Maths City

After a discussion of the meaning behind a select few superhero’s symbols it was obvious this line of inquiry had some power behind it.

As we are beginning our thinking into shapes I sent the boys off to work in groups with a range of objects to collaboratively build a city for a superhero to protect. You can see that one quick instruction, different boys and different materials equals a lot of unique interpretations and engagements.

Opps, the city building was built outside the city walls.
Opps, the city building was built outside the city walls.
Problem fixed.
Problem fixed.
Town planners deciding what's next
Town planners deciding what’s next
Complex city, included harbours and buildings.
Complex city, included harbours and buildings.
Pattern blocks can be fitted side by side and flat or stacked together or stood on end to make towers.
Pattern blocks can be fitted side by side and flat or stacked together or stood on end to make towers.
Many boys, and many bricks working together to build a solid building where all the different block shapes fit together and none stick out.
Many boys, and many bricks working together to build a solid building where all the different block shapes fit together and none stick out.  When they work together like this talking and figuring it out together, you feel extremely proud. 
Many boys, and many bricks working together to build a solid building where all the different block shapes fit together and none stick out.
Many boys, and many bricks working together to build a solid building where all the different block shapes fit together and none stick out.
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So many attempts were made to find a solution to make this incredibly high tower stand on it’s own.
Shapes being used in 2d and 3d applications.
First the shapes were staked on stop of each other before the team discovered that they could be used to make walls and cubes.
Shapes are 2D (flat) to make the pathways and have 3D applications to make structures
Shapes are used in 2D (flat) to make the pathways and have 3D applications to make structures

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Road system
Road system
Engineering is happening here.  How squares and triangles work together to make a structure.
Engineering is happening here. How squares and triangles work together to make a structure.
Minister of Roads (old Newingtonian Duncan Gay) would be proud of Kindy's road system. Heartbreak and learning  in the background as the magnet structure fails to stand.
Minister of Roads (old Newingtonian Duncan Gay) would be proud of Kindy’s road system.
Heartbreak and learning in the background as the magnet structure falls.

Words Their Way

Across Newington Lindfield K-6 we have adopted the Words Their Way (WTW) to teach phonics, spelling and vocabulary.  The benefit of this program is that students thinking more critically about words and work on transferring their skills to reading and writing. English is a complex system, based on patterns rather than rules (i before e except after c isn’t always helpful, in fact more words break this rule than follow it)

A Words Their Way word study involves the boys in examining words and discovering for themselves the regularities, patterns and conventions of the English language. Each week they will be physically sorting words into groups (in Kindergarten this starts with phonological activities as well as sounds supported by pictures rather than written words). The simple process of sorting words into categories is the heart of our word study program.

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When students sort words, they are engaged in the active process of searching, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Word sorts help students organize what they know about words and to form generalisations that they can then apply to new words they encounter in their reading. To quote Ben Franklin

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

As with Prime Maths, Words Their Way will feature in your son’s learning throughout their time at Newington College Lindfield, this consistency will have them soaring!

Our favourite place in the playground

As part of our learning into belonging we have been thinking about places that our special to us and where we feel like we belong. Our initial thinking about this idea had boys building and drawing a variety of places, from their home, the school, on a footy field and their grandparents house.

Later in the week the boys ventured out to the playground with drawing tools in hand to draw their favourite place in the playground. The boys were thoroughly engaged in this outdoor drawing activity and believe it or not not a single boy decided to play instead of draw. They are one fantastic bunch of boys.

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The Hueys in The New Jumper – Literature Study

Oliver Jeffers’ great book “The Hueys in The New Jumper” tells the tale the Hueys who are all the same – “they think the same… and do the same things”.

Until one Huey spices things up and knits himself a jumper.

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Difference catches on and ALL the Huey’s knit a new jumper… in the end they embrace their unique differences and celebrate it in what they wear – with hats.

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The boys connected their learning of what belonging to Newington to the book and recognised that in their uniforms they all looked the same, although they are all different boys. The hats the boys created communicate to others their favourite colour and one of the things they really like.

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The thing about the kindergarten boys was that their uniforms were all the same…
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That was until they all made different hats.

 

The Dot

A transdiciplinary approach to learning is when our boys learn and explore the same concept through different disciplines (Literacy, Numeracy, the Arts, Languages). Blending the perspectives of several disciplines around one concept  ultimately enriches their understanding of the concept in question.

Just as we are learning about belonging everyday in our classroom the boys are exploring the concept of belonging in Visual Art and the PYP learner attributes.

The boys’ collaborative dot artworks were in response to a story “The Dot” by Peter H Reynolds. In this story Vashti doesn’t believe she is artistic and won’t even try at making art. That is until a teacher’s confidence in her supplies the energy she needs to take risks and explore ideas in her artistic endeavours – Risk-Taker is a PYP attitude.

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In their own artistic endeavours the boys were exploring colours that belong together in warm and cool colour families. After fine-tuning their skills in painting and cutting, the boys collaboratively composed an artwork which contrasted warm and cool colour families with striking results.

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I walked into their art class today and discovered a group of boys working beautifully together to create their collaborative artwork. Looking forward to having it in our classroom.

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– P. Burnett and C. Peterson

Our Kindy Books

We hope you enjoy our bestseller The Boys of Kindergarten, due to hit shelves this Monday. It has been fantastic to collaboratively write with the boys, and to see their excitement in the work they are creating. The repetitive style of the books is deliberate, as the boys familiarity of the text and the visual cues (photos for names, colour for colours, pictures for likes) allows them to read with greater fluency and to feel successful in their reading.

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Ollie’s page – photo has been left out of this post.

I am extremely proud of the boys illustrations in our latest book. We used a success criteria, that the boys created together, for a great illustration:
1 Star = having a go.
3 Stars = lots of colour, filling the whole box, lots of detail and  you know exactly what it is a picture of.

Our gentlemen all strove for 3 Stars and their work is incredible as a result.

Pink Stumps Day

At Newington College Lindfield we aim to develop a service learning program where a culture of responsibility, care and leadership within our school community is developed so the boys can actively contribute to resolving social problems both locally and globally.

On Saturday, 27 February our Cricket Development Squad White supported the McGrath Foundation Pink Stumps Day to raise funds and awareness to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses into communities that need it the most.

I was extremely proud to coach our Year 3 and 4 boys today. They played a gentlemanly game and raised money for a cause that has affected us all in some way.

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ALL IN TO HELP OUT

Our Kindergarten boys are fortunate to be part of a school community that  pull up their knee-high socks to help out.

We are currently thinking about a way that our Kindergarten boys can take part in service learning, and we have some ideas for how we can help out … stay tuned.

Service is a Pillar of Distinction for all Newingtonians. Below is an excerpt from the Senior Prefect Jack Jacobs’ (Stanmore 7-12) inaugeral speech as a 2016 Newington College Leader.

Today it is exciting for me to introduce to you, our new leaders’ school motto and vision for 2016. This year, we are going to do something different, whilst developing the themes of service and success established by past leaders.

Our motto isn’t a slogan. It isn’t catchy, slick or funny. It takes on some uncomfortable topics, and will force us to start confronting conversations with one another; conversations that we need to have as young men. It is:

“Value you, Support him,
Stand with her.”

For a full transcript please read here.

 

Prime Maths

As a whole school we have employed the Prime Maths model to teach and learn mathematics. Kindergarten 2016 are extremely fortunate as they will be the first cohort to experience this methodology of mathematical teaching throughout their K-6 years learning at Newington Lindfield.

Prime Maths follows a ‘Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Approach’ which develops deep conceptual understanding of mathematics. They will learn to make connections between concrete materials, pictorial representations (e.g. ten frames, patterns) and mathematical symbols (written numbers and symbols). Gone are the days when you didn’t know why you learn certain mathematical skills. Prime Maths puts mathematics physically in your hands before abstracting it into numbers and symbols. I often remark that I had no idea why I did trigonometry for 5 years until the day I had to design a roof and it all clicked into place – it’s this type of disconnect to why we learn mathematics that we are aiming to avoid.

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This Thursday night there is a PYP and Prime Maths session being held in our hall. Please join us if you would like to hear more about our teaching methodologies at Lindfield.

 

Process drama for comprehension

I promise you, our boys in this picture are learning… deeply.

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Getting ready for the farm, the boys being cows, sheep and chickens before introducing the book.

This week we used drama strategies to support boys comprehension of the book Farmer Duck. When you are engaged in drama your whole body is able to experience the character, feel as they feel. Here the boys experienced a “transformation” of the main character Farmer Duck. At the beginning of the book he is sad and exhausted.

Sleepy, weepy and tired duck pose

After his friends help him he is happy, smiling, a very excited bird.

Happy duck pose
Happy duck pose

The boys transformed their bodies from Farmer duck when he was sad to when he was happy a number of times. Then we got together to brainstorm words to describe how he felt in the story. The drama supported the brainstorm and we got many great descriptions.

Also, a huge thanks to Lorcan who was our brave duck who was bossed around by a very lazy farmer (me).  His role play of Farmer Duck engaged his class with the unfair treatment of the duck by his farmer boss and ignited their empathy for how the duck would be feeling.

Mandarin is where the heart is.

Connecting with our inquiry into Belonging, the boys have been learning the names of their family members in Mandarin.

But, you have to keep the people you love safe and happy, so first we must build them a house.

The boys were great at listening to the instructions when folding their own paper house and they took great care in their DIY renovations.

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