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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Preschool News

On Wednesday the 17th February we had our second musical visitor to Preschool.  There was great excitement when Bill arrived with his trombone.  He told us all about the instrument and showed us how it worked.  We got to hear how it sounded too, of course.  Then we all lined up to get a look up close and Bill spent time talking to each of us about the valves and slides on the trombone.
Over the last couple of months, Laura has been working on a secret project - Preschool Block People.  the block people were finally finished and unveiled this week.  The children were excited to see why Laura was taking funny backwards and forward photos of them all this time!  The children are proud of their blocks so make sure you check them out next time you are in the classroom.  Please note that the block people are for playing with at Preschool ONLY and not to be taken home.  If you notice any have snuck home, could you kindly send them back please
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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Nursery Week - 15-19 February

A warm welcome to our new babies, Harry and Finn, who have settled in well into the Pukeko Room.  Lennix, Rosa and Gracie have started settling into the Tuatara Room, whereas Harrison, Will and Amelie have been transitioned to "beds" in the Tuatara Room.
Balls and water play is still popular in the Tuatara Room.  The children have also shown their curiosity for the natural resources, such as drift wood, stones and shells.
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Our New Game

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Exploring in Nursery

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Nursery's Natural World

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Artist of the Week

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Nursery 8th- 12th February

What a great week we've had in the Nursery!  We have enjoyed another exciting week full of music, dance and mat time fun.  The Nursery children have also been showing off their budding artist talents, with painting being a huge interest this week.
A warm welcome to our new children, Conor and Ruby, who have settled well in the Pukeko Room and Zara who has joined us in the Tuatara Room.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Bayfield's Summer Concert Series

Preschool has an exciting few weeks coming up, with a series of musicians visiting.  The musicians are all friends of Lauras from the Prohibition Big Band, an 18 piece jazz and swing band.
The series kicked off last week with a visit from Adam Larsen, a jazz student at Auckland University, who brought in his alto saxophone.  After hearing a short concert, the children were able to line up and have a turn pressing all the buttons on the saxophone.
Over the next few weeks we will meet Bill Tweed, a retiree, who plays trombone; Dr Julian McEntee on trumpet; Trevor Thwaites, Doctor of Music Education on drums; University Lecturer, Leith Oliver on baritone saxophone; Stu Johnstone on bass with a guitarist friend; and a group of violinists from Remuera Intermediate School.  These guys have all volunteered their time and we are extremely fortunate to have them visit!  Keep an eye on the blog and the Weka Weekly board for photos.  
For more information on these musicians check out

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Music Class

Last week we had a special visitor.  Laura (teacher) invited her friend, Adam, to come and to play his saxophone for us.  First, Adam showed us how the saxophone worked and then he played his favourite song to us on the saxophone.  We then all picked a musical instrument and played along with Adam to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  We all had heaps of fun.  There will be videos following shortly starring Adam.  

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Grandparents Day

Mark your calendars!!!

Grandparents Day
Tuesday, 23rd March
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

We would like to extend an invitation to all of our grandparents to join us on this special day.  This is an open morning when all of the grandparents are welcome to come and see what their grandchildren get up to during their day with us.  We would like the everyone to feel free to wander through all the rooms and see what everyone is up to. 
Morning tea will also be provided in the staffroom.  We look forward to seeing you all there.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Preschool Special Account

We are currently sorting out your accounts in the Preschool Special Fund. If you are one of the families whose child will be attending Playball on a Tuesday and your account needs topping up, can you please do this as soon as possible.  You will have received a letter in your pocket reminding you of this.  If you have any queries about your account, please see Shona.   

Music Class 3.2.10

Music class starring Isabel, Charlotte, Curtis, Luke, Benji, Joe, Thomas M, Andy, Kairo and Evie
We started off today's class with chanting our names in time to a beat, a skill the children are getting really good at!
We listened to this week's 'So-Me Meets the Boss'.  So-Me makes up a song to sing to his class about who he is.  'So-Me, So-Me is my name, So-Me, So-Me, won't you sing the same?'.  We took turns singing the song with our own names in it.  I was impressed by how brave the kids were about singing solo in front of the group.  Being able to perform confidently as an adult really stems from lots of exposure to it as a child, so they are off to a great start.
I had prepared a CD full of different solos and we huddled around the stereo to listen.  I played each track for the children and they had to guess what the instrument was.  They then had to identify the picture of it on a chart.
"This one makes me sleepy," said Evie as we listened to a piano concerto.  "Wow, this one is grumpy," said Joe about the cello solo,
Last week we looked at print music and how notes that are higher up on the stave (the black lines) are higher pitched than those that are down low.  Today I showed the children flash cards of different notes and they had to label them as high, low, or in the middle.  I was astounded at how well they did without me even prompting the answer.  They are a clever bunch!  We also talked about sounds around us that are high or low pitched and also sounds that are loud or soft.
Benji, Kairo and Luke shared the instruments they had brought and then we finished the class off with our usual rhythm games.  I added in a new component today, a 'rest'.  Basically a rest is a pause in the music.  In rhythm games a rest can be represented by laying your hands out in front of you.  It is hard to explain but I'm sure your child would be pleased to demonstrate!
To help further develop what we learned today, keep chatting to your child about the sounds around you, particularly about pitch and volume.  Encourage the performance of the So-Me song (or any song) in front of family and friends to help develop confidence.  Soon we will be looking at different genres of music (rock, pop, hip-hop, classical, jazz, country etc) so if you have any examples, you could play them at home that would be great too.
We are having heaps of fun in music class ("we" being the teacher as well as the kids!!) and I love that they are so keen to participate each week.  I would love to hear any feedback you have (e.g. Does your child talk about the class at home? 
Do you feel they are learning?) so that I can continue to improve the programme.

We have a big surprise for the children next week (and hopefully a few more surprises in the weeks to follow)  I will keep you posted. 

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tadpoles in the Preschool

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Nursery Week

We had a great week - a great way to end the first month of 2010.  We would like to welcome Helen Hart, who has joined the Nursery Team last week.  We would also like to welcome Joshua and Laura who have been settling in the Tuatara Room from the Pukeko Room for the past two weeks.  We would also like to remind you about the Pizza Evening tonight.  (Friday 5th February).  We look forward to seeing you there.

Ella, "The Butterfly"

Ella wanted to dress up as a butterfly.  She was having a bit of trouble getting the wings on, so Alice lent a hand.
Ella then proceeded to dance around the room, flapping her wings.  Alice asked Ella if she could take some photos to which Ella said, "Yes." So Alice took a couple of photos.
Ella is learning to put the wings on herself, coming back to Alice for a little assistance when she needs it. 
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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Toddler News

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Playball in Preschool

Playball started in preschool today for all the children who attend on a Tuesday.  This is an early childhood programme which helps develop the fundamental building blocks of sport, agility, balance and co-ordination.  Most importantly - Playball is fun and engages the child's imagination!!
During Playball the children are exposed to a range of different sports skills for tennis, cricket, hocket, rugby, football, basketball and volleyball. 
These sessions are 45 minutes in duration.  We will require your permission for your child to attend, so please fill out the form that has been placed in your pocket and return as soon as possible.  If you have any questions, please see Oriana or Shona.