March & April 2016

It has been a very busy few months at Moa kids. You may have noticed lots of new faces around the place, it great to have so many new children join the Moa Kid’s family.  We welcome you all and it is great to see everyone settling in so well.

At the start of this year the Governance Committee and Management team decided to extend the 20 ECE hours to 30 ECE hours in the preschool room for all 3- 5 year olds.  Lots of our children have picked up extra days and hours, which is great to see.  We are becoming full on a few days in the preschool room, so if you are thinking of extending or picking up days, please make sure you come to see Zoe or I in the office to avoid disappointment.

At Moa kids we are very flexible with hours, days and times.  We of course will continue to do this, however with the centre now becoming a lot busier, can all families please make sure they ring or let us know if they are changing days, staying longer or changing times.  Just so we can make sure we have the place and the right staff ratio.

You may have noticed some very new looking learning resources and equipment in the centre. I must say it has felt like Christmas over the last few weeks, with the courier driving pulling up on a regular basis.  Not only are the children running to see what has arrived, but the teachers are quick to see as well.  These new recourses are from the money we raised at our annual Murder Mystery evening.  So I would like to say a big thank you again for everyone’s hard work and support, it is great to have a classroom full of quality early learning resources, so it makes all the hard work worth it!

This month we have road safety week from the 16th – 20th of May.  As a centre we will be taking part in this and teaching the children all about road safety.  On the Monday we have Constable Meg coming out at 9.30am to educate the children in road safety.  We are then going to hold a wheelathon on Friday 20th at 1.30pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along to these events, even if it is not their day, they will just have to have an adult with them.  We are asking for a gold coin donation for the Wheelathon.  All monies will be given to the charity Brake.

This year we have decided to sell the Entertainment Books again.  These are a great fundraiser for Moa Kids and also are fantastic to have in your household.  Please make sure you pick up a flyer or click on the link on our face book page to purchase one.  Make sure you share it with friends and families as well and let them know they can get them through us.

Last month you may have noticed the sandpit was out of action for a couple of weeks.  The feature wall was being strengthened.  The artist also finished off the wall with a creative look of our surroundings. I must say the children were super excited when the fences came down and they got to get back into the sandpit. 

I will be heading on annual leave on Friday 27th May and returning on Monday 20th June.  I’m off to Ireland for a friend’s wedding.  So as you can imagine I’m a little bit excited for my up and coming adventure.  Letisha will be stepping into my role while I’m away and Ali will be supporting in the classroom.  Zoe will be in the office as normal over this time.  So make sure you see Letisha or Zoe if you need anything.

Let’s hope this wonderful weather carries through to May and we all can continue to enjoy it.

Kind Regards

Hayley 

Welcome to our new families 

A big welcome to Thesiues, Jahziah, Natalie and Sofia.  It’s great to have you with us.

Farewell 

We have said goodbye and happy school days to Saffron last month.  We wish her the best with her next learning adventure J

Harry has also left us as he has moved back to the UK.  We only had Harry with us for a short time but it was lovely to have him here.

Staff News

As you all know, Sharleen has been away on ACC for the last 5 months.  So as you can imagine we were all very excited this month to have her back into her full time role as a teacher in the preschool room.  Welcome back Sharleen.

We are sad to inform you that Shelia has made the decision to retire at the end of June.  This is of course exciting for Shelia but sad for us.  We wish her all the best and hope she enjoys her last few months at Moa Kids.  Shelia has been with Moa Kids for nearly 30 years and has given so much in this time.  We will keep you informed with our plans for her leaving afternoon tea that we will be arranged closer to the time.

With all the new Health and Safety requirements coming in, Letisha and Hayley headed off to a health and safety workshop on Wednesday 11th May.

Reminders

  • Please remember to pack several changes of named clothes in your child/rens bag.
  • Please remember to regularly check your child’s art folder in the foyer and take home their beautiful artwork.  A good idea for using this artwork is to use it for wrapping presents for family and friends.
  • In the preschool can all families please remember to bring in one piece of fruit for each child for the fruit bowl.  It seems the children are really enjoying their morning kai times at the moment with their shared fruit platter, so it is important that everyone can please bring fruit in.
  • If you change your child’s days or hours permanently, or on a casual basis, it is Ministry requirements to get a signature from the parent/caregiver.  Please remember if you have changed hours or days, to get the form signed from in the office.

Governance Committee

Our Governance Committee meetings are held on the third Monday of every month at 7.30pm.  Our next meeting is Monday 16th May at the centre.  This is our A.G.M.

This year we are very excited to have Rebecca Wilson as our quest speaker, she will be introducing Reggio Emilia to us and sharing her expertise in this area.  We will then follow this with wine and nibbles.  Everyone is welcome and we would love to see you all there J

Should you wish to become a member of the Governance Committee or the Incorporated Society please see Zoe for a form.

Nursery News

Over the last few months we have a busy time in the nursery.  We were very lucky to have Aaron, our student from the University of Canterbury.  The children and teachers enjoyed having Aaron as part of the busier team.  He provided lots of fantastic activities and learning experiences for the children.

A few of our children have started the exciting journey into the preschool room.  They have been learning the different routines in this room, and going through for kai times and also for group times. 

The children have been learning lots of different self help skills and developing their verbal language.  Lots of paraphrasing encourages the children to develop their conversations.

Shay has been encouraging the children’s development of balance and gross motor skills.  This is also great for the children transitioning into the preschool room.

We have also observed so many positive social skills and friendships developing, which is so nice to see and watch.

Some days our numbers are now a little lower, so we having been making the most of this and have been out exploring our wider community.

Preschool News

Whooo hasn’t the weather been fantastic lately?  We have made the most of this in the preschool room with the children still taking the opportunity to have water play out in their learning environment.  So if it keeps up please make sure you continue to put in a change of clothes for your child.

The children have been interested in the park lately and have been asking to go to the park.  Last week the teachers took small groups of children at a time over to extend their physical development and the children had a great time.  If any parents have a spare 30 mins to an hour at anytime and would like to help us take a group of children to the park, we would love your help.

As part of our move to being a Reggio inspired centre we are moving towards a project approach for our group planning.

The children were showing interest in a few topics, so the teachers got them to vote on what they would like to investigate more.

The vote went over a few group times and construction was the overall interest.   

The teachers then asked the children what they would like to learn on construction and here are a few examples of what they came up with: diggers, tools, and equipment that is used.

The teachers are now providing activities and learning experiences with this.  If you have any expertise on construction of any description, please let us know.

We also have a project book, this is all the learning and information that the children have been working on.  This will be displayed in the foyer.  We will also get a project board happening in the preschool room, so you can see what the children have been doing.

Dolphin Club News

Sharleen is back and into dolphin club already. The children have been interested in planes so they have been learning all about them.  First, the children researched different planes and their different parts.  Also the children looked at what the each plane is for e.g passenger planes, jet planes.

The children then designed their own planes and got to make them by using bits and bobs from the craft corner and the hot glue guns.

The discussion then came up with the children who had been on a plane and also who had been to an airport and what where some things that they saw.  So they then thought it would be a great idea, to head to the airport and see for themselves as a group.

So that is exactly what they did. They loaded up the excursion back packs with their drinks bottles and lunches and caught the bus straight though to the airport.

Everyone had such a good time exploring the domestic airport.  They even sat down and had a fluffy and shared some hot chips to discuss what they had seen.

The children’s interest has now started to lead into rockets and the world of rockets.  So Sharleen and the children will now explore this.  So watch this space.

New Initiatives

Sit & Watch

Sheila and Tracy have been taking part in the Incredible Years Programme which focuses on behaviour management for children.

Recently, they were taught about “sit and watch” which is used when a child has lashed out at someone.  When this happens, the child must sit down until he/she has been calm for 2 minutes.  The child is then invited to rejoin the group and is praised for deciding to calm down with no mention of the negative actions. 

The teachers are planning to practice “sit and watch” during mat times.  This will ensure that the children will know what is expected of them and will not face uncertainty about what is happening. 

This method is best used with children 3 years and over depending on their developmental age.  By using this technique children are learning to self regulate and build on their calming skills. 

We have also been teaching the children about “rocket breaths” where they take deep breaths in and out whilst moving their arms like a rocket, to calm themselves.

We will keep you updated with how effective these techniques are in the classroom.

Note from Zoe

For those new families, I just wanted to let you know about a couple of things we do here at Moa Kids.  Firstly, we have a family tree at the far end of the preschool and in the nursery.  I will give you a leaf which you are to put photos on of your family for us to laminate and pop up on the wall.  If any of our existing families want to update theirs please let me know.

Also, the children have show and tell each week which they absolutely love doing.  Each child is given a day where they can bring something in from home and talk about and the other children ask questions

about the item.  This is encouraging children to have confidence to talk about things and also for the other children to think about questions to ask.  The teachers have also started taking part in this by bringing something in each week from home.  It’s very exciting to watch.

The most recent Scholastic Lucky Book Club magazine is out (copies are on the table) for you to take home and have a look through.  Remember that Moa Kids benefits from everything you spend at Scholastic and it’s always good to have a few extra books stashed away for those surprise birthday parties!  Can all orders please be in by the 31st May?  Thank you.

What’s on?

Wheelathon

Friday 20th May, from 1.30 onwards.

Everyone is welcome. 

Please bring a gold coin donation for Brake.

Lunchbox Ideas

Cinnamon & Pumpkin Pinwheels
(makes 12)

The pumpkin will help these pinwheels keep for longer and contribute a subtle flavour.  The most difficult thing about these is trying not to eat them all

Ingredients

2 tsp dried active yeast
3/4 cup reduced fat milk
1 cup plain white flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp margarine
1/2 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin- cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp melted margarine
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp honey, melted

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warmed milk.
  2. Sift together the plain flour, wholemeal flour and half of the cinnamon.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients with the milk and yeast, first measure of margarine, mashed pumpkin and vanilla extract to form a sticky dough.
  4. Cover dough and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
  5. Knead the dough gently and again 45 minutes later then allow to rise until doubled in size.
  6. Heat oven to 220C.
  7. On a well floured bench roll the dough out into a large rectangle to a thickness of approximately 5mm.
  8. Brush the dough lightly with the melted second measure of margarine and sprinkle over brown sugar, remaining cinnamon and raisins.
  9. Roll the dough along the long edge to form a long sausage shape.
  10. Cut into approximately 2cm rounds.
  11. Place rounds approximately 2cm apart on a greased baking tray and allow to rise again until doubled in size.
  12. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

Remove from oven and lightly brush with melted honey while still hot and allow to cool on a wire rack