As we look back on this academic year, we realized how much the children have grown and developed. We would like to thank all of our parents for your support.
Wishing everyone a wonderful summer!
EPIC ARTS visited YIS and our children had a chance to work with them this week. The workshop was designed to encourage the children to be risk-takers and express themselves through movements. We were divided into two groups. The children very much enjoyed their experience with EPIC ARTS performers. For many of our children, this was their first interactive encounter with people with disability. Our ELC children were totally accepting of the visitors, their interaction was full of joy and completely nonjudgemental. The children were respectful, open-minded and eager to participate. They learned many animal signs such as rabbit, elephant, dog, cat, snake and chicken. We have seen these sign language being incorporated in the children’s play afterwards.
According to the Preschools and Infant-Toddler centres of Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Children are active protagonists of their growth and development processes. We, at the ELC, hold the same belief in our children’s abilities and rights to take charge of their own learning.
We have observed in the past few weeks an extraordinary energy and drive for learning. We have seen the children taking such active role in their own quest for knowledge and new experiences both indoors and outdoors. They are experiencing an explosion of life in the garden now that the weather is warmer. There are many new discoveries, shared excitement, exploration and inquiries happening everyday.
A group of children were curious about some cabbages we harvested last week. They wondered what’s inside these cabbages. We made predictions and decided to peel off each layer one at a time. We found a slug and a few other tiny insects.
A child found several rollie-pollies and decided to create a house for them. He carefully added dirt and leaves to make sure the rollie-pollies are in an environment that is similar to their natural habitat. A week later, he returned to the garden do the same thing but this time he enlisted his friends to join in his exploration into finding rollie-pollies and making a suitable environment for them.
Here are some of the snippets from the children’s chatter about their discoveries in the garden.
We saw a real butterfly.
I found many rollie-pollies.
I’ve got a poisonous bug.
I eat parsley.
That’s a flying ant.
Hm…this smells nice.
Spider! Look! Move, it’s here.
We are planting.
What will you discover when you are out on a walk, at a park or just outside in your own garden?
Sport in general is a healthy vehicle to promote both mental and physical health. Sports help develop self esteem, teamwork and leadership skills. It is a natural stress reliever and, most importantly, it is FUN!!!
The ELC children have been discussing and choosing a team name. Many suggestions and ideas were floating around as to what we should call ourselves: ELC flowers, ELC magic millions, ELC popcorn, ELC bunnies and ELC friends just to name a few. After a few discussions, we have narrowed it down to two: ELC friends and ELC magic.
A way in which everyone can participate as well as make the process fair for all is to have a vote. This is a great opportunity for the children to learn about societal decision-making. The children were invited to add a mark of their choice to indicate which name they prefer.
It was an important learning experience for the children to understand how their participation through voting helped them as a group to make a decision. It was also important for the children to understand that the result may or may not reflect what they wish and to learn to willingly accept a group decision that was made fairly.
The children also decided on what type of magic powers they are going to have on Sports Day.
Rylie: I have magic hands. It makes me fly.
Syamil: Magic hands catch the fish.
Kiwa: Magic wings I can fly.
Lena: Magic rainbow.
Noah: Magic hands to make a house.
Emma: Magic fingers help everybody.
Josie: Magic fingers to help everyone and stitch.
Kashvi: Magic whole body can fly.
Ellis: Magical hands – they can do everything in the world. Also have wings and fly.
Zein: Magic eyes, the light can come to you. The light goes into my body and I can glow.
Giuliana: Magic hands that turn into a butterfly.
Joshua: Magic head it can jump.
Anna: Magic fingers to go shhhh.
Sunny: Magic eyes go like this (jiggle around).
Hanna: Magic hands (can open and shut really fast).
Sebastian: Magic eyes can fly.
JJ: Magic muscles. I can hold anything.
So: Magical eyes run fast and fly.
Lea: Magic eyes jump high.
Emma Y: Magic running feet fast.
Elsie: Magic hands to do handstands.
Anan: Magic feet to run.
Evie: Magical knees running fast.
Dean: Magic eyes can see so far away.
Nick: Magic teeth go power out.
Oliver: Magic head run away.
Maia: Magic hands run with my hands.
Lili: Magic to change colours like a chameleon.
Wyatt: Magic to turn invisible and to turn back.
Leo: Magic face.
Jaime: Magic mouth, I can jump with my mouth.
Jannis: Magic eyes with fire.
Samu: Magic eyes see far away and flap my wings.
Henry: Magic eyes. My eyes can shoot holes.
Rio: Rainbow magic power makes me powerful.
Ethan: Magic feet run fast.
Max: My magic power is running very fast at the speed of light.
On Sports Day, we are so proud to see the children taking responsibility for their own learnings: being courageous and trying their best, using their skills in different activities and persevering in difficult situations. The E1 were awarded with a certificate of being a RISK TAKER while the E2 received an INDEPENDENCE certificate at the closing ceremony.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.