Our morning meetings have been full of rich learning about what it means to show respect for self, others and the environment. With the end of term just around the corner, we have unpacked our ideas through illustrations, photos and storybooks. Hopefully, when we return to The Hive we will be able to add to this work, and watch it evolve as we live and breathe the Three Rs.
In this issue
- Handwashing in the Hive
- Hive agreement
- Indigenous education and our unit of inquiry
- Identity and learning communities
- Zones of regulation
- Handwashing in the Hive
In light of the recent health concerns around COVID-19 all educators thought it was worth going over correct hand handwashing techniques during group time. We set up a handwashing station and invited children in to the circle to model correct hand washing. All children sang Happy Birthday twice and noted that it was a long time!
“That’s a long time” Alice.
Correct handwashing is our best defence to many illnesses and we discussed that it prevents us from getting sick so it’s very important throughout the day. Educators are monitoring handwashing procedures and creating visual posters with the children to illustrate each step.
Who We Are
Indigenous Education and our unit of inquiry Who we are.
Our unit of inquiry “who we are” has led us to inquire about the various learning environments in our community and how different cultures use a variety of ways to learn. Uncovering these various aspects has helped all children respond to diversity with respect.
“We can use our ears.” Riley
“We can use our hands.” Olivia
“We can use our eyes.” Kai
“We learn when we play.” Alice
Each morning we do an acknowledgement to country and talk about Australia’s First People and their contributions to our nation. To learn more about Aboriginal culture, we read an adaptation of the Dreamtime story of Tiddalik The Frog. We learned the elders pass down knowledge and teach the bubups (Children) through storytelling. This storytelling included art, dancing and Dreamtime stories.
What message is in the Tiddalick story? What are the elders teaching us?
BEING PART OF A LEARNING COMMUNITY, AND OUR IDENTITY
Construction, building and creating are a favourite way to engage in playful explorations in the Hive. We recently used the children’s photos to create their very own personalised blocks. Each child has their own block, and they enjoy finding themselves and friends, we have noted the blocks turn up at many places throughout the day with many choosing to place it at their seating space during snack and lunchtimes. Each child has enjoyed playing with their block and feels part of the Hive community as they see and identify their photos. The children chose the picture they wanted to use on their block.
The children are connected to their blocks and realise they are part of a learning community. If they see a photo block on work, the children can quickly identify their friend’s work and find another space where they can begin to work. The respect and shared expectation the children have developed through this inquiry is important in a group setting as it helps the children work together, learn patience and the ability to listen to others. Such social and emotional learning skills are part of our inquiry into who we are and our what it means to be part of a learning community, all skills that will be used throughout school years and beyond.
As the children play and identify their Hive block, the children are learning to:
- Confidently explore and engage with social and physical environment through relationships and play.
- Initiate and join in play
- Explore aspects of identity through social interactions and role play.
- Demonstrates a sense of belonging and understanding different ways of contributing through play and projects.
- Children feel recognised and respected for who they are.
- Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
(VEYLDF: Wellbeing). Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
- Experience and share in learning and initiate opportunities for new learning
- Recognise the contribution they make to shared projects and experiences.
Social and Emotional skills -The Zones of regulation
The children have continued to explore social interactions and emotions by drawing on a visual tool known as The Zones of regulation.
“Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it” – Charles Swindoll
Throughout life, children are exposed to new events such as their first day in the Hive, moving house, becoming a sibling or making friends. At times these new experiences can be overwhelming, frightening or upsetting for small children and behaviours may come out in various ways such as crying, withdrawing or becoming clingy.
Throughout this term as educators, we have ensured that children understand they always have an adult to ask for help no matter how they are feeling.
All educators have been responsible for teaching the zones of regulation, and there have been many strategies we have been using;
- Noticing and understanding children’s feelings and helping them to self-regulate.
- Emotional stories where children match the characters to their zone (sad book – blue zone).
- Visuals of the zones
- Drawings of faces and using emoji stickers to identify the different faces and their corresponding zones.
By covering emotions in the unit before we introduced the zones, the children were able to demonstrate an awareness that it’s ok to feel different emotions throughout the day. What matters is what we do when we are in the various zones.
“If you’re in the red you can breathe” Oliver W.
“Sometimes I feel sad and I have a hug” Olivia.
“I’m so happy” Kai.
“You can go outside to help” Ollie C.
We have observed that the children are beginning to notice and manage their emotions through the various zones and respond to them appropriately.
“I’m going in the quiet corner as I’m puffed out” Elleni.
“Can I have a teddy for quiet time” Aubin.
“I like a teddy to sleep with” Luca.