Hunter Park Kindergarten

Welcome to our Blog.

Friday, September 18, 2009


With all approvals granted E- profiles are getting under way. Already we've had five replies to our email and we've managed to get all 5 set up today with a bit of over time.
These e-profiles will be closed to public viewing so only the teaching team and people parents choose to invite will be able to see them.

With final approvals granted we are now at the last step of introducing

What is an e-profile?

An E-profile is an online
version of the profile books we have at kindergarten.

In addition
we’ll also be able to place video clips on them from time to time.

The format will be just like that of the kindergarten blog.

Unlike the kindergarten blog (which is open to the world) only the
teaching team and people using email accounts you nominate will be able to
access it.

With e-profiles you’ll be able to easily upload your own
pictures and stories as well. We encourage you to do this.

E-profiles will allow you to become a follower of your child’s
blog/e-profile, which will alert you when it’s updated.

Later you
may even wish to invite your child’s school teacher, so it can continue on when
they start school.

If you do opt for an e-profile we will stop
printing a black an white copy of learning stories for you, as now you’ll be
able to access full colour digital copies from home or work. We would still like
your contribution about the learning that is happening for your child.

We will however still keep a colour hard copy in your child’s
profile book at Kindergarten.

How do I get one?

If you
would like your child to have an e-profile, please send us a reply email with a
list of those emails you would like to have access to your child’s profile.

You will need to sign up for a google account for each of those
emails. (This is easy and quick, and we can help if you have difficulties.)


As we get your replies we will start to create and
set up the e-profiles over the next two months and link them to our blogsite for
easy access.

We will also have blogging workshops to help you

Bouncing Wheels

Today the interest in wheels continued. The group sought to find their own challenge and turned to the tramp to bounce their wheels on. What a great lot of team work was required and lots and lots of fun. The group used the words "Watch out", and took great care of each other and the windows in the background. Jo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roast dinner

We had this terms shared meal today, on the menu was cauliflower in cheese sauce, roast pumpkin, kumara and potato. Boiled peas, mashed potato with parsley, silver beet and celery from our garden, treats Aidan brought in, pikelets, icecream, maple syrup, sprinkles and banana.

Fran one of our senior teachers joined us for lunch as well.

The children and teachers spend the morning preparing the food (more photo's to come), we had a great meal and then it was time for piles of dishes. Kia ora nga ringa wera.

Remember parents are always most welcome to come and share lunch with the children and especially so for these special events, either as a helper, eater or both.

How to rotate a video

Click to enlarge

Wheels and more wheels

Over the past few weeks a group of children have been interested in exploring the use of wheels on inclined planes. They have taken the experience from the concrete to the top of the boxes and today I challenged them to try to make multiple hills to explore. Later in the day we added the tunnel and a jump. That was exciting. It was a very interesting and fun filled time as they gained experience, skill and knowledge about balance and speed of the wheels. It was great to see the connections they made to their own knowledge of tyres and the speed of cars.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Fluoridation Meeting Report

I attended the fluoridation meeting held last night in Waipukurau.

The current supply of powdered fluoride the town uses is becoming hard to source, meaning the town will have to switch to a different type of fluoride requiring different machinery to mix it with the water if we wish to continue fluoridating the water. Not everyone agrees fluoridation is a good thing, the council will therefore be taking the opportunity to survey residents to see if fluoridation should continue.

Points were made for and against fluoridation.

Both sides recognised fluoride can be helpful to preventing decay. Fluoride replaces an Ion (ca+?) on the teeth making teeth more resistant to acid.

Both sides recognised that at high concentration levels fluoride is toxic. (As are most things is life.)

Profluoridation spokes people pointed out their appears to be a definite correlation between fluoridation and less tooth decay. (Though results vary widely.)

This correlation is not consistent however, nor does fluoridation prevent all decay.

Both sides recognised that lack of fluoridated water likely is not the primary cause of tooth decay, suggesting sugary, acidic drink and food, and improper brushing are the main factors.

One problem raised with studies is how can we be sure that everyone is drinking the water, many indicated they won't drink town water due to taste.
It was counter-argued that if less people are drinking the water due to taste, (main taste is likely to be chlorine) this would mean the observed beneficial effects of fluoridated water would be decreased in the studies, so any observed benefits would actually be greater than studies indicate.

One (profluoridation) dentist indicated making a cup of tea with unfluoridated water would result in tea that has four times as much fluoride as normal fluoridated drinking water, as fluoride is found in other substances such as tea. Most of the fluoride we ingest in food and drink is excreted by our kidneys (along with other toxins.)

This raises the question how much are we getting already from other sources? Does this mean we don't need to add any extra to our water? Is there a clear pathway in the body for ingested fluoride to reach teeth, (as opposed to fluoride applied directly to teeth as a paste and spat out- as recommended.)

Anti fluoridation spokespeople pointed out it is unethical to medicate people without informed consent. Further unlike prescribed medicine there is no way to know how large a dose any individual is receiving or what the effects are on that person.

Both sides agreed fluoridation of water supply does lead to increased fluorosis of teeth, with the anti side indicating this was a sign of fluoride poisoning, but not explaining what harmful effects this would have, and the pro side indicating no conclusive evidence for harmful effects linked to fluorosis could be found.

Council was not able to indicate if fluoride levels at the tap (as opposed to at the source) vary from household to household, across town as this is not currently measured. Perhaps this needs to be investigated.

Concerns were raised of unknown environmental effects of putting fluoridated water back into river systems.

Council was asked would they provide fluoride filters for households choosing to opt out of fluoridated water. (Not all filters remove it.) This would have to be discussed at council.

Council was asked could they instead tax sugary, acidic drinks and use the money for dental health programmes, but this would probably be outside their scope.

It was not made clear why the recommended levels are the recommended levels.

Fluoride does occur naturally at various levels in water supplies world wide.

Boiling water does not remove fluoride but concentrates it.

Placing water to stand in a glass jug can help improve the taste. (Much like standing fish tank water to remove chlorine.)

More information can be found at the council site they would love to hear your feedback.

edit: Thankyou to those people who have commented on our report for parents.
I've read the information on why we shouldn't fluoridate you've provided, but can't publish it or the links here as it's not the kindergartens role to take sides in a political debate, or to act as a site for the debate to take place. Our role is to inform parents the debate is taking place and refer them to where they can participate.
I would encourage you to submit the information you've provided to the council site this post links too.
Parents who wish to see the comments can ask at kindy and I'll print off the links for you. One is an article on fluoride levels in tea, one is a link to a blog on why we shouldn't fluoridate, and another is a link to a website on why we shouldn't fluoridate.

I can publish this link however, which has fluoride levels in various foods.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trip to Arataki Honey

Co-written by Jo and Sharon

Trip to Taniwha daffodils

We love picking daffodils, a great trip for the whole family. We started with a picnic morning tea.
Then off we go, reminding everyone how to run your fingers down the stalk and pick them from the bottom.
Charlie wasn't sure about his first bus ride, but loved running and romping on the grass with Josh and Jacob.
Into the buckets they went.
What's that in the water? A crocodile, we better hang back.

Make up a lovely bunch.

We had lot's of cameras to take photo's.
And lot's of lovely subjects to photograph.
Even some ducks.

Back on the bus again we headed back to kindy.
Then on the way home we got to see the emergency services we've been learning about in action as a car clipped another one heading the other way straight behind our bus.
Mark our driver saw it and stopped the bus so we could send back help then helped the police write up their report.

Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. Two fire engines, three or four police cars
and two ambulances turned up.
One car had rolled completely over, bits of car went everywhere.
A courier driver later arrived a kindy with a flat tire, from a 4 inch piece of the car embedded in his tire.
Fortunately we were looking the other way when it happened.
With the emergency services all arrived and our report made we headed back for kindy again, only to find another accident had happened further down the road. Two more ambulances, another fire engine and more police cars.

So we stopped again.

Eventually, quite some time after we'd planned to we made it back to kindergarten.
What an eventful day.

Trip to Hastings Fire Station

Co-written by Jo & Sharon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Policeperson John

As a follow on from our firestation visit, Police Person John came to see us today.
He talked about his equipment, and police dogs, and about what police do. It turns out police help people as well as "catching baddies." Aidan tried the handcuffs first.
Then Caleb had a go.

Then we went out to check out the car. We learnt the new ones have the blue and yellow markings.

John had a loud speaker in his car, lights and a loud siren. (Two children weren't sure of the noise, but we looked after them.)
Adrianne recalled how she used sit in one of the old police cars, to keep the engine going, to keep the light going, on a dangerous stretch of road, for the policeman that used to live near her.
Fire extinguisher in the front.
In the back John had his rescue equipment, pop up road cone, first aid kit etc.

Sure enough Jack and Caleb W. dressed as police people as soon as John had gone, though they asked if we could get some new police suits as the old style helmets just didn't look right.
Thanks Police Person John!


Old lady who swallowed a fly

Kiri's Voice:
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.... do you know why?
The children today enjoyed a fun story and puppet show that I had brought in from home. The children were great at practicing patience, waiting for their turn, as well as learning to deal with disappointment if they didn't get their chosen animal. The children were using memory to recall which animal was going to be next and recalling which animals had been swallowed before, and they didn't complain once about my singing! What a great bunch of helpers they were for me and very attentive too. Kiri Fraser.
Pai ki ahau ki te whakarongo koutou tamariki. I like the way you all listened children.

David's Voice:
I was really impressed by Kiri's impromptu mat time. The children were able to come and go as they needed, and I noticed when children moved away (after all sitting still is the hardest balancing skill ) they were still very aware of the story and returned to it as soon as it restarted.

Informal free choice versus formal compulsory mattimes are something a lot of earlychildhood settings are currently thinking about.

Kiri must have sung the story twenty times, as new children joined in and others asked for it again and again, her group getting larger and larger. She managed the many and varied demands very well.

As we watched the video together and it was fascinating to see all the different ways the children had of participating in the story, each at a level they were comfortable with and it's not always necessary to sit up straight to be actively participating. I noticed Aidan dropping the old lady book on his head while he waited for the story to get organised, then sitting up ready to join in again as soon as it started.

I noticed how the children joining the mat would often stand on the outside observing the social rules of the group, figuring out how they could fit in. Often they innovated how they would participate, as when Lachie found his own puppet or Emma and Gina got chairs to become an audience. They also experienced negotiating and compromise as they weren't always able to get what they wanted straight away.

There was also sequencing, a math's skill.

As well as the, maths, music and social side of things there was also problem solving as the children figured out how to fit the puppets into the old lady.
Great story Kiri.

Our Fairy

David's voice:
When the girls asked for princess music I decided rather than put it straight on, I would challenge and extend their ideas around it a bit first.
The first piece I played them was and Irish reel. "That's not princess music they told me."
Not put off and despite a gouty foot, I managed to demonstrate a fair reel, but they still weren't happy so I pulled up the next piece I'd selected as potential princess music. Billy Idol's 'white wedding.'
Another demonstration, but sure enough "That's not princess music, that's rock music."
So I moved on to some Strauss 'Leichtes Blut- Light as a feather' a toss dance. This they had to think about, it was obviously nearly princess music, but not quite. "That's not princess music either."
Annalise was finally forced by my obstinate ignorance to rethink her question and draw on her experiences to rephrase her request. "Barbie music is princess music."
"Oh I said."
I tried them on Khatschaturian's 'sabre dance.' "Is this Barbie music."
I could see them think again.
"No swan lake."
Oh I said you want some Tschaikowsky, he wrote swan lake."
"No swan lake is from Barbie."
"Well I'll try this Tschaikowsky 'Swan lake' and we'll see if it's the same."
Oh my it was!
"Yes that's it."
"Oh so Tschaikowsky must have written the music for Barbie's swan lake."
I then challenged them further, by dancing with them.
"You can't dance you're a boy, boys can't be princesses."
"Yes I can I'm a beautiful boy princess see I've got my princess dress on." It didn't fit on my head or tummy so I stuck one on each leg.
We had a lot of fun leaping and dancing together in the waltz parts I picked them up and twirled them around, till they quite wore me out with "me next". We went on to 'Sleeping beauty' and 'The nutcracker', and then I asked Elise if she wanted me to play "For Elise."
She did and Annalise recognised it from 'Young Einsteins' "That's from the t.v. with the rocket."
Later at mat I reinforced our discovery that the Barbie music was by Tschaikowsky, several times and then put some on to dance too. We all sat in a circle and who ever wanted to dance could. Then I let those who'd been dancing go off to wash their hands or stay dancing if they wanted. With this license to dance soon nearly everybody was up, by the time of last snippet of music, only two children still felt too shy to dance. And once more the boys demonstrated they were the some of the best dancers, Caleb W and Connor especially (They'd also demonstrated this the other day doing their take on what highland dancing would look like a mix a crumping and breakdancing apparently. :) ) I was glad of this as earlier I'd noticed at least three boys wanting to dance but not confident enough to give it a go with all the girls dominating the dance floor, now they got their chance.
Amazing what can happen when you decide to be ignorant ;).

Monday, September 7, 2009


From CHB college Ana comes in every Friday, and Nicole every Tuesday. Though they only come for a few hours the children love to have them here.
Ana works with Isobel and Grace who took turns to document their game with photo's.

We've also had a cat arrive last week. He comes in each day and continues to come back,and stay all day. The children are learning to handle him gently, and he gives them a reminder with his claws if they're rough, but other than that he tolerates us very well.
Anyone recognise him, know were he comes from?

Making a Battery


Friday, September 4, 2009

Cheese Making

Annalise made a basket out of a piece of egg carton and wanted cheese to put in it. This has been an on going interest. She's made them several times asking Jo and Sharon for cheese for her baskets. So I suggested why don't we make some cheese for your basket.
I was thinking it would be too hard, but as least we can learn where cheese comes from. We googled you tube and got Chef John Food wishes How to make Cheese Video Wow so easy. So I got the ingredients together that night (supplying a cube of cheese for the basket in the meanwhile) and the next day, mainly Annalise, Caleb, Erin, but also Katy, Connor, Ollie, Hunter all helped me make it.

First we squeezed lemon juice, then heated the milk to a simmer ("not boiling!"- Chef John) stirring as we went. (Any spare lemons most welcome.) Once heated I added the cultured buttermilk (to avoid splashes), plus lemon juice and white vinegar. We sat it the milk while it curdled. (I love sharing science experiment type stuff about how things and made with the children. Casein plastic is made in similar way.) I passed the ladle with holes (name please?) around and we slowly ( a bit of a challenge for some) spooned it into the cheese cloth. Then we hung it, took it down, mixed it with the salt, and chilled it in the fridge overnight.

Looks Yummy.

While the curd hung, we tried a sip of whey, basically a protein drink, tasting similar to a natural yoghurt. Possibly an acquired taste.

Next day we made some more, once again accompanied by various songs we made up as we cooked, ( "moo moo jersey cow", "We're the same" by Annalise and Isobel, Italian opera style by David "we are making cheese now, we make the cheese, we aim to please. Lovely rigga goat ta, we make the cheese, we aim to please."and of course "Little miss Muffit.")
Then we served up the cheese (Reserving some to send to Mark at New World supermarket to say thankyou for the cheese cloth, and Erin who was away,) with olive oil and pepper.

Delicious, we ate it all up, save that which we reserved.
Sarah-Jane says she can get us some farm milk so we must give that a try, which lead to Annalise sharing her knowledge of cows, and a discussion of where milk comes from, and what animals make it.
Hearing us sing Ella's mum Jo can to see what we were doing and says she'll be taking a cheese making course at some stage, so we're hoping when she does she'll come and share her learning with us.
Meanwhile I've found mozzarella and feta recipes on the web and I'm really excited about cheese.
I'm not sure the children are, as there seemed less interest today (except in the eating part) but I'm sure I can continue my learning at home even if we move on to other things here.