Learning 7 Dec 2018

Mud buddies at TK

By Kate Polychronopoulos, TK Pre-K teacher
Photograph by CIS Communications

This year, two Pre K classes have buddied up with two grade 2 classes, for a special 'Mud Buddies' collaboration at the mud kitchen.

After a couple of sessions in the classroom to initiate and form friendships, the classes now meet every Friday morning in the Outdoor Discovery Centre. A range of different provocations (explorations) are set out for the children to explore together in the water and mud. Ms. Kate visited grade 2-2 after the second session to ask students how they thought the sessions were going.

Students shared some excellent ideas and suggestions, and changes were made. Children can now choose from water play, digging with spades, working at the 'construction site' under the big tree, cooking and baking at the kitchen table, building magical fairy houses in the tree roots with blocks, constructing dolls’ furniture with natural materials or playing in the big muddy pool. Pre-K students also reflect on their mud kitchen experiences and share their ideas on how to keep it exciting and interesting each week.

These developmental play sessions are connected to their learning as well. Pre-K's current Unit of Inquiry is “Sharing the Planet”, and they’ve been exploring the life cycle of a frog each week in the mud kitchen. Students have observed how tadpoles grow legs and become froglets. Maths is incorporated as the students use scales to weigh and balance natural materials gathered from the school grounds.

Their older buddies initiate meaningful conversations as they play with the younger students - using language that is rich and varied. Thanks to the grade 2 students, the Pre-K students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and become risk-takers. Each week, teachers encourage students to try something new and watch with pride as they grow more confident and have lots of fun. Grade 2s have stepped up as effective leaders and communicators - and the result is a wonderful bond between kindergarten and primary school.