Exploring our Curriculum – Ecology and Numeracy


We explored some stems of cut sunflowers and sunflower seeds in the beautiful sunshine today. The children weren’t given the name of the flower or any information about it prior to interacting with it. They instinctively smelt the flower and invited me to do the same. They used their sense of touch to feel the petals and the centre of the flower – “it tickles” said Charlotte. They held the sunflower seeds in their hands and then planted them into our garden bed. They have a growing understanding of what plants need to grow – water and sun.

Charlotte: It’s a flower.
Omelia: It needs water.
Sarah: It’s big.
Omelia: And it needs sun
Charlotte: I want a sunflower for my mum.
Sarah: When is my seed growing.? Do you have to wait for it?
Mishka: Wow! You smell it. It a flower (Nicole gave her a seed). It for the birdy. They like it. They eat the seeds.
Will: It’s a yellow flower. It smells.
Tesi: I know what this is, it’s a sunflower. It look like the sun!


We have begun to create our own shop with cash registers and some empty food and household boxes. Henry, Tarun, Jon and Xavier loved playing the shopkeeper and customer.

At our shop the children were taking the items to the light/dark room and then bringing them back to the cash registers at the table.

They were using greetings as they approached the cashiers – ‘hello!’ The cashiers were making a ‘beeping’ sound as they processed the items through the cash register. The cashiers were pressing numbers on the cash registers and then telling the customer the amount of money the item cost ‘$30 dollars’. The customers were passing money to the cashiers and then then saying ‘thank you, bye’.

Children were developing their oral language, engaging in transactional language, exchanging greetings and using their experiences in context; demonstrating numeracy understanding and concepts including number and money.


The children have begun creating a farewell book for Brianna by creating an artwork for her and sharing what they are grateful for and love most about Brianna.

Tesi: Thank you Brianna for making all the lovely food for us. I like it when Brianna read stories to me.
Deanna: Brianna read me books and she make lovely food.
Simon: Brianna make me happy. She fills my bucket.
Charlotte: Brianna puts glitter in my bucket. She play with me.
Xavier: Brianna read stories to me.
Omelia: Thank you for Brianna being outside. Brianna play with me.
Joel: I like Brianna because she gives me food and does the prayer circle song.
Tavae: Brianna helps me with the blocks.
Will: I like her making lunch for us because I love it a lot.
Sarah: I like the food


During prayer today we read the book ‘Will You Fill My Bucket?’ by Carol McCloud. We then shared ways others have filled our bucket today.

Will: Tavae filled my bucket by playing with the trucks.

Joel: Mum and Dad make me feel nice and filled my bucket and I pat my dogs and that fill their bucket.

Simon: My mum and dad filled my bucket. They make me happy.


Tesi: My speck of gold is seeing all the pictures and seeing myself.
Jon: Playing in the sand and the water and doing the shopping.
Joel: Playing PJ masks and playing with Tesi and Omelia.
Mishka: Doctors.
Simon: Playing my friends.
Omelia: My speck of gold is playing with Tesi and Xavier and Joel and Sarah.
Xavier: Playing with Omelia.

Positive Education

The wellbeing of our children and their families is a priority. Positive Education brings together the science of Positive Psychology, developed by Professor Martin Seligman with best practice teaching to encourage and support individuals, learning centres and communities to flourish. Flourishing is a combination of ‘feeling good and doing good.’ Positive Education focuses on specific skills that assist children to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

We have been focusing on developing the following strategies which, help to build positive emotion:

  • Bucket Filling – encourages positive behaviour as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness and gratitude. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the wellbeing of others and ourselves.
  • Specks of Gold – intentionally looking for, noticing and being grateful for the good things that happen in our day – the ‘specks of gold’.


The educators and children have been working together to embed the language of bucket filling in our early care and learning centre. We use this language to describe how we are feeling, to describe our actions and to describe the impact our words and actions are having on ourselves and others.

We have a bucket in our centre and each time we do or say something that fills our own or another person’s bucket, we add a stone to our bucket. It’s a visual way for children to identify with the concept of bucket filling. The children feel very proud when they add a stone to the bucket and love seeing it fill up each day with stones which symbolise the kindness they are showing to others.

We have also been reading many stories about bucket filling.


Each day during our afternoon group time, we share our ‘specks of gold’ from the day. The children love sharing the best part of their day both from home and their time at our ELC. Here are our specks of gold for the week so far.

The power of these positive education strategies lies in their language – they give children (and adults) the words to describe their learning, feelings and the complex social interactions they engage in.

You may like to use the language of bucket filling and specks of gold at home too.

If you would like any further information or resources about positive education, please feel free to come and have a chat.

Nicole 🙂