The way you can measure a society's soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 14 - 8th December 2005

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  This is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

My PD Updates

ASME Summer School - 16, 17, 18 January 2006 at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School, Mirrabooka, WA. 

I will be running two sessions - one on music and movement in the early childhood classroom and the other on use of equipment in the music class.  For further details go to www.kidzfizbiz.com Click on News and Events.
 

ECCPA 2006 - 27, 28 May at Genazzano FCJ College Kew Melbourne.  www.vosa.org

I will be presenting a session on "Use of Equipment in the Early Childhood Classroom".
For further details go to www.kidzfizbiz.com  Click on News and Events.

Seeing this is the last newsletter before the end of the year, I thought I'd send you off with an uplifting story I found doing the email rounds, about human kindness, compassion and understanding.  It is a very appropriate Christmas message even though it has nothing to do with Christmas.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it. -

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.  After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question.

"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do.  He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"  

The audience was stilled by the query.  The father continued. "I believe, that when a child like Shay comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child." 

Then he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.  Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"

Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play.  The boy looked around for guidance and, getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning.. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."   In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.  In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield.

Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.  At this juncture, let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly,  much less connect with the ball.  However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact.  The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.  As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.  The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.  Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. 

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and turned and threw the ball on a high arc to right field, far beyond the reach of the first baseman.   Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first!  Run to first!"  Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base.  He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

By the time Shay rounded first base, the right fielder had the ball.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.  Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home.  Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!"  As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay, run home!"  Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

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Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, a fantastic summer holiday and well-earned break.    Look out for the next newsletter at the end of January.  Meantime, I look forward to seeing some of you at the ASME Summer School.

Quote of the Week

"Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be.  No one can tell the difference."  - H.Jackson Brownp

Entertainment

Do you remember our riddle from last week?  Here is the answer.  How did your class go on this one?

The answer to the riddle is "nothing."
Nothing is greater than God.
Nothing is more evil than the Devil.
The poor have nothing.
The rich need nothing.
And if you eat nothing, you'll die

Feedback

We really valued having explicit instructions on how to make the ribbon sticks.  We have had them made and the children are using them during music time in simple activities such as swirling above the head like helicopters, swirling in front of them and at their sides.  The colours are gorgeous and great sensory feedback.

We have used some of your music such as Peter Rabbit, Tapping sticks (both songs) which are very popular, and Run Jump and Spin.

We have purchased these resources in the last few months and are really enjoying the new ideas.

Mich'le Spreckley
Physiotherapist
Uncle Bobs Child Development Centre
About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she has taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her 'Kidz-Fiz-Biz' program.
Kidz-Fiz-Biz
57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time - continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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