Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's okay - They are looking for rectangular prisms!

Hi Everyone,
If your child has suddenly decided to play in the recycle bin, don't worry, they are looking for rectangular prisms! Last week we learnt all about 2D shapes, this week it is 3D all the way! I have asked the children to bring a box to school from home so that we can cut one of its sides and look at its net.
If you click on the picture of the net above, it will take you to a web site where you can print out this net and cut and paste it to make a rectangular prism of your own.
192 schools and 176 kindergartens in Victoria are closed due to Bush fire threats tomorrow. Ours is fortunately not one of them! Tomorrow is our first outing day, so please return your permission forms as soon as possible. Children without signed forms will spend the outing session time with Chrissie at school.
While we are on the subject of forms, have you returned your swimming carnival permission note yet?
Tomorrow we are going to the town library and we will spend some time reviewing our road safety rules while we are out and about. The safety songs that we use as part of our out and about program can be found by clicking on the picture of the cars above.
The Junior Crew have had a busy week and there are lots of posts for you to read in the student blogging area. So why don't you take a look and leave them a comment!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Busy - Let me tell you about it!

That's an under statement. The Junior Crew have been flat out this week! A picture tells a thousand words or so they say. So why don't you click on the student blog link in the left margin and take a look at what the kids have been up to this week. There are pictures to look at and posts to read. Check out the cute licking dog at the top of the blog page too!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy 100 Days of School Room 102!

Hi Everyone,

Today we celebrated 100 days of school with our Canadian blogging buddies in Room 102. It is only our tenth day of school so we celebrated that too by making some bibs and bobs paper quilts.

Each paper sheet has ten objects on it.We will join these pieces up tomorrow, in groups of 10 to make a couple of 100 quilts to hang up on the wall. Our '100' activities will continue all week because it is too good a theme to just visit for the day.

We also shared a special 100 cake for lunch. 100 % of the class thought it was delicious!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

International Celebrations!

Hi Everyone,
This week we will be celebrating 100 days of school with our friends in Canada and the USA. Click on the hyperlink to see how our Canadian friends in Room 102 are celebrating.
For homework this week we would like all of the children to put together a 100 collection display and bring it to school.
It could be as simple as 100 rubber bands or paper clips arranged in an interesting way. It might be a collection of 100 objects that are all the same or different. They could be arranged in groups of ten for example. Click on the picture for 100 collection ideas. The possibilities are endless. Let your imaginations run wild!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bush Fire Relief Fund

Hi Everyone,
All government schools in our region held a casual dress day today and students were asked to make a gold coin donation. That's a $2 or $1 coin, for those readers living outside Australia. Our little school managed to raise $800 which is a brilliant effort! It was great to hear that so many of the children took money out of their own money boxes and that they were so willing to give over and above the suggested gold coin donation amount. Well done kids! Thank you to all those families that supported the fund raising effort.
Across Australia 75 million, (eight hundred dollars) has been raised. That is amazing! It makes you feel proud to be Australian.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Life Goes On

Hi Everyone,
This week is certainly one that we will all remember, but never want to repeat. The CFA are doing some back burning in our area, so we are still blanketed in smoke, but it was good to know that there was no danger associated with it for us.The children are calm, happy and working hard. In spite of everything we have, for the most part, managed to have a fairly normal sort of week.Cory is holding a spoon because we have been conducting experiments to see whether objects float or sink. We have been creating sea creatures using a variety of techniques to make a story wall based on an under water theme. Our Occupational Therapist, Michelle and Melissa our Speech Therapist, have been in the room working on therapy goals. Their puppets were a great hit. Our maths and language programs have begun and our theme work is progressing well although we wish that 'Fire' week had been a lot less eventful!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Making Sense of Natural Disasters

Hi Everyone,
Help your children make sense of natural disasters by reading this article by Michael Grose. Visit his blog for some other great parenting tips.

The Queensland floods and the Victorian bush fires continue to wreak incredible havoc on so many people’s lives and will no doubt leave an indelible imprint on our collective psyches. These two natural disasters will be brought into our living rooms via the media over the coming days and weeks.

As adults we all want our children to live carefree lives and keep them from the pain and even horror of tragedies such as natural disasters. In reality we can’t do this.

So what is a parent, teacher, or other caring adult to do when the natural disasters fills the airwaves and the consciousness of society? Here are some ideas:

Reassure children that they are safe. The consistency of the images can be frightening for young children who don’t understand the notion of distance and have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fiction. Let them know that while this event is indeed happening it will not affect them directly.

Be available and 'ask able'. Let kids know that it is okay to talk about the unpleasant events. Listen to what they think and feel. By listening, you can find out if they have misunderstandings, and you can learn more about the support that they need. You do not need to explain more than they are ready to hear, but be willing to answer their questions.

Help children process what they see and hear, particularly through television. Children are good observers but can be poor interpreters of events that are out of their level of understanding. Sit with them. Ask them questions to ascertain their understanding.

Support children’s concerns for others. They may have genuine concerns for the suffering that will occur and they may need an outlet for those concerns. It is heart-warming to see this empathy in children for the concerns of others.

Let them explore feelings beyond fear. Many children may feel sad or even angry with these events so let them express the full range of emotions. They may feel sadder for the loss of wildlife, than for loss of human life, which is impersonal for them.

Help children and young people find a legitimate course of action if they wish. Action is a great antidote to stress and anxiety so finding simple ways to help, including donating some pocket money can assist kids to cope and teaches them to contribute.

Avoid keeping the television on all the time. The visual nature of the media means that images are repeated over and over, which can be both distressing to some and desensitizing to others.

Be aware of your own actions. Children will take their cues from you and if they see you focusing on it in an unhealthy way then they will focus on it too. Let them know that it is happening but it should not dominate their lives.

Take action yourself. Children who know their parents, teachers, or other significant caregivers are working to make a difference feel hope. They feel safer and more positive about the future. So do something. It will make you feel more hopeful, too. And hope is one of the most valuable gifts we can give children and ourselves.

Children’s worlds can be affected in ways that we can’t even conceive of so adults need to be both sensitive to children’s needs and mindful of what they say and how they act in front of children.

In difficult times, it is worth remembering what adults and children need most are each other.

Michael Grose is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. For more parenting information and resources visit

Monday, February 9, 2009

This Is Not A Drill!

Hi Everyone,

How do you begin to describe a day like today? We had five staff absent defending their properties against the fires and some of our families have already chosen to send their children into town to stay with friends and relatives,until the all clear is given for them to return to their homes.

Many of our staff members including Chrissie, Neville and Paula have family members in the CFA, fighting the fires tonight. Val’s home was under threat last night and she lost some cattle but her house is still standing and her family are safe . Our thoughts are with them all.

I have the radio on, and they have just announced that the fires burning locally have escalated. That means that we will be no doubt covered in a blanket of smoke again tomorrow. Please let us know if your child’s asthma management plan needs to be updated, or if your child is experiencing any breathing difficulties at all because of the smoke haze. The children will be kept inside for recess and lunch if the smoke is an issue again tomorrow and the rooms have refrigerated air conditioning so we are able to keep all the doors and windows closed and provide a clean air environment.

Now more than ever, it is important for your children to know your fire safety plan. I really wish our home work assignment wasn’t quite so relevant! I hope that everyone you care about stays safe and well over night.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stop -Drop - Roll

Hi Everyone,
Today the children learned what to do if their clothes catch fire. We practiced how to 'Stop -Drop- Roll', and talked about how it is very important to stay calm and never run if your clothing is alight . They have been taking our fire safety lessons very seriously and there were no complaints when we practiced our fire safety drills outside, in the scorching Summer heat. If you click on our Stop -Drop - Roll picture today, it will take you to a PDF sheet that you can colour in.
We also talked about water today. We watched a Video on Peep and the Big Wide World , about a duck called Quack, who wanted to prove that his pond was bigger and better than the pond next door. The video was a great combination of entertainment and mathematics. The children learned all of the different ways the size of a pond could be measured. It had a happy ending as all good stories do! I would encourage everyone to check out the site over the weekend as the video topic changes every day and the program is excellent.
All of the children had an art lesson today. One group spent time in the art room with Sheryl and Marg and the other worked with Lorraine and I in the classroom. As well as completing their art works,Sheryl's group had a fantastic time spraying each other with water bottles, which was a great activity for a 40 degree plus day!
Thanks to all those parents who have sent in all their permission forms We are so sorry that you have been bombarded with newsletters and permission slips since Monday. We hope that all the paper work will be completed by next week. We are really looking forward to meeting with parents during SSG week. We already have so many great things to tell you about your children. Click on the arrow to hear a recording of today's post.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fire Safety- Have you done your homework?

Hi Everyone,
I am fairly certain that Wednesdays are going to be our favourite day of the week. The Crew enjoyed music and drama classes and it was lunch order day !
How are you going with your Fire Safety homework? Have you made a fire safety plan for home yet? The letter box seems to be the place that most families meet, but it is important to have a back door emergency meeting place, in case the fire is in the front of the house.
We have practised walking to our school emergency meeting places this week. The Crew now know the 3 safe places that a teacher will lead them to, if there is a fire at the school. Tomorrow we will look at what you need to do to protect yourself, if there is a fire inside a building
Have you checked out our fire safety song yet.
SSG meetings will be scheduled for February 25th and March 4th. A note will be sent home in student diaries tomorrow. Please return this note to school as soon as possible so that we can make sure that arrangements suit all families.
We couldn't be happier with the way that the students have bonded as a group. We can tell already, that this is going to be a very exciting, productive year !
Click on the arrow to hear a recording of today's post.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The First Day of School

Hi Everyone,
Today was our first day back at school for 2009. The temperature was 42 C but the day turned out to be really cool!
All of the children worked and played well together and got straight back into the routines of school life.
The children really enjoyed working across the two rooms. Their transitions between the two spaces were great! We are really pleased that they are comfortable with the team teaching approach.
The children began some reading tasks in the Junior Crew Book shelf area today. The Mr Bump story was a big hit. The children are beginning to learn how to post comments on the blog. When they have had lots of practise on this site, we will give them the opportunity to comment on our blogging buddies' sites.
The Mr Men books and videos are a great tool , so we will be using them to teach across a variety of subjects. Today we watched the Mr Men Car Wash DVD, which tied in beautifully with our theme 'Earth, Wind, Fire and Water'. This week we are going to be speaking and writing about all of the ways we use water.
We will also begin our fire safety lessons this week. For homework I will be asking the children to talk with the adults at home, about fire safety in the home, and practice walking to their 'safe meeting place' . At school we will be practising walking to our Emergency Meeting Places and learning the fire safety steps, as taught in our fire safety song, which you will find by clicking on the hyperlink or under the 'Fire' links area in the left margin of the blog.
Every child will have a newsletter in their bag explaining our room set up for 2009. There is also some information about our blog and a permission form for parents to sign, so that we can publish photographs of the children on the blog. We would really appreciate it, if these could be returned to school as soon as possible. We took some great pictures today and I am itching to use them. I hope that the kids came home happy and relaxed ,with great stories to tell about our awesome day. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hey Junior Crew- It's Back to School Eve

Hi Junior Crew,
It's back to School Eve. The First day of school is tomorrow! Have you got your uniform and shoes ready? Did you check your bag for mouldy sandwiches? Have you planned your healthy lunch yet?
There is so much to do. The most important thing to do on 'Back to School Eve,' is to go to bed at your school night bedtime. There are no more sleep in days left until the weekend!.
We have lots of fun things planned for tomorrow, so we need you to be wide awake and ready to go. See you soon!
You can hear Sue read today's post, if you click on the Vocaroo arrow.