Childrens’ Corner 2020

A regular feature from our Monthly Newsletters to Parents, written by our Teachers.

June 2020

Our hikoi/walk in the afternoons is a lovely time to discover our environment; the flag waving in the wind, the dog who knows us now and doesn’t bark, the hole in the tree in which something interesting might live in…it’s a wonderful opportunity for our group to share their views of the world around them.

Purposeful play is important here at Pathways and we have started to grind our own flour on Wednesdays. A lovely visual journey from wheat grain to buns happens. Thank you so much to the Jeffcote family for bringing in their mill.

Carina is telling us the Early winter walk story in preparation for lantern festival – see below.

Our Waiata for June will be a pronunciation tune:

A haka mana para ta wa nga wha
E heke mene pere te we nge whe
I hiki mini piri ti wi ngi whi
O hoko mono poro to wo ngo who
E. I. O. U.
U huku munu puru tu wu ngu whu.

Early Winter Walk Story
Early one evening as the sun was going down.
There was a little gnome who needed a home.
He walked along with his stick in one hand
And a lantern in the other so he could see where to stand.

I walk with my little lantern, my lantern myself and I.
We walk with our little lantern, our lantern so shiny and bright.
The stars that swing, our lanterns we bring
La bimma, la bimma, la beh.

He tried an old sea shell but it was too small and draughty and cold.
It was not right so he did not stay
As he walked along, he sang his song.

I walk with my little lantern, my lantern myself and I.
We walk with our little lantern, our lantern so shiny and bright.
The stars that swing, our lanterns we bring
La bimma, la bimma, la beh.

He tried an old well but it was damp and had mould.
It was not right so he did not stay.
To the bridge he made his way.
As he walked along, he sang his song

I walk with my little lantern, my lantern myself and I.
We walk with our little lantern, our lantern so shiny and bright.
The stars that swing, our lanterns we bring
La bimma, la bimma, la beh.

What he thought was just right, was a box with a lid
Because he could shut it at night… and he did.

May 2020

Our second week open and the new order of things is slowly becoming normal. We are looking forward to seeing you all as the restrictions are lifted. There are a few changes to our rhythm – we need to wash our hands on arrival and before leaving, and we have added a hikoi/walk to our day.

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Story for May – Hedgy hedgehog

(italics text is sung)

Autumn leaves are falling down,
Red and yellow, gold and brown.

Hedgy hedgehog was wandering amongst the colourful leaves.

He sniffs and snuffles in the leaves that have floated to the ground.

Hedgehog sees a little bee that quickly flies away singing

“Autumn’s here, autumn’s here but winter is on its way”.

A little girl goes skipping by. Through the leaves so red and gold, she dances, sings and plays.

“autumn’s here, autumn’s here but winter is on its way”.

Hedgehog finds a pile of leaves in a little heap.

He feels tired and ready for a sleep.

Shuffling through the leaves, hedgehog makes a soft and cosy nest where he can in winter rest.

He makes himself comfortable and is soon fast asleep.

Hedgehog is dreaming and above the stars are gleaming.

Autumn leaves are falling down,
Red and yellow, gold and brown.

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Te reo that may be familiar to your child:
Kotiro-girl, Tama, boy. (it’s ok to change the gender in the story every now and then).  Ngenge -tired. Moe- sleep. Whero- red, kowhai- yellow. Whetu- stars.

New te reo you may wish to add:
Ngahuru – autumn. Takurua – winter. Āhuru – comfortable, warm, cosy. Pī – Bee

April 2020 (during lockdown)

I hope you are all safe and well in these new and unusual times.  I miss everyone, the lovely relationships you have given me, especially your children’s.  Community is important and I do hope you are all finding you way through. There’s a lot of hope here.

We are all familiar with parents being our children’s first teachers so I trust you’re all in familiar territory being home with your children.

I’ve been thinking about rhythm, repetition, security and continuity and how our Pathways kindergarten rhythm gave us a structure that allowed for the important unstructured Mahi/work that is play.  So we have outside active play and inside active play interspersed with quiet breathing in times. One of these is story time.  Story time at pathways is just before lunch, it is a time of wonder and togetherness. We stop all our amazing individual and small group learning and sit together to share our understandings. It is a time of service, an adult will stop their work and make time to bring to life a thoughtful narrative that helps children make sense of their world. It is being one, breathing in and belonging.

The story I had planned for April is the Star Apple Story. If you are looking for options to bring some structure to your child’s day reading is always welcomed at Pathways.  There are a few different versions but this one has a nice theme of dreaming big, waiting patiently and growing to be grateful for the things that are special about us. Your child may want to become the tipu, the sprout and grow up high reaching for the whetu, the stars. Feeling the story with their body and using the story to understand their body.

The Star Apple Story.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, the world only had one apple tree.

It was just a baby apple tree, a seedling with small roots and no branches to speak of.

One night, the little apple sprout looked up into the night sky and admired the beautiful stars. The little apple sprout wanted so badly to reach up and touch them, so it stretched and stretched and stretched… until it was a great apple tree.

But as much as the great apple tree stretched, it still could not reach the stars.

The great apple tree began to cry, it was so sad that it could not touch the beautiful stars. A star fairy heard the great apple tree cry, and flew down to ask what was wrong.

The great apple tree cried, “Oh, star fairy, I want to touch the stars! But I am way down here and they are way up there!”

The star fairy thought for a moment and said, “Great apple tree, I will bring you back a star, but the stars live very far away so it will be awhile before I return.” And with that, the star fairy flew back up into the sky, leaving the great apple tree in wonder.

With spring, the great apple tree had beautiful green leaves and pink flowers, but still could not touch the stars.

And then with summer, the pink flowers grew turned white, just like the bright stars, and began to turn into tiny apples, but the great apple tree still could not touch the stars.

And then with fall, the tiny apples grew bigger and bigger and bigger… until they were ready to eat! The great apple tree was so proud of its apples that it forgot all about the stars, until one day when the star fairy came back.

“I brought you a basket of stars,” said the star fairy, “but your branches are full of apples! How would you ever hold them?”

“Oh, thank you, Star Fairy,” exclaimed the Great Apple Tree, “but I no longer need the stars. My red apples fill up my branches and are so pretty, I couldn’t bear to part with them.”

The Star Fairy thought for a moment and then said, “I will give each of your apples a star, hidden deep within, and every time a child cuts open an apple, she will see a beautiful star!”

And with that, the Star Fairy touched her wand to every apple and planted deep within it a star.

We try to build on our Te Reo Māori knowledge with each story we tell.

So we say words we know and are comfortable within both Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Pakeha. Your children might remember that…
Fairy is a patupaiarehe
Star is whetu
The sky is Rangi
Spring is Kōanga
Beautiful is ātaahua

Colours
Kakariki is green
Mawhero is pink
Ma is white
Whero is red

New words
Sprout is tipu
Basket is kete

It might be that, at the end of this story you cut open an apple to show your child the whetu/star hidden inside… and slices of apple are nice to share.

I’ve seen apple prints also: cut the apple in half across the core, then cut the edible sides off so you’re left with a core, dab in paint or ink and onto paper. I can visualise some constellation prints now.

Welcome to Autumn!

March 2020

WATERPLAY … SPRINKLERS … SANDPIT RIVERS … MUDPOOLS – This sums up the month of February here at Pathways with us making the most of the hot weather! And the trusty grapefruit tree supplied us with LOTS of grapefruit to quench our thirst. Tamariki enjoyed squeezing and squashing grapefruit for us all to savour. I am sure our whānau have noticed the hazelnuts in children’s bags and pockets every day! Yes, we’ve had a few hazelnut gatherers in our midst, starting each day with a good shake of the hazelnut tree and using the hammers and our strong muscles to break open as many hazelnuts as possible!

We started with paper-making as one of our inside focus activities. This involves ripping paper into small pieces, soaking it in water and then using sieves to shape it into the right sizes and consistencies. What a fun way to learn about sustainability and looking after our environment.

Our February story, Te ika a Maui, was told by Fi and came with the moral of getting along with siblings, problem solving and making plans. The tamariki loved taking part in the action of rowing their waka, learning new words such as “hoha”, and then having an imaginary swim in the moana to finish off story time.

Our tamariki have been enjoying lots of play outside lately that involve working together, especially in their pretend play of building and constructing. Our March story, ‘The enormous turnip’, will link into this theme of teamwork and collaboration.

February 2020

Welcome back everyone. Nearly all our children have returned from holidays and it’s great to see you all relaxed after having a long break. We are ready (after some injury and study breaks) to get busy learning at Pathways Kindergarten.

Just a gentle reminder that our session starts at nine am. We are keen to all start together with our morning circle – you are welcome to join in if you are still here.

Our story for January has been about a Te Arawa explorer Ihenga. The children enjoy hearing about how the places and names they are a little familiar with came about and we’re growing a gentle understanding of te ao Māori and Tangatawhenua Rotorua.

Thank you all for the chance to study Steiner Diploma of Early Childhood Education. I had an amazing week at Titirangi Steiner school and am feeling more confident about the concepts and theory of Steiner Education.