It was a very special leaf a child found outside in our playground. It was lacy and delicate, and she called it a skeleton leaf. As one acorn, one flower, one roly poly can delight children, she really treasured this beautiful skeleton leaf all day. She placed it in front of her eye and looked through it. She made its shadow with sunlight on the ground. She tried to look at the pattern of its veins against a teacher’s black T-shirt.
Her close friend found another lacy leaf and kept it with her as well.
These two good friends were also busy making campfire on this particular day. On top of the collected sticks, they beautifully arranged some green leaves and pink flowers. Then one child approached them and she scattered some leaves on the campfire arrangement. They were not happy about it. “No, we are decorating the campfire.” Then the three children carefully removed the scattered leaves and rearranged the leaves and flowers to make it beautiful again.
Teachers are getting to know the children more and more each day, their likes and dislikes, their dispositions and how they interact with each other in the world around them. It appears to me that the two girls notice and see subtle beauty in nature. How wonderful it is to have a friend who one can share, see and sense beauty in similar ways.
Ms Mason, our music teacher set up a music space in the piazza last week. This space has a selection of instruments with an emphasis on ‘light and dark’ sounds. We have pictures of the different instruments with their names up on the wall. There is also dancing scarfs and puppets for the children to use to make a show. We discussed the ‘rules’ of this space – only five children at a time with the instruments and gentle playing. The E1 children have visited this space and they are freely exploring all the materials.
Visiting the Music Space from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
The children stayed on at ELC after the E1 children had gone home. They prepared food for dinner. There was guacamole, tofu salad and rice and scrambled eggs. Some children helped set the table very beautifully with table cloths, flowers and candles. The children sat together and ate by candle light. They then went outside with their flashlights to see the night sky. It was a magical night.
Night at the ELC from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
The day was a very special one for this child. “My mom is coming back from Korea today. She’ll be on a first I want to make a card.” He chose red paper, which he thinks is her favorite color, and drew his mom. He was eager to write her name by himself. He added more details on his drawing such as the pattern of her dress and green nails on her fingers, saying “She sometimes has green nails.”
He was really thinking so deeply about his mom. “She likes sandwiches… She likes cheese… She likes Nutella.” Then he drew sandwiches. “She likes planting.” Then he drew a flower.
The card is filled with so much love for his mom.
On another day, the teachers witnessed him giving card/drawings to his E1 friend. She was so happy and showed it to me. “It’s me!” There was a picture of a girl with a crown.
He is a child who likes characters from movies and animations and likes to play such pretend games, but he seems to have found further joy and meaning of making/giving thoughtful cards to others in these recent days.
The process to construct a shared understanding has been fascinating to be a part of. As the E1 and E2 classes shared their respective ideas on the important features of the playcourt, the children listened to each others’ ideas with respect and heightened them with additional inspiration. We then introduced the bare garden and shared some of the children’s ideas to plant flowers. Now that we have two areas of interest- the playcourt and the garden- we asked each child to think about his/her preference which space he/she would like to join to help enhance these two spaces. Please watch this space to follow how our two areas will be transformed in the hands and minds of our children.
sharing ideas from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
We had lots of ripe bananas so we decided to make banana bread.
The children were invited during Free Exploration to come and take part. All morning we mashed and mixed and sifted.
The room smelt wonderful as the bread baked. The next day we tasted some of the bread and gave some to those people who help us at ELC.
Banana Bread from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
The children helped Ms. Beth making loaves of Banana Bread for people who always do so many things for us at our ELC, such as the janitors, cleaning ladies and security guard. Then I also invited some of the children to make cards for them to show our appreciation, hoping that they feel joy by doing something for someone else.
It was also a good opportunity for me to reintroduce such lovely and hardworking people to the children and know how they see them through the process of making cards. They made thoughtful and beautiful cards.
“She’s always sweeping. I see her when I wake up (after the relaxation time). I want to say thank you for cleaning the floor!”
“Thank you for cleaning tables and toilets!”
“They (janitors) are not strong but when they do teamwork they are strong.”
“I want to say thank you for feeding the turtle (Bob).”
The ELC is nurtured and supported not only by teachers, children and parents but also by these wonderful people.
The ELC was full of excitement and bright smiles as we invited our families to spend time with us for Student Parent Interaction. In preparation for this experience, the children considered what sorts of things they could share with their mommy/daddy and drew their plan. By making this time to spend together, we hope that the children and parents will make further connections between home and school.
Student-Parent Interaction from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
Such a spirit of collaboration and collegiality reigned at our Parent-Teacher Collaborative Meeting on Wednesday. We are very excited to incorporate our parents’ contributions to frame our year long inquiry on Sharing the planet and Who we are. We now have all members of our ELC learning community- the children, parents and teachers- building a shared understanding on the concepts of peacefulness and responsibility through the elements of order and beauty. We welcome you to add more thoughts or comments on our blog to continue enhancing our learning and understanding.
Parent-Teacher Collaborative Meeting from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
Communicating verbally with children whose first language is not English can be challenging when we do not speak their first language. However, at our ELC, we value all modes of expressions and we begin to understand each other, especially the children through their simple words, facial expressions, gestures and their creations.
One E1 child has very limited English but expressed her love of flowers through her painting and collage in the Atelier. First, she decided to paint on the easel and used a brush with bold strokes.
“Flor!” “Flower?” “Si!”
She happily and proudly presented her big pink flower to me.
Then she was curious about making collages and began to paste her choice of pictures. “Flor, flor!” As she asked for more flowers, she arranged them and also placed a few butterflies between the flowers.
“Finish?” “Finish!” She replied with a pleased face.
She shared her excitement and happy moment with me through her creations on that morning. These two creations sincerely ‘speak’ to me her love for flowers.