Prep | Kindergarten News

Unit of Inquiry: How the world works

As part of our new unit of inquiry ‘How the world works’, Kindergarten boys are inquiring into the properties of objects and materials and how these influence product design. 

Throughout this unit, the boys will explore the key concepts of Form, Connection and Function. 

The boys have used their thinking skills to pose questions about their wonderings:

How do you make glass? (Joshua)

What are astronaut suits made of? (Landon)

How does the inside of the pencil make pictures? (Jayden)

Why is this fork wood when my fork is metal? (Dylan)

Learner Profile Goal Setting

The aim of the International Baccalaureate programme is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.

The boys have set new goals from the attributes of the Learner Profile. The boys show student agency by self selecting their goals to focus on. They provide evidence and examples of how they have met their current goal and what it will look like if they are successful in their new goal.

Mathematics

We have been using objects, actions, technology and/or trial and error to explore mathematical problems. The boys were challenged with the following problematised situation:

‘Finn wrote a number. He counted how many straight lines he had used to form the number and found there were two. What numbers might he have written?’

Here are some of the strategies used to find possible solutions.

Literacy

Boys have continued to develop their phonemic awareness through the Initial Lit program. We are now consolidating our knowledge of the following sounds and tricky words:

Single sounds: m, s, r, a, o, f, i, c, t

Tricky words: I, the, my, as, is

To assist your son at home, readers have been provided and changed every Monday to support decoding and early reading skills.

To develop our comprehension skills, we have been reading ‘How to Catch a Star’ by Oliver Jeffers. Students have made connections to themselves and other stories, as well as built their vocabulary and developed their creative thinking skills. I wonder if you have a book at home written by Oliver Jeffers. Are there any new words in that story?

We have been exploring different ways to purposefully communicate our ideas. Each week, we spend time focusing on ‘learning to write’ where we discuss our writing goals and conventions of writing such as writing left to right, full stops at the end of sentences, capital letters at the start of sentences and finger spaces between words. The boys are able to practice these skills during our ‘low risk’ writing time where they are encouraged to be risk takers and put their knowledge about writing into practice. We also engage in handwriting lessons where we explicitly learn the formation of different lowercase letters.

Music

This term in Music our Stand-Alone Unit is Music and Movement and we have a Central Idea of Thinking creatively enhances our ability to influence others through the expression of unique perspectives. The Concepts which will drive our inquiry are Function, Change, Perspective. Thus far the students have learnt a song Hey Jim Along and created movements that help to express the mood and rhythm of the song and assist us to remember the lyrics of the song. The students will in the coming weeks play the songs using BoomWhackers and learn the Solfa which will reinforce their understanding of combining rhythm and melody. 

Mandarin

Over the first few weeks, Kindergarten boys will continue to develop their growing understanding of colours and application of Chinese numbers in conjunction with fruits and animals. They will then explore animal words through interactive songs, stories and role play with finger puppets. Scaffolded reading through the book “My Pet Dragon” aims to introduce animal Hanzi using Chinese radicals and pictograms contextually.  

In line with the Term 2 UOI “How the World Works?”, the boys will be inquiring into some animal homes in Mandarin and the materials used in building those homes during the second half of the term.

Self-Management Skills

This term, we are encouraging the students to further develop their self-management skills, particularly in regard to taking responsibility for their own belongings and being ready to learn. Each morning, the students hang their blazer on the coat hanger, unpack their bags and check that they have the correct materials for their day (e.g. Library Bags).

Help wanted!

We are fortunate at Trinity Prep to have parents that work in a wide variety of industries and professions. In the past, Units of Inquiry have been enriched by having parents come in to speak to the boys or provide learning experiences that relate to their area of expertise. 

If you are interested in adding your name to a list for the Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6 teachers to access during the planning phase of each unit, and contact you to see if you’re available to share your expertise with the boys, please complete this form.

Thank you for your continued support in enriching the learning opportunities for our students.

Mrs K Hitz-Morton | Director of Early Learning and Primary Curriculum


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