Week 3 - Reddam House



Week 3 - Reddam House
24th of October 2014
Virginia’s Message
Capable Children and Safety
By Virginia Aghan, Head of Early Learning
You will often hear the teachers and
myself extolling the virtues of children
being independent and encouraged to
meet new challenges. Here at Reddam
we provide many opportunities to test
boundaries, explore the world and
develop physical competencies. This
week I have chosen to share with you
Kidsafe, NSW thoughts on children's
“Children need to be given the chance to
‘have a go’, try new things, and explore a
range of outdoor areas. This, at times,
may involve trips, falls and some tears.
However, children need to be able to
make their own choices and learn that
taking some risks can be an important
part of play. As a parent, carer and/or
educator, it is important to provide a
managed environment so that children
can learn about risk and challenge.”
Kidsafe (2014)
I have chosen the photo above to
highlight how capable children are and
what happens when you provide these
Kidsafe http://www.kidsafensw.org/is a
wonderful resource for teachers and
families and provides thoughtful articles
and suggestions on helping children to be
safe in the home, in playgrounds, at
school and in the community. It also has
useful articles on water and road safety.
You can also sign up for their newsletter.
Kidsafe thoughts echo our thoughts in
regard to child safety. Children must be
provided with opportunities to take risks
in diverse environments supported and
managed by teachers and families.
A competent, experienced child is a safe
Stage 1
Children are Confident & Involved Learners
By Petra Wright, Karla Cabezas, Tori Gordon and Monika Ranjitkar
Children use processes such as exploration,
collaboration and problem solving across all
aspects of the curriculum. Developing
dispositions such as curiosity, persistence and
creativity enables children to participate in and
gain from their learning. Effective learners are
then able to transfer and adapt what they have
learned from one context into another, allowing
them to locate and use a variety of resources for
• use descriptive words to express ideas and
• make connections with real life experiences
• promote scientific thinking, including
predictions, observations, comparisons,
reasoning, data gathering, experimentation
and evaluation
• hand-eye coordination and control
• cause and effect
• concentration
In a supportive, active learning environment,
children who are confident and involved learners
are increasingly able to take responsibility for
their own learning, personal regulation and
contribution to the social environment.
Connections and continuity between learning
experiences in different settings make learning
more meaningful and increase children’s feelings
of belonging. ELYF (2009)
It is that time of the year when we ask parents to
make sure that all children arrive, with sun
screen already applied. We will also be topping
up as required throughout the day. Please notify
the teachers if your child has particularly
sensitive skin and if you would prefer to supply
your own sunscreen for us to use.
During the week the children had a wonderful
time with a learning tray activity. We have had
great fun with some science exploration using
household ingredients, bi-carbonate of soda
(baking soda) and coloured vinegar. The reaction
between these two properties is always explosive,
engaging and exciting to watch and the children
had so much fun adding the different coloured
vinegar to their experiment. When the vinegar
touches the bi-carbonate of soda it bubbles and
froths. This has been a great way to encourage
scientific thinking and skills. Some of the
learning outcomes we have worked on through
these fun play based experiences include:
We have been teaching the children all about
being sun smart. ‘Slip, Slap Slop.’ So next time you
are about to put on some sunscreen, don’t be too
surprised if your toddler insists on being
involved and putting it on themselves, they have
been getting plenty of practice!
Happy Birthday and Welcome
Stage 1 would like to wish Emilio
Johnson, Monty Hui, Max Kruck and
Zachary Hickman a happy 2nd birthday.
!We would also like to welcome Caitlin
Pannell to our Thursday/ Friday group.
! !
Stage 1
Photo Gallery
Stage 2
Developing Independence & Self Help Skills
By Daniela Gosty, Polina Rodov and Michele Santos
In preparation for the upcoming transitions
next year, we are working on developing selfhelp skills, independence and autonomy.
During lunchtime we are encouraging the
children to attempt opening their own lunch
boxes and containers. They feel so very proud
and excited when they are able to do it
themselves saying “look, I did it!” or “I
opened by myself.” It is very important to
pack lunches in containers that the children
can open easily (such as the Sistema click
locking ones on each side), while still giving
the children an opportunity to develop finger
strength and allowing them the achievement
of actually opening the container.
!The Montessori self-help boards with zippers,
buttons, clips, and velcro straps have been
assisting the children in practising and further
developing their fine-motor skills. This activity
has been very popular and the children love to
continuously practice opening and closing
zippers, undoing buttons and peeling back the
Velcro. This encourages them and supports
their confidence in undoing and doing up
their own clothing. You may notice at home
your child trying out these newly developing
skills, and putting on their own shoes and
!“Children take increasing responsibility for
their own health and physical wellbeing, when
they show increasing independence and
competence in personal hygiene, care and
safety for themselves and others.” EYLF (2009)
We Love Axi!
A few weeks ago our friend Axi, the axylotol
(who previously lived in the hallway) came to
live in our room. The children absolutely love
it! Before, the children would stop to say hello
and look at Axi as they walked past, but now
they can come over and see her anytime, as
she has become our class pet. This week we
researched axylotols and have found out some
interesting facts about this unusual creature.
• can live 10 to 15 years • eat worms, insect larvae and some fish
• grow up to 30cm
• haveColour black, brown but commonly
• weigh 60 to 227g
!We feed Axi every couple of days as this is
how often they eat. We bought her a little
present from the class, a natural plant attached
to some bark to keep her more active and
entertained as she moves around the tank.
!Table Activities
Table activities have become increasingly
popular with the children. There is a wide
range of experiences available, all of which
promote matching, counting, sorting,
grouping and identifying. The line-up game
that the children have been playing in pairs
also encourages the social skills of
Stage 2
Photo Gallery
Stage 2
Exploring Nature
By Tatiana Botrel, Christina Mandalidis and Vanessa Copper
This past week the atelier has undergone a
transformation. We have removed a table
and have been having a lot of fun working
and creating on the floor!
The children have been exploring many
natural materials, such as shells, sticks, pine
cones, flowers and branches. We have also
been mind mapping and discussing our
ideas for transforming our atelier into a
forest. The main idea has been to create
After the big storm last week, Tina found
some big fallen branches. She brought them
in to school and the group discussed what
they could do with them. Here are some of
our ideas:
Spencer: “It needs a tree stump to hold the tree
Sofia: “An apple tree”
Allegra: “We can make a tree house to live in it”
Amelie: “Feathers”
Jonathan: “Get leaves from outside”
Tina then posed the question how could we
create these ideas and attach things to the
branches? The children answered with,
sticky tape, glue, blue tac and playdough.
Our tree adventure has begun……..
We made our own natural playdough. We
didn’t use any food colouring to make the
dough. We did however find some very
interesting natural materials to use with the
playdough during our outdoor adventure.
(sticks, twigs and flowers). We were also
lucky to find some lavender on the ground
and it smelt so beautiful. What a great
addition to our playdough!
We Found Treasure!
In our main room, the children have been
interested in our new set of building blocks.
We have a lovely basket full of little wooden
blocks. When the children looked closer
they were surprised to find out that some of
the blocks have a little surprise, a sparkle
stone in them. Very quickly this new
addition to our classroom has become a
very special treasure!
The children are spending lots of time
around the basket, sorting the blocks that
have sparkles from the ones that do not, and
making piles of treasure.
Stage 2
Photo Gallery
Stage 3
Solving Puzzles
By Anita Martin, Melanie Elderton, Neda Kazemikhoo, Clare Guest and Zoe Hayes
Puzzle work and problem solving activities are
offered to the children on a daily basis. The
children are constantly challenged with
puzzles of a variety of sizes, shapes and
learning possibilities. In recent weeks the
children’s interest in puzzle making has
exploded, particularly with the large 48 piece
provide children with satisfaction,
enjoyment and the opportunity to focus on an
activity that has an ending. As children grasp,
hold, turn and fit puzzle pieces, they develop
hand-eye coordination and fine motor
dexterity. Puzzles encourage problem-solving
skills, which in turn develop mathematical
concepts such as sorting, classifying,
comparing, sets, size, and spatial relationships.
Puzzle making also helps to develop social
skills such as negotiation, perseverance,
teamwork and sharing. Finally, upon
completion the children can feel pleased with
themselves, in turn gaining confidence in their
ability as problem solvers and feel willing to
try new puzzles or other challenging activities.
!There have been occasions when some of the
children have been heard saying, “I can’t do
it, can you help me.” The children are
constantly reminded that they can do it, but in
order to do something you first need to try.
On such occasions the children are often
encouraged to ask a friend to assist them if
needed and they are now fully embracing the
idea of teamwork, working together and
verbally communicating with one another to
complete the task.
!The children have also been encouraged to
transfer the problem solving skills that they
have gained while puzzle making to every day
social situations such as “what could you do if
all the seats at the table are taken for morning
tea?” or “what should you do if someone
takes the toy you are playing with?” In these
types of scenarios the children are posed with
the question “how can we solve this
problem?” to help them to gain the skill of
problem solving independently, without
teacher intervention.
!Finally, with Spring in full swing the children
have been inspired to connect with nature.
They have been stretching themselves up to
see if they can reach the top of the trees in the
big playground and have been looking after
the plants and flowers in the garden. Some
lavender from our garden was brought into
the classroom to share during group time. The
children passed it around the group to study
and to smell. Tico remarked that his mummy
had perfume made from lavender and Lilly
told the class that she has lavender candles in
her house. Following this group time
experience some of the children went to the
art table where the lavender was displayed
and it inspired them to create their very own
“garden” drawings.
Stage 3
Photo Gallery
Stage 4
The Language of Light
By Deanne Jacobs, Debbie Zerbst, Kelly Nance, Deanne Jacobs, Jane Pledger and Tania Hurtado
Have you ever wondered what light is,
where do you focus and locate it, what is it
made from, does it have a smell, does it
make a sound, what is it for and how many
different kinds of light can be found? This
dialogue was the start of a project we have
been fortunate to embark on this term with
Dr Paula Dawson. Paula is an associate
professor at the College of Fine Arts,
University of NSW and one of the worlds
leading holographers.
!Pa u l a
has designed a play-based
programme to explore the language of
light. The programme encourages children’s
communication, discovery, imagination and
creativity. The programme started the
second week of the term.
Early Years Learning Framework
defines play-based learning as a context for
learning through which children organize
and make sense of their social worlds, as
they engage actively with people, objects
and representations.
EYLF 2009.
Paula commented on how engaged and
focused the children were in the discussion.
We then went on to explore the school
environment and define all the different
types of light we could find in the school. A
power point (photographed by the children)
has been made of their findings. You can
view this power point on the ELS newsletter
!This week we continued to explore ways in
which light interacts with the transparency
and opacity of materials. We discussed
which materials (bubble wrap, tracing paper,
shinny white paper and translucent paper)
were light’s friends. Questions were asked
as to why a particular material might be
light’s friend and what happens when we
fold over the material.
!Samia summed up the experience
exclaiming “This is magical”.
!Each child then enthusiastically choose
!In the first week Paula introduced ‘light
paper/s to create an object that was light’s
friend. They tested their theories using the
light tablet or the light coloured cube.
language”, and invited the children to share
their knowledge. With great enthusiasm,
and interest, thoughts were shared. The
children’s responses were recorded and
Their comments and discoveries are on the
next page.
Stage 4
The Language of Light
By Deanne Jacobs, Cheryl Freeman, Debbie Zerbst, Kelly Nance, Jane Pledger and Tania Hurtado
Their creations included:
Dominic – “I made a boat, it has light on
Arlo – “I made some pants with a belt on
Nathan – “A boat and an airplane. Boats
go on water and lights go through.”
Sienna – “I made a beautiful rainbow and
a little stick. They are lights friend because
this one is shinier (reflective).”
James – “An alien bird. It is lights friend
because it has bubble wrap and this
material you can see through.”
Teddy – “It’s a TV. It is light’s friend
because it has a bit of light on it.”
Max – “A funny boat. It has tracing paper
and this (highly reflective material) as he
sits it on his arm.”
Parker – “A monster mask and a snake
shield for the snake to have on its back as
a shield. They are lights friend because of
these holes.”
Sophie – “A star. It is light’s friend because
light is on the paper.”
Julia – “A boat hat. It is light’s friend
because you can see a lot of light through
this one.”
• Samia – “A different type of star, you
can see through and there is a little
present inside (she opens it and holds it
on the light tablet.). Inside there is
something transparent a rainbow. A
rainbow inside a star.”
During our bush experience this week we
met a caring local (Kate), who like us
wanted to keep Cooper Park clean by
collecting rubbish. As a local who has
been visiting Cooper Park for many years
she feels strongly about its preservation
for future use. Kate spoke to the children
about her weekly maintenance ritual in
the space by engaging in a spring-clean
to ensure the park can be enjoyed by all.
Upcoming Event
Halloween Celebrations. We will be
celebrating Halloween on Friday 31st
Stage 4 End of Year Celebration
Picasso and Kandinsky Groups
Friday 28th November from 9am to
Monet and Da Vinci Groups
Wednesday 3rd December from 9am to
Stage 2
Photo Gallery
Edible Magic
Repetition is the Teacher
Over the years people have often commented to me that it
'must be so wonderful to be able to cook, you must be so
creative. Before I really understood what it meant to be
someone who makes their living from cooking, I did
consider myself to be very creative and attributed much of
my success in the kitchen to this notion. But the truth is,
that was only the first step and not what was going to
sustain me in my career, nor life for that matter.
!The children and I have devoured new legumes for the
last few weeks in our learning kitchen, and the journey will
continue this week with chickpeas and lots of greens.
However, in and among the flavours, smells and textures
that they are experiencing, they too are mastering useful
lifelong skills through the simple act of repetition. It's a
debate I remember having with a very well-known
colleague of mine who's calling card is familial feeding.
Despite his own Rock Star status in the culinary world, he
challenged me with the comment, 'Corb, our work is
about doing the same thing, the exact same way, over and
over and over again.' A bit like life itself.
Recipe of the Week
Super Salad Cup
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Skill Level: Easy
Servings: 4ppl
!• 1 1⁄2 C corn niblets, defrosted and warmed
•! 2 tins chick peas, drained and washed
•! 1 1⁄2 C peas, frozen and then blanched
•! 2 Lebanese cucumber, diced or roll cut
•! 2 Carrots, shredded
•! 1 red capsicum, sliced
• 8 large leaves green lettuce
• apple cider vinegar
• extra virgin olive oil
• mixed dried herbs (optional)
• salt & pepper
2. Wash all vegetables, minus the corn
3. Shred washed lettuce and herbs
into bite size pieces. Add all of the
vegetables into same bowl.
4. Gently whisk Dressing ingredients
and then drizzle over salad.
5. Spoon & Serve.

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