Prep | Kindergarten News
Unit of Inquiry: How We Express Ourselves
Central Idea: Creative thinking allows for the expression of different perspectives.
Students in kindergarten have been further developing their understanding of the form of stories. We are discovering that not all stories are expressed in the same way. Some are expressed through drama, puppets, actions, singing and art. There are many ways a story can be told. By exploring the many forms of storytelling, students are developing their creative thinking skills. In the last few weeks, students have been creating settings for their stories and will work towards sharing their own stories while developing their expressive language skills.
I wonder if you have experienced different forms of storytelling at home. Maybe you have been to a play or a musical? I wonder if you have watched an opera, concert or dance? Exposure to all forms of storytelling helps our young learners to develop an open-minded attitude as he explores the perspectives of others.
This term, we have been focusing on developing our oral language and verbal communication skills. Oral language is important as it forms the foundation for our journey as readers, writers and communicators.
To support our oral language development, the boys have been investigating different books and looking at key vocabulary, the characters, the setting and the storyline. We have investigated:
Magic Beach by Alison Lester where we looked at the words: Glee, Plunging, Dazzled. We also used our imagination to create our own ‘Magic Beaches’ – where we were encouraged to describe our creative ideas. We have also been able to re-tell the story in the classroom.
Tiddalick by Robert Roennfeldt which introduced us to a dreamtime story about a frog who caused a flood. We were able to engage with this story through drama activities and a small world scene.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae where we thought about the sequence of events in the story, looked for interesting words and made connections between our own experiences and the text.
Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo by Alison Lester which introduced interesting vocabulary such as sneaks, inspected and humid. We thought about other times when we could use these words and how Alison Lester chooses words in her stories to add details and to make it more interesting.
We have also enjoyed reading a variety of different rhyming books that have helped to consolidate our understanding of how rhyme works.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
For more ideas on developing your son’s fine motor skills you could try a few of the strategies from the list below:
- painting and drawing on paper at large easels that requires whole arm movement
- playing on climbing frames and obstacle courses that allow children to pull themselves up and build upper body strength
- filling cups, jugs and a range of different sized containers with water and pouring water during water play
- using spades, filling buckets to scoop sand and dig with hands in the sandpit
- rolling playdough with hands, using cookie cutters and rolling pins
- squeezing trigger on spray bottles to water plants
- building with smaller wooden building blocks or connecting blocks, strengthening fingers and practice control to build intricate structures (e.g. lego, small blocks)
- threading with beads
- picking up objects with tongs and tweezers (e.g. picking up pompoms with tongs and placing them in a jar)
- making smaller objects using pinching with playdough and using smaller rolling movements with fingers.
- tearing paper into tiny pieces to increase finger dexterity
- using pegs (e.g. helping to hang the washing up and squeezing each peg)
- using scissors to cut a variety of materials (paper, playdough, cardboard)
- Drawing with chalk outside on the sidewalk
- Finger painting
- Dressing and undressing a doll (including the use of buttons and zips)
- Completing puzzles with various different sized pieces
- Using large nuts and bolts to screw and unscrew (the twisting motion with fingers)
In Kindergarten we have been exploring patterns. The boys have explored patterns in the environment. They have used a range of materials to demonstrate their understanding.
We are now inquiring into two dimensional shapes. We will manipulate, sort and describe representations of two-dimensional shapes, including circles, triangles, squares and rectangles, using everyday language. At home you could discuss the following language: shape, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, features, side, straight line, curved line, open line, closed shape.
This term, the boys have been talking about ‘Being REAL’
Ready AND Reliable
Engaged and Enthusiastic
Accepting, Assured and Appreciative
Be a Learner
We are focusing on being a Trinatarian, respecting and valuing the school uniform. The boys are using their self management skills by checking their shirts are tucked in, socks are pulled up and they are ready to learn.
Next term, we will explore what it means to be engaged and enthusiastic. If you have a passion or an interest that you are engaged and enthusiastic with and would like to share it with our boys, please contact your class teacher.
During this term, the boys have been investigating the question, “Who is Jesus – his power and authority.” They have explored a series of miracles including healing the paralyzed man, calming the storm, feeding the 5000, and raising Lazarus. Over the next few weeks, they will be thinking about Easter and why Jesus died on the cross for us. They will be exploring the events of Easter through some drama and outside activities. They continue to use their thinking, research and communication skills to help them share their knowledge with their peers. It is also encouraging to hear boys come back to school sharing their joy in reading new stories from the “Read with me Bible”. In Chapel, they have been reflecting on parables – stories Jesus told with a heavenly meaning and working on the connection between God, us and our relationship with him.
Kindergarten boys have continued to develop a sound foundational understanding of colours in addition to simple greetings and classroom routine in Mandarin. The concentration that the boys are displaying to develop their communication and inquiry skills is truly impressive. It is wonderful to see them expressing their feelings with curiosity in observing colour changes in nature and when two colours are combined together. Advanced learners are learning to associate colour with classroom objects, shapes, fruits and balloons with Chinese numbers.
In considering what to write about this week, I have made a conscious decision to look…
There have been no changes since I last wrote about our plans for Week 4 and 5, but I would like to request your ongoing assistance in reinforcing to your sons the current public health messages.
I am excited to finally be welcoming students back to school over the next two weeks….