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.
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.
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.
The process of building a sense of community takes time. We are at the end of our second week of school and the children have already shown several hints that they are beginning to develop a sense of community, friendship and trust among each other. We have observed gentle gesture of kindness when someone is sad. A helping hand when someone needs support. A friend who invites others to join in a game. A question asked when other’s actions contradict what feels right. Sing a song to cheer up a friend. A child sharing a piece of fruit when there is none left on a plate.
In many cultures eating and enjoying food is considered a communal act, a shared pleasure for everyone involved. Here at our ELC, we strive to cultivate a sense of community; a larger community which consists of our ELC children and their families. Our snack time is just one of many opportunities for the children to experience larger community outside of their own immediate family. They are learning to socialize, to share, to take turns, to be considerate and to take responsibility as part of being in a community.
We must not forget that one of the most important links between people and food is the principle of pleasure: the pleasure that derives from using the senses but also the pleasure of discovery … pleasure of play and the pleasure of company, which at the table becomes conviviality. (from The Languages Of Food, Reggio Children)
Below is a video of how the ELC children, with the help of our parents, are developing their sense of community through snack time.
Fruit Snack Time from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
It has been a new experience for many of our children as they stepped through the door of the ELC for the first time on Monday morning. Many of them showed real courage as they dealt with new teachers, new friends, new surroundings and even a new language. Our existing students have also been courageous after a summer with parents as they returned to school. It is lovely to see all the smiling faces.
We were finally blessed with the weather to enjoy our Water Fun Day, such a joyful experience to end this school year. Wishing everyone a happy summer!
ELC Water Day from lara magtalas on Vimeo.
As our final ELC parent and child event we decided to have a picnic at Negishi Park. The children loved riding together on the bus; this was the first time for the E1 children and many asked ‘how long will it be’, ‘when will we see the park’, ‘will my mum be there’. Once the bus dropped us of we walked as a group through the park down to the ponds where many parents were waiting. Games were played, mats spread out with picnic food, parents talked, teachers enjoyed a shared lunch, balls were kicked around. It was a lovely time.
A Visit To Negishi Park from lara magtalas on Vimeo.
Our Sharing the Planet unit has inquired into how our different spaces at the ELC can be enhanced to create peace and order for everyone to spend time together with beauty as a connecting element. The creation of the Mud Kitchen on the front terrace has transformed into a space that is thriving with imagination, coming alive with the children collaboratively sharing the space. The Mud Kitchen has been further enhanced with the purchase of utensils through the generous funding from the PTSA, With the help of the janitors, hooks have been placed so that all of the utensils can be stored neatly. The lively conversations that are exchanged through the making of cakes and the preparing of pots of tea are a delight to anyone who visits the ELC.
Mud Kitchen coming alive… from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
Our ELC Mud Kitchen is being used by the children daily and we wanted to thank the janitors who made it for us. During one of our morning meetings the children discussed how they could do this. There were many suggestions but the one everyone liked best was to make them ‘a great big donut’. The children worked on a large ‘donut’ card’ and made a ‘donut’ cake. These were presented to the janitors by the children. “Thank you very much for our Mud Kitchen, we love it!”
How can we thank the janitors? from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
The children have continued to explore light and the ways it behaves both inside and outside. We have tried to capture the vital and significant events we have observed and listened to through our Small Group Work and the children’s free explorations. The educational experiences so far have been many and varied: Inquiring into different kinds of light, both natural and artificial, and how light interacts with different materials and objects; Creating visual representations of light; Experimenting with the overhead projector creating shadows with our bodies; Creating dark and colorful shadows with translucent materials and colored water bottles. We have observed that for the children the concept of light illuminated emotion and imagination as they associated light in opposition to darkness and scary things, such as monsters and ghosts…but also magical as they danced in the light with their shadows…
Light Explorations 1 from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
Light Explorations from YIS ELC on Vimeo.