“How we express ourselves.”
Over the past few weeks have seen us introduce a new unit of inquiry, “How we express ourselves.” It is an inquiry into how we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; how we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
Our Central Idea
“We explore and make sense of our world through the narratives we create.”
The key concepts we intend to cover are:
- Form - what is it like?
- Function - how does it work?
- Connection – how is it linked to other things?
Lines of inquiry
We will inquire into:
- Physical movement as a means of expression
- Exploration of materials as a means of expression and communication
- How the children express themselves through verbal languages and mark making.
Since the introduction of this inquiry, the children have been involved in some small focus groups.
Teamwork has been an area of interest, with many children enjoying playing physical games with a ball. Catching and throwing amongst a small group has turned into a game with continuous counting and recording. Extending their thinking, the children have been discussing and exploring questions such as:
- how does a team work together effectively?
- what does each team member need to do themselves to work collaboratively?
Milly has been working with the children to develop their ideas. They have been interested in why members of a Team wear a uniform. The children have each designed a jersey and created a name for their team. Milly is now working towards turning their designs into a reality.
We look forward to seeing where the children take their learning next.
Another group of children has been applying the skills of teamwork towards an imaginary game of Tigers. It began with the saying, “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!” (Theo)
Kellie- What does that saying mean?
Theo- “Make stuff as a team.”
Charlie- “If you work together, your dreams come true.”
They discussed what it looks like to work together.
Noah- “people doing stuff together.”
Lara- “helping people.”
Theo- “having fun together and sometimes being sad together.”
They decided to develop a game to play that day. Collaboratively the children created the rules and expectations for the game. It provided them with the opportunity to have an agency with their game.
Theo “What about Mums, Dads, and Tigers?”
Lachlan “the tiger needs to find the meat.”
Charlie “maybe no jumping in the game.”
Lara “and only soft roars.”
Outside, the children have created a ‘Tiger Den’ to play amongst. The rules of the game are displayed, and the inclusion of others is encouraged. The children decided that those playing needed to be identified. They all agreed that a tiger necklace was practical and ideal.
The children have enjoyed revisiting this space and further developing the den and game.
Another group has been interested in expressing themselves using a range of varied materials. Inspired by the book ‘Window” by Jeanie Baker, some of the children have been working with Rachelle towards developing a storybook based around ‘keeping our world beautiful.”
Using a variety of materials, such as drawing, collage, clay, and plasticine, they have been creating characters and a storyline that incorporates;
- Planting plants
- Removing weeds
- Only using the water that we need
- Care for the animals
- Reusing things
- Putting rubbish in the bin
A Café has been created within the room as another form of expression. Since we have been restricted from our experiences in restaurants and cafes, it has been wonderful to see the children recreate a cafe and engage in role-playing.
Within the café, roles and responsibilities have been negotiated, and ideas discussed what a café requires to work, including cash registers, money, recipes, menus, and food.
- We can communicate our ideas and feelings using a variety of materials
- Visualise, generate, and communicate design ideas through describing, drawing, and modelling
- Manipulate objects and experiment with cause and effect, trial and error, and motion
- Increasingly cooperate and work collaboratively with others
- Establish and maintain respectful, trusting relationships with other children and educators
- Openly express their feelings and ideas in their interactions with others
With the warmer weather quickly approaching us, we are ensuring that the children are regularly applying sunscreen. Please know that we are encouraging the children to apply their sunscreen. With restrictions, we can only apply with gloves on which we have been doing when necessary. However, we feel that it is essential for the children’s independence and respect for self, to learn how to apply their sunscreen correctly and take care of their bodies in readiness for school.
Hats are essential throughout Term 4.
Please ensure that child’s hat is CLEARLY named as there have been many going missing and not named. We believe the children are out of the routine, keeping their hats in their lockers during the inside time at home during the lockdown. Some families have sewn a little icon or badge to the outside of the hat to help their child easily identify their hat, this has been helpful, and if possible, we encourage you to do so.
Unfortunately, some children have been coming to Preschool without a water bottle. With the restrictions, we cannot have our usual mugs available to the children to use the water taps.
Please make sure that your child has a water bottle each day. Again, in readiness for school, we encourage the children to refill their bottles as necessary or ask for assistance.
We are communicators
During our morning meeting times, we have been focusing on our communication skills to reinforce the skills we require when together.
We asked the children to draw and write their thoughts on demonstrating good listening throughout the day.
“To be a good listener, I need to ….” “When I am talking, I can ...”
Hunter “Listen, sit nicely and be quiet.”
Amelie “Listening eyes and look at people.”
Noah “Look at people and listen with your ears.”
Lara “being quiet while someone is talking.”
During another morning meeting, we discussed Woodleigh’s 3’R’s in particular, showing “Respect for Others.”
I can show respect to others by….
“If someone is hurt, offer them a band-aid.” Isla
“listen to the rule of the game.” Barney
“Pack up after you have been playing with someone.” Isla
“If you make a mistake, you could say sorry and help them fix it.” Charlotte
We reflected on our intentions, recognising when we were good listeners and showing respect and areas that we could improve on.
“We went and played together we had space and use the tiger den together.” Harper
“I told someone I like their work.” Lara
“You could say you have done a good job.” Maya
As an IB learner, we strive to be Communicators:
“We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspective of other individuals and groups.”
“Always was Always will be”
In celebration of NAIDOC Week, we used the 2020 poster as a provocation. Asking the children what they saw and what they thought the artist was trying to express in his work.
Isla- It’s the rainbow serpent snake.
Brandon- it’s the shape of Australia.
Lachlan.T- Once the lands were all together and then the water surrounded it.
Harper- I can see Arms and legs.
Theo- I can see an Emu. ‘
Emma- What do you think the artist wants to tell us?
Byron- That Australia will always be there.
We then explored various other Indigenous artworks, observing what we saw and our thoughts on what the artists wanted to express through their artwork.
- Children broaden their understanding of the world in which they live
- They explore the diversity of culture, heritage, background, and tradition and that diversity presents opportunities for choices and new understandings
Minimbah has begun its transition program this week, with Jacqui Wishart coming to visit the Cocoon group on Monday. Jacqui will continue to visit us over the next three weeks to establish a relationship with the children and get o know them.
I know that many of the children attending another school next year, they too have begun zoom sessions for transitions as the children have happily shared with me some of their experiences.
Please know that I am more than happy to speak to any teachers from other schools. Each school will receive a copy of the Transition statements that outline your child’s learning in each curriculum area and possible strategies to implement to assist with a smooth transition into Foundation.
Hopefully, you have all received an invitation to the information evening for 2020, which will provide you with further details of the orientation program for next year at Minimbah.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the school or us.
EMMA, RACHELLE, KELLIE, MILLY & LISA