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Prep-Year 2 Group News

Wow! It's hard to believe we are already halfway through the term. We have loved getting to know your children, particularly the new faces in our Penbank community. We just wanted to say a quick thanks for all your support with our short three days online, and we hope it was an excellent insight into your child's learning and teaching this year. We have started our Outdoor Inquiry program as a group on Tuesday mornings, working in mixed-age groups across Prep, Year 1, and Year 2. Our focus has been getting to know our patch and Penbank grounds' which has encouraged the children to connect to their environment and build relationships with the broader school community. It has been wonderful watching the children connect with others across the P-2 group.

PREP

English

We have been busy writing our names, sequencing the alphabet, clapping syllables, and learning new phonograms. We have learned all the 2 o'clock phonograms (a, c, d, g, f, g, o, qu and s) and have begun learning some line letters (b, e, h, i, and j). The children have learned the sounds related to these phonograms and have been thinking of words to match. We have been making these letters with nature, craft, playdough, fingerprints, pins and using mini cork boards, whiteboards, and blackboards. I wonder where you might find these phonograms at home? We have been developing concepts of print, including understanding text directionality (left to right) and tracking words (using our tracking finger) as we read and begin to sound out CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, e.g. 'cat'. At this stage of the year, we encourage you to read to your child each day, model using your' tracking (pointer) finger' to track the words, and demonstrate sounding out simple words, e.g., d-o-g. Your child might be able to identify some of our new phonograms and even have a go at sounding out with you. 

We have been reading lots of picture storybooks related to our central idea and concepts for our Unit of Inquiry. The children are working on listening respectfully and take turns during conversations and class discussions. We are encouraging the children to listen actively and be able to express their ideas confidently. 

We have started our reading program with the 'Read to Me' book coming home every day. It has been wonderful to see the children developing their love of reading and getting into the routine of bringing their reader satchels to and from school each day.

Maths

The Preps have been exploring numbers through counting, recognising groups of objects (subitising), and practising writing numerals to 10 with correct formation. We have been learning to sequence the days of the week, seasons, and months of the year, and we have been talking about daily and weekly routines using time language such as 'yesterday', 'today,' and 'tomorrow'. We will start exploring data collection through simple pictographs and 'yes or no' questions relating to our interests and families in the coming weeks.

Inquiry

During Inquiry time, we worked on building relationships and helping the children feel connected to their new community. We have been exploring our interests and what makes each of us special and unique. The children have thoroughly enjoyed sharing and presenting their 'All About Me' books with their Prep friends as a Focus Child. Our central idea for this Unit is, 'Exploring personal identity helps us understand and build relationships with others.' We will continue to explore what it means to belong, our identity, rights and responsibilities, and our emotions. Our lines of inquiry for this Unit are;

  • Our identities 
  • How we build relationships  
  • Ways our actions can affect others  

It is the perfect Unit of inquiry to begin the children's first year as they explore new friendships and settle into their new Prep learning environment and broader school community. We have focused on social and emotional concepts to build their language and skills to build relationships with others. 

BRITT, SALLY & DONNA

YEAR 1

English

We have been concentrating on reinforcing correct letter positioning and remembering how to construct and punctuate sentences correctly with our writing. We have been practicing our oral language skills by saying sentences before writing them and using 'kung-fu' punctuation (where the students use actions to indicate the different punctuation marks). We have been learning about nouns and verbs, practicing finding both in the texts we are reading. We have practiced our recount writing skill, with prompts of 'who, what, when, where, and why' to help us construct texts about our weekends. The beautiful illustrations that complete these activities have been gorgeous too!

Maths

Place Value and base ten systems have been the focus this term and will continue to be for the remaining weeks. We have been exploring the idea that numbers all have a place and have practiced making, naming, and recording numbers using number lines. We have explored different ways of counting and have assessed our methods to determine the most efficient and accurate strategies when counting groups of objects. The children explored the importance of counting using ten as a base number, and they had fun using nature to make groups of 10. 

Inquiry

We have spent the last few weeks exploring values and beliefs within families, communities, and Indigenous cultures. We have been looking at how these values help us understand and make connections to people and places. We started by exploring our values and the values we have within our families, which led us to create and understand our classroom/Penbank values and Woodleigh's 3 R's. We have looked at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders use totems to display their values, and we have had fun creating totems for our family members. One of our key learnings has been understanding that everyone's values and beliefs are different but equally important. The end of this term will lead us into our new Unit of inquiry – How We Organise Ourselves!

HEATHER, CATH & BRENDA

YEAR 2

Time flies by when you're having fun! The Year 2s have been brainstorming ways of entertaining their Minimbah buddies next Thursday. 

English

In English, the children have been enjoying learning new Vocabulary and writing them into sentences. We are focusing on statement questions, command sentences, question sentences, and exclamation sentences. We have also been delving into what good readers do. We've been reminded by the Decoding dragon, which states

  • Don't guess
  • Sound the word all the way through
  • Keep track with your finger or eyes
  • Break long words into syllables

Maths

In Maths, we've been looking at Place Value and thinking deeply about numbers in our daily number talks. Number sense is the ability to play with numbers meaning students can visualize problem-solving, perform calculations quickly, and are flexible in their mathematical strategy. Students who have strong number sense solve problems in more than one way and check that their answers make sense. As a part of this routine, students are thinking, asking their peers questions, and explaining their thinking while the teacher records the thinking. Getting children to build number sense number talks offer a bridge between conceptual understanding and mental maths.

Inquiry

Our Unit of Inquiry – Who we are - focuses on the 'roles and responsibilities needed within a learning community'. After choosing an activity, the children will be assigned roles and responsibilities. If any of the children don't fulfill their obligation, they will find that the event won't run smoothly. It helps encourage the children to understand that we are all important in the process.

OLIVIA, JENNY, BRENDA & GAYLE