Creations from August to October

2014/10/24

Reflecting upon this half semester from the hot days in August to the cooler weather in October, we have observed how the minds and hands of the children have been actively involved in creating – creating many thoughts and ideas through their many and varied expressive languages.  Young children see and seek beauty in their surroundings in many different ways. Through their creations, we feel fortunate to also sense and share in the beauty around us through the fresh lens of the children.

Aug 25, 2014-Medium from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


Night at the ELC

2014/10/24

The E2 children experienced their first Experiential Learning last Friday where the children stayed at the ELC until 7:00PM.  The transformation of the ELC at night offered a provocation to inquire into many wonders of our world and environment.  Please enjoy the slideshow below of our experience.

Night time at the ELC 2-Display from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


What is sharing?

2014/10/17

The trajectory of our unit on the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing the Planet is taking upon an interesting path of learning and understanding for the children and teachers. We have framed experiences, such as the shared use of the playcourt and the sharing of bicycles, to observe and to elicit the children’s action of sharing resources, resolving conflict, and how our choices and actions affect others. In the case of the use of the playcourt, the E1 children have constructed a set of rules for all the children to play peacefully in this space. However, ‘the sharing of bicycles’ has interestingly highlighted a complexity amongst the E2 children, with children not wishing ‘to give up’ his/her bike to another; whereas, with the E1 children, we observe how they are able to organically and willingly share the bicycles with no hesitance or resistance. We wonder why is this so?

     

When we asked the children, “What is sharing?” the E2 children’s ideas voice their understanding of the concept:

“When you have something and you give your thing to someone”
“If you have one toy you can give it to somebody else”

The E2 children’s understanding of sharing seems partly there – they are able to share one apple between several children as long as everyone receives a piece; however, when there is a necessity to ‘give up’ something as a whole, such as a bicycle, the sharing becomes more difficult.

As we frame this unit from the concepts of Responsibility and Perspective, whilst we are confident that the children will develop in their understanding and learning, we constantly wonder how we can best scaffold their understanding to a deeper underlying layer, where especially the E2 children, may be able to understand and to enact being in the shoes of another? We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

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Student-Parent Interaction Day

2014/10/10

The ELC was full of excitement and bright smiles as we invited our families to spend time with us at the ELC for Student Parent Interaction Day. Before our moms and dads came, the children thought about what spaces and experiences they would like to share with their families and made a plan. The children had many ideas and it was a joy to see how their ideas were realized with and through the participation of the parents. By making this time to spend together at the ELC, we hope that children and parents will make further connections between home and school.  We hope you will enjoy viewing the slideshow below of the delightful two days.

 

Student-Parent Interaction Day-Display from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


In partnership with our parents

2014/10/03

As we embark upon our two yearlong units of inquiry on How we share the planet and Who we are, we wished to include the voices of the parents to co-construct our inquiries. On Monday September 29, we held our Parent-Teacher Meeting to share the intentions of the teacher and to discuss further ideas born from the thoughts and perspectives of our parents. We consider the parents as partners, and are an essential part of the educational triad – child-parent-teacher. By ensuring and enabling dialogue between the cultures and values of family and school, we believe that the exchange of ideas and skills parents bring to the ELC result in a spirit of collegiality and collaboration. The integrating of differing wisdoms offers the opportunity to further understand and strengthen the connection between home and school helping us to make our experiences more rich. The voices of the parents will help us to frame and sustain our unit of inquiries with depth and meaning.

 

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Empathy for a friend in hospital

2014/09/25

When we heard that our friend Luca was hospitalized with an asthma attack, the teachers were deeply worried about Luca’s condition, but also felt the importance of sharing this news with the rest of the class.  Our image of a child that we hold for each of the children is one that is strong, competent and resourceful, capable of understanding the feelings and situations of others. After sharing a photo of Luca in hospital, the following are the voices of the children which portray this image:

Luca cannot come here, maybe he will be back tomorrow, which hospital is Luca in?

He is sick

I had that what Luca had and it was so tight, and I had a ride on a bed

Why did he have a cough?

Luca coughed a lot, that is why he is in hospital

Luca’s in hospital, he had to go the hospital

I can see a book (in his cot)

…and there is a car

That is because Luca likes cars

Teacher: Luca has to stay in the hospital for a few days, how can we help him?

We can surprise him!

How about giving him some flowers?

Good idea!

How about we get some from the garden?

…but you know we cannot pick them

Then make something…

And if Luca eats a lot he will get better

He needs to take medicine, maybe a shot?

 

Teacher: What can we do for Luca?

How about make a present?

A present and flowers, and then we take lots of presents and take them to the hospital!

Where is the hospital?

Teacher: We need to find out where the hospital is

We can do a map, my brother has his iPod maybe we can borrow his iPad

The following day we revisited their ideas and all the children are enthusiastic to make a present for Luca and surprise him.  We introduced the Japanese art form called ‘origami’ (folding paper) to make flowers, trains and cars – all the things we thought Luca likes.  With Luca in their thoughts, it was with much joy to witness the care with which each of the children took as they folded the origami. When Luca actually came back to school, the children were so happy to see him! We presented our gift to him with an element of surprise, it was such a happy moment for everyone.

  

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Pedagogy based on relationships

2014/09/19

We have known the children for about four weeks, and likewise, the children have known us for the same length of time. We are learning about our likes and dislikes, our moods and our temperaments. The teachers are constantly engaged in guessing games about the culture of the children’s home, the sorts of literacy practices each child brings to school.  Sometimes we have to think hard and long to match our literacy to that of the children, so much more fragile and volatile than ours as an adult to make decisions about the framing narratives for our pedagogy with each of the children as the inspiration.  We see children huddled over in the writing area drawing maps and stories of Ninja Turtles and spaceships. The playdough space instigates many lively conversations about the types of food we like to eat, or of snakes, cats, and sumo wrestlers! When outside, we observe the spirit of the children as they challenge themselves to go across the monkey bars, or ‘listen’ to their inquisitive minds as they explore the sensation of mud; or their delight in discovering an old bulb or a tiny centipede as they toil the garden.  All these moments which may seem quite ordinary, are actually ‘extraordinary moments’ as the children explore and experience their time and space, not alone, but in relationship with one another, discovering and knowing more deeply about each other with each experience which become shared experiences to build upon.

 


From “me-ness” to “we-ness”

2014/09/12

In our yearlong unit on Sharing the Planet, we focus on the central idea that ‘People have the responsibility to share their environment for a peaceful world.’ A peaceful world welcomes the concept of collaboration and with this,  responsibility for oneself and respect for others. We wish to share with you how we have embarked on our inquiry by framing experiences based upon our daily observations of the children, for our work always begins with the children.

Painting:  We have observed with much delight the interest the children have shown towards painting. The paintings have been, up until now, individual creations.  We wondered ‘what if the children experienced painting on one sheet together?’

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Collage:  The children have been exploring design with paper to make collages in our mini-atelier corner of the classroom.  They have become skillful in their careful choice of shape, color and form.  Once again, the creations have been individual ones.  We wondered ‘what if the children created a collaborative collage with natural materials which they collect from the garden?

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Exploring the Playcourt:  The children have been asking when they can play in the Playcourt.  We listened to their query and wondered ‘what if we opened this space initially to the E1 children to explore?  How will they interact with each other in this new found space, with new equipment?’

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Our learning and understanding, ever enchanting and ever engaging, have just begun, from  ‘me-ness’ to ‘we-ness’…

 


Back-to-School Night

2014/09/05

Thank you for joining us on our Back-to-School Night on Thursday.  It is always a pleasure to have an evening devoted to sharing the education of your children, our youngest members of the learning community at YIS. Our constructivist approach to learning focuses on learning in a social context and emphasizes the importance of relationships.  We value our Home-School communication, and look forward to establishing our relationship with each and every family this school year, keeping the children at the heart and center of our learning and understanding.

We hope you will enjoy viewing the video of the children in their first week and a half at the ELC, which we shared on our evening together.

 

BTSN 2014 from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


First encounter

2014/08/28

This year we would like to focus upon the meaning of identity and the meanings that each child will bring to build upon this identity – the identity of each child as an individual, but also within the community of learners at the ELC. We are curious to listen and to discover, together with the children, the many stories yet to unfold this year.  As a beginning, we wish to share with you some images of the children as they courageously enter and explore a new and unknown environment in their first encounter with the ELC.

 

First Encounter from YIS ELC on Vimeo.