Something for Hina, Laika and Leila

Following the visit of the three Baby Home Children we gathered the children and asked them:

What do you know about Hina, Laika, and Leila? What do they like?

Some children have said they want to give something to Hina, Laika, and Leila, what do you think we can give them that they would like?

Ms Beth shows the E2 children the documentation that had been written up with photos and the words of the children. Before Ms Beth read this out to the group  Emma was quick to say “This is our story”

As Ms Beth read the ‘story’ the teachers realized that this was a very powerful moment for the children. We could see on their faces the pride they felt in hearing their ‘voices’.  

Ms Yuka noticed that when Hina was here that she liked the way things smelt like play dough and flowers.

Lili: We can make some playdough flowers and give it to them, we can make roses out of playdough.

So: We can give some playdough because the Baby Home children like smelling the playdough.

Does anyone know how to make playdough?

Zein: We can find instructions how to make playdough and with the things you need.

What could we put in playdough to make it smell?

Emma: Oil

Zein: You need oil and a different kind of flour and we need a big bowl and we need colour and we need water…

So: I have oil at my house, this morning I put here because then here smell nice…The smell makes me feel happy.

Henry: How about massaging oil?

Kiwa: Grape oil.

Zein: I like the smell of chocolate.

Lili: We could put banana and chocolate and grape and mix it together.

Emma: Some honey.

Rio: Apple smell.

Do you think we should make some playdough for the Baby Home children?

Children: Yes’ 

It is decided and marked on our calendar. On December 1st we are inviting our ELC parents to come and work with the children to make the playdough for Hina, Leila, and Laika. 


The Visit of the Baby Home Children

Baby Home from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

The ELC has a long lasting relationship with the Lady of Lourdes Baby Home. Every year we invite the youngest children, who are not yet in school, to come and play with us at the ELC. In preparation for the children’s visit we discuss the Baby Home and how we could welcome our friends. We did this first with the E2 children who had experienced the visit last year. The children’s thinking and their contributions were very powerful and they were able to convey this to the E1 group. The children displayed real empathy for the Baby Home children and had a real sense of concern for others who did not have mum’s and dad’s as they did. It was decided that we would draw, paint and make origami as a ‘gift.’ On Tuesday three children visited us; we sang songs together, ate  fruit snack, played in the classroom and explored outside. The ELC children were very welcoming and it was a delight to see them hand in hand enjoying each others company. We are looking forward to another visit next week. 


The children have been enjoying their time together to reconnect after a short break and noticing new color scheme  reflecting the outdoor environment within the classroom. There were great many sharing moments about different trips and activities over the break. The children really showed us how important it is to allow ample time for them to share their recent experiences. 

Many of the children are exploring these autumn color schemes such as red, yellow, brown and orange via painting, drawing, making collages and collecting leaves from our garden to create beautiful designs. Some have been collecting leaves in a bag. Another group have been carefully choosing leaves to create beautiful designs. A few children have brought in natural materials they found outside of the ELC such as acorns and pinecones.

Look big leaf.
Wow, so many leaves.
Ooh, there’s yellow and red and orange. We have new colors!!!
Leaves. Smell.

Autumn at ELC from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

The ELC Garden

Gardening from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

We believe that the outdoor environment is very important and with this in mind we have been wanting to plant out the ELC gardens. One of our parents who is involved in a family nursery was able to provided us with flower and vegetable plants. On the only sunny day this week the children and Ms Beth planted. Every child was invited to help and most did, enjoying the sensation of the earth on their hands. We will now be watching to see how the plants grow.

The following afternoon the children discussed how they could care for the plants. “Why do you think we did planting yesterday?”

“Because we wanted our garden to look beautiful and we wanted the bees to come and make honey……..And we also want the ELC to smell good, like flowers………..We planted vegetables so we could pick them and eat them!”


What do you think we should tell everyone about the garden?

“You have to don’t pick it and just put the water inside………don’t step on the plants ……..don’t bounce a ball there.”

When it is sunny we will need to water the plants – how can we decide who waters them?

“We can take turns by you calling their names and they can have a turn and we can play outside and then they can have a turn…….we can write the list and we can buy a bucket and take turns!”

Our meeting finished there. The teachers will remind the children about the ideas of ‘taking turns and writing a list’ after the break and see how the children want to organize a ‘system’ to care for our garden.


Parents as partners

With the belief that our parents are our partners in the children’s learning journeys through ELC,  we haveinvited our parents to come in for a session to share our intentions for this school year.

We began our session by introducing our  WHO WE ARE unit, how relationships differ depending on the connection people have with each other. We encouraged our parents to consider the big idea of “What does it mean to be human?”

Our parents were asked to  consider what are the important values that they feel a human being should possess. For all of us at the ELC, we feel that school is one of many such a place where values are created, shared, discussed and even exchanged. We wondered what important values our parents hold for themselves as well as for their children.

WHO WE ARE  is an inquiry into the nature of self and human relationships. We asked our parents to represent the ideas (their own understandings) of building community and culture of togetherness using various materials we offered. This was a great opportunity for our parents to experience how the children use different mediums to convey their ideas through a piece of work.


It has been extremely educational to be able to observe the process and listen to the ideas behind each piece representing “Building community and culture of togetherness.”



To help the children unpack this year-long Unit of Inquiry we will be posing many guiding questions for the children to ponder which derived from the following three lines of inquiry:

  1. Exploring social and emotional characteristics.
  2. How do people come to understand each other.
  3. How do people build lasting relationships.

We wonder what the children will discover as they embark upon their own learning journey to create knowledge as a community and to develop their own understanding about how relationships differ depending on the connections that people have with each other. 

Parent Teacher Sharing from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Otsukimi – a Japanese Full Moon Festival

Otsukimi from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

We believe in the valuable experiences a setting such as an international school offers. At YIS we are able to draw upon multiple cultures, values, ideas and traditions to better build one’s own identity as well as developing our understanding of WHO WE ARE. 

We experienced our first cultural experience this year with our Japanese mothers who kindly re-enacted the Full Moon Viewing (Otsukimi) with a display of ‘odango’ (rice dumpling), persimmons which are a seasonal fruit and pampas grass. In Japan, the pattern on the moon’s surface is associated with rabbits making rice cakes (omochi), and the children helped to make the rice dumplings by rolling it into little balls which were later boiled by the mothers. It was delightful to observe the engagement of the children and their courage to try tasting something unknown and unfamiliar to them. 

Parents as co-constructors of learning

We view our parents as co-constructors of learning at the ELC. Our intention for the Student Parent Interaction is to offer an opportunity for sharing meaningful experiences to further deepen the connection between home and school. Our parents are invited to enter the ELC environment knowing that it is a chance for them to create new learning experiences with their children, to share new discoveries and new found spaces together.

The children really look forward to this session. They each have a plan for various types of spaces they would like to explore with their parents. 

We posed a simple question: What do you like to do at the ELC?

“Because the mom and dad are coming to the ELC for something that we can do and we can do something with them and we can play.”

“I am going to play playdough in the classroom with my daddy.”

“Play with the babies (baby dolls).”

“Puzzle and origami and Bingo game.”

“Play dinosaurs, buildings, playing dog.”

“Making tower, making shop tower and puzzles and origami.”



“Dinosaurs, cars, tigers.”

These are just a few ideas which the children came up with. We hope you enjoyed your time at the ELC with your children and created many wonderful experiences together.

We, as teachers, always wonder what the children are thinking. Thus, we asked them to reflect on their experiences at the Student-Parent Interaction.

“My mom and dad like the Atelier.”

“I like doing my playdough.”

“I was happy.”

“Mommy liked reading.”

“I like the clay and dressing the dolls in Atelier.”

“Mommy liked to jumping marble run.”

“I liked it.”

“My daddy liked building with me.”

“I want to do it again.”

Student Parent Interaction Day from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Music Time with Ms Mason

Here at the ELC we are very lucky to have Ms Mason come twice a week and take music with the children. Our E1 and E2 groups have separate sessions. It is a delight to watch the children explore the ‘language of music and movement.’

When you listen to preschool children play, you will often hear them humming a familiar tune as they work. When music is turned on, we notice a child’s body move in time to the beat. Children are naturally drawn to the rhythms and sounds of music. Just today we watched a group of children dance to classical music during free exploration.

Music Time from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

ELC Back To School Night

The ELC children have been in school and settling in; learning our daily routines, specific boundaries and developing friendships. Our ELC community came together for the Back To School Night on Wednesday. It was a chance for us teachers to get to share with our parents our philosophy about early years learning and what we do at the ELC.

We value strong and healthy communications between home and school.  Any comments or questions are always welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us or chat with us during pick-up and drop-off.

Below is a slideshow that we shared with our parents on Wednesday night. We talked in more details with each slide, if you have any question after viewing please don’t hesitate to ask us.

BTSN 2017 slideshow from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Growing community between the E1 and E2 children

We feel it is very important to build community between our E1 (mostly new children) and E2 children (mostly returning children). Last week we had our first E2 meeting when the E1’s were at music and we asked these children; ‘What does it mean to be an E2?’ Initially they responded with comments about themselves:

“Being bigger and you need to do extra work and you need to act like an E2.”

 “Sleep more.”  “If you sleep real good then you get tall.”

“You just need to tidy up and when a teacher tells you something you need to do it and you need to do like more jobs.”

The children then moved on to think of their responsibility to their E1 friends. ‘How you can help the E1s?’

“When you are E2 you need to help the E1 tidy up.”

“You talk to them about the origami.”

“You can help them by if you have an owie.”

“If someone did not know where the toys are then you could show them.”

“To show them how to do ballet.”

“Play together with the E1s.”

“E2 build the cool building and show the E1s.”

All the children are starting to feel they are part of our ELC family.



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