Saturday, 27 February 2016

Week 4 Term 1 2016 - The Learning Pit

This week we had our first Learner Advisory Time.  Our dispositional focus is Managing Self and we are concentrating on the statement Can I Manage My Time and Resources?  Throughout the week the children have been plotting themselves on the continuum Supported - Self Managing - Self Directed in relation to this statement.  This records where the children see themselves sitting at that moment in time.  We have been using different scenarios to help unpack with the children what Supported, Self Managing and Self Directed actually mean.  We have been having lots of 'hand on heart' conversations!

We also took the opportunity to introduce the children to The Learning Pit.

The Learning Pit is a way of explaining how challenge leads to enhanced learning.  Children are faced with a challenge that may make them feel apprehensive or worried that they can't do it.  It is at this point that we have to leap in the pit.  The only way to move forward is to jump in and have a go!  At the bottom, you might be at a place of frustration, of wanting to give up.  BUT, being in the pit helps you to learn what to do when you don't know what to do!! Trying different things will help you to realise that you will make mistakes but once you have, you'll be able to think about what went wrong and how to fix it. This then leads to a deeper understanding of what you are learning.  Climbing out of the pit leads to an overwhelming sense of satisfaction.  To a Eureka! moment.  Eureka is Greek for 'I found it!'

This week we set a challenge for your children that would allow them to practice managing their time and resources.  It would also give them the chance to navigate their way through a collaborative task.  The challenge was as follows - 

Build the tallest tower you can in your group using only 7 pieces of newspaper, 1 glue stick and 1 pair of scissors. You have 15 minutes.

Most of us leapt into the pit straight away.  Some of us were dragged in kicking and screaming.   It was wonderful to observe and notice the different reactions to this sensation of confusion and 'I can't' or 'I don't know what to do' or 'But we only have one pair of scissors and there are 5 of us.'  UNTIL we started to hear 'I think I have an idea' or 'Why don't we try this?' or 'I think this will work' or "I know what makes a strong tower, you need a strong base.'  We then observed children giving their peers a helping hand out of the pit.  All groups had an 'end result' but the journey they had been on was much, much more valuable.

If you get a chance, chat to your child about The Learning Pit.  I have also included a link to a video that talks you through the whole concept and below are some photos of our journey on this occasion.  

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Our First Week of PINs

Our first round of PINs was a huge success on Friday.  It is such a lovely, relaxed way to end to the week and the children are so lucky to be able to engage in such a wide range of experiences.

Take a look at the workshops that were on offer this week.

Pinatas with Natasha

Chinese New Year Craft with Jo and Chelsy


Animal Stencils with Theo


Circuits with Lisa


Making weetbix slice with Kushla

Making Play Dough with Carol

Self Portraits with Rashelle


Using the Construction Area with Kerry


There is also a PINs display in our common, next to the entrance of our office space.  

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Week 2 Term 1 in LC1

Hi Families,

The time is flying by and we are already heading into Week 3.  Last week was another successful week with the children settled and engaged.  We introduced our two planning systems and the children did a great job at managing their time and organising their day.  Next time you are in LC1, ask your child to show you how they plan.

Getting to Know Our School
We have been spending quite a lot of time in The Portal - a cool, relaxing space and great for those of us who are very tired by the afternoon!  There is so much to do in The Portal - quiet reading by yourself, shared reading with a friend or a group, lots of games to play and puzzles to solve.



We have also visited the gym.  We have played some team games and we have had lots of fun with the parachute.

What Else Have We Been Up To?
Drawing what we can see - our focus on summer fruit has begun with a watermelon!!  We used sketching pencils first and moved on to watercolours and sharpies.

Literacy has looked like spelling and reading key words in lots of different ways and writing in our journals.  We have also worked on writing letters in the right way and we have completed lots of activities around the big book 'Monkey Shoes.'

We have continued with our sorting focus and also introduced a range of number activities this week.

Jeremy has really enjoyed exploring all our puzzles this week.  I think he has just about completed them all!!  Joshua has had fun setting up an under water world in our Small World Area and Luke really enjoyed creating pictures with our pegs and boards.