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Prep-Year 2 Group News

Outdoor Inquiry

Our Prep - 2 outdoor inquiry into our 'Penbank Patch' is now in full swing, and each child has nominated a particular 'patch' they would like to focus on for the rest of the term. The three areas are Bush School, Ngargee Ground, and the Vegetable Garden. Students spent time in their new patch this week and have started to inquire into what makes their patch unique and what may be missing from their patch. For the rest of the term, each group will create a plan to learn more about their patch and how they may enhance this area for us all to enjoy.  

Prep

This term, our unit of inquiry is 'How the World Works.' Our central idea for this unit is 'we can learn about living things through observation and investigation.' We have started to unpack this with lines of inquiry into; 

  • Features & needs of living things & their environments
  • How living things grow & change
  • How we observe, investigate & record our understanding of living things

There has been an excellent addition to the Prep classroom, some baby stick insects! We have been thinking about what they need to survive, watching how they grow and change, setting up their habitat, and even naming them! During the naming process, the children collected data from their Prep friends about what they think we should call our new little friends. The winning names were Sticky, Jeremy and Butterfly!

This unit allows for opportunities and experiences to explore our natural environment and the beautiful grounds of Penbank. There will be lots of researching skills where the children gather, record, observe, compare, and predict. 

While exploring our natural surrounds, we have been on minibeast hunts using our magnifying eyes! This experience inspired some of the Preps to create their own' minibeast playgrounds' as they created mini animal habitats and thought about the needs of these living things. It's been lots of fun!

If you have any great books or websites that you have found about living things, encourage your child to bring them in to share with the group as a focus child. We have been reading and looking at non-fiction text features as we find out more about living things. 

In Literacy, we have finished introducing the single-letter phonograms a-z. We continue to revise these phonograms and blend these sounds to read and write decodable words. We have even started teaching some two-letter phonograms, including 'sh,' 'ee' and 'th'. We encourage the children to use learned phonograms to help them build and decode words, helping them further their reading and writing skills.

Our focus while reading this term will be listening and responding to shared texts and beginning to decode words as we read. The children have become independent, walking in each morning and changing over their readers. We are looking forward to having some reading helpers in the classroom to hear some of our reading progress! 

In Numeracy, our focus so far this term has been on number and shape. We have created shape monsters, robots, and even shape bugs as we explored different 2D shapes. We've been learning to recognise the tricky teen numbers through other hands-on activities and games. We have also started to introduce simple addition strategies by constructing numbers in different ways. We have been looking at what two parts make a whole number, focusing on number facts that make 10, e.g., 6 and 4 make 10. We will continue to focus on these skills for the remainder of the term to build number fluency. 

BRITT, DONNA, SALLY & JULIA

Year 1

Year 1's have enjoyed a fabulous start to Term 2 and have come back settled and engaged in their learning. We have continued with our Unit of Inquiry into How We Organise Ourselves, looking into the different systems and services needed to help a community function effectively. We have used role play to look at the roles and responsibilities within everyday systems and services and explored how these roles are interconnected. The children have had fun becoming town planners, designing their cities, and planning where to place different systems and services around the city centre. We will end the unit with our excursion into the city of Melbourne, where we will use the vantage point of the Eureka Tower to see the systems and services in the town in real life! 

In Literacy, we have been exploring letter writing, looking at why we write letters and constructing a letter. The children have practiced these skills by writing notes in class and posting them at the Penbank Post office (one of the services we created in the classroom!) and through writing letters to the Mums on Mother's Day. We have also learned about nouns, verbs, and adjectives and how we can use these to create different sentences. 

In Numeracy, our focus has been on partitioning numbers and essential addition. We have been learning different strategies to help us add numbers together, such as knowing numbers that 'bond together to make ten and learning our doubles facts. We have also been working with the Year 2's twice a week on general mathematical problem-solving. These sessions are a fantastic way for the students to collaborate and develop their reasoning and logic.  


Finally, thank you to all our wonderful parents who have indicated your availability to help volunteer with our gorgeous children. We've made up a roster for you to put your name on, whether it's a regular weekly occurrence or just a one-off visit – it's all appreciated. It will be emailed to you shortly!

Year 2

Year 2 has been busy beavers finishing off their houses from the Unit of Inquiry - Where we are in place and time. Together the children looked at different climate zones and made houses that reflected how people connected with that place. Great conversations took place as children worked alongside each other. 

Over the next fortnight, we will dive into our new Unit of Inquiry - Sharing The Planet - where a focus on sustainable practices will occur. We will focus on the concepts of responsibility, function, and causation. 

Twice a week, the Year 1s and 2s have been working alongside each other solving different mathematical problems. It has been an opportunity for the children to be problem solvers, work with each other, practice being collaborators, and work through the issues together in methodical and systematic ways. 

Thank you to all the parents who have shown an interest in helping out in the classroom. I will be in contact with you soon to organise a roster. It will be wonderful to have some friendly faces back in the room listening to children read! Speaking of reading, please continue to encourage your child to update their nightly reading journal. Your child will experience the most success in reading when school and homework together. Reading with your child at home will help your child in all areas of school. Research shows the importance of reading daily in developing their use and understanding of vocabulary.