Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Thursday, 29 September 2011


 Last week we began working on self-portraits with the children. By using mirrors we have encouraged children to look closely at themselves, for instance the curl of their hair, the angle of their chin or the curves around their eyes. The children have shown a real interest in this type of drawing, and it has extended well into this week, with more and more work being done everyday.

As the children looked closely at their faces it provoked a lot of discussion. The children noticed and chatted about the fact that although they all have two eyes, two ears, one nose, lips, eyebrows etc, their faces are all so different from each others.

"Your own face in a mirror is surely one of the most fascinating things to draw" (Kolbe, 2005)

Have a look a selection of some of the great self-portrait work done.

Jessie -May "I need to draw long hair like mine is long"

Jacob "I have brown eyes, big ones

Grace "My face is round not oval. My eyes are an oval and circle too!"

Valin"Check out my mouth and my lip"

Kiedis "These are my stone teeth. It's for eating big guy's like bad guys really hard!"





Daniel "I have greeny eyes so I can look at everything. I have ears so I can listen"

Elizabeth "Daddy even loves my blue eyes. My face is like a circle"



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blocks and more blocks....

Last week we took delivery of some of some beautiful  new colourful blocks (poro rākau) from Grimms in Germany. Since then they have proved to be extremely popular will all the children, and have been used in a variety of creative and imaginative ways. We have seen some stunning work created.

Blocks are a great resource and assist in increasing mathematical and scientific concepts as children count, match, sort, group, add, subtract, divide, measure and classify.

Emma counts on all the tiles in this photograph.



Collaboration and co-operation

Blocks allow for recognition and discovery of symmetry, patterns, volume, area, depth, width and height.

Sheridan’s colour coordinated patterned tower took lots of planning and determination.

Children also develop an understanding about construction theories, such as balance and gravity.

Many of the constructions the children have built have been complex, requiring  experimentation and problem solving.

The blocks have even extended dramatic and imaginative play. In this photograph they become caves for Hvar’s animals.

We have even used them at group time for learning and remembering our colours and shapes in reo Maori.

“Homai koa te tapawha ma – bring me the white square”

We love our new resources – I wonder what other uses the children will invent for them?


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Te Rā Mō te Reo Maori - Maori language Day

Te Rā Mō te Reo Maori (Maori Language Day) marks the date in 1972 when a petition calling for courses in Maori language and culture to be offered in New Zealand schools was presented at Parliament. That petition was an important step in the eventual foundation of the Maori Language Commission and to the recognition of Maori as an official language of New Zealand.

At Mairtown Kindergarten we celebrated this day with a traditional Maori boil-up served with paraoa parai (fried bread). Preparations began yesterday as we cooked the brisket and pork strips for several hours.

Kim was busy with the children kneading, rolling, cutting and frying the delicious pararoa parai.

We had a special manuhiri (visitor) today, Roimata who is our Pou Whakarewa Tikanga Maori (Maori advisor) for Northland Kindergarten Association. We were so lucky she was able to spend the day with us even making time to demonstrate some beautiful poi work to the children.

Maori Language day has become an important day to celebrate the Maori language and an opportunity to encourage others to use reo Maori. Thank you for helping celebrate this day with us.

                           Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi  
With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I love my white shoes!

Once a fortnight on Tuesdays we are lucky enough to have the community library bus stop right outside Kindergarten.The children get the opportunity to go onto the bus, browse and select some books that we can read at Kindergarten over the following couple of weeks.

Today, Glenn from the library bus popped in for a sing-a-long with his guitar. The last few times Glenn’s visited he has introduced the children to a book called ‘Pete the cat: I love my white shoes’ written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean – we all just love this book!

Today we decided to video Glenn reading and singing the book. Thanks Glenn!

"Books are a uniquely portable magic"  ~Stephen King

Kōrero Paki (stories) and books are a wonderful resource they:
- Assist in developing pre-reading skills required for later literacy.
- Help in extending vocabulary and building on comprehension.
- Develop self-esteem and confidence as children participate in and tell stories.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Freshly Squeezed Tangelos

One of our families has kindly donated two boxes of delicious tangelos this week, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce the children to squeezing their own juice.

Before we started some of the children decided they wanted to make a sign. It read 'Orange shop. Free juice'.

We were soon ready to open shop. The children cut their own tangelos and squeezed out the juice. The squeezing was really hard work, and required determination and persistence. Some children called on the help of their friends in order to have a extra big attempt at getting out some juice - great team work.

Learning to use real tools and equipment safely helps develop mastery skills.

What great patience everyone demonstrated as they waited  for their turn to juice the tangelos.




Some tangelos didn't quite make it as far at the juicer!

At last it was time for some tasting. Amazingly this was even more popular, and we soon had a huge queue waiting for the freshly squeezed juice. Tangelo juice can be quite sour so we added some water to make it more palatable.

Here are some of the children's thoughts on the juice,
Shinayah "it tastes of yummy oranges"
Kiedis "it's super yum"
Azariah "it tastes like tangelos"
Emma "it tastes a little sour"
Juliet "really yummy, can I have more?"

Our new composter even  benefited from all the tangelo peels.