Term 2 is done and dusted and what a fun filled term of learning we had. Let's have a look at what we got up to.
To explore this concept in depth we focused on 5 different topics that all looked at emotions and strategies in different ways that would further support the children's knowledge and understanding.
First the children were introduced to our class pet. Together we read her book which explores the concept of emotional regulation. This cute creature also assists with positive behaviour within our kindergarten environment. She is the perfect classroom friend who is there for the children if they need a cuddle or for someone to listen to them about how they are feeling. As we all know all pet’s need a name. The children worked collaboratively in coming up with the perfect name for her and well I would like to formally introduce, drum roll please ..
WINIFRED (Winnie) for short as the children love to call her.
In line with Winnie the children we also looked at Zones of Regulation. This concept explores:
- Sensory regulation. The ability to learn how to manage and respond appropriately to sensory input from their environment
- Emotional regulation. The ability to recognise body clues that are associated with different emotional levels. As well as gain an understanding how others think and feel in response to our emotional state.
- Executive functioning. The ability to have cognitive control over their behaviour.
Zones of regulation categorises states of alertness and emotions into four different coloured zones (Blue, Green, Yellow & Red). These zones allow the children to better recognise and understand complex feelings and provides them with strategies to help move between the zones, in which allows them to self-regulate.
How full is your bucket?
This concept exposed the children to a powerful message - that the way we relate to others has a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. It highlights the importance of being kind not only to others but, ourselves too.
Our friend Tucker Turtle allowed the children to recognise their feelings, use deep breathing t techniques to calm down and then teach them skills to take time to think before reacting.
Each of these topics all supported each other to teach the children everything they need to know around self-regulation. Emotions are tricky but, it is how we deal with it that really matters. But, no matter what they are feeling they are never alone.
The Resilience Project
This program further supported our focus around self-regulation We explored positive mental health strategies as well as building on the children’s resilience and happiness. The children practiced stopping and being really present within the moment and the day they just had. They were asked a range of different questions that really got their brains thinking. We kept all of this into our G.E.M (Gratitude, Empathy & Mindfulness) journal and added some of their answers to our gratitude tree.
Jolly Phonics & Cued Articulation
Over my years teaching this is such a successful program so of course the children this year were exposed to it. These 2 programs are merged into 1 and they further support the children's language skills. We discussed items that begin with our focus letters of the week, looked at upper and lower case letters and even found out that Q doesn't have it's own sound. The children were so engaged within this group time that they showed so much eagerness to continue to learn the rest of the alphabet each week. I am so proud of how much they have absorbed and can't wait for them to bring their new knowledge into the school setting next year.
Rowville Primary School
We have been fortunate enough to connect with this Primary School. We had our first visit in April and they even asked us back for a second time!! The children were exposed to a different learning environment and engaged in group sessions around numeracy and literacy. They worked collaboratively with the Foundation children to complete the tasks set out for the day. Shae and Kayla put so much effort into these well thought out sessions and made us all feel very welcome. We cannot wait to continue our relationship with them over the next two terms.
Big Chefs help Little Chefs
This term we worked with Sun room to create a new program - Big Chefs help Little Chefs.
It was such a huge success. We have so many children with siblings in the Sun room so it was so heart warming to see how excited they were to cook with them. We will be continuing this on for the rest of the year and can’t wait to see both rooms grow together.