Kindergarten Maths in the library- a collaboration.

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Today we had a maths lesson in the library. Brian Farrell ( our teacher-librarian) has given us access to a portfolio of his professional quality photographs showing patterns. He created this portfolio especially for the kindergarten children, and as a free shared educational resource. Please respect creative common licensing and attribute the images to Brian Farrell.

 How did this work?

The children discussed all the things you can get in a library (books, DVD’s, audio stories, toys and computers to use). Next we introduced the concept of a librarian being an expert at finding you things you need.

Brian Farrell discussing patterning with Kindergarten.

Brian shared and engaged in discussions abut patterns.  He showed both man made and natural patterns, asking the children to make reasoned decisions about their chooses. Rita Kar (our librarian) added a collection of books showing patterns in fiction and non-fiction books, which the children could borrow. Great team work, challenging the children’s understanding.





Kindergarten children as teachers-If you give a 5 year old a video camera they will…

They are only five. How can they teach and video?

I took a video/camera (Canon IXY) out of the library yesterday. My instinct told me the children were ready to explore video making. I told them it was available and said I would help if they needed me to. I tried to explain about camera shake (I got them to shake their heads around and tell me how it felt); however, this seems best learned by seeing an example of their work!

I showed two children how to:

  • Turn it on
  • Turn it to video
  • Record and stop recording.


I was looking through their video’s and came across what seemed like a disaster piece of camera shake, it wasn’t. It was two children trying to make a ‘how to’ video about the iPad. I was so excited by this. I got them to look at their video, praised the concept and gave them a few tips to remake the video.


  • Like voicethread, think before you record. Have an idea of what you want to do.
  • Think about where you video, should it be messy, tidy or do you want to show something special?
  • Maybe sit or stand somewhere so the camera doesn’t wobble.

I sat by them as they recorded their video, but did not do anything, apart from beam with pride!

They picked the title slide and end slide. I edited the video.

I have included their first video, it is shaky (about 10 seconds) but a good record, so don’t worry it gets clearer.

Ready to learn how to use the iPad from a five and six year old?

KP beyond the classroom, beyond the world and into space.

How clever is my child?

Can they apply what they have learned?

I know the highest level of thinking is now considered to be creativity, so is my child thinking at this level?

KP have had a passion for space.  This was started by Matthew and Hashu but everyone has joined in at some time during the year. The loft area in the classroom has many functions, construction area, book area, home,  paper areoplane launching area (their knowledge of design and aerodynamics is very impressive), but mostly it is a space ship. One afternoon during free inquiry time the whole class engaged in a scenario where the children were getting ready to launch into space. It was decided that a  flight manifest of everyone who was going on board would be needed. They cooperated and helped each other write down names.  Some children found the names on the wall and read and copied them, some tried to sound them out and some asked for potential passengers to write their own names. This process was sustained for over 45 minutes before the launch commenced. It was a highly creative process which showed problem solving, collaboration and application of taught skills.

Great, but are they learning anything?

  • Meta-cognition (Having the ability to express ideas verbally, explaining thought processes. Remember many of the children are doing this in two languages).
  • Problem-solving (Coming across an issue, being able to work through many stages and use different strategies to find a solution).
  • Cooperation (Work with others to find solutions for using resources. Listening to others and respecting different ways of achieving the same end).
  • Writing (Understanding that we use writing as a way to communicate and help us organise ideas. Knows about letters and that they have a corresponding sound.)
  • Phonemic awareness/sight words/reading words (We are not automatically readers and writers, the way we are walkers and talkers. Try and remember how hard it is to learn these skills. The children used many strategies to help them write the words they wanted).
  • Lists (Picking the write kind of writing for the job. Showing an understanding that we write in different ways for different reasons, for example lists, cards and emails).

p La Spaceship Lists use

Now do you see why we have a class of rocket scientists!

Who will go on the space ship? on PhotoPeach

How technology helped us.

We used the digital camera and Iphone to take pictures and recorded the children’s work with a photostory. This time I took the pictures but it is usually hard to get the camera out of the children’s hands. It is important to teach them about respecting the technology. Mostly it is just a case of practise makes perfect with taking the pictures.

photopeachPhotopeach (free) Is simple to use. If you make a file of pictures that children can access they can upload them  by themselves and add music from the site. Photopeach honours children’s work by presenting it in a professional manner.  In this case I typed down what each child said and this is a record of their thinking, so I could assess their level of understanding about writing shown through this free inquiry.

Yoyoutubeu Tube (free) We searched You Tube for videoes that showed launches and reentries to earth.  You can also use teacher tube, which may give you more educational chooses. The children were able to see inside the space shuttle. This is very easy to do but it is a good idea to preview video if possible. There has seldom been a topic I can’t find a video on. It is fantastic for maths and Language Arts. I am still a big fan of Sesame Street.