Saturday, 6 December 2014

Is Santa Real?

Each year, at this time, I seem to be rattled by the age-old and undeniably, one of the BIGGEST questions in life ...
Is Santa Real?????
Okay ..... let's take a deep breath .... exhale ..... and think!
Yes, people.... THINK!
Now I'm not a psych expert, (though I do know a lot about how people, especially children, operate) and I don't have magical powers (though most of the 5-6 year olds in my care would strongly disagree) but I do believe in the power of the mind, the wonder of life, the generosity of the kind and the strength of love. If you, like I, believe in these things too, you might just agree with  me here....
Just because they ask ....
you don't HAVE to tell them!
Think of it like this... Some-one asks you "Have you won that million dollars in the lottery, yet?"
You know the truth!
You know, they know the truth!
But how great would it be to be able to say "YES! The Money Tree arrives next week! We are going to pick the Season's fruit and fly to Machu Picchu for Christmas!
Well people ... I'm here to tell you ....
(gasp! The faces turn left and right in search of the truth!!!)
Listen again!
It's okay to tell them "YES!"
Santa is Real!
You see, Santa is the 'figure' we've become to associate with Christmas. He is the giving, the loving, the kind! The children, just like you and that Lotto win, want to believe in the power of the dream. Don't take that away from them! The magic of this world will disappear soon enough! They will have to face reality, one day, but until they are old enough .... let them believe. Let them experience the curiosity of the unknown, the magic of wonder and the joy of belief.
A five year old is not asking you because he wants to know that the jolly old man isn't real!!! The five year old is asking you because they've heard rumours they don't want to believe!!!! Some other chump has put the notion in your child's head and now they are searching for some proof that the chump (and his chumpy father) are mistaken.
Let them BELIEVE!!! It won't be forever! Childhood is so short these days! The real world will come along soon enough and they will be faced with the pressures and stresses of the everyday world. It is then that they will look back and remember the wonderment and the joy and the ecstasy of believing in something magical ... and maybe, just maybe, the feeling they remember might just help give them the strength they need to deal with the problems they are facing in the real world!
If you are having difficulties looking them in the eye and telling them the truth ... make it simple.
Ask them "What do you think?" Ask them, "What is Christmas all about?" Ask "Why is giving so important?" and "How do you think others feel when they receive something they've always wanted?"
Tell them that Santa isn't just the 'person'. Santa is the FEELING ... and allow them to connect the goodness with the person, then it doesn't really matter if it's Santa, or the tooth fairy, Allah or God.
The feeling is true and real and therefore alive and real.

I want to wish you all the merriest of Christmases and hope you wake on Christmas morning to see a money tree down the back yard.
See you at the Incas!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bees are insects too!

Whilst learning about the letter "Ii" and the numeral "6",
we thought making a bee would be fun and educational.
I apologise for not having the website in which this little guy was found, but it was not my original idea. I just adjusted it.
We were given a pack of raffia so we used this for legs but you could use pipe cleaners, also. Cut to leg size!!
Cut a paper plate to look something like this. First, in half, then the top corners, then a triangle at the chin.

 Use the other half of the plate and place bee lines across the body. These can be drawn in either direction.
Glue the head to the body ... or staple for better security! ;)
Draw eyes on the head plate. We did a quick little lesson about how to draw these. Start with a circle. Place and arc inside. Next, place a tiny circle at the top.
Then, colour the arc black, but not the little circle.

Staple the antennae on at the back.
Finish the face with something special.

Curl the tops of the antennae.

Add some wings using tissue paper.

Bees .... en mass .... BUZZZZZZZZ!

Have a busy, buzy time!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Play Dough Fun!

I recently found a box of old bits and pieces from toys,
similar to Mr Potato Head. 
Since there were no body parts, I was wondering how we could use them. One of the children suggested we use playdough. Brilliant!
 My kids had so much fun creating creatures.

We are going to create with them again next Term,
and then write about them!!


Friday, 9 May 2014

Help the little guys to write!

This is not a new idea, but you may not have seen it before.
We have been reading
by Narelle Oliver.
Our goal was to write a sentence about something that
happened in the story.
So, for those little ones still struggling with writing and text, they told me their story and I wrote it using a highlighter.
(Yes, difficult to see in the picture ... just squint and search!)

They, then, wrote over my writing to form their story. This technique is great for encouraging those not so fond of writing. It can give them the boost they need.

Just be careful they don't start to expect it all the time, though!
Also, a good technique for beginner name writing.

Fine Motor Skills

Here is a great activity I use in my classroom for developing fine motor skills.
I am lucky enough to have had these great little plastic tweezers donated to me, so I am putting them to good use. If you know a nice nurse, you might be able to score yourself a set, too!
wink! wink!

I start with some little trinkets ... anything will do. These little plastic guys came in a mixed set of collage trinkets.

I toss them into a tub of rice.
You can use coloured rice if you like...

... then using our little tweezers in our little fingers, we count how many items we can remove from the rice.


Loads of fun!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Group work in Prep.

I wanted to share with you, the way I organise group activities
with my Preps.
I start with 4 groups -  RED, GREEN, BLUE & YELLOW.
Each group has a list of names written on a card to help our mums with names and to help with organization. When you're 5, you like to go anywhere and everywhere, so this helps keep every-one in the right place. ...  well, most of the time, anyway!

There are four different activities each session and I have 4 adults to help. This is usually 2 parent helpers, my aide and myself. Each group lines up with a different leader, chosen by the adult at the table, and walks to the next activity once I have rung the bell. I make it very structured so every-one knows where they are going and what their next activity will be.
This week, we worked with 10 sight words. I had 3 copies of the words written on cards for 3 tables, the play dough table used mats.

The activities were:
Stamping the words.
Writing the words.
Spelling the words using magnetic letters.
Play dough fun - make the words using word mats.

Sessions last 15 mins which makes groups last an hour.
I organize a Roster of parents who can help and I write their days on the roster. We all get a copy and they let me know if they can't make it on their day and we see if we can swap with some-one.
Groups really focus the learning for the children. They are fun and effective and the children don't realize they are actually learning.
Just the way I like it!