Author: swatphakdip (page 1 of 5)

“We are making a story together”

The children have been anticipating this event for quite sometime. They have been adamant about who they want to invite to this special occasion; people who are closest to them and people who have played a part in their daily lives such as Melody who brings them lunch, the care takers who are always there to help them fix things, the teachers and most importantly their family members. It was very important for the children to have an audience who shows their appreciation for what they have created, to share their excitement and to experience how a community comes together to support each other.

We wonder how the children perceive and remember this special day, so we asked them two questions:

“What do you think about the ELC Assembly?”
“What do you remember?”

Mommy and daddy come.

Our mommies and daddies come because it’s our ELC Assembly.

We watched a movie and all kind of things were there.

We watched a movie of us making stories.

I gave Ms. Hitomi flowers and she was happy and she was a little bit crying.

Puppet show and Rio and Wyatt was funny.

It was so funny. I was telling a story and it was funny.

I liked Anan’s story and it was funny.

She was dancing. Dancing to a book.

I liked Leo’s story.

We looked me. 




We hope that the children will continue to create and tell their stories in many different ways, to recognize their ability to tell stories and to take ownership as well as take pride in their own learnings.

Spring has sprung

The children are excited to be back after the break. They have been sharing their adventures and reconnecting with their friends. With the change of season, our children are experiencing many new discoveries. We have spring colors in our mini-atelier.  We have two beautiful sakura trees that give us sakura petals to play with this past week. The ants are working nonstop looking for food. We see earthworms crawling around in our garden. Strong wind let us play with our kites and catch sakura petals on the playground.

Our slideshow this week tries to capture these precious moments of childhood happiness when Spring has finally sprung.

“It’s Flower Season!” from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

“Be Sensible”

Conflicts are great opportunities for children to learn about perspective taking, positive social interactions and about relationships. Treating others with respect and kindness is a value that we wold like to nurture in the children at the ELC. We also want to incorporate the idea that stories can be told in many ways. The teachers introduced ‘Stop-Think-Speak’ strategy through series of short skits using traffic light colors. We asked the children to identify what each color of the traffic light means:

The red one is no and the green one is yes.

The yellow one is go.

No, yellow is be careful and slow.

We then introduced that red means stop, yellow  is for slowing down and think, and green is for speaking or acting. These short skits demonstrated different ‘unexpected behaviors’ that the teachers have observed.  We hope that it will help the children remember to ‘Stop-Think-Speak’ as they interact with each other.  We asked the children to discuss what each person can do better next time during each skit. Here are some of their suggestions:

Be sensible.

Be nice.

Say sorry.

No hitting.

Tell the teacher.

The children were excited to see their teachers performing stories so we were not surprised when some children expressed their own interest in acting out their own ‘story’.  We are sure there will be more performances in the future as we continue to explore different scenarios.

We want to encourage you to help us reinforce this strategy by using the same language when discussing ‘expected/unexpected behaviors’ and asking the children to ‘stop-think-speak’ at home.

We hope the video below will help you start your own conversations at home.

Chinese New Year

Our Chinese families have gathered to share with the ELC children about how Chinese New Year is celebrated. Kiwa’s mom read a book called “Bringing in the New Year” to introduce different elements of Chinese New Year.  The children learned to wish ‘happy new year’ in Chinese, Xin Nian Kuai Le or Xin Nian Hao.  They were given ‘hong bao’ (red envelope) and red knot which symbolizes harmony and happiness . The book also mentioned that traditionally people clean their houses to welcome the new year, they wear new clothes and decorate their homes with good luck and joy signs.

Music with Kathryn Claire

We are lucky to have Kathryn Claire visit us again this year. She is a musician: a singer, a song writer, a performer and a teacher of Music. She performs in various places as well as visits schools to promote the love of Music in young children. Her visits always promise a great learning opportunity for our ELC children. This year, the E1 children learned many new things such as a new song and how to listen to and follow a rhythm. They listened to a live performance of two musical instruments: a guitar and a violin. Most of our E2 children have encountered Kathryn last year and many of them remember some of her songs. They were most enthusiastic about this special Music class.

Special thanks to Ms. Hitomi for this video that captures the joy of Music.

Kathryn Claire from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Action Portfolio 2018

Action Portfolio at ELC occurs once a year and during this special week our parents are invited to participate in the children’s single subject classes such as Physical Education and Music. We hope our ELC parents have had a chance to get a glimpse of what the children are learning and witness their continuous growth thus far.

A special thanks to Ms. Hitomi for her great work with this video.

Action Portfolio from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Baby Home gifts delivery

On Monday we went to the Lady of Lourdes Baby Home. The children have brought over the gifts they made with their parents during our Craft Luncheon and their big “Thank you for visiting us” note.


It was lovely  for our children to get to see where the Baby Home children live. We delivered our gifts and sang a few Japanese songs. We hope to reconnect with the Baby Home children after the Winter break and schedule a playdate in a park.


Please enjoy the slideshow below courtesy of Ms. Hitomi.

Baby Home Gifts Delivery from YIS Academics on Vimeo.


Shichi-Go-San, or 7-5-3, is a celebration to mark the growth of children as boys turn three and five years of age, and as girls turn three and seven. 

Families celebrate with a visit to a shrine to pray for the child’s health and good fortune. Little girls are dressed in kimono. At three years of age the girls will also wear a padded vest (hifu). At seven years of age they often wear 3 or 4 layers of underwear, 6 sashes and a special obi, which looks like a butterfly to tie the kimono. They will wear Japanese socks (tabi), sandals (zori) and carry a matching bag. Little boys are dressed in pants (hakama) and jackets (haori).

Traditionally the children are given a long, thin, red and white candy (Chitose-ame which means ‘thousand-year candy’). It comes in a long bag decorated with illustrations of elderly people with grey hair, trees such as pine, bamboo and plums. The candy and the bag are both expressions of parents’ wish that their children lead long and prosperous lives.

The kimonos, haori and hakama are displayed in the Piazza and all the children are invited to try them on. 


Please visit our ELC photos at the top right corner of our blog page for more 7-5-3 photos of the children.


Something for Hina, Laika and Leila

Following the visit of the three Baby Home Children we gathered the children and asked them:

What do you know about Hina, Laika, and Leila? What do they like?

Some children have said they want to give something to Hina, Laika, and Leila, what do you think we can give them that they would like?

Ms Beth shows the E2 children the documentation that had been written up with photos and the words of the children. Before Ms Beth read this out to the group  Emma was quick to say “This is our story”

As Ms Beth read the ‘story’ the teachers realized that this was a very powerful moment for the children. We could see on their faces the pride they felt in hearing their ‘voices’.  

Ms Yuka noticed that when Hina was here that she liked the way things smelt like play dough and flowers.

Lili: We can make some playdough flowers and give it to them, we can make roses out of playdough.

So: We can give some playdough because the Baby Home children like smelling the playdough.

Does anyone know how to make playdough?

Zein: We can find instructions how to make playdough and with the things you need.

What could we put in playdough to make it smell?

Emma: Oil

Zein: You need oil and a different kind of flour and we need a big bowl and we need colour and we need water…

So: I have oil at my house, this morning I put here because then here smell nice…The smell makes me feel happy.

Henry: How about massaging oil?

Kiwa: Grape oil.

Zein: I like the smell of chocolate.

Lili: We could put banana and chocolate and grape and mix it together.

Emma: Some honey.

Rio: Apple smell.

Do you think we should make some playdough for the Baby Home children?

Children: Yes’ 

It is decided and marked on our calendar. On December 1st we are inviting our ELC parents to come and work with the children to make the playdough for Hina, Leila, and Laika. 



The children have been enjoying their time together to reconnect after a short break and noticing new color scheme  reflecting the outdoor environment within the classroom. There were great many sharing moments about different trips and activities over the break. The children really showed us how important it is to allow ample time for them to share their recent experiences. 

Many of the children are exploring these autumn color schemes such as red, yellow, brown and orange via painting, drawing, making collages and collecting leaves from our garden to create beautiful designs. Some have been collecting leaves in a bag. Another group have been carefully choosing leaves to create beautiful designs. A few children have brought in natural materials they found outside of the ELC such as acorns and pinecones.

Look big leaf.
Wow, so many leaves.
Ooh, there’s yellow and red and orange. We have new colors!!!
Leaves. Smell.

Autumn at ELC from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

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