Conflicts are great opportunities for children to learn about perspective taking, positive social interactions and about relationships. Treating others with respect and kindness is a value that we wold like to nurture in the children at the ELC. We also want to incorporate the idea that stories can be told in many ways. The teachers introduced ‘Stop-Think-Speak’ strategy through series of short skits using traffic light colors. We asked the children to identify what each color of the traffic light means:
The red one is no and the green one is yes.
The yellow one is go.
No, yellow is be careful and slow.
We then introduced that red means stop, yellow is for slowing down and think, and green is for speaking or acting. These short skits demonstrated different ‘unexpected behaviors’ that the teachers have observed. We hope that it will help the children remember to ‘Stop-Think-Speak’ as they interact with each other. We asked the children to discuss what each person can do better next time during each skit. Here are some of their suggestions:
Tell the teacher.
The children were excited to see their teachers performing stories so we were not surprised when some children expressed their own interest in acting out their own ‘story’. We are sure there will be more performances in the future as we continue to explore different scenarios.
We want to encourage you to help us reinforce this strategy by using the same language when discussing ‘expected/unexpected behaviors’ and asking the children to ‘stop-think-speak’ at home.
We hope the video below will help you start your own conversations at home.
We have begun our HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES unit of inquiry with the central idea that ‘stories can be told in many ways’. We wanted to gage the children’s understanding of this central idea at the beginning of the unit. Each child was asked individually, “what is a story?’
Some of the responses of the children:
“A story is a book.”
“Something that you …something with pictures and something that we can read from.”
“Something that you love and something that you read.”
“Story is new, like flower story or owl story.”
“A story is a something to read.”
“Sounds. It’s like sounds. You can hear……”
“Mukashi banashi.”(story from a long time ago)
“A special story.”
After reading over all the thoughts of the children and seeing what ‘threads’ of understanding we could identify the teachers decided that they wanted to provide provocations to the group that would broaden their understanding of ‘a story’. Parents have been invited in to share ‘stories’ and the teachers are also thinking of ways to share. Ms Mason is using music with stories. Our puppet theatre is out and many other experiences are available to the children. Children are natural story tellers and we are excited to see how this inquiry will develop.
Our Chinese families have gathered to share with the ELC children about how Chinese New Year is celebrated. Kiwa’s mom read a book called “Bringing in the New Year” to introduce different elements of Chinese New Year. The children learned to wish ‘happy new year’ in Chinese, Xin Nian Kuai Le or Xin Nian Hao. They were given ‘hong bao’ (red envelope) and red knot which symbolizes harmony and happiness . The book also mentioned that traditionally people clean their houses to welcome the new year, they wear new clothes and decorate their homes with good luck and joy signs.
This Tuesday Kanchi, Samu’s mum came in and shared one of her ‘passions’. The children made chapati’s for their snack. They rolled and shaped the dough and then cooked their chapati with Kanchi. The cooked chapati was then spread with butter or cream cheese and folded into quarters and wrapped in foil. Everyone really enjoyed them!
We are lucky to have Kathryn Claire visit us again this year. She is a musician: a singer, a song writer, a performer and a teacher of Music. She performs in various places as well as visits schools to promote the love of Music in young children. Her visits always promise a great learning opportunity for our ELC children. This year, the E1 children learned many new things such as a new song and how to listen to and follow a rhythm. They listened to a live performance of two musical instruments: a guitar and a violin. Most of our E2 children have encountered Kathryn last year and many of them remember some of her songs. They were most enthusiastic about this special Music class.
Special thanks to Ms. Hitomi for this video that captures the joy of Music.
The ELC children experienced their own ‘snowy day’ on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The excitement on the faces of the children was lovely to see. Our playground, covered in snow looked delightful. The children ran around feeling and touching the snow. With a snow day on Tuesday many children built snowmen and played outside with their families.
Here are some of the thoughts from the children:
Lea “It’s beautiful! I like that!”
Sebastian “So fun!.”
JJ “I like the snow. Because I can play with the snow.”
Kai “Look, snow is over there!” ” I like snow because I can wear rain boots.”
Samu ” It’a snowing, it’s snowing!” “Flower is getting snow!”
Emma E2 “I eat snow!”
Zain “It’s like soft and so cold!”
Henry “I made ice. I squished the snow and put together and made ice” when I dropped it some of them broke.”
Action Portfolio at ELC occurs once a year and during this special week our parents are invited to participate in the children’s single subject classes such as Physical Education and Music. We hope our ELC parents have had a chance to get a glimpse of what the children are learning and witness their continuous growth thus far.
A special thanks to Ms. Hitomi for her great work with this video.
With the start of the Winter Term at the ELC the teachers have put out a new pallet of colours; greys and blacks, silvers and whites, purples and maroons. Instantly the children have been drawn to these new experiences and provocations. Their individual display panels are already filling up with collages, paintings and drawings using these wintery shades. Other pieces of work are also dotted around the classroom as the children explore these new mediums that simulate the senses and excite the eye.
Outdoors, winter means hats and coats, gloves and boots. With sunny days, winter outdoors is stimulating for the children as they explore. With the wind, has come kite making and the pleasure of wind on your face.
On Monday we went to the Lady of Lourdes Baby Home. The children have brought over the gifts they made with their parents during our Craft Luncheon and their big “Thank you for visiting us” note.
It was lovely for our children to get to see where the Baby Home children live. We delivered our gifts and sang a few Japanese songs. We hope to reconnect with the Baby Home children after the Winter break and schedule a playdate in a park.
Please enjoy the slideshow below courtesy of Ms. Hitomi.
On Friday parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, teachers and ELC children came together for our annual Craft Luncheon. Our aim was to make gifts for the Baby Home children and too share a fantastic lunch together. It was lots of fun working in groups to make the playdough and to draw the cards. The variety of food at lunch time was exceptional. This was a wonderful ELC community event.