LEARN FROM HOME - during Covid-19
You can click on the links below to view the weekly timetables created for A1. The timetables are also located on Connect.
Week 10 - Term 1 - Timetable
Week 9 (Mon, Tue, Fri) - Term 1 - Timetable
Week 9 (Wed & Thu) - Term 1 - Timetable
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Lakeland Senior High School Band Visit - Week 4 - Term 3
On Friday we had a visit from the Lakeland SHS band. The members are part of a specialist program. They had to audition to be a part of it. The music program forms a large part of their study load. They were bright and engaging and very confident (particularly the two year 12 soloists).
Our munchkins enjoyed the 45 minute performance. They clapped along and danced for the last couple of songs. It is motivating for primary school children to see the opportunities that can be available for them in high school and the possibility to pursue a passion as part of their studies.
The Picasso Cow Project - Week 4 - Term 3
Phoenix Primary School have become the lucky recipients of a Picasso Dairy Cow from Dairy Australia. As part of the project, PP A1 have started learning about dairy products, the production of milk and being healthy. As we complete more activities with our cow project, I will post photos and information that you can share and discuss with your children. If you are interested in the projects, you can search 'Picasso Cow Project' online.
News Telling - Week 4 - Term 3
We have started formal news telling on Thursday mornings. Each week, 5 children will bring a note home detailing their news telling item, and a recording sheet for them to complete with you, so they can plan their news effectively. If you are unable to complete your news preparation with your child, please feel free to contact me and I will try to arrange their news for the following week.
News will remain in place for the remainder of the year, and will increase in complexity as the children develop their speaking and listening skills. Our focus this term is on who, what, when and where, and questions based on how, why and feelings.
100 Days of Learning at School 2020 - Week 1 -Term 3
We had lots of fun celebrating 100 days of school this year. Even with the Covid19 restrictions meaning we couldn't do any cooking, A1-derful students participated in lots of activities based on 100.
Congratulations on your costuming skills - the munchkins looked amazing! Though I bet it made you appreciate school uniforms for ease of dressing in the mornings!
We were startled to see four old battleaxes turn up to our classroom too - they must have heard about the fun we were having in A1. (But hopefully they've returned to their nursing home now).
Words, Grammar and Fun - Week 10 - Term 2
Our students have now completed a full term of Oral Language rotations, twice a week, for 45 minutes per session. The activities are targeted and structured, and provide opportunities to develop sound speaking and listening skills, which will then inform your child's reading and writing skills.
One of the biggest things parents can do to assist their child's Oral language development is to talk - lots! Don't be afraid to use longer, more detailed sentences with your child, and incorporate words they may not have heard - they can then be prompted to find out exactly what you mean, which will enhance their vocabulary, thus developing their descriptive language skills.
Next term, I will upload pictures of information that you can use in the home, in the car, or whilst out shopping, to encourage strong language use. I'm aiming to make any activities I send you short and sweet, because I know how short you all are on time.
At the moment, we're making steady progress through the language blocks, and in recent weeks we have been exploring regular and irregular plurals - the children should know now what singular and plural means, and we have been exploring how words change when you talk about more than 1 object, i.e. 1 mouse, 2 mice, 1 calf, 2 calves.
STEM Investigation - Week 9 - Term 2
This week we conducted a two day STEM investigation, looking at bridge building with Lego, teddy bear bridge challenges, and a differentiated construction activity, including Lego marble mazes and ring toss duplo.
The activities were engaging adaptive to each child's needs, and presented opportunities for discussion, team work, observation and negotiation.
Art Books and Guided Illustrations - Week 8 - Term 2
The children now have new art books, which will contain their sketches and guided illustratations. On Thursday, because we are learning about how and why things move, we completed a guided helicopter drawing activity - the first step was for the chidlren to see how the helicopter image was constructed; they attempted to draw their ow heliocopter on their whiteboards, following step by step instructions. After that we brainstormed the ways that a helicopter can and cannot move. The children then went back to their tables and attempted to draw the helicopter without instruction, and then provide details to their illustrations.
Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas - Week 8 - Term 2
Phoenix Primary School took part in the National Simultaneous Story Time - we read 'Whitney and Britney, Chicken Divas'! It was a fabulous story, rich in descriptive language, which is a key focus in Pre-primary this term - we identified all of the new words the children head and provided descriptions and explanations, followed by examples of how to utilise the words in sentences, in context. We completed the suggested artworks provided to us, and added our own flair, with plenty of glitter and sequins! The children then completed a guided art lesson, following verbal and visual instructions, to draw a chicken. This is because in art we are learning to explore shape, line, texture and colour. The children really enjoyed the experience and the way we linked all aspects of our working day together.
Home Reading - Week 4 - Term 2
In week 5 we are starting home reading with books!! Real books with pages that you can read ANYWHERE. Hurray!
The children will have a folder containing their book and a signing page with 5 boxes for each book. Tick a box each time the book is read. They need to read each book 5 (or more) times.
The folder also contains some information for you about reading with your child.
The children will change their books every Monday - please send back the whole folder each week. If you forget or it is a public holiday, just send it in on Tuesday.
Happy Mothers Day - Week 2 - Term 2
To all the mothers of the marvellous munchkins in A1-derful, have a fabulous day and enjoy the glorious weather with your family tomorrow.
Wednesday/Thursday - Week 2 - Term 2
The last two days have been incredibly busy - having all the students back in class has meant that I can extend and consolidate all of the concepts we would have been working on in our online learning - in measurement we have been able to revise 2D shapes, and begin exploring the properties of 3D shapes. The children have been using magnetic tiles and geomags to construct 3D shapes using a 3D chart for support. We have been identifying how many faces a shape has, the number of corners (vertices) and the number of edges. We have also been practising our number and letter formations whilst focussing on the days of the week. We have explored informal and formal measurement tools, including numbered and pictorial rulers, and have been making predictions about hair growth, based on our current hair measurement.
Oral language has become a strong focus in our class - the children are developing their knowledge of the language of shape, measurement, and now movement - they have been exploring the ways that animals move, and over the coming weeks, are expected to be able to label items by movement types, and begin forming understandings of how and why objects move. In our weekly chapter reading sessions, we aim to identify new or unheard words and record them on our word wall - this week we have identified nuisance, astonishingly, splendid, nonsense, curious, solemnly - you can help your child by looking up the words in a dictionary (with them) and then giving them an example of how you would use the words in everyday language.
In Health, we are exploring how bodies change over time - it would be helpful if you could go through family photos with your children and talk to them about how each of you has changed - I used the example of my 14 year old's voice beginning to sound different to his 10 year old self! We also discussed how babies have to learn EVERYTHING and they were all fascinated by the thought that the only way they could communicate with you as a baby was to cry - they were in stitches!
In PATHS, we are developing a deeper understanding of care, consideration and appreciation, by providing compliments to each other that are based on our actions and behaviours, rather than how we look or dress, whilst still building on the win-win principal of giving happiness to others.
Our handwriting is coming along gradually, and for the last two days we have been working on correct posture - I'm trying to build physical stamina into the children so that they will be able to sit and write/read for extended periods of time as they progress through school. When your children are writing and drawing at home, please remind them to sit with flat feet, and their 'helper' hand holding the paper, not their head or neck.
Stay tuned, I'll keep giving you as much information as I can, and will aim to get some photos to you next week, so that you can see how the classroom is looking for the children.
Thoughtful Thursday - Week 1 - Term 2
Another busy day today - this morning I introduced Oral Language development as a formal learning area for the children - every Wednesday and Thursday we will take part in Oral Language lessons, aimed at improving vocabulary, ability to label/organise categories, present detailed responses & observations, and building sentence structure. We used the smart board to brainstorm and 'build' on sentences, and defined the use of size, shape, functionality and location to describe objects, using our 'I-spy' jar.
We also took part in PATHS lessons with A2, exploring 'sharing is caring'. We explained and explored the 'win/win' principle and presented it as an equation - happy output + happy input = happy outcome x 2; sad output + sad input = sad outcome x 2 (this is not a win/win situation because ultimately, both parties lose). The children then had partner discussions, sharing something about themselves that was previously unknown. We then drew & scribed something we would like to share with a friend/family member.
For Health today, we explored feelings and who you might need to share your feelings with - this is really important right now because we want our students to feel that all of their feelings are okay, and that we are here to help them whenever they need us. The children all completed a feelings place mat page, which provided feelings faces that they could select and then draw. We will take photos of the children's' work for you to see :)
To ensure your children's' emotional health is being well taken care of at school, we have been taking a very gentle approach and giving students breaks from work when they need to discuss their feelings, and time away from big groups if they need it. We have also been receiving visits from the school Chaplain so the children recognise there is another friendly supportive person for them to talk to if they need it. If you have any questions about any of the activities we are completing in class, please feel free to make contact with either Anne or myself.
Finally, congratulations to our little gems on making such a great return to class this week - both our sports teacher and music specialist have asked us to pass on how well your kids did in their lessons on Wednesday! You have prepared them all well for their return to school and you should all be applauded!
Wacky Wednesday - Week 1 - Term 2
Today was very busy - not only did we have a return to our regular music/physical education lessons with our specialist teachers, we also returned to our normal 'Wacky Wednesday'! This morning we began our 'I spy' oral language to 'tune' the children into sentence expansion and vocabulary building. For Mathematics we read 'Diary of a Wombat' and discussed the days of the week, how many days are 'working' days and which days are the weekend. We then did handwriting practice using the days of the week, focusing on letter formation and pencil grip; the children also began their days of the week 'train', which they had to colour, cut, and label correctly, starting with Sunday - we used our 'Days of the Week' song as our baseline for where to start.
In science today, utilising the 'Diary of a Wombat', we discussed how wombats move - which body parts, how many, what is the movement called. We then began discussing other Australian animals and demonstrated how each one moves, and thought about what their movements are called - after that we began sketching our own Australian animals, using books and Pinterest for stimulus pictures - the children identified how many body parts were used, what the movement was, and the speed at which they moved. They then outlined their drawings and traced over the words I scribed for them. Next week we will paint the animals and finish our handwriting and trains.
Our new topic for Science is 'On the Move'. Feel free to discuss and explore how things move with your children, because the conversations you have as a family bring a great deal of knowledge to our group discussions! Tomorrow we will cover Health, PATHS, Art, Mathematics and Oral language, and we will also squeeze in some yoga (Oscar) and book reading (Fiona!)
On a separate note, thank you so much for the way you have prepared your children for the return to school - they were very calm, and happy to talk about their emotions, which made the days very easy for all us! The children may experience tiredness and varying emotions over the coming days, but please be assured that Anne, Tanya and I will all be there for them regardless of how they are feeling. We are very proud and blessed to have both your children in our class, and you as the wonderful parents that support us!
Today was Fabulous! - Week 1 - Term 2
We had a wonderful day. The children were engaged and happy. Their desks, toilets and outdoor play equipment were disinfected several times. Their hands are sooooo clean. Thank you for your support. Have a lovely afternoon with the munchkins.
Cooking Fun! - Week 8 - Term 1
On Friday, we had a good time making mini quiches. They are easy to make and are cooked in muffin tins. The quiches had sandwich bread bases instead of pastry and were filled with grated vegetables and cheese. All the kids thought it was great fun making them.
Nearly all the kids enjoyed eating them!
Get Lost, Germs! - Week 7 - Term 1
Today we had an informative but fun session learning about how germs are spread. The germs (glitter mixed into sunscreen - sorry if there is now a little bit of sparkle through your home) were everywhere that we touched. Then we found out that they didn't wash off with plain water - we needed to use soap and then they were gone. Any "germs" left on our hands were wiped off onto paper towel and went into the bin.
This was a great way to help our children understand the need to take care to stay healthy, now in the current Coronavirus situation, but also to guard against the many other viruses that are always present.
We need to be positive role models to the children. They look to us to reassure them. So while we need to follow the guidelines and we can't be flippant about the Coronavirus, we don't want our children to be frightened and anxious. We need to be strong role models and to show them that though we are having to make some changes in our lives, we still live in a safe country where we have excellent health facilities and plenty of food and resources.
Swimming Superheroes - Week 7 - Term 1
Swimming lessons are over but the kids had lots of fun. It is so important to learn to swim in this country where we spend so much time outside, often near areas of water. Thank you for supporting this learning area. All the children participated well with good listening and focus on the tasks. They tried their hardest and all made progress.
Colour Mixing in Art Lessons - Week 5 - Term 1
Over the last 2 art sessions, we have been exploring Primary and Secondary colours - we have identified that red, blue and yellow are primary colours, and that secondary colours can be produced by mixing combinations of the primaries.
In the first stage, students were asked to predict what the colour mixing results would be and then observe the results.
Yesterday we read a storybook written from the perspective of a blind child, who could taste, smell and feel colours - we wanted to encourage the students to describe their experiences of colour with a wider range of vocabulary, to further enhance their written and visual observations.
In the second stage, we asked the students if using different tools would alter the results of the colour mixing; again they were asked to predict what they would see. We completed the activity and recorded their responses as a group on our Sketchbook page on the smart board which I will upload for you next week.
One of the underlying aims of both activities in to encourage responses, predictions and reasoning for their results, which will help the children to conduct experiments and investigations in both science and maths in the future.
Plant Parts and a Class Walk - Week 5 - Term 1
Today we discussed plant parts, plant needs and plant growth - we predicted how much our class plant had grown, and created a class sentence describing what we observed. "Sussy did not grow taller but now he has four leaves. We thought that it was a dietes, because we found a dietes seed." We are trying to decide if Sussy is a dietes or a kangaroo paw.
We used our new sketchpad to illustrate the parts of a plant, after a walk in the school rose garden to explore flowers and buds. Some of our students had a go at drawing on the sketchpad and then we labelled it together and created another sentence. It's hard to write neatly on there!
Next science lesson, we will complete growth charts, create our own flowers and complete a labelling activity! We are busy little bees!
Time for Writing - Week 5 - Term 1
We are learning how to write a sentence. We know that we start with a capital letter, put spaces between words and put a full stop on the end. We are amazing!
PATHS - Week 5 - Term 1
Yesterday, we held our second group PATHS lesson with A2 - we introduced circle time and the rules of PATHS; we learned our new Bucket Fillers chant; we read "Franklin goes to School" and discussed the lessons that Franklin learned on his first day; we sang 'I had a little turtle' and acted out the song; we explained that in our PATHS lessons, in our circle, and similarly to a puzzle, there cannot be any broken links, all our students need to be included and supported - we explained to the children that when one of our students is left out, they become the missing piece of our 'puzzle and that class will not run smoothly without them. In addition, an unhappy, left out student will dip our buckets as well as theirs. We then consolidated these beliefs by completing puzzle piece pictures of every child present, and we will join all of the pieces together to make a Pre-primary mural. If you require any further information about PATHS and Bucket filling, there is a lot of information on the internet, or you can come and discuss the topics with your Pre-primary teachers. In preparation for the weeks ahead, please have talks with your children about feelings and explain that all feelings are valid and important, it's the action we take in reaction to the emotion that counts most. We are going to be labelling feelings as comfortable (yellow) and uncomfortable (blue); please feel free to explore this concept with your children, and perhaps talk about which feelings might be comfortable/uncomfortable - which feelings can your child label? which feelings have they struggled to comprehend?
Protective Behaviours - Week 4 - Term 1
After initially starting the discussion of staying safe - based around the idea that 'everyone has the right to feel safe' - with our class, I found that it would be better to go back to concepts of basic body safety, and chose Sun Safety as a starting point for engaging children with 'safety' and 'protection'. We had class discussions over two sessions about how to stay safe in Summer, and the responses each child gave are recorded on their artworks - in some cases the children wanted to have a go at writing what was scribed, and in others, the children were happy for us to write their responses.
We will continue to build their understanding of these words and the vocabulary associated with them and will then move towards Protective behaviours, which will include 'Feeling Safe', 'Early Warning Signs' and 'Problem Solving'. As we delve further into the topic, I will provide more detail to you about which activities we will be completing and why.
Mathematics Rotations - Week 4 - Term 1
Each day our mathematics rotations change, but they are always an engaging, hands on experience for our students! We are learning how to recognise numbers, subitise, and participate in games requiring mathematical skills - turn taking, reading numbers, counting how many on a dice, counting forward and backward, and recognising shapes and patterns...soon we will introduce Uno and memory to our repertoire!
Wacky Wednesday - Week 1 - Term 1
Today was an eventful day...we went on an adventure to find the Green Sheep using QR codes, and explored the important buildings we would be utilising this year. When we found the green sheep QR code, we also found our new class pet, a baby plant! The plant's name is 'Sussy', voted by the children and the children have been charged with the task of helping it grow so that we can work out if it is a dietes or a kangaroo paw! We also watched a meet the teacher power point presentation today so the children could get to know me a bit better. We painted a self portrait today, with the goal of incorporating all the body parts that include our senses. Using WILT (what I'm looking for) we brainstormed all the parts of the body that would need to be included in the painting. We also assessed our students pencil grip today, and have recorded which body parts the children were able to include in their painting.
Tomorrow will be another busy but exciting day - thoughtful Thursday, the day we explore art and PATHS our whole school social emotional program, where we explore feelings and how to deal with them.
My name is Lorna McCann-Pearson - the children all call me Miss Lorna, a name given to me by my Pre-kindy students years ago that has just stuck! I'll be teaching your children on Wednesday and Thursday each week. This week I will be teaching all day Wednesday, but in future I will teach from 10am on Wednesday, and all day Thursday.
During my time with your children I will be teaching Protective Behaviours, Health, PATHS, Science, Measurement and Geometry, Art, Words Grammar and Fun (term 2) and mathematics blocks. I will provide more information on each learning area shortly.
I have met all of your children and I'm really looking forward to working in partnership with Anne Papaluca and our assistant, Tanya Arnoldi, as we support your children on their journey through Pre-primary.
Tomorrow I will have table-top activities and puzzles set out for your children to complete with you. Please feel free to come and introduce yourselves to me (I am more than happy for parents to stay until the siren rings :)), and of course, if your child is upset, please let me know and I will help you out.
Anne and I will provide more details about our class and its structure over the coming weeks, but please know that we are happy to accept emails or letters if there is personal information about your child that you need us to know straight away.