RE-invention Day

RE-invention day is held every year at the ELC to raise an awareness on the concepts of recycling, reducing and reusing and to nurture within the children an understanding that old things, which may no longer have use, can have the possibility to transform into something beautiful and meaningful, giving it new life.
As the children this year have shown an interest in cooking, both real and imaginary, we have decided to transform old bread into bread and butter pudding which can be enjoyed by everyone.
The ELC was filled with a delicious aroma throughout the day. Please enjoy viewing the process of our collaborative re-invention of ordinary bread into something extraordinary.

Reinvention Day from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

What is a story?

Transdisciplinary Theme: How we express ourselves

Central Idea: Stories can be told in many ways
Key Concepts: Function – How does it work?
Connection – How is it connected to other things?
Lines of Inquiry:  How people share stories
Emotional responses to stories
Creating and expressing our own stories

Children say many interesting things each day, often simple and uncalculated, remarkably clear and can be starts of many engaging stories. There are blue moons and red stars and green faces and spaghetti stars. There is poetry in the contrast of words they put together, songs in each letter of their names and a dance as we make our way from word to word, an orchestra of ideas moving through music of worlds we invoke with a range of materials and the lives we give them. How do we capture and nurture this natural habit in children to recite and to perform stories and poems? How doe we communicate and extend their potential to construct lines and verses of such creative agency?

Embarking upon this inquiry, we began, as we always do, with a question:

What is a story?

The following are some of the children’s initial responses.

A book

It has pages and you can read it and it has pictures and you can make it out of paper

A story is when you read it sleep time at night time

A story is a book where you read very quiet and just read and talk and put in a cover and then go home, that is a story

A story is friend is book is then book is read

Sometimes we read with each other

After these initial responses, we then decided to ask each of the children to draw their idea of what a story is for them. From their drawings, we are looking forward to developing this inquiry by framing further questions and constructing experiences with the children as our inspiration.

Please view the slideshow to learn about the children’s ideas on the meaning of ‘a story’ through their drawings and their verbal explanations.


Story Photos from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

“What did you learn today?”

At the end of the day, a teacher asked the children “what did you learn today?” One child replied by saying, “I learned making a face with clay.” I was at first a little surprised to hear this, but her reflection helped me to better understand how she felt through the experience she had that morning in the Atelier.

On this particular morning, many of the children in the Atelier chose to work with clay. This particular child was also pounding, rolling, stretching and enjoying her explorations with clay. I asked her if she would like to try to make a person with clay, knowing how much she likes to draw people and how skillful she is. She liked this idea and soon began to create her own figure with clay. She didn’t need any help from others. She figured out how to make the clay thin, how to make each part of the body and even to cut certain shapes, such as shoes and a bow. She was focused and finished her person in a quiet manner.


When she said, “I learned making a face with clay,” I was touched because this made me realize how she was taking herself through a learning process by challenging a new way to create her figure, different to drawing. Through this experience she was able to reflect on what she learned, something new that she did not know or do before.



Look, I can do it!

We have been celebrating and commending the children performing many self-help skills on their own.  The children take great pride and satisfaction in their learning to perform and achieve tasks by figuring how to solve problems of putting arms in their coats or opening and closing lids of containers, etc, sometimes by themselves, and other times, with and through the support of their friends. Please view the children in active learning and engagement!

Self help from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

Symbolic representation of all the ELC children

The children often show us how they see/understand the world around them by their creations. One morning, an E1 child began to arrange black stones on a circle board.  He gently placed each stone along the edge of the board.  I overheard him saying, “Mrs. Cancemi … Ms.Yuka…Ms.Lara … Ms. Destiny…” I then noticed that he was choosing each stone to represent the teachers.  “This is Lerah.”  He continued putting stones until they formed a circle. “ELC friends.”  I asked him why they are making a circle. He replied by saying, “Morning meeting. Very, very, many children! Round and round and round and round!”

IMG_3551 IMG_3552

Last semester the teachers intentionally offered E2 children an opportunity to arrange stones to represent all the ELC children during Small Group Work. One child displayed stones in a circle and explained that they are having a morning meeting.

This E1 child, without any prompting, naturally showed a symbolic representation of all the ELC children in exactly the same way. Through both of their creations, I was able to know that our morning meeting has been significant to create and deepen a sense of togetherness for them.


Reading with your child

The second Coffee Hour: Reading with your child, was held on Wednesday January 27 headed by Jen Lemery.  If you were not able to attend, please enjoy viewing the session through the following slides.

At the small painting corner

In the first week after the winter break, a child chose to paint at the small painting corner in the Atelier. Because she was so sure what she wanted to do that morning, she patiently waited for her friend to finish her painting in this corner.

She quietly enjoyed placing diluted water paints on paper, observing how the colors merged together giving a blurred effect. Her touch reminded me of her paintings at the beginning of the school year in August. Her colors and design seemed to represent a creation full of hope for a lovely beginning to the second semester in 2016.


Maker Space and Design Thinking

A two day workshop with John Rinker was held over the weekend on Maker Space and a culture of Design Thinking. A ‘Maker Space’ is, as the name suggests, a space that provides collaborative opportunities for making things, of creating, using hands and real tools to make products which function, is durable and is cool/beautiful,  keeping the mind actively engaged. The Space provides, as much as possible, bringing play back into the students’ lives with the belief that “play is the highest form of research”.  The concept of Design Thinking is a human-centered process, meeting human needs; it is a problem-finding process, shifting our thinking and taking us a step further from problem-solving; it is iterative so that one can keep re-working to improve; it is collaborative where one works with and through others.

In reflecting about this weekend experience, the ELC is, in fact, a Maker Space in its entirety. Our ELC is filled with opportunities for Making with our hands (hands as tools!) and real tools together with others. And as the children create and continue to re-create, they are constantly refining their original ideas for improvement. As the children create, they find problems to solve, enlisting not only the help of the teachers but each other as valuable resource with knowledge and experience.  Please view our slideshow below to observe the hands and minds of the children and parents in action within many physical and conceptual ‘Maker Spaces’.


Maker space from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


What do you remember from your holidays?

We have enjoyed a lovely first week back at the ELC after the holidays. The children are content and comfortable settling back into their spaces and explorations with and through their friends and teachers, such an amiable and pleasant environment for us to participate in everyday. We feel so blessed to encounter and experience daily ‘ordinary’ moments which are in fact, in our minds and hearts, extraordinary moments that we term as ‘rich normality’ (seemingly normal moments which have the possibility to be rich), derived from our learning from the Reggio educators.  In our week back with the children, it is always illuminating to listen to the children’s experiences outside of school; we wonder what stood out most and/or what do they remember most from those experiences? Please enjoy the children’s reflections articulated and elaborated through their drawings:

Drawings 1 from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

A Winter Party

Through the kind organization of our three class moms, a Winter party was held at the ELC. It was a delightful morning filled with much warmth as so many of our moms joined to support and assist in the celebration before the Winter Holidays. We first sewed and decorated a paper stocking, and then played a game of Pinata. Two beautiful Pinatas – a Christmas Tree for the E1 children and a Treasure Box for the E2 children – were prepared by one very talented mom. How the children delighted in pulling the string of the Pinata in unison for the treats hidden inside to fall onto the carpet! To end the celebration, we were treated to delicious muffins baked by one of our class moms. We are very grateful to all our parents for making this morning such a special one for everyone at the ELC. Happy Holidays!

Winter Party from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

« Older posts

© 2016 ELC

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar