KG share portfolios with Grade 9 buddies.

As part of our school wide value program we have focused on putting our beliefs into action.

  • We shall be mindful of the needs and rights of others.
  • We shall be honest in our dealings.
  • We shall be peaceful in our intentions.
  • We shall be responsible in our actions.
  • We shall be supportive of each other.

The Grade 9 students listened and asked questions as their buddy shared their portfolio. The kindergarten children were able to give detailed answers about their best pieces and what each piece represented.

Best line from a Grade  9

“That’s so cool. I had those scissors when I was in kindergarten, can I touch them?”

KP see the blog as a place that shows their learning.

Some KP children have their portfolio at home. I asked them how they could share their learning. The first answer was the blog!

Google Earth and 5 year olds.

The children want to know where their Twitter buddies live. They know it is in other countries but they are not sure where the countries are. We looked on maps and globes. This was an authentic reason to use Google Earth. This video shows the children’s first exploration of the app.

Watch closely for the:

    • children stating findings.
    • sharing their new knowledge.
    • children posing questions.
    • Monitoring the correct use of this session.

Why do you teach five year olds about digital citizenship?

Some children have a digital footprint before birth,  pictures of  scans pops up on social networking sites, photographs and video clips follow. Children should be aware of their online presence. Most importantly they should be creating  a positive online presence.

What is a digital footprint?

Your digital footprint is all the digital communication you place on the internet. Children need to be aware that information shared, stays. Inappropriate pictures and comments remain and others can find them. Like wise, your greatness can  be researched by others! Employers and universities regularly check people’s online presense. So digital footprint should be as positive as possible.

How can I monitor my digital footprint and that of my family?

It will not be possible to monitor every area of your child’s electronic life. We need to work together to help children understand and build a positive online presence. We talk about their rights and responsibilities when they are online. Your values as a family off line are the values you promote online. There is no difference.

KP, digital citizens.

The children are very aware, through comments and the cluster map, that the “whole world” is looking at their blog. This generally means when they ask for things to go on the blog they  make a supreme effort to ensure high quality work. Tasha wrote an outstanding post about twitter and literacy development, please take time to read it.

Now we respond to other peoples blogs and send tweet messages we have been discussing the kind of messages we should sent. We started our conversation by discussing messages we like to receive. We decided these are the messages we should be sending to others.

Safety Online
A message from a parent.
On our walk home XXXXX told me that he had a “tweeting account” at school. And that he had an important password to protect it.  So we did have a short talk, but then I asked him if someone responded to him and asked him where he lives, would he tell that person?  And he said ‘yes”.  So then we had another talk about safety.  Thanks for giving XXXXX the openings for these important conversations that sometimes get lost in the busy-ness of our days!
Only write down what you would say to someone face to face.
Some children have responded to tweets from followers, in our group sharing time. They wanted to say wonderful five year old things like, “I love you.” We talked about whether you would go up to someone in the street and say that, “No!” they all said. A simple, but powerful message, write down what you would tell someone face to face.
If anything makes you feel uncomfortable online tell a grown up. This
Previous posts about internet safety and digital citizenship







Five and six year olds explain the importance of passwords.

Last year I put our passwords on the wall. I started to think this sent the wrong message to children about protecting passwords. This year I asked the children if they would like a small card with the password on. The children are responsible for keeping them secure, they have hidden them!

Here is a video sharing their ideas about passwords.

Here is some follow up from home and school

Hi Zoe,

Just a funny snippet from a conversation tonight with XXXXX.  He was telling me he had a rough day.  I asked him, why, did you have a rough day and the conversation when like this:
XXXXX:  well….
XXXXX: It’s complicated, Mom
XXXXX: it’s just complicated like my password
Me: what?
XXXXX: like my password for my Twitter account
This had me laughing!!!  Still smiling, and so I think the lesson on passwords is sinking in.  : )   Nice work!  It’s probably a lesson that will have to be with him his entire life, and one that most of us adults didn’t learn until later (or are still learning as we continue to get hacked….).

I am observing the children using individual passwords in their imaginary play. There are passwords to get into shops and to be the security guard.


Kindergarteners control their use of iPads.

As the children were organising their daily schedule they decided they wanted to use the iPads. Their first idea was to use them in their reading sessions. The next idea was to make pictures for the blog. I gave them the idea of tweeting them to the blog. You can see the results on the twitter side bar of the blog.

I am very impressed with their growing knowledge of the apps and their ability to incorporate them into their daily learning. They are able to justify and explain how any app is helping them learn and create. They make times to explore and learn. Very impressive for five year olds.

Working with and learning from parents – Brian Diaz

This morning Brian Diaz came in and shared the hidden components that are in cars. The children were mesmerized. Brian felt these parts would be great for the children’s fine motor skill development. They manipulated the parts and had a fantastic time. They constantly asked questions about what each part did. The children also got to see how Brian uses the iPad as a work tool.


We now have a box of parts for our fine motor skills box. We think we maybe the only school in the world to have such cool tools in our class.

Thank you Brian.

iPads in Kindergarten, a tool not a toy.

When I was at the conference in Shanghai I got to work with a wonderful educator called Gail Lovely. Her expression ‘ iPads are tools not toys’ really resonated  with me, because this is exactly how we use them in the Kindergarten.

KP children already realise the iPad is a tool not a toy. When the children manage their daily schedule they know to integrate technology tools, iPads, laptops into their schedule. They do not have it as an isolated subject time. Of course we have times to teach new tools, but on a daily basis it is  integrated.

Examples form the children,

Reading: Listen to books on the iPad

Maths: Use the maths apps to learn numbers and tweet patterns to the blog.

Writing: Word process on the laptop or practice letter formation on the iPad.

So if a 5 year old can do it…


When Japanese and English come together-teachers collaborating.

Yuri-Sensai took the class today for a story in Japanese. She talked about how books work in Japanese. The children brought all their previous knowledge. Next the children used the iPads to experiment with Japanese writing. The Japanese speakers were able to be experts.


We also found some great You Tube video’s about days of the week and nursery rhymes.

Coming next…

the Japanese and English name writing area.

iPads in KG Year Two.

I encouraged the children to try and use something they hadn’t explored on the second half day of school. “Computer!” said one girl who had been at summer school with my colleague Tasha Cowdy. Up she jumped,  I was going to direct her to the desk top! She smiled shot out the door down the corridor and came back with two iPads! Not one because she was going to share with a new friend.


Today I saw all the same learning behaviours  as last year. This was the first day the whole class had been together and they had spent the morning in self-directed small groups. When the iPads came out they became homogenised. One girl who had been at summer school took control of distribution and they set about forming small learning hubs. The child who had been silent spoke and another child who had chosen to be alone joined in a group.

What I consistently observe, iPads do not isolate children somestimes:

  • Children working alone, exploring.
  • Children working together, giving and receiving advice.
  • Children form learning groups, like bees in a hive, they all have a job.


  • Watch and TRY to be quiet and observe.
  • Intervene to support when they see the need.

The video speaks for itself.

At last…Kindergarten tried,tested,children and teacher approved iPad apps.

The Kindergarten is developing  a  site  for parents and teachers, listing most of the apps the teachers and children find are working best. Look in the iPad apps section. There is also a general section which may help teachers (handy IT tools). The home page has a few funny video’s. Overtime we will add links to specific maths and language sites that help kindergarten children and their families.


I keep going on about it but once again… I believe the apps and the iPads are as good as the teacher using them. I endeavor to allow children to create their own understanding. Facilitate their learning whilst empowering them to help each other  solve problems. The iPad can be a glorified worksheet that beeps or more. At present the range of apps that allow for problem solving and creative thinking is limited, but growing all the time. The problem solving and creativity comes from how the children choose to use the apps to enhance their understanding.

Enjoy, parents and teachers let me know if this is of any use to you.

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