Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Nga Mihi Nui

We’re sorry not to be together but we can keep encouraging and celebrating learning with tamariki by staying connected.

Whānau Koru teachers will be sending regular news about learning and will be available for contact via email from 9:00-3:00p.m. during term time.
We may not be able to respond immediately, but we will get back to you.

Schools are on holiday from this coming Monday, 30th March to Wednesday, 15th April.

We will be in regular contact with you at the beginning of the new term to provide more detailed learning support.

We will be sharing ideas for learning, some of which involve screen time. Please feel free to use what suits your whānau. We understand that whānau may prefer to limit screen and device time.

What you will find below are some general suggestions for you as we settle in this week and move forward into the holiday period. We are so aware at the moment that the priority is just coming together as a family, reducing anxiety and establishing some new home routines as we all try to make sense of this new situation.

At the beginning of the new term you will receive a regular timetable with learning suggestions and whānau can decide whether to participate or not. Please do not feel pressured at all.

The best context for learning for Koru tamariki is PLAY.

“Play is a complex occupation, requiring practice in dialogue, exposition, detailed imagery, social engineering, literary allusion and abstract thinking. Being both work and love for young children, play is absolutely essential for their health and welfare”, Vivian Gussin Paley, 2009

~make huts, construct with blocks or any materials you have, get out the glue and any recyclable materials for making, make some playdough, paint, play outside, set up obstacle courses, have picnics, look closely in the garden, make collections, gather, discover and wonder.

Parents working at home over the holidays may find it challenging when children are exerting energy and they need a quiet, thinking space. Allowing children access to chairs, buckets, cushions, sheets, broomsticks etc, in a designated area inside or outside for obstacle course making could help. Set some boundaries and constraints and challenge them with actions. The obstacle course will need children to go under, around, over, balance, slide, roll. Walk away and leave them to it. Use your oven timer to set times so that you minimise them interrupting you. Twenty minutes is reasonable- they might even go longer!!

This link takes you to Nathan Wallis, neuroscience educator, where he shares his thoughts around learning at home. He will update posts over the coming weeks

This Ministry of Education site is a useful source of information.

Reading ~ we can’t stress enough the importance of reading to tamariki
~ there are many websites with stories available such as :
Storylineonline  as well as audio sites: Story Time RNZ
~E books are a great resource- look online at Auckland Libraries:
There are many Phonics sites that are fun and easy to use. We recommend:  KidsTV123 and Alpha blocks : Alphablocks
Early readers and writers are learning to discern letter sounds, especially first letter sounds. One of the fun ways we do this in class is to chant bb block or tt train as we tidy up. This chanting can be embedded into daily life as a fun game. Phonics is about learning letter sounds not letter names.

Writing- Many of our tamariki are just beginning to learn what to do when writing down their great ideas and stories. Encourage them to draw their story and tell you about it. Holding ideas in their heads is a big early step. You may like to write their story down if they ask you to. Writing does not have to be in a book, it can be on a whiteboard, blackboard, in the sandpit, with magnetic letters on the fridge. We can support you with further information, but key is an authentic context for the child rather than us setting the agenda.

Maths~ Do some baking together, cook dinner-become aware of the maths you can integrate with this- how many, how much, half, whole, how long etc
~ go for a walk and read the numbers on the letter boxes
~Board games, dice games, simple card games are perfect for number knowledge and strategy.

We always start our day in Koru with waiata and te reo. Whānau Koru are currently learning this waiata : Pungawerewere

A couple of fun ideas:
The story that goes with this yoga session always draws the children in:

The children really love Mo Williams and so do we. You may have already seen this site: Mo Willems

Although we must stay at home, look really closely in your yards, gardens- there is a big world out there to discover: Conservation Activities

We will be in touch again soon with more information for the first week of term.  Above all, try to have fun. We can do amazing things as a
community during this time.
Whiria te tangata

Emily, Bhavana, Suzanne, Sarah, Adrienne

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