Monday, July 16, 2018

Half way!!!!

Welcome back to Term 3. I hope everyone enjoyed their break, I know I certainly did. A trip to the warmth and sunshine of the north was an awesome getaway for the Leahy family.

Term Three is traditionally a time when we step up the learning yet again.  There will be a big emphasis on early writing and reading.

So far this year we have worked on,
1. Recognising and saying the sounds for each symbol of the alphabet. 
2. Listening for sounds in words and writing symbols to match those sounds.  This does not mean that their spelling will be perfect but that they can represent key single sounds.  
eg.  little = litl       tree = tre     table = tabl    They have not yet been taught digraphs and are not expected to recall them.  
3.  Blending two sounds using onset and rime.    c -at   = cat
4.  Blending three sounds  c - a - t  = cat
5  Segmenting three sounds   cat = c-a-t 

Students will be introduced to digraphs sh, ch, th, ck this term as they show readiness.  Some students may require further extension. 

If your child is not recognising and writing all of the alphabet symbols they will be participating in a comprehensive revision programme. 

The students across the two classrooms (PPB and PPL) will be tested and grouped according to their recall of these skills.  The groups will spend two weeks at a time in each classroom.  By swapping over each two weeks the home room teachers will maintain strong contact with their students. The students will be regularly assessed and groups reformed to meet the changing needs of individuals. 
All teachers will meet weekly to discuss student progress across the groups and to plan for the next step in each child's learning. 

Mrs Jo Nottle will be completing her Long Term Practice in PPB this term.  She will take on the roll of classroom teacher in PPB and will plan and teach in collaboration with all Pre primary teachers. 

Our Numeracy programme will also be structured similarly to the Literacy block. 

This term we will be learning about the 'Olden Days' in HASS and the forces of push and pull in Science and will be making toys that use simple mechanisms that utilise these forces. 

If you have any interesting items from the 'olden days' that  are not too fragile or valuable please send them in for display in our 'museum'.  Things like old 'brick' mobiles, cassette tapes, VHS videos, photo negatives and hair rollers have caused much intrigue in years gone by. Black and white photos of past family members are also very interesting. Kitchen items like old flour sifters, irons, jaffle irons for the fire, tin mugs and plates, embroidered table cloths, crockery and billy tins would be great. 
We would also love to see old toys like spinning tops, push cars, hobby horses, jacks, marbles and knuckle bones. 
At the end of term we will have an olden days dress up day so keep your eye open for suitable costumes now. Olden days being any era before the present!

If you have access to any rope, simple pulleys, cardboard tubes, PVC pipe, connectors etc, we would love your donations for our Science investigations.

Home readers will be sent home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please make sure that home reader folders are in the box on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  If you would like more information on the home reading process then please see me this week. If there is enough parent interest we will run a parent information session one evening. 

Sight Words to be practiced will be put into your child's reading folder. They will need to practice reading and writing each word. They will also practice these words during school time. Each fortnight they will be tested on their ability to read and write the words. When they can read AND write each word they will receive a new set to learn. By the end of Pre primary students are expected to know the first 25 sight words. 

Home reading and sight words should not take longer than 15 minutes.  

What can you do to support your child's learning in Term Three?
1.  Continue to revise alphabet symbol recognition. 
2.  Set up a writing table at home for your child to 'play write'. The writing table should have paper, pencils, textas, whiteboards, blackboards... anything that they can write with or on. Don't judge or 'mark' this writing.  Encourage and praise what they do.  If you now that they can do better then scaffold them up.  eg.  I love your shopping list.  Can you now write a sentence telling me which thing is most important to buy and why?  or  Do you know a better way to write this word?  Say the word.  What sounds can you hear?  Which sound did you miss out?  
Write the first 25 Sight Words  on a piece of paper and put in a place where your child can see them and use the list as a resource when writing. Make sure writing is fun and a choice they have made. Don't force them to write. 
3.  Continue counting.  Count objects when you are packing away.  How many pieces of lego fit in this box?  Pay particular attention to the changeover from one decade to the next.  ... 29.30,31. Calmly model the correct change over if your child is unsure or makes an error. 
4. Sort objects into like piles. Combine two piles and count to see how many altogether. 
5. Listen to your child 'read' at least 4 times a week.  Read each book twice over two days. 
6. Continue reading to your child.  
7. Make sure your child is having adequate sleep each night. 
8. Encourage your child to slow down and just 'be' for a while each day.  Take away the rush, the electronic stimulus and just be calm for a while.  We need to teach our kids this vital life skill. 

Our PERFORMANCE ASSEMBLY is scheduled for the last day of this term. The 21st of September.  Pencil in the date and plant a seed with grandparents who may wish to visit and view. 
This assembly will be a combined assembly with PPB.

23rd of August.  School Photos. 
30th of August.  Book Week Dress Up Day. 

News Roster
Pre-Primary News Roster –
Term 3  2018
Zoe H
Zoe S


News telling suggestions:
Week 1: My holidays
Week 2: A favourite game of yours and/or the family
Week 3: A favourite book of yours and/or the family
Week 4: All about my mum
Week 5: All about my dad
Week 6: An item that can be pushed 
Week 7: An item that can be pulled
Week 8: An item that rolls
Week 9: An item that is magnetic
Week 10: Free choice

 They will be need to describe their news using 2 elements such as:
 : what it is + what type
 : what it is + where it is found
 : What it is + one piece of information
 : What it is + what is it used for
 : what it is + what is it made from

Please help your child choose their item/picture for news and decide what they are going to say using one of the above suggestions. 

Morning Writing Journal groups will remain the same as last term. 
Please let your child try to sound the words out and write what they hear rather than telling them what letters to write (you may write the word correctly underneath their attempt once they have finished so they see how the word is written).  Your child may need a helpful reminder to start their sentence with a capital letter and end it with a full stop. Placing a finger space between each word is also necessary either by using their own finger or a popstick spacer to help.  Always get your child to read what they have written as a way of checking if it makes sense

If another day for writing with your child is more convenient, feel free to swap to another day that week.

Have a lovely night
See you tomorrow
Kristie Leahy

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Week 6

We hope you have all enjoyed your long weekend and managed to escape the horrible weather on Monday  night and Tuesday.  It was really nice to have an extended weekend - at this time of the term everyone seems to need it.

Week six sees the completion of assessment tasks that have been used to finalise marks for the end of semester reports that your child will receive on the last day of Term 2. Assigning 4 and 5 year old children marks is a formidable task.  They are growing and changing all the time.  While some children take off in a hurry others are more tentative and need time to consolidate their new learning before they head into next level learning.  The Pre primary marking system asks us to mark towards an end of year goal.  Therefore many children will receive a 'Working Towards" grade.  This is totally normal and rest assured if we have concerns about your child's development then we will see you.

Our latest Technology project will require some recyclable materials from home. If you can send a bag of goodies in it would be much appreciated. These items will be placed in a big box for the children to share.
Items to include.

  • Clean plastic milk bottles. 
  • clean cardboard milk cartons. 
  • string
  • fine wire
  • fabric
  • mesh onion bags
  • balsa wood  or small pieces of pine (untreated).
  • wool  (knitting)
  • sticks  (vine pruning s, rosemary pruning s - long and flexible,)
  • Weave able grasses. 
  • empty water bottles. 
We are also a bit low on our boxes for box construction so if you have saved any cereal boxes etc then they can come in too.

Prayer Assembly
The two Pre primary classes will combine to present a prayer assembly next Friday the 15th of June.  Parents are always welcome to attend. 

Rugby Tops
Please check that your child is wearing their own rugby top.  Two have gone missing with out a trace and this usually means that a child has unknowingly decided to wear their friend's home!  If your child's rugby top does not have a name on it then please put one on it before tomorrow.

Kristie and Katie

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Week 4

Reading Books
 A small group of children who are displaying readiness will receive home readers this week.  The books will be placed into their reading folders and swapped twice a week. Please take very good care of the readers and make sure they are placed back into your child's bag (in the folder) each day.
Please remember it is not a competition to see who has readers and who doesn't. Each child develops readiness at their own pace.  In recognising this we acknowledge the importance of differentiated learning and developmentally appropriate practice.  If a child is pushed into home reading too soon it can actually do more damage than good.  In saying this if your child receives a home reader but is not cooperative or keen to read at home please let us know ASAP.
All children should be on readers by the end of term three. If your child is not showing readiness, rest assured, we will contact you to discuss the matter well before then.

In our HASS studies this term we will be looking at where we live.  Beginning with our home.
It would be appreciated if all parents could send in a photograph of the street view of their home.  That is the front of their home. The children will use this in week 4 for an activity.
Please email this to

Living Things.
 In science this term we are looking at living things.  Beginning with a look at plants. If you happen upon any interesting plant growth feel free to bring them in. If you have any empty clear soda water bottles could you please bring them into our classroom. We will be using them to grow a plant from seed and will need them next week for Science.

Parent Helpers
Thankyou to the parents for placing their names on the PMP roster for Thursdays, Ms Holt really appreciates the help. We also have a lot of empty places on our morning classroom helper roster so if you have a morning to spare please fill in a space.

Kristie and Katie

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Welcome back to Term 2

Welcome back to Term 2!!!
It was wonderful to see all children really happy to be back at school. Everyone just cruised in as if they'd never left. It sounds like everyone had a great holiday - the students wrote about their holidays. They are displayed in our classroom - be sure to have a look.

The Pre primaries will be focusing on biological science this term and may be involved in handling soil, plants and animals. Could each student please bring in a pair of gardening gloves that will be kept at school. This will enable their learning to be more 'hands on' and safe.

Reading Folders
As the students show readiness they will begin to bring home a book as a 'home reader'. In order to keep the books in excellent condition each student will need a 'reading folder'.  An example folder is on display in the classroom as you walk in. Folders can be purchased at local news-agencies.  Reading folders must be waterproof and a sensible size. A note about home reading and how to do it will accompany the first readers. 

Parent Helpers
Next week we will be starting out Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) on Thursday afternoons with Ms Holt. PMP is a program which aims to develop a child's perceptions and understandings of him/her self and his/her world through movement/motor activities.  PMP provides multi sensory experiences which give the child a wide range of experiences in seeing, hearing, touching, processing the information, making perceptual judgements and reacting. It is sequentially structured so that the child gains progressively higher order skills.
We rely on parent/grandparent/aunty/uncle help in order for this program to run effectively. As the classes are mixed together for this activity we will need 3 parent helpers from each class. Could you please add your name to a slot on your classroom parent roster if you are able to help. This session will run from 1.30-3pm on Thursday afternoons. We will still need a parent helper in the mornings as well.

Gathering Time Writing
We will begin 'writing' during gathering time each morning. Each student has been allocated 2 days a week to do their writing. During this time please assist your child to draw a picture and then 'write' about their picture. Work together to identify sounds in the words they want to write. Talk about aspects of writing such as full stops and capital letters. Be positive and praise them for their efforts. Please scribe under what they have written. The timetable for gathering time writing is pinned to our parent information board outside our classroom.

Literacy focus
This term we have begun looking at small words using the concept of 'Onset and Rime'. Similar to teaching beginning readers about rhyme, teaching children about onset and rime helps them recognize common chunks within words. This can help students decode new words when reading, and spell words when writing. For example cat would be broken up into 'c' is the onset and 'at' is the rime. They help children learn about word families, which can lay the foundation for future spelling strategies. We will still be reviewing the sounds of the alphabet so keep practicing these too.
Following success with onset and rime, the students will begin looking at CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words and how to blend the 3 sounds (zip them up) and segment the 3 sounds (unzip them).

Here is a video explaining 'Preparing for Reading' where the 'onset and rime' stage fits.


We will be looking at the all important 'teen' numbers this term. We will focus on what each number looks like as a numeral, word, tally, in a ten frame, as pictures and where it sits on a number line (what number comes before and after it).  Another focus will be on pattern - where we see it in the world, identifying patterns and making our own pattern.

Fairy Tales.
Our Literature focus this term will be on Fairy Tales.  Fairy tales serve well to develop oral language skills and support early reading and writing. 

Please make some time to read your child fairy tales over the next few weeks.  Talk about the tales. Who are the characters. Decide who are the good characters and the bad.  Did the story have any messages? What was the setting for the story? Is this fairy tale similar to any other tale that you have read? Take time to READ the Pictures.  

Alphabet Celebration Day photos
Here are some photos from our ABC Celebration Day from last term. The kids had an awesome day and all of you parents did an amazing job dressing them up. Thank you!!!
D - dinosaur

V - vampire

P - pig

G - gorilla

p - peacock

B - ballerina bee

F- fireman

B - batman

Z - zoo keeper

D - doctor

J - joker

If you have any questions don't hesitate to come and see us.
Thank you
Kristie and Katie

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Alphabet Celebration!!!

Alphabet Celebration Day.
We have nearly finished reviewing all the letters of the alphabet.  This gives cause for a celebration!  
So on next Thursday the 12th of April we will have a Alphabet Celebration Day.  
We ask parents to help the children to select their favourite letter of the alphabet (we suggest that you guide them to one that they may have trouble recalling) and based on that letter do the following;
1. Come to school dressed up as something that begins with that letter.
2. Make a display poster about that letter.  This poster should have the letter clearly displayed and pictures of things that have that initial sound.  These pictures can be hand drawn, cut out from magazines or printed from the computer.  Labels can be written on the pictures.  You are welcome to include anything else on the poster that begins with the letter that you can find.  Eg.  If doing 's' a cliplock bag of seeds. The children should complete as much of this as possible themselves. 
If you need poster paper then ask Mrs Stokes or Mrs Leahy. 

During the course of the day the children will have opportunity to describe their costume and their reasons for selecting that letter sound.  They will also present their poster and share what they have compiled.  

We will also need 3 parent helpers on the day. 9.00am - 11.00am. Please add your name to the parent roster.

NQS AuditIf the staff have been looking a little weary...there is a good reason. 
As Mrs Birch mentioned in the newsletter we have just completed our Early Childhood NQS Audit.  This has been a HUGE amount of work for all early childhood staff but well worth while.  We have met the requirements of Quality Area 1 which less than 10% of schools audited in the last couple of years have met.  That is an outstanding conclusion to two years of hard work, further studies and general preparation. 
The good practice that evolved from this process has been recognised and celebrated!!

Parent Teacher Interviews.
Thank you to the parents who have attended interviews so far.  It was great to have a chat about your lovely children.

More interviews are next week. Please make sure you have made note of your time slot so you don't forget! Your children can play in the back of the classroom while we chat if you wish. 

Yoga for 'y' day
Have a look at our wonderful little yogi's (a big thank you to Heather!!!)

A few more photos......Easter Hat making!!

We hope you had a wonderful Easter!!
Kristie and Katie