Thursday, October 19, 2017

Eco friendly wet clothes bags

One of our goals for Enviroschools is to stop using plastic bags. We needed some form of reusable bag for wet clothes and had a big sail bag of spinnaker cloth donated to us. We decided to sew bags from the donated nylon and it has been an ongoing project.

Pat got out the sewing machine and over several weeks the children have been making the bags. We now have enough to use each day with a tag on that says "Borrow me" and "Bring me back". We will be able to phase out the plastic bags. YEAH!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Magic Peter comes to visit

We were needing some help with our kiln and one of the children's uncles is a potter, Magic Peter who volunteered to come and help out. He brought some clay and showed us his amazing magic hands on the potter's wheel and then helped programme the kiln. It was very exciting and the children were enthralled as he made 4 vessels in almost as many minutes. It takes us a lot longer to make anything on the wheel but it was a great demonstration of how if you practice and practice and practice you can become better at a skill like pottery.
Thanks to Sam's Magic Peter, Peter Collis we are now able to fire the clay works of our children and make them permanent examples of their work with clay.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Our sculptures are hanging at our farm, Ambury Farm

We have been working on creating sculptures for the kindergarten and we have made two now for Ambury Farm to hang in the Insect garden. We just love Ambury Farm and spending time there every Monday. Our student hannah earlier this year introduced us to these fabulous, colourful sculptures and the children began work on their patterns on the circles of wood. These patterns are maths concepts in a creative endeavour and we really enjoy involving children in purposeful, intentional learning.
Once created we took them to the farm on our Monday visit and hung them in the trees. We are very proud of the effort the children put into these sculptures and the results are captivating.

  Don't they just look great!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunflowers in Kindergartens

We are taking part in the Dalton's Sunflowers in Kindergartens challenge ( we really like a challenge - in fact we hear children calling out "Let's do one more challenge" as they climb).
We have photo and art examples of sunflowers (including Van Gogh) around the kindergarten as provocation and have some wonderful examples of thoughtful and creative interpretations.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Changes at kindergarten

Our blog has taken a rest while we have been otherwise occupied in writing a new research proposal, settling in new team members and using Storypark a lot more to communicate learning with families. Annie has been appointed permanent teacher at Avondale Kindergarten and left at the end of term 2. We wish her well in her new position and have Anne Martin with us until the end of Jemma's maternity leave in November. Our administrator Stephanie also left at the end of term 2 and we now have Charlene who started 2 weeks ago. It is lovely to have Charlene join us, another of our ex-parents joins the team. Yeh.
At the end of this term we become a full year kindergarten, only closing for 3 weeks at Xmas. Families will also have the option of having their children do a 6 hour or a 7 hour day.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Farewell and arohanui Jemma

Today we farewelled our teacher of 9 years, Jemma. Jemma is going on maternity leave and the children have been following the progress of the growing baby with much excitement. This week we have had two celebration days; a baby shower all day Wednesday and then a celebration day on Friday of Jemma's huge contribution to Mangere Bridge Kindergarten.
The gifts for the baby poured in and the children had a great time helping Jemma open the parcels. We played pass the parcel with stickers for every child as they took a layer off and then the gift was for the baby. We put nappies on dolls, washed the dolls and dressed them and had lots of practice at parenting jobs.
We played put the baby on Jemma - a hilarious game that some children returned to more than once to have a turn.

The teaching team want to thank Jemma for her generous, committed, collegial, untiringly, positive and professional teaching over the past 9 years. We have loved having Jemma in our teaching lives and will miss her.

To the Mangere Bridge community we want to say thankyou for the love and gifts over the past days of Jemma's pregnancy. Jemma is overwhelmed by your generosity.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Kindergarten at the farm - cancelled today

We could not go to the farm today because of wet, wild, windy weather. If a storm is predicted we have to stay at kindergarten, we really don't want to be in the middle of a paddock walking back in thunder and lightning. Also it would have been difficult today because we normally gather in the shearing shed when it is wet and it was being used for something else. Janine and the Oiled Wildlife Response Unit had been to Lake Pupuke and collected 5 swans and a coot which they had brought back to Ambury to clean. They were keeping them warm in the shearing shed and washing them in the cow shed. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Book launch for "Teachers voyaging in Plurilingual seas"

We are in print again! We have contributed a chapter to this book about our TLRi (Teaching and Learning Research initiative) research. Edited by Val Podmore, Helen Hedges, Peter Keegan and Nola Harvey the book is published by and available from NZCER Press, Wellington.
The book launch was held at the University of Auckland and Dr Criss Jones Diaz was able to attend.

It is lovely to see the result of all the work in print again and we hope it will be of use to practitioners working in our increasingly diverse contexts both in New Zealand and overseas.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A working party gets to work

Today we had quite a downpour and the drains were flooded. Without any input from the adults the children got to work to clear the drains of the leaves and bark. A fantastic working party swung into action. They have helped us before on occasions but this time we didn't have anything to do with it. What a fantastic work ethic these children have - they can see when a job needs doing and just got on with it.

We love how they enjoy real work and caring for our environment. And there was worms to find too!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A visit from Vau from the St John Ambulance service

Today we had a visit from Vau who visits early childhood centres and schools talking about the work of the St John Ambulance service. He was just great, first telling the children about the different services: Fire Police and St John and then bringing equipment out of his little ambulance. He showed the children photos of each kind of emergency and they had to sign ‘Ambulance’ by putting both hands to their forehead and making flashing signals, ‘Fire service’ was squirting a hose and ‘Police’ a salute. The children were so engaged judging which service they would need from the cartoon photos. Next he showed an oxygen bottle and then put water in to create steam and let the children feel - "its not bad for you like smoke, its not hot like steam it's just to help some people breathe". Then he drove his little ambulance with the help of a couple of children dressed in hi-viz vests and everyone had to get out of the way - because that is what mums and dads have to do if they are driving and hear the siren. Finally he read a story about a child who fell out of a tree and broke his arm. This session was one of the best we have ever seen and Vau is to be congratulated on his easy and engaging manner with the children. We are sure they learned a lot from him.