What is an exhibition?

We constantly search for meaningful ways to approach our inquiry, and often begin with framing a question. Having recently visited the Elementary and High School Art Exhibitions, and viewing ballet as another art form, we posed the question, “What is an exhibition?’
My mommy was there and there was light
Make something with playdough there
You need to make some things out of paper and then dry it
An exhibition is something inside a building

The children reflected about the work they saw at the exhibition and one child says: “We make a lot of art”, pointing to our boards. They soon begin talking about how they would like other people to come and see their work.
I want everyone teacher and everyone
I have done lots of (lovely drawing)
I think I want the people in the whole world
How about the first grade and the second grade to see at the ELC

Both E1 and E2 children are in unanimous agreement to hold an exhibition and to invite all the people they love.

How can we let everyone know?
Like invitations!
You need to write a message
It will say, come here
Come to the ELC
I know, we can tell them come over here because we want to show you the exhibition that we made
Maybe we can go and mail it

There is excitement and contagion about our ELC Exhibition, the name the children agreed upon. And with the added excitement of having lunch all together after the exhibition, we are truly looking forward to our ELC Exhibition!

The ELC Exhibition: What is Beautiful? -Trailer from lara magtalas on Vimeo.

Library Time at the ELC

Last month we began our ‘Library Time’ at ELC. This is time when the children listen to a story then get to choose a book from our library shelf that they can then take home.  Mrs Kar visits from the main YIS Library each Tuesday afternoon and we enjoy a ‘new’ story that she has chosen for us. She has taken us on some wonderful adventures involving far away lands and magical creatures. The children’s love of stories is always shown on their faces as they listen. Recently I selected one of the books Mrs Kar had sent entitled “Tiger Goes Wild”,  to read to the children.  A wonderful discussion followed about where we could find a ‘wilderness’ and who had been to such a place. Ms Destiny seemed to have been the only one – Central Park in New York city?

Following the story the children are able to independently select their own library book. Everyone is very excited to do this and they take great pride in making their selection which they then take home that afternoon . We are sure you enjoy having a new book at home to read.  Together we are growing life long readers and children who will always love a good story. Happy reading.

It’s a mud kitchen!

We have been observing how much the children enjoy digging in the dirt and even more so when water is added to the experience. We know how important it is for young children to experience sensory activities which involve both the hand and mind at work, such as exploring ‘mud’. Feeling the sensations in their hands of creating mud and working with mud, and simply getting dirty, offers a therapeutic experience releasing different forms of tension, increasing concentration and building relationships with friends through shared interests. From our observations, the teachers had an idea to create a ‘mud kitchen’ , and the front terrace space offered an ideal location for our plan. We approached the PTSA for some funding and are grateful to receive their support.
The children making mud pies and mud cakes share their experience with all the children at our morning meeting.
We first share a photo of some children making a mud pie. ‘What do you see?’
I saw mud pies
How do you make a mud pie?
You get mud and water
We made it in the play court
Not in, out!
That’s chocolate cake making
Where do your moms make cakes?
Kitchen! It’s a mud kitchen!
What sorts of things do you think you need in the mud kitchen?
Water and mud
Spades, plates, beater, spoon and fork!

We are very much looking forward to constructing this space with the children, a beautiful and imaginative learning space, that will continue to evolve, filled with stories in relation to each other as friends and their many shared experiences.

My Movie from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


A Sunny Winter Morning in the Park

On Tuesday we saw the blue skies and winter sun as the morning began and decided to take advantage of the lovely day by visiting the park. We also wanted to take the children to the Elementary Art Exhibition that was housed in one of the historic houses that are found in the park. It was wonderful to see the children run and jump and explore the delights of the gardens. The small groups of children that were taken into the historic house enjoyed viewing the work of the older children and showed great respect and interest in what they saw. We arrived back at the ELC happy, relaxed and hungry for lunch after a very nice morning.

Visit to the Art Exhibit from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

Re-invention Day

What is RE-invention?
“Re-invention means making something new…” (Justin)

For the past eleven years, the ELC has held RE-invention Day. This is a special day of celebration and collaboration involving the children, parents and teachers. Together we reflect on the issues of environmental impact and sustainable development from a creative perspective. Through our actions we wish to raise awareness and promote the idea that waste materials can be RE-invented to create new and precious objects. Re-invention Day is held to support and nurture the concept of RE-cycling, RE-ducing and RE-using within our community. In an age where there is an abundance of materials, at our ELC we wish to nurture the value of taking care of our things, new and old, and not simply to discard them meaninglessly.

This year, sparked by many unclaimed drawings and paintings by the children, we wondered how old sheets of paper can be given a new identity using a technique similar to washi making (Japanese paper making). The children brought in some old sheets of paper from home and through the hands of the children and their moms and dads, old sheets magically transformed into new and beautiful sheets of paper…

Re-invention Day from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

We have a new E1 child who joined the ELC in January. Teachers and the children have been getting know her more and more each day. We often hear her saying “No” or “I don’t want to.” Then we also noticed that she likes frogs. She has a froggy backpack, wears a froggy skirt with froggy hair clips in her hair. One day I asked her what makes her like frogs so much. Her answer was “Because I just do!”

In the Atelier, she found a creation of a frog on a page of a clay book and she was eager to try to make one. First she showed me her frog by drawing one and also through gesture by stretching her arms in the air. She then rolled the clay and made each part of a frog before putting the pieces together.

I’ve been witnessing how the children approach working with clay, most often beginning by making simple shapes such as balls and flat shapes presenting pancakes and cookies. This young child who often answered ‘no’ to things approached exploring with clay with no inhibition. Could this be due to her love of frogs?

Music Action Portfolio

During the week we invited our ELC parents to come and watch the children during their music lesson with Ms Mason. This was an opportunity to see the E1 and E2 children ‘in action’ in the piazza space. Ms Mason used some of her familiar ‘friends’ during the sessions and as always the children responded to Freddy the Frog and Kangaroo with much enthusiasm. It was wonderful to see everyone singing, moving and using the instruments as the parents watched on.

Music Action Portfolio from lara magtalas on Vimeo.

After the winter break

“Ms. Yuka, Come!” One child called me and took me to the flowerpots of tulips which the children planted before the holidays. There was one tulip bud peeking out from the soil. It has been growing ever so silently over the winter break. He wanted to show me what he found. I felt sorry that I wasn’t able to make more time for his discovery that day.

On the following day, I invited him to the Atelier, and placing the flowerpot on the table, we shared our excitement and wonder of how the tulip will continue to grow. Even before my suggestion to show his thoughts by drawing, he pointed to the small painting corner and said, “I want to do that!” Then he painted three tulips of red, green and yellow. “Any color is good. I’ll like it anyway…Maybe it’s going to be rainbow color?” It appears to me that his colorful frame he painted around his tulips also expresses his excitement and joy for our tulips.

PE Action Portfolio

This week we invited our ELC parents to come and watch the children during their PE lesson with Mr Claydon. This was an opportunity to see the E1 and E2 children ‘in action’ up in the auditorium. The children showed their throwing skills with the bean bags as they threw high and low, under and over. It was an active and fun experience for the children and we are sure the parents were excited to see the children in action.

PE Action Portfolio from lara magtalas on Vimeo.

Reflections from the winter break

We have come back to the ELC after our three week winter break.  The children always like to share their many experiences how they spend time away from school with their friends and teachers. Often when we use the word ‘holiday’ we have discovered that for some children, this word means ‘going somewhere on an airplane’ as opposed to time spent being at home as well.  The teachers discussed how we could possibly phrase a question that would elicit many different kinds of responses, and so we asked: “We have been away from school for some time, and now that we are back, can you share with us how you spent time during this ‘winter break’ from school, what was something special you remember from your time away from school?”  Please enjoy the slideshow below the children’s reflections over the ‘winter break’.

Winter Break from YIS ELC on Vimeo.


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