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.
Music and movement, a joyous part of childhood, are the ‘languages’ of children that help them to express themselves in non-verbal ways. Through the children’s experiences in our Music and Physical Educational sessions, we observe the children developing their sense of self expression, concentration, social interaction, fine and gross motor abilities, team work, an awareness of space and harmony, and above all, the value of fun as a shared experience.
Music and PE from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
This week, several E2 children were assigned the task of introducing the Building area/Home play spaces to our E1 children during morning free exploration and small group times. Rather than having the adults explain about these areas, it was enlightening to observe the E2 children taking responsibility, showing care and patience to introduce the new spaces for the E1 children, as they are the experts from last year, who know best how to enjoy inhabiting these spaces of exploration both alone and together with others.
Ownership and Responsibility from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
All the children spent time to explore the classroom during the first few weeks. Although one child had been especially eager to visit the Atelier after the summer holidays, the time spent in the classroom gave her a good opportunity to get to know the new children and build friendships with them. After the first two weeks, the teachers gradually began to introduce the other spaces in the ELC.
“I’m going to make a teacup!” She visited the Atelier with her new friend and sat next to each other at the clay table. She began to form a cup which she had been thinking of creating for some time.Then her new friend said, “I’m going to make a tea set!” She skillfully made a teapot with clay. It’s more common to see the children imitating their friends’ creations, but she instead decided to make a teapot which complements her friend’s cup and which can be used together. I was impressed how she decided what to create as it appeared to be based on a conception of ‘not only for me’ but instead ‘for you and for us’. Both of the girls enjoyed very much making a tea set together and completed a beautiful tea set of 5 cups and one teapot.
We have been ‘exploring spaces’ this week. New experiences, new materials and new ideas.
Exploring Spaces from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
One E2 child brought a setaria, known as nekojarashi in Japan, and showed it to the teachers proudly in the morning. “I found it on the road.”
He chose a small bottle to put it in and found a good place to display it. Next day, he brought one setaria again with a smile. Then he added it in the same bottle. As he looked at the two setarias together in the bottle, he said “…Now, they can be friends.”
How he saw each setaria and what he said was beautiful and really touched my heart. He also brought another one on the third day and there are three setarias in the bottle together now. He might have thought that one might be lonely. Two together are happier and three – ever more happier than being alone.
It is always a pleasure to devote an evening sharing the projection and processes of the children’s learning and our learning, with the children as our inspiration. Please view the video which we shared on our Back to School evening which portrays the children in the very first week of school.
BTSN 2016 from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
We have been together for just four days, but already we are learning about our likes and dislikes, our moods and temperaments. At the moment, we are constantly engaged in guessing games about the culture of each others home and the sorts of literacy practices we bring to school. Sometimes we have to think hard and long to match our literacy to the children, so much more fragile and volatile than ours as an adult to make decisions about the framing narratives for our pedagogy with the children as our inspiration.
We have observed some children’s interest in nature, and a beautiful moment of a child observing an ant carrying the wing of a cicada. The child thoughtfully shares: ” …the ant wants to fly…” Or the children’s fascination with stories as they eagerly listen to stories being read comfortably and cozily on the sofa for the duration of morning exploration. Still, the children’s wonder of colors and how the strokes of a paintbrush tell a story. We hear the beginning of giggles, we see the appearance of shy smiles, we listen to the voices and gestures of the children in such subtle moments of interaction with others. Whilst we are still at the very beginning of our learning biography, we are very certain of one disposition, that of courage – the children have been so very courageous as they step over the threshold into the community of learners at the ELC.
We are all looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday August 22nd!
Welcome To The ELC from YIS ELC on Vimeo.