Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Singing in the Rain!

The community at the Catholic Early Learning Centre, Stanhope Gardens welcomed the recent drenching rain, however James Scary Crow needed a large, colourful umbrella to keep him high and dry! Rumour has it, that singing was heard floating across the Outdoor Learning area!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Potential of a Puddle!

The Potential of a Puddle is a wonderful book by Claire Warden and the children at the Catholic Early Learning Centre, Stanhope Gardens, tested the truth of the statement, when an overflow from the sprinkler caused a muddy puddle, in their outdoor learning space. Words such as soft, squishy, dirty, and phrases such as "It looks just like chocolate" "Mud is cool" were used, as their bare feet and toes, explored the mud!
A special sign was carefully placed over the area, once the sensory experience had finished, to warn children and educators (who were wearing shoes) of another potential of a puddle!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

From Little Things Big Things Grow!

The children at The Catholic Early Centre - Stanhope Gardens have started in a small way, with great success! Cherry tomatoes have appeared after regular watering ... thanks Christopher!
Sunflower seeds have been planted along with the pea seeds and the girls have taken responsibility for keeping them watered!
The iPad was used to check for identification of a plant growing in the garden bed ... and 'YES' ... it is corn!
Rosemary's Flower Shop was constructed in the Learning Space and business was so good that Devante decided to set up a Mail Order facility ... good idea! Charlotte and Grace assisted by scanning the seed packets!
When problems occurred outside, namely the Pineapple Sage and Chocolate Mint were looking very thirsty, Grace decided it was time for them to have a drink of water!
Connie and Claudia discussed the type of food suitable for the Organic Kitchen Bin,
which feeds the Worm Farm! Elena and her friends thought the blackboard needed a new illustration, so a 'Nature Garden' was drawn, complete with a slice of watermelon!

Nicholas and friends checked in with 'James Scary Crow' to ensure that he was keeping all the birds away from the growing plants, not just the crows ... good recommendation, Devante!
Children, parents and staff are very keen to keep the Garden Project growing and are aware that the concept offers a great deal of opportunities for Naturalistic Language, both outdoors and indoors, at the Centre and at home!

Friday, November 1, 2013

QR codes learning in the environment

This week at the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability meeting at Sacred Heart Mt Druitt we learnt about utilising QR codes for environmental education.

What are QR codes?
QR codes are like a barcode but square and can encode information like words, instructions, urls etc that can be read by a mobile device QR code reader.

How to read QR codes?
There are many free QR code readers for any mobile device.  Try searching for reader or scanner in the App store.  Try these to start with:
  • QRset
  • Qrafter 
How to create a QR code?
Some simple QR code generators are:

Tips:  Keep your url short by using a URL shortening service.  A good one is:
Goo.gl - it will shorten the url and then if you are signed in and click on details it also creates the QR code.

How can QR codes be used for learning ?
  • Provide links on real objects to web based information. eg a QR code on a pot or stake in the schools kitched garden to give information about the plant.
  • Link to a maths or literacy activity in a google doc or website.
  • Provide instructions around gardening, counting, literacy.
Access the QR code slides here