday Story
We have added the letter /a/ to our knowledge and have been consolidating our knowledge of familiar sounds at the beginning of words. Students are moving towards orally blending and segmenting words with two sounds. They are also learning how to hear and identify words that rhyme. We’ve discussed the comparisons between alliteration and rhyming words, identifying words that sound the same at the beginning (alliteration) and contrasting these with words that sound the same at the end (rhyming). Next, we will be blending and segmenting words with three sounds and learning about the letter /f/.
You can support this learning at home by having fun with words that rhyme! Reading storybooks that have rhyming words builds phonological awareness for students. You can also ask your child: “Tell me a word that rhymes with …”. You could use words such as cat, man, dog, pig or hot. Making up words that rhyme, although seemingly nonsensical, adds to students’ ability to hear the concept and principle of rhyming.
This fortnight we have added complexity to our learning around number and tens frames by playing Tens Frame Bingo. Students are continuing to build their ability to subitise – to see a small group of objects and recognise how many there are instantly, without needing to count them – and now learning to represent this with the corresponding numeral. An extension of this work is not only using the numeral but also the written word for each numeral.
Our place: Australia
We have begun an inquiry in class, sharing our knowledge and our wonderings about Australia. Students will be working through an inquiry process to answer their questions and discovering and sharing new knowledge with one another. If you have photos of your child and/or family members in Australia, we’d love to share them in class and build our knowledge of the important people and places we know or have visited in Australia.
If you have a photo or connection you’d like to share, please chat with your child about this.
You can email a photo to me or add it to your child’s diary bag.
Spotlight on puzzles
Why do we have puzzles in our classroom? Yes, they are fun! But puzzles also support students to develop many other skills and dispositions. Puzzles help students to develop their knowledge of colour and pattern as they look for similarities and differences. While completing a puzzle, students think a lot about shape. Whether it is the shape of the puzzle piece or the shape of something on the puzzle piece, students are learning about spatial awareness and how things fit together. Concepts such as measurement, observation, patterning and classifying are being developed. On top of this early mathematical learning students are also developing language and social skills as they work together. When puzzles are a bit challenging, students are also building dispositions such as persistence and problem solving. These are vital skills for lifelong learning. We have puzzles in our classroom for these reasons, and so many more!
“Play is not just about having fun but about taking risks, experimenting and testing boundaries.” – American Academy of Pediatrics
Ms Lauren Rosanowski