Circle Time in Nursery

What does happen during ‘circle time’ in a Nursery class?

Our three wonderful Nursery teachers Ms Naama, Ms Cheryl and Ms Jenny do an amazing job of gathering their class of 2-3 years olds together to focus on various skills, song and stories for a focused learning time – each day!!

See what this looks like and what skills children are learning as they participate in circle time each day.

Click on the picture below!

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Week @ A Glance 13th – 17th Oct

Even after many years in Education I continue to be amazed by what young children can do and especially what their teachers organise and plan…

For example…

* Cooking in Nursery – yes 2 year olds! Is it possible?  For sure – see here for a wonderful example in Ms Naama’s class.

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They are developing math skills, fine motor skills, communication skills, turn taking, following instructions…too many to list!

* In Ms Jenny’s class they have been focusing on Wellbeing:

  • Strand One – Well-Being: Children experience an environment where: their health is promoted, their emotional wellbeing is nurtured; they are kept safe from harm.

In particular various emotions.  What a better way to show their learning than by doing it with food!  See their food faces here!

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* In Mr Cruz’s class they focused on collaborating with and EC2 class (Ms Ann’s class).  By collaborating with each other the older children learn how to communicate with younger children and vice versa.  The younger children also learn important skills from their older friends – they celebrated their first collaboration today with a BBQ – creating a memorable first experience!

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* We are so fortunate this year that EC1 & EC2 are working with Ms Wilson, the High School PE teacher to devise programs suitable for our children’s developmental level.  In EC1A – Ms Rachael’s class this week they focused on ball skills.  This was in collaboration with older students who helped scaffold their learning as well as a bonus for them to learn how to work with younger children!  A win win for all!  See PE in action here.

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* The library is another place EC children are able to visit and on occasion we are lucky enough to have Mrs Livingston, the librarian, read to the children.  See how captivated EC2B Ms Lindsay’s class are here as they listen to a story.  Visiting the library gives children a whole new world to explore literacy and helps them understand they are part of the bigger school community that uses the library, therefore learning how to take care of this environment and the books in it!

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Coffee & Conversation #2 October 2014

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Thank you to all those that attended!  This was bigger than September’s Coffee & Conversation!  A great demonstration of how interested and supportive the EC parents are!


We were lucky to have Diana Beabout (@dianabeabout) share the innovation focus from SIS, and especially how this impacts the EC division.  Links from Diana’s presentation can be found here.


Some very valid questions that came out of Diana’s presentation were:

1. How are ipads being used in the EC classrooms (some parents wanted to know what apps / how they were being managed in each class)
A: We encourage you to talk to your class teacher about this as many teachers use specific apps for very different purposes.  Generally, we encourage iPads in EC for creative purposes – not for ‘babysitting’ purposes.
2. How can I store or where can I store the photos that I am getting from school?
A: Diana suggested using the ‘cloud’.  She also suggested to visit the genius bar for more information on this.  Genius bars can be found in Parkside or Bayside.
3. 40% – meaning the maximum amount of time SIS recommends for use on the ipads – Q was: Is this too much?
A: Diana reiterates that 40% really does depend on what is being done during this time.  Majority of the time it is used for reflection, documentation of learning and students sharing their thoughts and ideas.  So generally very productive use!
Secondly, we discussed ‘Communicating with your child’ – this was a great discussion around some ‘tips’ on how to:
1. Verbal and Non-verbal Communication (click here for more info)
2. Attention, Cooperation and Arguments (click here for more info)
3. Effective Praise (click here for more info)
Lastly, some homework for those that attended….!
Parents were shown how to add a comment to their child’s photostream and also to add a comment to their child’s class website.  Thank you to those that did!
Click here for more information about how to use photostream.
Next Coffee & Conversation topics:
* Learning Stories (Why, What, How?)
* Quality vs Quantity
* Focus and Concentration in Children



Welcome to the #2 Coffee & Conversation!!

When: Wednesday 15th October, 2014

Where: Mountainside Staffroom (above the library)

Time: 9:00 – 10:00am

Focus: elearning BIG picture @ SIS / Using Photostream effectively to support learning / Communication with your child

Please sign up here if you can attend:

I look to seeing you all there!

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Coffee & Conversation Follow Up Sept 2014

What a wonderful turn out for the first EC ‘Coffee & Conversation’ held yesterday.

There was a mixture of parents from Nursery through to EC2 and from all around the world.

Brave parents introduced themselves and shared insights about where they came from and why they were in China.

We then launched in to learning more about how the EC Division is working towards achieving the overall SIS 20:20 vision, based on three main criteria:

* Improve teaching and learning

* Improve assessment of student learning

* Improve support for student learning

After listening to this part of the talk parents showed interest in hearing more about…

– Assessment and Learning Stories

We will discuss these more in depth at future ‘Coffee & Conversation’ sessions.

We also discussed how parents can stay in contact and support what is happening in their child’s class as well as how the EC division has a key goal of being very transparent and accessible.

In light of this discussion parents demonstrated interest in learning more about elearning, particularly in learning how to support this at home, how to use it (skills) and what is the big picture of SIS in relation to elearning.  These are great topics and will also be covered in future sessions.

Overall the response was positive and as parents sipped coffee, connections were being made!  A key part of the focus of these sessions as they are designed for parents to learn more, share more but also connect with other parents!

Thank you to the parents who attended and I look forward to seeing you all, plus others, next time!

What Did We Do?

During teacher professional learning days many parents wonder what we actually do that requires children to stay at home and not come to school.

Here is a quick overview of the recent PL days at SIS and how teachers collaborated together to provide the best learning environment for our students.  For more details and snapshots visit #sisrocks on twitter.

1. We spent time in Action Teams – various groups that focus on specific areas for development within the school.  During these professional discussion and work session teachers collaborated, discussed and formed plans for how their team will advance the school towards it’s 20/20 vision which in effect will enhance learning at SIS.


Community Engagement Action Team working together to decide how SIS students can effectively engage with the community in a purposeful and meaningful way.

2.  We also worked in our own divisions (EC / ES / MS / HS) to focus on developing the curriculum, hearing about specific programs such as ‘Real Spelling’ from an invited consultant – Peter Bowers and deciding on assessment tasks for various units.

3. Staff participated in learning more about ‘Innovation’ by being able to choose from a menu of 6 innovative tools that could be used in the classroom, to enhance professionalism and communication and to leverage how learning can occur.

Learning more about 3D printing and how to leverage this with purpose in any level class from EC to HS!

Learning more about 3D printing and how to leverage this with purpose in any level class from EC to HS!

4.  Professional debates focusing on whether Technology Improves Student Learning allowed for the staff to collaboratively work together in large groups of 45+ using a very detailed plan – experiencing very similar situations that we ask our children to be a part of everyday!  It gave everyone first hand knowledge of what that feels like, how to develop leadership and how to decide on roles, as well as how to articulate a task and be able to plan accordingly.

Learning how to follow directions, a detailed plan and promote collaboration in 'The Great Debate'.

Learning how to follow directions, a detailed plan and promote collaboration in ‘The Great Debate’.

See a quick glimpse of this in action both here , here and here.

5. Finally more work in divisions that focused around implementing goals set by SIS: 20/20 with the sole purpose of making SIS a better learning environment for all!

EC Division forming a scope and sequence of how and when curriculum indicators will be taught in classes.

EC Division forming a scope and sequence of how and when curriculum indicators will be taught in classes.

So were we busy? YES!

So was it productive? YES!

So was it beneficial to children’s learning? YES!

So was it worth it?  YES!

Thank you parents for spending quality time with your children so we could spend quality time engaging in professional learning that will ultimately benefit your child!