Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Using water pressure to inflate a balloon

It started with one boy wanting to use the hose to fill the bucket on his tractor up with petrol and another wanting to pour water into the same hose, using a funnel.
I found a way they could work together to achieve both goals.
We ended up exploring water pressure at the same time. Because the higher we lifted the funnel end, the more pressure we gained and the faster the water came out of the other end.The boys organised themselves into taking turns, pouring and holding, and soon were exploring the effects of raising and lowering the funnel.
I had seen a children's science programme, in the holidays, were a man holding a pipe and funnel had used the water pressure to lift a person standing on a hot water bottle, attached to the other end. They'd even burst the hot water bottle. So once the bucket was full I asked the boys did they want to try blowing up a balloon. They did and with a rubber band to hold the balloon onto the hose, we gave it a go.The results were spectacular, noisy and a lot of fun. We repeated our experiment several times, recycling the water (we have a drought.)

Loving Balloon volcanoes in the sand pit already (which we usually do with the hose and tap), we decided to try it with the hose and funnel the next day.

Soon more helpers were recruited. One boy found lowering the funnel now could result in a reverse flow as the sand compressed it. We all watched as the balloon swelled and shrunk as we raised and lowered the funnel. It was a real group effort, as some filled, some held, some dug the sand to cover the balloon and some just watched with interest. All the while we were learning about cooperation, coordination, water conservation, patience, water pressure and volcanoes as well as expanding our vocabulary and concepts around these things. I guess we really should have counted how many buckets it took and measured the volume as well.It worked and worked spectacularly, sometimes leaving a perfect crater lake (something the tap method doesn't do.) And always going off with a bang. (I think we'll use a rubber band even with the tap and hose method from now on.)We repeated it several times as we emptied the water trough for the day and even got it on video.

Great fun, give it a go too!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

spider story

and one more.


My Holiday -David

Here's some of the work I've been up to in the holidays.

Drawing on what I was learning last year I decided to practise making slideshow e-books with my children and these were the result. They were really fun and are definite favourites for my kids. They are real easy to make, just download photostory3 (which is free) draw some pictures and scan them in. Record your voices and you have a story.

My children are determined to make their own, and I'd like to try this at kindergarten next.

You can even make them into DVD's.

My Holidays - Monica
I had a wonderful term break, and after getting lots of jobs done around the house (painting inside, gardening and supervising the building of a very large deck), I headed off on holiday for 2 1/2 weeks relaxation. I spent a week on Motiti Island, off the coast at Tauranga, which was very peaceful and relaxing. Then it was off to Tolaga Bay with friends camping. This was great fun, lots of sunshine, swimming and laughs.
It is very exciting to be back at work, although it isn't for long. I finish here at Hunter Park on Friday 20th February in order to start my new role as a Facilitator with Massey University, based in Napier. I will be supporting other early childhood educators by providing professional learning support. I am very excited about this and looking forward to the challenge of this new role, but of course I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to the wonderful children and families! There will be tears, I just know it! I will have to drop in often!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Crickets

After waiting all summer for the crickets we purchased to breed, we've finally got babies. I think it took so long because I had let the sand get too dry. After I added more water, eggs and babies started to appear.

Here's some photos of our mother crickets checking out the new terrarium I brought for myself and for the kindy to use. It has 14 hour day:10 hour night lighting, and under floor heating, real flash.You can tell they're girls because of the long ovipositor at the back of them and because their wings have straight veins. The dads are the ones that sing, and their wings are rougher.

Here are some of the babies not long hatched out of their eggs, on an egg carton (for chicken eggs). They're the same size as ants, but jump and have long attenae.

Here's a close up of the eggs in the sand I got from the sand pit

Try and spot them here, there are more than I've highlighted. Normally they're under the moss, but I've temporarily pulled it back to reveal them, before I covered them up again to keep them safe. That's what that long ovipositor is for, laying the eggs under the ground.


Term dates

Welcome back to 2009, Kindergarten started with the children on Tuesday the 27th, with all the teachers in the association having a meeting in Hastings on Monday. As well as learning about the latest ideas in assessment we also learnt that New Zealand will need an estimated 6,000 teachers in Earlychildhood in the next 3 years, though only 1,500 are currently training this year. So if your interested in teaching in kindergarten now's the time, there's even scholarships available.

The term dates for this year are:
Term 1 Tuesday 27th January -Thursday 9th April.
Wednesday 6th Feb. Waitangi day
Good Friday 10th April
Easter Monday 13th April
ANZAC day 25th April

Term 2 Monday 27th April -Friday 3rd July
Closed Queen's Birthday, Monday 1st June

Term 3 Monday 20th July-Friday 25th Sept.

Term 4 Monday 12th Oct-Friday 18th Dec.
H.B. Annv. Friday 23rd Oct.
Monday 26th Oct Labour Day.

What do teachers do in the summer break? Well I wrote and illustrated three e books with my children using photostory 3. I'll try to put the suitable ones up on the Kindergarten blog site at some stage and onto D.V.D. as well. I updated the inventory adding hyperlinks and colour and kept the garden watered and the various animals fed, amongst other things.

Finally we'd all like to congratulate Monica on her appointment to Massey, though we'll all miss her, this is a great move for her, more on this later.