June Family Newsletter 2018

Director’s Note

Welcome to Treasured Tots Christie Downs

Treasured Tots has been open for 8 months, how quick has that time gone, we look forward to continuing this journey with you and your children.

Community connections, is a big part of our NQS (National Quality Standards) that we are rated against. We are always looking at ways to incorporate the community within our service, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to talk to one of the lead educators in your child’s room or myself.

Grow Free Cart

As you may be aware, we have started a Grow free cart which is located at the entrance to reception. Grow free is a community initiative about sharing homegrown produce that you might have in excess of. It is about giving what you can and taking what you need. If you have anything in which you would like to donate please place it upon the cart. Please see Renae if you have any questions regarding the grow free cart or click the link below to find out more information: http://www.growfree.org.au/


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In the Grasshopper and Canary outdoor environment, they have been busy planting a wide range of vegetables to add to the cart and also to use the items within our practical life experiences. If you have any seedlings to donate please see Vanda or Beck.

Vinnies donation bin is located in reception. If you have anything to donate please place it in the bin provided. As we are fast approaching the cold this winter they are looking for donations of jumpers, jackets, beanies and scarves just to name a few.

Wellness bowl, on reception there is a bowl/ basket, please help yourself to something from this bowl.

Don’t forget to check the lost property bins located outside of your child’s classroom. At the end of two weeks if there are any unclaimed items, we will be placing the items into the Vinnies donation bin. Please remember to name your child’s clothing to help minimise missing items.

Any questions in regards to your children’s development, feel free to speak to the lead educators in your child’s room. Please spend some time looking through your child’s Individual Learning Journey and the Group learning floor book located outside your child’s classroom.

Renae Speck

Recently we welcomed Susie H to the Starfish Classroom. She works 4 days a week supporting our Team Leader Zoe, who works fulltime. We also have regular relief educators; Hannah, Angel, Sarah and Paige. The children appear very comfortable with them and we hope they have become familiar faces for you all too.

Currently joining us as well, we have students; Hannah, Ceione, Emily and Courtney.

We hope you have all had a chance to view the children’s group and individual learning journey books. They have been relocated to the hallway on a small white table. Please take the time to have a look through at your child’s Learning Journey and the Classroom Learning Journey.

We strongly value receiving and extending family input as part of our fortnightly classroom plan.

Our fortnightly classroom plan is displayed on our parent information board in the Starfish Classroom below our menu and room routine. Our classroom fortnightly plan records activities and meaningful moments the children have engaged in each day. Planned experiences are noted under different headings; creative, sensorial, music and movement, outdoor, books and practical life.

For creative experiences this month we have encourage the children to further develop the skill of using a paint brush. We have new paint brushes with grip handles and new paint pots too for the children to independently paint using different colours.

Susie has bought in her small easel from home which is a great addition also! Other creative experiences offered include; drawing with different mediums (crayons, pencils and textas), gluing, cutting with scissors and painting with different objects (sponges, animal figurines, toy car wheels and vegetables).

The children have been invited to explore many sensorial group experiences. This has created so many positive social interactions and encouraged the children to experiment alongside one another.

It is fascinating to observe the children watch their peers and then appear to trial an action themselves. Educators have been using descriptive language to name the children’s discoveries and actions. We will continue to offer more group exploration opportunities, reassuring the children they can come and go as they please.

So far this month, the children have explored; cold pasta, feathers, waterplay, textured ribbons, bubble wrap, bird seeds, slime, kinetic sand, different material squares, contact paper, clay, shaving cream, discovery bottles and bags as well as cloud dough.

Singing actions songs as a group has been such a joyful time. Children are beginning to perform the actions, clap at the end and smile throughout. We have kept the natural collection of instruments in the room as they appeared to be enjoyed by all the children.

It is great to observe the children discover how to create sound and become familiar with each instrument.

The rain is becoming more frequent and is limiting our time spent outside. We have set up the outdoor resources inside on some days to encourage the children to still be active.

We have also used the 4-seater pram more frequently for spontaneous rides outside for fresh air.

Renae and Susie have bought in some books from their home collection for us to share. We look forward to using these books in group times and adding variety to the book box in the room.

The children continue to show a strong interest in books and they appear to be a comfort during transition times. It’s great to observe more and more children pointing to illustrations in books and verbally naming what they see.

Practical Life is an area in the Montessori Early Years Programme that we have introduced and adapted for this age group.

Every week we introduce new Practical Life activity trays to the daily shelves. We also invite the children to participate in group Practical Life experiences, recently we peeled mandarins together.

This month our focus has been supporting the children to use tongs and pour their drinks. Firstly, we introduced resources on the shelves to develop these skills and then during spontaneous moments practicing at meal-time table.

During routine times, the children have also been encouraged to use their self-help skills; climbing the nappy change stairs, washing their hands, cleaning up spills and using the wash up station after meal times.

Educators are observing those 4 skills are appearing more natural and embedded which is fantastic, we definitely want this to continue!

From the Starfish Team

Over the time in the Grasshopper Room, the children have been offered experiences using kitchen utensils these have included grating, peeling, mashing and chopping, just to name a few of the practical life skills we have been learning in our Classroom.

Through developing these skills, the children are now being offered to put them in place with making lunch.

Some of the meals the children have cooked in the classroom were Chicken Stir-Fry, Tuna Mexican rice and Tuna, lemon, tomato parsley pasta.

The recipes the children have been using will be placed on display in the Grasshopper cook book.

Last week, the children help set up our worm farm, we spoke about what the worms were going to do and how they would help our garden grow. The worm café is placed out near the tap where the children will have the chance to feed them and to see if they have produced any worm juice.

When our worm farm is up and running we plan on placing our excess worm juice on our Grow Free Cart for our families to take home and use in their gardens.

This month we said good bye to Elijah.

May also meant that some of our Grasshopper friends celebrated their 3rd birthday, a very big happy birthday to Douglas and Isabelle, who have now moved into the Canary Room.

The Grasshopper educators are organising a weekly excursion to the library, this is still in the planning stage as the educators are talking with library staff. This idea extends from the children’s interest in reading books as a group with their educator. Stay tuned for more information.

The weather is cooling down. Can parents please send children with a bag that contains spare clothes, rain boots and beanies. This will ensure children can still engage in outdoor play when not heavily raining.

From the Grasshopper Team

Over the term, we have been assisting the children to transition into the Canary classroom, as one community together.

The prepared environment reflects the children’s individual interests and needs to stimulate children’s minds, encourage collaboration and independence, and provide them with the time and space needed to achieve the outcome of their ‘work’.

The children have been introduced to different learning experiences that incorporate the four main areas of practical life – care of self, care of the environment, control of movement and grace and courtesy.

On a daily basis, the children; pack away their own trayed experiences and place back onto the designated shelf; set the tables up before meal times and wash their own dishes after meal times; pour their own water with the urn provided in the indoor and outdoor environments; they have also been involved in many other small and large group lessons that incorporates their interests and challenges their learning.

After reviewing the children’s interests, we have noticed that the children love practical life experiences that involve food preparation.

From this, we have started to incorporate the ‘kitchen kits’ into the daily routine.

The kits provide the children with an opportunity to learn the life skills they need to become independent and self-sufficient.

The children enjoyed learning how to juice oranges, scrub potatoes, grate carrots and shell peas just to name a few.

From these learning experiences the children refined their skills and became more confident with the different tools used in the kitchen so we have involved the children in a range of different cooking lessons on a daily basis.

They especially loved scrubbing potatoes and then making potatoes fritters, grating and slicing vegetables and then making stir-fry and one of their favourites was mashing banana to make banana cake.

Please feel free to have a look through your children learning journey which is located out the front of the Canary room.

The learning journey is used to record the development and progress of each individual child.

We also encourage parents to provide feedback or suggestions on our programme, which is located in the canary room.

From the Canary Team