Congratulations to all the families in Moonee Valley – you made it to the end of term 3! Lockdown fatigue is real, and it is a credit to everyone involved – children, educators, teachers and families to have adapted so readily to a different way of doing things. Take a minute to process the work you have done these past few weeks.
For those families who have kindergarten and school children, enjoy the school holidays, even if it looks different than usual. Relish the break in routine, time away from screens and hopefully enjoy some nicer weather that allows for much more time spent outdoors, even at the local playground now!
In this week’s blog, we hear from Airport West Kindergarten, Lincolnville Kindergarten and Milleara Integrated Learning and Development Centre. Each service will share some of the learning and experiences that the children have been involved in.
The Water cycle song
It has been inspiring to see how one idea, one question ‘Can we learn about water?’ has generated so many learning opportunities for children, inspiring them to immerse themselves in an interest area. Educators have supported children’s quest for knowledge by offering hands-on learning experiences, working together with children to investigate topics through play-based experiences, experiments, books, internet searches and videos. It’s been an evolving interest that has shown the journey of children’s learning over the last few weeks.
In our learning experiences, we like to include complex language terms. An example is the use of Evaporation, Condensation and Precipitation. By doing this we are supporting children’s language development. Over time we know that role modeling the use of new words will assist children in gaining a richer vocabulary which will help their language use both in conversations, comprehension, and in written form. Anis read the children the story “The Flow of Water” to provide a visual story of the water cycle. The children also took part in a group project to make a water cycle display, offering them the opportunity to share their knowledge and have this visual available to re-visit and consolidate their learning in weeks to come.
Our kindergarten children are making connections with the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning. They explored a cloud in a jar and what dissolves in water? experiments for Science week. They explored various substances to learn about their properties and how they react with water. This included salt, pepper, flour, sand and coffee. They discovered which substances dissolved or didn’t. Some substances that dissolved changed the colour of the water, some are ‘light’ and ‘float’ while others have ‘heavier’ particles and would sink. They found it interesting that not all substances dissolved quickly, some took longer than others based on their size. Here are some of their responses demonstrating their growing understandings…
Examples of children’s reflections-
“Sugar is bigger in shape than salt, so sugar dissolves quickly than salt. Sand is heavy, it is sinking. The water looks like beach water.’
“Pepper is light. It is floating on the water.”
“Add more coffee, it will become dark brown. It changed the colour of water.”
“Salt is gone, very fast.”
“Sand, pepper, flour didn’t dissolve, sugar and salt dissolved.”
Water Cycle Discussion – by Leonie
What you will need:
- clear snap lock bags
- food colouring
- Ask your child to draw the water cycle on their snap-lock bags. They can get creative and draw anything they want in their environment besides the sun and the clouds — a giraffe, themselves — anything!
- Then, fill each snap-lock bag 1/4 of the way with water and a few droplets of food colouring.
- Tape the sealed snap lock bags to a clear window where they can receive sunlight. This is the stage where evaporation takes place!
- After a few hours, or on the next day, you should be able to see water droplets on the insides of the snap lock bags. The water droplets or fog at the top of the snap lock bag is where condensation has taken place.
- The water droplets dripping down from the top is precipitation.
North Essendon Kindergarten
The children have shown a huge connection to Welcome to Country and Wilam books during this year – they have continually been making zoos, they really love the reptiles and birds in particular and enjoy bird watching in the yard outside.
Pointing out the rainbow lorikeets, we even saw a butcherbird and had it visit us repeatedly, enjoying our gum trees in the kinder yard.
We discussed the book Wilam and where the Birrarung begins. We also investigated what native animals live along the creeks and how the rivers all merge into one and continue out to the saltwater bay:
The children are learning about how to recycle, how to manage waste and be aware of how our actions may impact on the waterways and environment around you
Some tips about worm farms from Coronation Kindergarten
Tips for Happy Worms
Six easy steps to a successful worm farm.
- Kept in a cool place.
Heat is the number one enemy of worms. Make sure your worm farm out of the sun, somewhere that stays cool.
In very hot weather keep a frozen bottle of water buried in the top of the worm farm until the weather cools.
- Don’t overfeeding
If you overfeed the worms, it can lead to an unbalanced, air-starved environment, with the food rotting before the worms can eat it.
Keeping a balance of food scraps and paper and cardboard will ensure a happy worm farm.
When adding food scraps add as much paper or cardboard.
- Fluff It
Worms need to breathe, so give the top layer 2 – 3 inches a fluff up with a fork every couple of days to let the air in.
Adding paper and cardboard will keep the feed layer open and airy.
As the worm farm is a natural environment, it will attract other living beings. If it attracts ants it can mean it is too dry, flies mean too much food waste and not enough paper or cardboard.
A worm farm that is healthy will smell of rich soil. If it smells rotten or pungent then you have put too much food waste and not enough paper or cardboard. What you will need to do is to add a significant amount of paper or cardboard and give it a good mix with a fork to let the air in.
- What worms love to eat.
Most fruit and vegetables, teabags, coffee grounds, egg shells, egg cartons, toilet rolls, paper towels and tissues, vacuum dust and uncoated paper.
- What worms can eat in very small amounts.
Bread, pasta, rice and processed foods.
- What worms can NOT eat.
Citrus fruits, pineapple, onion, garlic, spicy foods, plastics, foils, non-organics, diary, oils, meat, chicken and fist.
Milleara Integrated Learning and Development Centre
Lacing and Threading
It’s so easy to make you only need a few things that you’ll have around the house.
- Recycled Cardboard and create holes, scattered or around the edge of the cardboard
- Wool/ shoe laces
- Sewing needle for wool
Benefits of Threading: Enhances development of fine motor skills along with hand eye coordination, strengthening the pincer grip.
Further making learning fun, children can decorate their cardboards with drawings, using stickers and pasting with natural material as leaves, trees.