Christmas Fun at Kool Kidz Ravenhall

Christmas Fun at Kool Kidz Ravenhall

There is something about this silly season, even though it’s a mad rush to have everything ready, everything finished and complete, there is still a sense of joy and light heartedness. I’ve spent quite some time in the rooms over the last few days, and I have loved watching how each child’s eyes light up at the sight or mention of Christmas.
Each room introduced an activity that represented the children’s interest and Christmas:

Honeybees, have been exploring finger painting and sensory activities, so the educators encouraged children to create their Christmas baubles. Over the past few months we have seen children engage in many sensory activities – one being painting. We have also seen a development in the way children react to the paint on the hands; they completely embrace it now exploring the texture and markings they make with it.

Beetlebugs have also been doing a lot of sensory activities, (Nat and Kamal are part of our Green Team), and to continue with their encouragement of being sustainable, Nat and Kamal collected jars and children had the opportunity to create tea light candle holders. All in all, the educators reported back that it was more of a cause and effect and new sensory experience for the children as they had never painted on glass before.

Jitterbugs loved, loved, loved walking down our hallway (sometimes more than twice a day), to say hello to the Snowman, Star and Christmas Tree. After a few visits, the educators wanted to create a display and were cutting out trees, a child saw this and wanted one for their own, from this, more and more children joined in and our Jitterbugs made their own Christmas trees and wreaths.

Children were also given the option of creating their own Christmas cards, they decorated them with various materials and a photo of them doing so, was placed inside with a sweet message.

Butterflies and Kinder children have been busy, busy, busy. Educators have been decorating their rooms with dream catchers, wall hangings and other beautiful items. Children were quite intrigued by them, and so the educators collected natural materials, and other various items and children were given an opportunity to create their own.

Kinder also had their graduation; children came in and enjoyed a quiet evening celebrating each individual’s achievements and their journey over the past few months. They were awarded their certificates and received a small gift from Sheemal and Tobina. They also enjoyed a yummy homemade cake and took some great photos.

And finally this week, our Kinder teacher Sheemal set up her famous perception painting activity. But this time the children were introduced to Vincent Van Gogh, his history and his famous painting of the ‘Starry Night’.

Here’s a fun fact: After cutting his ear off, he was admitted to an institution. And the ‘Starry Night’ painting was inspired by the view he had outside his window of his room whilst in hospital.

  • Children were given a much softer version of this, and Sheemal told me that the children all sympathised with Vincent Van Gogh’s story and they had a lot of questions.

Children interpreted the famous painting by creating their own. I was honestly amazed. From there the educators loved watching as the children spoke about re-creating the shapes, patterns and lines in the masterpiece, that they came up with another idea. They tore crepe paper up, and had children re-create their version again but with the paper. Educators noticed how much they were focused on the patterns Van Gogh had used and they too attempted to replicate these.

 

Everyone at Kool Kidz Ravenhall is thrilled with the progress that the children are making and we can not wait to see what the New Year will bring.

We would also like to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all and we hope you have a wonderful, safe and healthy New Year.

 



All Aboard the Letter Train

All Aboard the Letter Train

Our Butterflies room have shown a great interest in letters and writing since the beginning of Kool Kidz Ravenhall. One of our very first articles was all about the children engaging in book writing and writing their names; this interest continues and the growth between then and now is clearly visible. Therefore, a learning area for Letters and Words (referring to our eleven blocks), is always evident in the Butterflies / Kinder program.

Last week, our Kinder Teacher created name cards for each child, on the inside of the little patty pans, Sheemal printed single letters (a lot of times). Children were then encouraged to find and match the letters to their names, and stick them on a piece of recycled card from a box. Two of the children were set a challenge to not use their name cards and try and recall what letters appeared in their name, challenge accepted- challenged conquered.

The Educators encouraged the use of the correct names of the letters and also offered a lot of praise for all their attempts. Children were so proud of their efforts when completed and a lot of them couldn’t wait to show their families.

So not only was this activity great for exercising their ability to match symbols but also a great way to encourage letter recognition, build on their ability to concentrate, embed their sense of identity and self-worth.

 

Kool Beginnings Curriculum
Letters and Words
Me, Myself and I
Early Years Learning Framework
Seek out and accept new challenges, make new discoveries, and celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others
Begin to understand key literacy concepts and processes, such as the sounds of language, letter-sound relationships, concepts of print and the ways that texts are structured



Our Kindergartens first walking excursion. – Part 2

Our Kindergartens first walking excursion. – Part 2

Watching our Kinder children exit the gates in their matching blue polos, really pulled on some heart strings. The Educational Leader followed them out, taking photos and almost shedding a tear. Before the children crossed the first road, one child looks up to his educator and says, “I’ll look both ways, if there’s no cars, we can walk on the road”. With that, she knew the children were going to have a great time and be in safe hands.

As they took to the streets of Ravenhall, the children amazed their educators by pointing out all the numbers on the letterboxes and engaging in conversations about their own houses. “This is number three”, “This is like my house”, “My house doesn’t have that”.  They took note of the footpaths and how some surfaces had cracks and others were mended by “road” (the black tar they use on roads).

When the group of explorers reached their destination, they all scattered around and searched high and low for natural materials that can be used. They worked together, and helped each other. They proved to be quite a team.

Their eyes lit up when they were heard that they could have a play on the equipment. They all seemed to love the ‘Spinner’ and laughed hysterically when they hopped off and felt dizzy.

After some really hard work and playing, the children gathered under some big beautiful trees and sat upon some rocks taking in the breeze. They had a big drink of water and feasted on some crackers, dried fruit and fruit. They engaged in conversations about the environment they were in and the foods they were eating. Our Educators used this moment to point out how nutritional fruits are for your body and we should eat them every day, but crackers were good as a sometimes food, and don’t provide us with as much energy as fruits.

Once their levels were replenished the children cleared their rubbish and repacked for the walk home.

The walking excursion was such a big hit, it was not only a learning experience about natural materials, but the children were exposed to math, nutrition, road safety, conversational skills and team work (just to name a few).

KBC– Active Healthy Bodies, The World and the Environment, Numbers, Me Myself and I,

Learning Outcomes:

  • Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
  • Show an increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition
  • Engage in learning relationships

 



Our Kindergartens first walking excursion

Our Kindergartens first walking excursion

Our Kindergartens first walking excursion.

 

Children’s Week is around the corner and this year’s theme is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 29 – Education should develop each child’s personality and talents to the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, their cultures and other cultures.

( http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/events/Pages/childrensweek.aspx )

 

A small group of team members came together and brainstormed ways we could come together as a community, and do three activities across the week that would intertwine  not only with the theme of Children’s Week, but also with what was happening in the rooms and the service.  One of the three, was a group canvas painting- something that everyone could add in any way that they liked, BUT, we wanted to create paintbrushes with natural materials  – it will be a great way to introduce and teach children (especially our Kinder and Butterfly rooms who have been painting still life and self portraits), about how different cultures and communities create their art.

Then like a lightbulb – we had the idea of the Kinder children taking a walk to our local park and collecting the materials for the paintbrushes themselves. Oh the buzz that filled that planning room was enough to launch a rocket into space. So in three days, we assessed, planned, mapped out and gained permission to take our VERY FIRST excursion.

The day finally came, and the children were taught important lessons about walking in the great outdoors. Slip, Slop and Slap, bags were packed and our four Kinder children set out on a journey…

To be continued…



Kool Kidz Ravenhall Self-Portraits

Kool Kidz Ravenhall Self-Portraits

Who would have thought that from an interest in measuring, our Kinder children would take on drawing their own self-portraits?

On one particular day, a child constructed a pretty awesome tower, but what was even more awesome, was that he stood up and measured himself against it. Our Kinder teacher extended on his interest of math and measurement by tracing out the children on large butcher’s paper and placing wooden blocks around them. Not only did the children come together and help, but they all counted and compared the number of blocks it took to go around each of their peers. All of a sudden, our Kinder teacher had children engaged in an activity that promoted provocation.
As this experience evolved, so did the direction of it.

Children asked if they could draw on their faces and paste on their clothing, they even compared different hair types, colours and what they were wearing. What a great way to extend on self-identity, inquiry, verbal communication and fine motor skills.

Sheemal (our Kinder teacher) took this opportunity to extend on this learning by having the children draw their self-portraits using mirrors. The conversations that took place were engaging and children began to use much more descriptive language. Something else also evolved from this, self-pride. Once children saw their pictures displayed they were eager to show other educators and their families. What a beautiful quality to instil in these children and a wonderful way for children to revisit their learning.

What Sheemal began to observe was that the children were much more inquisitive about different people’s hair colour and eye colour. They would even compare different objects in the room. To continue this learning experience and broaden their knowledge, Sheemal had the Kinder children draw ½ self-portraits. Children were shown their photo with half of their face covered and offered different mediums to use on their portraits.

The results were so beautiful and interesting. Each child noticed that they are unique, special and beautiful. This activity also promoted their fine motor skills- steady hand, the correct hand grip, writing their names and colour matching.

We love seeing the Kinder children take so much pride in their work and how much they love showing their efforts.