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?
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.
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.
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 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.
We have established a long term relationship with the park keepers at Harbor View Park by way of planting flowers in the plant pots which are permanently located near the bridge area of the park. We are looking at this experience within the transdisciplinary theme of ‘Who we are’ especially through the lines of ‘Myself as part of a group’, the group meaning a part of the ‘community’. It is a valuable opportunity for our children to participate in a role within the larger community, to have the responsibility to take care of something that is outside of the ELC and belonging to the larger local community. It is equally rewarding to receive the trust and respect from the park keepers to be entrusted with this opportunity for the children each year. This experience also lends itself to the natural process of making connections to our Sharing the Planet transdisciplinary theme, of making our environment beautiful, just like at the ELC – the work and learning happening through the Garden Group and the Playcourt Group.
Planting At The Park from lara magtalas on Vimeo.
The ELC has had a long lasting relationship with the Lady of Lourdes Baby Home. Every year we invite the youngest children from this Home, who are not yet attending school, to come and play with us at the ELC. This year eight friends visited our ELC in mid-November to spend the morning with us. We thought deeply about what gift we could make for our friends at this time of year and after much discussion, the ELC children decided upon baking cookies and making cards as gifts for our friends this year. On Thursday, moms and dads, children and teachers, came together to create these gifts combined with a potluck luncheon to share. Such an air of happiness and joy filled our ELC with thoughts of our Baby Home friends, bringing us all the more closely together as a caring community.
Baby Home from lara magtalas on Vimeo.
After the mid-semester break, we have welcomed some new friends into our ELC. The addition of new friends into our ELC community provided an opportune time for the children to revisit the idea of friends and the question: “What is a friend?”
At the very beginning of the school year, a friend was very much related to family members. Over our months together, we have observed how the children have matured in their relationships with each other and deepened their understanding of what it means to be a friend.
The concept of ‘TOGETHER’ is highlighted in the children’s descriptions.
You can play together
We can share toys or book or origami
Friends are very good at sharing things
We need to be good to our friends
What does it mean to be good to our friends?
We talk together
Friends hug and kiss
Share the bikes together
You can ride a bike together
You can share scooters
You can draw together
We can play outside together
Respect your friends, that means being kind
We hope everyone enjoyed the mid-semester holiday. After each holiday, the children are always eager to communicate with us how they spend their time with their families. Their drawings reveal what they remember most from their experience, please enjoy viewing the children’s reflections.
Holiday drawings from YIS ELC on Vimeo.
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.
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.