At Riverdale Kindergarten news sharing happens regularly, helping to build childrens' confidence as they speak in front of their peers. Three times a week the children have the opportunity to share news at morning mat time. Head Teacher, Chris Williams, says it's a nice way to set the tone for the day, sharing kindergarten news before inviting children to talk about any special events or items they may have.
In the late 1960s Emily Ward's great-great grandfather, Syd Chidgey, found an agate geode at Mt Somers in Canterbury. Emily's nana, Linda Ward, let her granddaughter bring the special rock for news day. Emily proudly shared the agate's history and hidden quartz crystals to the kindergarten children. Rocks like these can be up to 250 million years old; "older than dinosaurs".
Other ways the kindergarten shares news is through ePortfolios on the programme Educa. While Emily's nana has shared her rock, Emily has shared her work with nana through this online platform. Even more exciting, Linda was able to provide comments on Emily's work - all the way from France.
Riverdale Kindergarten says Educa is a nice complement to the children's traditional portfolios, which they still use. Whanau are able to send links of their child's secure e-profile page with family members worldwide. Engagement is two-way with family providing feedback and commentary to children's stories.