Welcome back to Term 4! What a delight it has been to see so many smiling and happy faces walking back through the gates as if they had never been away for so long. To support transition back into the ECC, we have continued to work on our Unit of Inquiry, How the World Works alongside Who We Are. On our staff day, we were lucky to spend time with Dr. Arne Rubinstein, working with the school throughout term 4, supporting our community to grow and thrive in these uncertain times. With their permission, I will share some of the students' reflections in each newsletter. It will ensure that everyone's voice is heard and support one another to learn and grow.
Our stories and reflections
"Look at my great painting. It's ice cream, chocolate, and strawberry. We went out for ice-cream." Kai
"On the holidays, I went to the park with mum and Jack." Olivia
"On the holidays, I went on so many walks." Riley
"I went to the park too." Kai
"I saw you on Zoom and even my friends. My mum has Dougal in her tummy." Harriet
"I can draw myself see here, and I even write my name now. Wow!" Fletcher
"I played with Ashley and Jake. They were home with me, and we did dancing." Jordyn
How the World Works:
Many of the children are still very interested in exploring the forces of pushing and pulling. They have also been continuing their investigations into the movement of objects such as trucks and cars and the different ways they can make these objects move.
"I have made a ramp see." Fletcher
"This one goes really fast." Felix
"I like the long block for my ramp." Henry
"This monster truck is too big for this ramp." Ollie W
"It won't move I have to push it." Ollie W
"Pulling it uphill." Teddy
"This shovel moves sand. I push it in the cup to pull the sand out." Aubin
Teddy, Fletcher, and Felix discovered that they could easily pull the truck behind them if they added a rope to the truck. Using hands-on learning and experimentation to test their ideas out, the children quickly came to several conclusions:
- the rope needed to be in the middle of the truck so that it didn't tip to one side
- you also needed to pull it to make it move forward
- if you wanted to make it move backward, you needed to push it
"When you pull it, it goes like this way." Fletcher (Pushing his hands forward)
"Yes, pulling up." Teddy
"When you push it away, it goes backward." Felix
"I can make it move both ways." Henry
"Push and pull, they both make the truck move." Ollie C
Transferring their learning to a new situation, the children designed their experiment using push and pull forces with a tyre.
"How many cars will it fit until they fall out." Felix
"Maybe two." Henry "No, let's now try three." Fletcher
"Wow, they still don't go out." Henry
"I think it's gravity doing it." Riley
"Yeah, gravity holds them in there, so they don't come out." Eli
- CAUSATION- Why is it as it is?
- CHANGE- How does it change or transform.
Hydrophobic (waterproof) Sand and How the World Works
"Can I have a turn?" William
"It is sort of hard in the water and soft out." Remi
"I think the water makes it sink, and then when you pull it out, the water pushes back in." Luca
"The water makes it stick, then when you pull it, the waters drop, and the sand is soft again." Elleni
"I like the feel in the water. It's moving, but it sticks. Watch me add this." Maxine
William transfers a small pile of sand onto the table, then examines it with his fingers.
"Why isn't the sand wet?"
"The blue makes it wet, the pink makes it dry." Eli
"It's special sand." Aubie
"What makes it special?"
Felix squeezes it in his hand. "Hey, it's soft!"
"Maybe pink makes it warm?" Eli
"Can I put a stone in the water?" Felix
"What will you see when you put it in?"
"It will get wet and shiny," Felix
"Why is Aubie's sand purple?"
"It mixes." Eli
"If we mix it, it changes." Felix
"We mix it all up." Aubie
'Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise, and imagine. When children play with other children, they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other's thinking, and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children's thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways, play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children's immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to enjoy being simply.'
(EYLF, 2009 p15)
Sensory play and Who we are
As part of the children's wellbeing on return to the ECC, the sensory play was available in several different forms to support the children in settling back into the ECC routine. From birth, children use their senses to make sense of the world around them. We planned and incorporated several 'sensory experiences' that promoted play in small groups to understand how crucial this is for brain development and wellbeing. This also allowed the children to take turns and work with others in smaller groups, with less noise and disruption as we adjust to being in busier spaces again.
The children were engaged in these sensory experiences and naturally picked things up, exploring their texture, smell, and form. Small group collaboration allowed the children to make observations, develop theories, and understand their play without feeling overwhelmed from large groups where it can be noisy or visually busy.
We also observed that these activities supported the children to draw on skills learned throughout the CLP by encouraging them to use the 'scientific method' of observation, make predictions, conduct their experiments, and reflect on their findings.
"This glue doesn't make colours; it makes it stick." Maisy
"Yeah, and it has to be everywhere." Remi
"Mine needs more over here. It has come up on the end." Riley
"I can feel this paper is so soft." Alice
"I'm going to add textas to the materials." Harriet
"You can use crayons with this work too." Kai
FUNCTION: How does it work?
For example, the glues' function is to stick.
"It has to dry first," Elleni
FORM: What is it like?
"Some paper is soft, and some are rough," Remi
Art Studio and Open-ended materials
Open-ended sensory-rich materials have been offered to the children to support imagination and play. Working with the open-ended materials helped the children to discover that certain art supplies cannot be seen when layered, while others, such as paint, can be mixed to make new colours. Building on our prior knowledge and work, the children were drawn to exploring and playing with different materials together. To extend on this learning, we will add cellophane to our art space next week with the intention of the children being introduced to layering with translucent materials to conduct their own experiments.
Sharing our ideas and thoughts through creative arts
The art studio was a favourite space for many of the children. They relaxed and used it to settle in, in the morning by finding focus and achieving success while also expressing their feelings about leaving home for the first time in two months.
Rich oral literacy was evident as the children worked. They openly discussed their work with others, spoke about how they felt, and shared their ideas about what art is.
"You can make a necklace." Sophie
"This one is art mine has colours and string." Ollie C
"You can make what you want." Remi
"Making things is art." Sophie
Victorian Early Years Framework outcomes:
Children take increasing responsibility for their health and physical wellbeing.
- Engage in increasingly complex sensory-motor skills and movement patterns.
- Use their sensory capabilities and dispositions with increasing integration, skill, and purpose to explore and respond to their world.
The collage, painting, writing, and gluing required the children to use small motor skills.
Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching, and investigating.
- Apply various thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems and adapt these strategies to new conditions.
The children in the art studio were comparing and predicting what would happen when they mixed paint/layered materials and used problem-solving to find solutions to their problems.
RACHELLE, MILLY, TAHLIA & HEATHER