Elonera Montessori – Stage 1, Term 2 Newsletter II

GARDENING   We have started gardening this term, including weeding and identifying the vegetables we are growing in our little garden.  The children have dug up potatoes and are looking after a strawberry patch, tomato vines, silverbeet and mint.  We are going to plant more vegetables this term.  We have been exploring soil and plants and their relevance to food, animal homes and clean air.  We discussed different types of plants: trees, grasses, fruit and vegetables, flowers, succulents, ferns and where plants come from: seeds, spores, cuttings.

MUSIC    Music has been this terms’ theme and the children enjoyed making musical instruments from recycled materials. The children made shakers decorated with tape and gumnuts, and they painted and decorated their guitars. Much to the children’s delight Akila brought in her Piano Accordion and played songs to the children.  We have been fortunate to have Catherine Andrews and Jack Hopkins join the classroom with their guitars and sing to the children.

SCIENCE – LIVING AND NON-LIVING THINGSThe children were introduced to the concept of living things. We created a living tray to talk about four characteristics of living things including:

·         an apple, to represent the fact that all living things need food

·    A container filled with water, to represent the fact that all living      things need water

  • A container filled with air, to represent the fact that all living things need air
  • Figurines of a mother and baby horse, to represent the fact that all living things reproduce

After discussing this tray we went outside for a walk in our garden to look for living things and non-living things.  We looked at two bowls with objects representing both living and non-living things and sorted the living and non-living items.

FRACTIONS   This term the children have used both apples and pizzas to learn about fractions.  After a discussion about how to divide something among two people equally, the educator demonstrated how to cut an apple into two pieces. They had to decide whether or not it was cut in two equal pieces or “halves.”  They learned how to trace, cut and divide a circle into halves and quarters.  Making pizzas, they learned about “fourths” by dividing and sharing them. We discussed how we could share our pizzas equally among friends.

EARTH’S WATER CYCLE   The children have been learning about the Earth’s Water Cycle.  We started learning about the water cycle with a very practical exercise.  When the educator showed children a wet shirt out of her bag and pretended to be upset about the shirt being ruined, the children suggested that the shirt will dry.  Then we discussed what it means for something to dry, where the water goes when something is drying.  The children then learned how water goes in a cycle just like a wheel goes around and around.  We watched a video about the “water cycle” by paying attention to the water cycle vocabulary: evaporation; condensation; precipitation and collection.  We learned the water cycle terms by gluing cut-out labels to the matching spots on the weather cycle diagram that best fit their description.  We also watched “Water Cycle Song” and sang along.  In order to consolidate the children’ s understanding of this topic the educator used a glass of ice water as an example for condensation and collection and a glass of boiling water for evaporation.

NATIONAL SORRY DAY   National Sorry Day is a commemorative day that focuses on apologising to Indigenous Australians, the importance of recognition of their culture, and bridging the gap between all Australians and the Indigenous peoples.  To mark 2016 National Sorry Day Stage 1 students completed an art activity involving the map of Australia, people holding hands and dot-painting using traditional aboriginal colours.