Dear Parents and carers,
Our second week of this term has seen everyone working well on their respective classroom based learning.
On Monday, we hosted Professor Kaye Lowe for her visit this term. Prof. Lowe worked in all of our classrooms and it was very exciting to hear her feedback about the work that she saw and heard about from our children. We know that our children a capable readers and writers and hearing this from an independent source is always fantastic feedback for both the children and our staff.
Well done to all!
Special thanks – to our K/1/2 children who have been moving a sand pile during this week. The sand was left over from the recent tank working b and the children have been spreading it during their playtime. This has taken the form of a game where deliveries have been made to different parts of the yard. We have had truck drivers, graders, rollers and cleaners in operation. Deliveries have included “mine stuff”, grain, hay, wool and “just dirt”. It has been fantastic to watch this imaginative play unfold across the week – well done!
Sandpit – our sandpit is now back in action. It was reshaped after the working b and is now a much larger space. It is quite amazing how a seemingly small addition of 45cm in width and 30cm in length has made this space seem so much larger. It has proved a popular place to be this week.
School photos –This year, our school photos will be taken on Monday (August 6). We are looking forward to seeing everyone looking very smart in their winter school uniform on this day! The personalised envelopes for photo orders were sent home on last week – all envelopes should have been returned to school by tomorrow (August 3), even if you DO NOT wish to purchase photos.
Family photos are only available for children attending school (no younger siblings, parents etc.) Please ask at the office for a family photo order form.
Yetu’s Award – on Friday August 10, Yetu will receive her award from the Hon Mr Michael McCormack (deputy prime minister) here at school. At midday, we will hold an assembly and the award will be presented at this time. You are welcome to join us at this assembly.
Website – please be aware that our new website is now up and operational.
This new site allows us to streamline several of the different programs that we have been using to date. Over the coming months we will migrate from Skoolbag and school interviews etc. to the Schoolzine platform, which incorporates these processes. Attached to this newsletter is a set of instructions for downloading the new Schoolzine app that will replace our current skoolbag app by the end of this year.
Please let us know your thoughts on the new website – are there things missing that you would like to see included?
NAIDOC celebrations –our Yr. 5/6 class has been invited to participate in tomorrow’s NAIDOC ceremonies and activities at THLHS. Given that we do not have a lot of experience in this area, it will be an excellent opportunity for us to visit the high school and learn some more about Australia’s history.
K/1/2 Science – K/1/2 are asking for your help – if you have any empty soft drink bottles that are clean, please send these it to K/1/2. The bottles will be put to good use in their science unit.
Book Week – Book week is coming…
The theme for 2018 is Find your treasure…
Now is the time to start thinking about the Book Character parade and what characters we might be seeing on the day. Remember to bring a copy of the book that your character appears in to the parade.
Changes to routines – thank you to those families who are keeping us informed when there is a change to the routine at the end of the day. This helps to make departures flow smoothly.
If there has been a change to the regular routine, please let us know.
The 31st of July marks the Feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola. This year St Ignatius was brought to mind on our Staff Spirituality Day as we looked at some of the great things that St Ignatius did in his lifetime and how we might follow in his footsteps.
St Ignatius is a saint I really admire because he looked for God in the everyday things that happened in his life. He saw God in all things and all people. I try to do that too, although I will admit that some days I’m not very successful. I guess what we need to be better attuned to are the ‘God moments’. This may mean a little bit more time being still to allow ourselves the opportunity to reflect on the good moments each day rather than concentrating on what went wrong.
St Ignatius asked his followers to pray the Examen daily and I think it’s a worthwhile practice to adopt in our own lives. I have included one version of it below, together with a little reflection from David Fleming.
God, thank you.
I thank you, God, for always being with me, but especially I am grateful that you are with me right now.
God, send your Holy Spirit upon me.
God, let the Holy Spirit enlighten my mind and warm my heart that I may know where and how we have been together this day.
God, let me look at my day.
God, where have I felt your presence, seen your face, heard your word this day?
God, where have I ignored you, run from you, perhaps even rejected you this day?
God, let me be grateful and ask forgiveness.
God, I thank you for the times this day we have been together and worked together.
God, I am sorry for the ways that I have offended you by what I have done or what I did not do.
God, stay close.
God, I ask that you draw me ever closer to you this day and tomorrow.
God, you are the God of my life—thank you. Amen
Sometimes our prayer can get formal and abstract. The Examen keeps our feet on the ground. This reflective, Spirit-led review of the day grounds our prayer in concrete reality. Because we are God’s sons and daughters living in a world that he loves and sustains, we can be assured that we can hear his voice in our lives in this world.
There is one final advantage to making a habit of the Daily Examen: We will never run out of things to pray about. Sometimes prayer gets dry. Sometimes we wonder what to say to God. The examen eliminates these problems. As long as we have twenty-four hours to look back on, we will have hundreds of things to talk to God about—and to thank him for.
(Excerpt from What is Ignatian Spirituality? by David L. Fleming, SJ)
The term has started off with great momentum. This term, there are again many things for the students to look forward to. These include the upcoming Book Week Parade, a visit from Healthy Harold (Life Education Van), Footy Colours Day, the Grenfell Show, Catholic Schools Week, and the Junior School Excursion to Wagga Wagga, to name just a few. Furthermore, the students are starting some exciting learning in their new units of work, which cover a range of themes and topic areas.
In Religious Education, the students will recognise creation as an expression of God’s love in the world. During the term, they will learn about God’s presence in the world, God’s gifts of creation and places that express the creative power of God. The students will learn to name the ways God is present in the world, creatively represent God’s gifts of creation and identify the wonder of all of God’s creation through the senses. Overall, they will be encouraged to care for all of God’s creation.
In English, in the first half of the term, the students will listen to and respond to the stories “Tashi” and “Tashi and the Giants” by Anna and Barbara Fienberg. They will create a character profile of Tashi, complete a cloze passage, discuss how the illustrations contribute to the meaning in the text, and create a story map. They will compare the characters, plot and settings in the different stories. The students will make a dragon and write a description. They will also jointly construct and independently write a new Tashi adventure. In the second half of the term, the students will focus on theme of dinosaurs. They will listen to literary and factual texts read to them about dinosaurs, including “There’s a Dinosaur in the Park” by Rodney Martin and “My Dearest Dinosaur” by Margaret Wild, and they will respond to these in ways that develop their reading and writing skills. The students will respond to the literary texts by identifying adjectives used to describe dinosaurs, drawing and labelling a dinosaur and writing a diary entry from a character’s point of view. They will jointly construct information reports and write information reports about dinosaurs independently. During the term, the students will also take part in many theme-based speaking and listening tasks.
In Mathematics, the students have been learning about ‘addition’ and ‘subtraction’. The Kindergarten students have been learning to model addition, record addition informally, count forwards by ones to add and create combinations for numbers to at least 10. They have also been learning to model subtraction and count backwards by ones to subtract. The Year One students have been learning to create, record and recognise combinations of two numbers, model addition and subtraction problems involving one- and two-digit numbers, as well as to use and record a range of strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems. They have also been learning to identify, sort, order and count money using appropriate language. The Year Two students have been learning to use related addition and subtraction number facts to at least 20, use and record a range of strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems involving two-digit numbers, such as the jump and split strategies, and solve problems involving addition and subtraction using number sentences. They have also been learning to perform calculations with money, and to sort, order and count notes and coins. In the coming weeks, the students will focus more on ‘number’ and ‘two-dimensional shapes’.
In Science this term, the students will learn about how sound is produced through vibrations of objects, and creating different sounds, as well as investigating how the volume, pitch and types of sounds can be changed based on the action used to produce them. They will be set a challenge to create a range of musical instruments including shakers, matchbox guitars and harmonicas. The students will learn about notating musical patterns using symbols. They will also design a pattern to play. They will explore 3D shapes when designing a paper amplifier for their instruments/ speakers.
We have only just begun the term, and subsequently our new units of work, and are eager to learn! We look forward to keeping you up-to-date with all of our latest endeavours as the term progresses.
Helping your child measure length and area
At a glance
- Kids learn about length and area through trial and error playing with things such as blocks.
- Kids need to be encouraged to explore and manipulate objects and talk about the things they are discovering.
- Kids initially develop an understanding of measurement through comparing objects.
- Before using a ruler, kids can learn to measure the length of a table (for example) using pegs, spoons, books or hand spans.
Learning how to measure can be great fun for young kids when it's combined with rolling playdough or wrapping presents.
Children learn when they play. They can learn about length and area through trial and error playing with things such as blocks, ribbon, modelling clay and toys.
As they play, children begin to take notice of the size and shape of objects; how things fit together, how they can be stacked, and the length and width of objects. Children need to be encouraged to explore and manipulate objects and talk about the things they are discovering.
How children learn to measure length and area
Kids develop an understanding of measurement through comparing objects. They may hold up two blocks and say one is longer or shorter than the other. Soon after, they begin to compare more than two objects. Kids need to play and experiment with a variety of materials and objects to measure things with before they can move to using formal units such as metres or centimetres. Before using a ruler, they need to measure the length of a table (for example) using pegs, spoons, books or hand spans.
What parents can do to help their kids learn to measure
- Use modelling dough to roll out two ‘snakes' of different lengths. Talk about one snake being ‘shorter' and the other ‘longer'.
- Roll two snakes that are the same length from modelling dough. Turn one into a zigzag or curved snake. Ask your child, ‘which snake is longer?'
- Trace around your child's hand or foot onto a piece of card and cut it out. Use this to measure the length of things such as a table or their bed. Before you measure, encourage your child to guess how many ‘hands' long the bed is.
- Roll a toy car down a ramp and measure how many car lengths it travelled.
- Walk around objects and talk about how many steps it takes.
- Record your child's growth on a height chart.
- Compare the height of family members and talk about who is ‘taller' and ‘shorter'.
- Use a stick to measure distances between seedlings when planting.
- Measure the area of a patio or tabletop using sheets of newspaper. Count how many sheets of paper were needed to completely cover the area.
- Draw squiggle patterns or make squiggle patterns from string glued onto paper. Colour inside the ‘closed' areas.
- Spread out a sheet of newspaper on the floor. Count how many books will fit on top of it.
- When wrapping presents, talk about the size of the paper and if the paper will be wide and long enough.
- Talk about the size of a tablecloth needed to cover a table or covering for a car.
- Look at the area coverage shown on paint tins before painting. Talk about how many tins of paint you will need.
- Collect coloured scrap paper and some empty cans or small cartons such as cereal boxes. Your child can create a colourful model by gluing paper to completely cover the carton or can.
- Show your child examples of patchwork and talk about the patterns. Encourage them to create patterns using blocks, scraps of paper or colouring on paper.
“Books should go where they will be most appreciated, and not sit unread, gathering dust on a forgotten shelf, don't you agree?”
― Christopher Paolini
Good books make reading fun
Stories for young children should be of all kinds – folktales, funny tales, exciting tales, tales of the wondrous and stories that tell of everyday things.
What you'll need:
A variety of interesting books
What to do:
An essential step in learning to read is good books read aloud. Parents who read aloud to their children are teaching literacy concepts simply by sharing books. Encourage your children to listen, ponder, make comments, and ask questions.
Be flexible enough to quickly abandon a book that does not appeal after a reasonable try at reading it. No one is meant to enjoy every book. And no one, especially a child, should be forced to read or listen to books that bore.
Even after children have outgrown picture books they still enjoy hearing a story read aloud. Hearing a good story read well, especially if it is just a little beyond a child's own capabilities, is an excellent way to encourage independent reading. Not all books are best read aloud; some are better enjoyed silently.
There are plenty of children's books that are twice as satisfying when they are shared a chapter at a time before bed or during long car rides. There are some books that children should not miss, books that they will want to hear many times and ultimately read for themselves.
Young children want to read what makes them laugh or cry, shiver and gasp. They must have stories and poems that reflect what they themselves have felt. They need the thrill of imagining, of being for a time in some character's shoes for a spine-tingling adventure. They want to experience the delight and amazement that comes with hearing playful language. For children, reading must be equated with enjoying, imagining, wondering, and reacting with feeling. If not, we should not be surprised if they refuse to read. So let your child sometime choose the story or book that they want you to read to them.
Give your child many opportunities to read and write stories, lists, messages, letters, notes, and postcards to relatives and friends. Since the skills for reading and writing reinforce one another, your child's skills and proficiency in reading and writing will be strengthened if you help your child connect reading to writing and writing to reading.
Adapted from readingrockets.org