What a unique and challenging Term it has been so far. At our last after-school pick up nine weeks ago, we had no idea what laid ahead of us. As I grabbed a few things from the classroom and closed the door, the hardest part was not knowing how long it would be until we were all back there together again. The timing was not ideal for our beautiful little learners. We had just established our routines, got to know each other, and started to feel settled. The Foundation iPad cart had been opened three times since the beginning of the year, as our focus was on the social, emotional, and fine-motor skills that cannot be learned on a device. Suddenly, our iPads became our main point of connection to each other and our only teaching tool.
We relied on you as parents to make this work, and I cannot thank you enough for your support, persistence, and patience. Our classroom took over your kitchen benches, lounge rooms, and backyards. Many of you juggled multiple children at home, work, running small businesses, and caring for extended family along with all of the typical parenting roles. We learned new technology together and made online communication our new normal. You were all so organised, setting up learning spaces, having your children ready online at zoom times, and keeping up with all of the seesaw notifications. I know that you supported each other when the links wouldn't work, or things didn't go to plan too. I am so grateful to all of you for making this work.
As for your amazing children, I feel immensely proud of them. I spent hours worrying about how they would cope, but their resilience, positivity, and enthusiasm has led the way. It has been beautiful to see them with their siblings eagerly playing our games on Zoom, blending their sounds to read words, learning to un-mute themselves on Zoom, or heading out for their own Creek Days. I cannot wait to welcome them, in person, in our classroom on Tuesday.
Once we are back at school we will be working on the following;
Unit of Inquiry
We will continue to explore our central idea, 'Living things adapt and grow' and keep exploring adaptation and change, lifecycles, interdependence, and habitats. We will focus on our third line of inquiry, 'How can we learn about living things' by exploring non-fiction texts and continuing to think like scientists. We will complete some experiments in class and work on recording our observations.
For the next few weeks, we will revise all the number concepts taught so far this term. We will play lots of games to help reinforce number sense, counting, and our ability to record our mathematical thinking. The formation of the digits 0-9 will be reinforced through tracing and recording games. We will continue with addition strategies and introduce some basic skip counting. We will also explore shape and measurement using non-standard units.
Once we are back at school, we will continue with our Read Write Inc program revising the new sounds that we have learned and beginning to learn digraphs or 'special friends' such as ch, sh, th, etc. While reading, we will focus on listening and responding to shared texts and beginning to decode words as we read. We will look at the structure and features of non-fiction texts as we complete some beginning research. We will be encouraging lots of writing in class, focusing on using known sounds to record words. 'Inventive spelling' is a significant developmental step for children of this age. By recording the sounds that they can hear to write a word, your child is reinforcing their phonological awareness and ability to read words. If your child is writing at home, make sure you celebrate 'inventive spelling' if you see it, just like you would have celebrated their first words as a baby. Remember that reversing letters and numbers at this stage is also completely normal and not something to be concerned about.
Once again, my sincere thanks for making learning and connection possible during these challenging times. I hope that as a family, you have created some special memories and enjoyed a little glimpse into your child's life as a learner. I cannot wait to thank you all in person when we meet again.
Foundation Classroom Teacher