Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 7

Today was one of the most lovely afternoons I’ve ever had with this group. It was a smaller group than usual which meant the kids all got way more attention and they thrived on that.

We made beautiful name artworks with glitter foam and stickers and textas and some random junk stickers I found at reverse garbage which the kids loved!

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Some of the kids started playing a game where they would write on the big orange junk stickers what I had done that was naughty. Then they stuck it on me and made me “go to jail” (ie. the storeroom) while laughing their heads off! I would pretend to cry and say I didn’t do anything wrong.

They would sometimes come into the room, hitting me with a soft noodle toy and laughing. I would put my arm theatrically out of the door and say “no no I’ll be good I promise!”. Then I would come out and bow and they would say “good show!” and clap. It was very hilarious. It was really cool to see them work together to spell the things to write on the naughty sticker and they were so engaged with doing it.

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We then sang a lot to Herman the Worm on YouTube which I didn’t think the kids would know but they did and luckily they loved it. Then the kids got to choose songs to sing or dance to. It was so cute. They were really into those dancing ones where it shows you the dance (from a game I think) and were enthusiastically dancing along!

All the parents seemed very happy and relaxed. All round today felt extremely relaxed and like a happy family. Everything felt calm but also fun and connected.

Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 6

This week was a fairly crazy week! We set up the room for painting and luckily managed to make no mess- phew! I was a little worried about getting paint on the carpet.

The kids enjoyed painting. Some used their hands, some did landscapes and intricately mixed colours to make new colours.

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We did some stuff with the boomwhackers but it was just so crazy. I got them to copy me in a rhythm exercise. Then we went around the circle and one by one played a little something. The kids were ok at not interrupting but struggled to be chill when it wasn’t their turn!

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I let them go in groups and come up with something to show the rest of us. This was fun. The coolest part of this bit was when all the kids spontaneously lined up all their boomwhackers into one long instrument and got me to sing into it. They were hysterically laughing and taking turns listening into the end. We then took turns showing the group what we had come up with. They ended up being mostly individuals obviously making something up on the spot but it was cool and super cute.

Term 4 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 5

Today we painted echidnas with cotton buds and recited and wrote new stories.

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Everyone participated in the painting. Most kids made echidnas, some made bushes and leaves or landscapes. Some kids painted then folded the paper which looked so cool. Thanks to WSMRC who brought the paint, drop sheets and cups. Tomorrow we will use paper plates instead of cups as they were hard to clean.

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The new team were great and so proactive! The kids were demanding my attention from every angle today “Harri Harri”, “miss!”, “Mr!”, “Mr Henry!” so I couldn’t be there for everyone at all times. The team were great at being involved. It was a bit of a bigger clean up than usual due to the paints but we did it quickly and with excellent team work!

Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 5

We had a wonderful session today. We were going to make characters to tell stories with. I had made an example SpongeBob that I copied from the kids at Liverpool the previous week!

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I liked today that the kids kind of did want they wanted and were very free. Most did make characters but in all different ways. Some just drew characters, others used lots of those recycled seafood stickers again, others did lots of cutting and pasting, and some even religiously coloured a single colour for long stints at a time to achieve what they wanted to make!

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At the end of the session we played dress ups out on the outdoor stage with a huge amount of dress ups I had brought. The kids loved it. They even dressed me up! They took turns wearing different costumes and some of the parents and Afaf got involved too. They were running around and laughing. Some of the kids tried to look scary, others were being royalty with crowns. They kept asking me to take pictures of them!

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Term 4 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 4

Had a lovely afternoon. The kids made characters/puppet-esque things. It was nice being so free and they got really creative! All the kids did things so different to one another and it was really cool to see. They got really into it and were more focused on that than on story stuff for a good chunk of time.

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We then re read our chapters and then I gave the kids a sheet on “make your own story” which had words they could fill out. I tried to make a mix of easy descriptors like I sat down on my ___ bed (comfy, cosy, soft, hard, warm, etc.) and then more free things like In Big Brother’s dream he saw ___________ (and left lots of space). The kids were so sweet doing it. The hall went silent and kids were spread around the room, lying on the floor, up on the stage just writing and writing.

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Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 4

We had a lovely day today. The kids coloured in these cute boxy designed Australian animals. While most of them coloured, I invited any interested kids to come and extend the story with me - writing the new chapter.

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We then went outside to play word games with chalk, however the kids got so excited about the chalk that they just wanted to do their own things which was fine with me. I played one word game with some of the kids. They drew a big circle around them and when I would call out a letter they would have to write down as many words that started with that letter as they could. They seemed to enjoy it, and it was good team effort with them calling out words.

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Term 4 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 3

We put brown paper out over all the tables and the kids loved this. Some drew mountains and trees and bush, etc to fit the story. Others drew whatever they felt like. It mostly fit with the stories. The kids and parents seemed to really enjoy the freedom. Lots of the parents drew beautiful things.

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The kids got really into the story writing and reading on the stage. At first, we read the stories we wrote last week together. Then we started writing a story together. The kids were so eager to write and didn't want to take turns, so they wrote their own chapters and read them out. This was a huge hit! Interestingly the kids mostly wrote quite everyday stories about how big brother would be feeling and acting, and then the consequences. They loved reading them out and all wanted to read each other's too!

Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 3

We set up two long tables and covered them in brown paper for the kids to draw a backdrop on for them to read the book in front of and to use in the book as backgrounds. The kids weren't super into it. I think they like having their separate things, which is interesting to note.

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I tried to do some music stuff with the kids but only some were interested. I wrote three different kinds of notes on the board (clap, tap and rest in musical notation) and they did it with me.

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Term 4 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 2

We made koalas with newspaper and book rippings. We then read the story together with one of the parents which the kids loved. They seemed to love it when he would read in his thick Indian accent and would look up at him the whole time!

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We then made up a new chapter of the story which the kids absolutely loved and had a lot of fun doing! The kids took turns reading the new story while being filmed and then Afaf filmed us all reading it together. It was amazing how well some of the year 1s could read!

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Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 2

Today was a hot afternoon and the kids were very quiet and relaxed for the most part. We made koalas from paper, pens and Arabic newspaper rippings. It was very sweet and the kids got so creative. I liked seeing them really take their time and care with their artworks. Some kids only worked on their artwork the whole session.

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The Arabic newspapers were a hit and the kids were getting scraps for me to read. They loved seeing me try! Wondering if we should always have some there?

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Term 4 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 1

Today went great! The kids came and just started colouring Australian animals to put on headbands straight away. Some of them didn't even take their bags off - just sat there with bags and hats on, happily colouring!

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After some colouring we sat together and read the story. The kids and parents enjoyed it. Almost all the kids and parents came to sit then went back to their art afterwards.

The kids are very excited about the book idea and particularly about taking books home! I think it's going to be a very cute outcome!

Some parents just sat on the side, other parents coloured with kids and others stood around engaging at times and taking photos.

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Term 4 2018, Marsden Road Public School – Week 1

The kids were so excited to return this week and were excited to hear about the movie. When I told them about the book we are going to make, they were very excited and happy. They are looking forward to having copies to take home already!

The kids were so quiet and calm at the beginning. It was a very hot afternoon and we had the lights low and the fans high. The room was almost completely quiet! The kids just LOVE to colour and create.

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We made Australian animal headbands. Some kids attached two or three animals onto one headband!

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We took photos outside and the kids were so happy and excited. They were pretty good at taking turns and great with instructions. I tried to make sure they all got a turn.

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Term 3 2018, Marsden Road Public School - Week 9

This week was the last week of term! We read from the board in English and Arabic (the kids taking turns).

1)      Eat, chat, colour in

2)     Read a story with Harri and Afaf

3)     Watch our movie! (2 times)

4)     Play outside

The kids did amazingly at reading and translating into Arabic. It’s so good to see the kids keeping hold of their Arabic.

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Some kids came to the floor to read a story. They really enjoyed reading sentences on their own and then hearing the Arabic translation. We tried to hurry the story and suggested just hearing it in English. They said, “No!!!” It was really fun.

The kids enjoyed watching the movie we made and as usual, were very enthusiastic and shouted when they could see themselves on screen. One of the younger siblings screamed with joy a few times which made the kids laugh and smile. The response from the parents about the movie was fantastic and there were a lot of laughs!

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Term 3 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 9

This week we started our session with a colouring-in activity. The students were colouring different kinds of fish, cut them out and then stuck them on a lollipop sticks. The students used those fish in their performance in the second part of the session. We played the story that we had recorded earlier and the students, using their characters (the crab, dolphin, turtle, shark, starfish, small fish), performed the story.

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We also did this term’s evaluation. The students answered three questions, and stuck them onto a huge cardboard turtle. The questions and some answers were:

1)      How do you feel at Wandering Books?

  • I feel very happy because we are learning about sea creatures.

  • Ahh if you ask me I will say “I love this place, I love colouring, and crafting and many more”.

  • I like this place because I learn so much about art and craft and enjoy myself.

2)      What have you learnt at Wandering Books?

  • I learnt how to cut better.

  • I learnt to know more fish and learnt about different places in the sea and more knowledge.

  • I learnt about this place, I learn some fish and water and had some new friends to play and to make art and craft.

3)      What do you want to do next term?

  • Next term I want to learn about nature and land animals.

  • I want to dance and sing.

  • I want to do origamis.

The parents have also shared their opinions using their own languages as shown below (translated into English):

  • This group is to help and encourage the kids. They are doing a great job. Thanks to all the coordinators.

  • It was a wonderful experience for me and my kids. We enjoyed every moment in this program and we wish to see more of that in the future. Good luck and thanks heaps.

  • Hey!! This is a wonderful idea Ayat and I love it ... and the ladies are so helpful and loving ... should keep it up.

  • This was written in Arabic: “A beautiful educational program for kids, which allows students to know more and to develop more friendships”.

  • This also was written in Arabic: “A very nice and purposeful educational program. I thank everyone who had a role in preparing this program, I was happy and really loved this experience. Thank you again and I wish you all the best and success with all your work which benefited and gave joy to all students”.

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Term 3 2018, Marsden Road Public School - Week 8

This week we made invitations for our screening next week. We had cards for the kids to fold and colour in and decorate with English and Arabic stickers with all the details.

The kids and parents enjoyed teaching the English-speaking facilitators how to read the invitations in Arabic and listening to them make mistakes and learn.

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We made a big boat out of cardboard. The kids enjoyed making it “drive in the water” and we talked about different words for boats in different languages. We then laid the boat down and I asked the kids questions in English and Arabic and they wrote their answers on the boat. The questions were:

1)      How do you feel when you do these workshops?

2)      What did you learn here?

3)      What would you like to do next term?

They asked for another question, so we suggested ‘Someone who you met at Wandering Books’. The kids were excited to draw and write on the boat and some of them started drawing pretty pictures or writing other words they knew like dog and cat.

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Term 3 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 8

The workshop started with making three sea creatures – crabs, deep sea fish, and turtles. The students were very excited and happy exploring with different materials, working in groups with their parents and proudly sharing their outcome with the rest of the class and in photos.

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The second half of the session was the storytelling time. Lana had written a beautiful story for the kids which included all the creatures they had made. The students had a great time interacting with the story, predicting and acting the narrative with much joy and enthusiasm.

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Term 3 2018, Marsden Road Public School - Week 7

Today was the final day of filming and it was very busy. Small groups filmed the final scenes that we needed.

The kids who came out in the groups did well – being fish talking to each other, crabs sunbathing, deep sea creatures being creepy. Some of the boys held the backdrop of the coral that the kids had made.

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Some children were very helpful with packing up today. It was a very busy session.

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Term 3 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 7

The students were enthusiastic this week about the program. The parents were involved in the craft making and it was nice seeing different ideas develop between children and their parents. The parents also enjoyed socialising with each other.

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We made different sea creatures to add to the net such as soft and hard corals, jellyfish, bream fish and wrasse fish.

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Term 3 2018, Marsden Road Public School - Week 6

A teacher from the school heard the kids narrating/reading the story during the recording and she was so impressed! She said she had been listening and that they were doing such a fantastic job. The kids were pleased, and it was really encouraging for them.

Today we made big love hearts for the final scene of the movie, using big sheets of cardboard. We made lots of mess with sparkles and confetti style hearts and other cuttings! The kids enjoyed this and added their own flair to their hearts. They took all session making them.

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While the kids were doing art, some groups went to record the narration for the video. This was FANTASTIC. The kids were so into the reading and expression. They were all so kind to each other and supportive and helpful. Some children helped others who aren’t reading yet. We all talked about how practice helps you get better and that we all had a time when we couldn’t read yet. The children showed empathy and genuine support to each other including words of encouragement, pats on the back and hugs without my prompting. Not once did they correct each other in rude or patronising ways.

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Term 3 2018, Liverpool Public School - Week 6

We created coral reef structures by cutting out various staghorn hard coral templates and attaching them together.  The students then painted them a colour of their choice – after seeing how the corals look in nature.  The next step is to add salt crystals to the structure to react with ammonia so that the coral looks like the polyps of real coral.

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The pieces students create that can’t be hung from the net could be displayed around the room. We talked about how coral grows and that they are in fact animals not plants. Corals have algae as their “best friends” and it’s the algae that eat and digest food for corals.

The students are really happy to finish their crayfish from last week.  As they work on their projects, the students are chatting away to each other and talking about music they love.

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