Katie is an American PhD student from Melbourne University who has been studying bearded dragons in the Mallee around Walpeup – Mrs Leach asked her if she could come in and tell us about them. She came on Monday. We learnt a lot! Sandy brought his Reptiles of Australia book in as well, which was very interesting.
Bearded dragons only live in Australia – so Katie had to come from America to see and study them!
We had a picture of a bearded dragon to use – everyone thought about where the dragon might live – because they use camouflage to hide from their enemies – so the ones that live in the Centre of Australia have redder coloring than the ones that live in the yellow sands of the Mallee.
They thought about what time of day it might be – because they change color if they want to warm up, in the morning, or cool down in the middle of the day.
They eat insects – so they have to be very still and then move quickly.
They dig burrows for themselves to sleep in at night time but some of the lazy ones might sleep in a rabbit’s burrow – lots of children drew lazy dragons!
And they do special dances – they wave their arms slowly if they are not going to fight – and the boss dragons will nod to show that they aren’t going to fight. (we practised being dragons and did a dragon dance later on!)
But if they do want to fight, their beards turn black and they suck in air to puff their beards up.
Their enemies are foxes and cats, bigger lizards and birds like wedge tail eagles.
We had a visit from the Royal Flying Dental Service today – to refresh our memories of what we know about looking after our teeth. We would like to say a big THANKYOU to the volunteer dentists and other support people who come to the more isolated parts of Australia. It’s great to know that we are not forgotten.
I received this message and am passing it on for anyone who might be able to help out.
Do you want to help young children have the best possible start to life?
Do you have a child aged 2-5 years who hasn’t yet started school? If so, we’d love to hear from you. The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University in Melbourne (http://www.deakin.edu.au/health/cpan/) is running a really important research project. We’re interested in active play and electronic media use in 2-5 year old children. We’d love it if you could help us out by taking our online survey.
What’s it all about? Our project – Mums, Dads and Kids – is investigating how active young children are, how much time they spend using electronic media and how these behaviours impact some aspects of their development. We’re also really interested in what parents think about how these behaviours might impact on their child’s health, growth and development. There is such little research in this area that we really have very little understanding of how to best support healthy growth and development for our young children. One of the main aims of this project is to get a better understanding of the issues being studied so that we can develop programs and policies which best support a really healthy start to life for our little children.
What do you have to do? It’s really simple! We are asking mums and dads of 2-5 year old children to take our online survey. It’s easy – just click on the link
and it will take you to our initial screening survey. This will take only 2-3 minutes of your time. Once you’ve completed that, we can email you your own specific link for our full survey which will take between 10-20 minutes of your time, depending on your answers. Once the project is finished, we will be happy to share with you some of the results if you would like to receive them. If you’re on Facebook, we would also love it if you could like our project page
(https://www.facebook.com/healthykidsdeakin?ref=hl) and share it with your friends.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 3 9244 6278.
With harvest coming up, we have had lots of conversations about the machinery being used. So the heavy farm machinery has had to come out and the farmers have swung into action. Today we asked if they would like to draw their machines and Ollie, Bayley and Boden had a go. This was quite challenging and Bayley said – he thought it would be hard. Mrs Bell said, “well maybe start with the wheels” and that made it easier – he ended up putting in more details as he looked harder.
Elise was at the collage table with Maggie and Eli – they were making space pictures. Maggie wanted to make a rocket – she could see that she needed a triangle but wasn’t sure how to draw one. She asked for help from a teacher, and we gave her a paper triangle to copy – but then Elise said that she knows how to do a triangle. She showed her.
She drew a square and then a line across the middle, diagonally. Then she said “It’s like a sandwich”. So Maggie had a go and now she knows how to make triangles too – just like making a sandwich!
What a wonderful moment of sharing and learning! We have been working on making their learning more obvious to the children and on encouraging them to use each other as their first port of call – to ask for help from a friend or to ask an “expert” how to do something. To have someone offer their help is even better – it means that Elise can take the initiative and is confident about sharing her knowledge with others, and that Maggie is quite comfortable with asking for help, and learning from others.
This links so well with the many conversations we have had about the shapes of our sandwiches at lunch time – but nobody before has transferred that everyday maths knowledge to a new context. Thanks Elise – you have taught us all something new!
Last term the children spent a lot of time role playing a trike workshop and we wondered if real tools might be part of the interest – so we have offered them some pliers and wire and metal bits and pieces.
Some of the children – not necessarily the ones we expected! – have spent time at the tinkering table using the tools – they have been careful about using the safety goggles and have explored the different items, as well as other materials that they have added such as pipe cleaners (which also have wire in them we realised).
The coordination involved in holding and snipping the wire was quite challenging – great for building physical skills and perseverance. Learning about the two different sorts of pliers was interesting – and remembering which ones were for a specific task added another level of learning. None of the children was really familiar with this sort of tool, perhaps they see more hammers and screw drivers?
We will ask them about bits and pieces to bring in – and try to collect some machines that can be taken apart to reveal their workings.
Using the tools gave the workers such a sense of independence and achievement – a very engaging activity, and one of the many useful aspects of this learning is the realisation that machines don’t work by magic!
The culmination of our dinosaur learning was the creation of volcanoes with more saltdough this week. For 2 days we had been making our own individual volcanoes, and a group one as well as the group dinosaur world.
We love group art activities for the possibilities they offer – interactions, sharing ideas and knowledge, the feeling of being important in the group, with our own special individual contributions valued and significant. We can’t learn to respect and consider others until we feel that we are valued and respected ourselves.
The children have also been playing out their own stories about dinosaurs and volcanoes, painting pictures, using the felt boards and so on.
We did the experiment in a group – using the big volcano as our example – then each child had a turn at carefully pouring the bicarb soda, warm water, food coloring and washing up liquid into the bottle in their volcano, and then adding the vinegar. Even though they knew what was going to happen, it was still exciting!