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

Issue No. 94 – 28th August 2010

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

Let’s Just Play

Tuesday 31st August 2010 – 3.30-5.30pm, Connolly Community Centre, Glenelg Place, Connolly (Perth, Western Australia) – Cost: $66.00

This workshop will focus on simple equipment to engage children’s interest, such as scarves, ribbon sticks, balls and hoops, parachutes and rainbow rings. Engaged children learn better. Suitable for music specialists, teachers of K-3 and childcare workers.

Book directly with me at or 0410 642 781 or via the website. Flyers with enrolment form attached have been sent to schools.

Employment Opportunity – Be your own boss!

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run their own business as Kidz-Fiz-Biz operators. Good returns and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at or phone 0410 642 781.

Catness (Gattilita)

My niece has just returned from a course at the famous Reggio Emilia Centre in Italy. While there she bought a few resources, including a portfolio project compiled by five and six year-old children. Following are some excerpts from the children’s observations of the centre’s cat and her kittens, vital members of the school community because of the learning opportunities they provide.

‘Our cat is really beautiful, she’s white with black spots on her back and she has a pink nose. When we stroke her, she never runs away because she likes us. Sometimes she purrs, too, then she goes for a walk to look for butterflies and flowers, too. She’s very calm and a little bit old, maybe she’s 14, and her name is Micina.’

We are struck by the children’s lyrical approach to the kittens and the profuse efforts they make in observing this microcosm that unfolds before their eyes, … We are surprised by the sensitivity of these very young children in grasping and really understanding the differences – differences posed by the distinct identities of the kittens, but also the differences that emerge among the children themselves and their ways of learning.

There are four drawings of the kittens, whom the children have named Spugnetta, Ace, Nerone and Juventino. My favourite descriptor is of Spugnetta (little sponge) –

‘I like Spugnetta a lot because … I don’t know, but she’s soft like a sponge. She’s curious, and one day she fell in the water. Maybe she was curious about the little lake.’

Then follows an explanation of the birth of the kittens. Apparently, this all happens because of a ‘special tree in the yard, it’s the cat tree with all the leaves, it’s really big … there are lots of cats on the tree … the mama cat comes and attacks the tree. Now a male cat has come who’s our cat’s husband. … The mama cat goes around the yard at night and stands under the tree with her mouth open. She picks the seeds that cats like the best and she says: I want this one for Nerone and then the seed falls down from the tree and then the kittens are born.’

Then there’s an amazing page called ‘A theory on the development of the seed’ in which the children show the development of a kitten from a seed. It’s actually pretty accurate!

The closing comment is a very clever observation –

‘I like cats, and dogs too. You can play with dogs, but cats you can only stroke them. Cats are very smart, when you call them they look at you and then they go somewhere else to hunt for mice or birds. Cats have beautiful eyes that make you love them.’

Mary Mountstephen PD

I have just had an email from Mary about her trip to Australia. It has been postponed to Easter next year. She is still looking for a host school, so if you are able to help and you live in Sydney, please get in touch with me and I’ll pass it on. There’s a chance she will also come to Perth. I will keep you posted on details as they come to hand. This is one PD you will not want to miss!

Quotes of the Week

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

“Who cares well for cats will marry happily as he or she could ever wish.” ~ Italian Proverb




Some comments from UK PD – Millfield Prep School, Glastonbury

“I’d have liked to have more of everything, it was brilliant. I’m full of ideas and will love doing the activities at school and with my granddaughter aged 20 months.” ~ Anne Woolf-Skinner

“There were lovely ideas – Marlene is inspiring and motivating. Thank you for the workshop.” ~ Lucy Smith

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 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.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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