Author: swatphakdip (page 1 of 4)

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.

Parents as partners

With the belief that our parents are our partners in the children’s learning journeys through ELC,  we haveinvited our parents to come in for a session to share our intentions for this school year.

We began our session by introducing our  WHO WE ARE unit, how relationships differ depending on the connection people have with each other. We encouraged our parents to consider the big idea of “What does it mean to be human?”

Our parents were asked to  consider what are the important values that they feel a human being should possess. For all of us at the ELC, we feel that school is one of many such a place where values are created, shared, discussed and even exchanged. We wondered what important values our parents hold for themselves as well as for their children.

WHO WE ARE  is an inquiry into the nature of self and human relationships. We asked our parents to represent the ideas (their own understandings) of building community and culture of togetherness using various materials we offered. This was a great opportunity for our parents to experience how the children use different mediums to convey their ideas through a piece of work.


It has been extremely educational to be able to observe the process and listen to the ideas behind each piece representing “Building community and culture of togetherness.”



To help the children unpack this year-long Unit of Inquiry we will be posing many guiding questions for the children to ponder which derived from the following three lines of inquiry:

  1. Exploring social and emotional characteristics.
  2. How do people come to understand each other.
  3. How do people build lasting relationships.

We wonder what the children will discover as they embark upon their own learning journey to create knowledge as a community and to develop their own understanding about how relationships differ depending on the connections that people have with each other. 

Parent Teacher Sharing from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Parents as co-constructors of learning

We view our parents as co-constructors of learning at the ELC. Our intention for the Student Parent Interaction is to offer an opportunity for sharing meaningful experiences to further deepen the connection between home and school. Our parents are invited to enter the ELC environment knowing that it is a chance for them to create new learning experiences with their children, to share new discoveries and new found spaces together.

The children really look forward to this session. They each have a plan for various types of spaces they would like to explore with their parents. 

We posed a simple question: What do you like to do at the ELC?

“Because the mom and dad are coming to the ELC for something that we can do and we can do something with them and we can play.”

“I am going to play playdough in the classroom with my daddy.”

“Play with the babies (baby dolls).”

“Puzzle and origami and Bingo game.”

“Play dinosaurs, buildings, playing dog.”

“Making tower, making shop tower and puzzles and origami.”



“Dinosaurs, cars, tigers.”

These are just a few ideas which the children came up with. We hope you enjoyed your time at the ELC with your children and created many wonderful experiences together.

We, as teachers, always wonder what the children are thinking. Thus, we asked them to reflect on their experiences at the Student-Parent Interaction.

“My mom and dad like the Atelier.”

“I like doing my playdough.”

“I was happy.”

“Mommy liked reading.”

“I like the clay and dressing the dolls in Atelier.”

“Mommy liked to jumping marble run.”

“I liked it.”

“My daddy liked building with me.”

“I want to do it again.”

Student Parent Interaction Day from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

ELC Back To School Night

The ELC children have been in school and settling in; learning our daily routines, specific boundaries and developing friendships. Our ELC community came together for the Back To School Night on Wednesday. It was a chance for us teachers to get to share with our parents our philosophy about early years learning and what we do at the ELC.

We value strong and healthy communications between home and school.  Any comments or questions are always welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us or chat with us during pick-up and drop-off.

Below is a slideshow that we shared with our parents on Wednesday night. We talked in more details with each slide, if you have any question after viewing please don’t hesitate to ask us.

BTSN 2017 slideshow from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Community building in the ELC

The process of building a sense of community takes time. We are at the end of our second week of school and the children have already shown several hints that they are beginning to develop a sense of community, friendship and trust among each other. We have observed gentle gesture of kindness when someone is sad. A helping hand when someone needs support. A friend who invites others to join in a game. A question asked when other’s actions contradict what feels right. Sing a song to cheer up a friend. A child sharing a piece of fruit when there is none left on a plate.

In many cultures eating and enjoying food is considered a communal act, a shared pleasure for everyone involved. Here at our ELC, we strive to cultivate a sense of community; a larger community which consists of our ELC children and their families. Our snack time is just one of many opportunities for the children to experience larger community outside of their own immediate family. They are learning to socialize, to share, to take turns, to be considerate and to take responsibility as part of being in a community.


We must not forget that one of the most important links between people and food is the principle of pleasure: the pleasure that derives from using the senses but also the pleasure of discovery … pleasure of play and the pleasure of company, which at the table becomes conviviality. (from The Languages Of Food, Reggio Children)


Below is a video of how the ELC children, with the help of our parents, are developing their sense of community through snack time.

Fruit Snack Time from YIS ELC on Vimeo.

ELC Self Portraits

Our inquiry into the concept of change has taken many paths and viewpoints.  As our final reflection on our unit, we wished for each child to consider his/her learning in relation to the changes within.  A definition of learning has been co-constructed by the class this year:

“You use your brain, you think about it, and you do it.”

The children looked at themselves carefully in the mirror to draw their self-portrait to look at themselves as well as to look into themselves.

Here are the two questions we posed to each child:

  • What have you learned about yourself that you could not do or did not know before, and now you know it or can do it?
  • What have you learned to say or do that makes someone else happy?


Here are some of the children’s reflections upon their own learning and the changes within themselves:

When I was a baby, I cannot speak English and now I can speak English.  Now I’m bigger  so I climb the ELC tree.

Say “sorry” and “thank you” and “welcome”  and “please”.

I can give water to the flowers and I can tidy up.

I can change my clothes by myself.

I learned to be kind.

If you are like small, we can’t eat really well. We drop and drop and drop. When you are big you don’t drop and drop and drop.

If your friend is sad- you can make them happy- you can do something nice. If you talk nicely and say like “I love you” then they are happy.

Friends don’t have any friend to play, you can say ‘may I play with you please’.

I’m little I cannot do anything like violin, soccer, Kumon- but I grow big I can do violin, swimming.

I go to Japan then I know English.

When I was in E1 I couldn’t tie like a ribbon, but now I could do it!

Hug and kiss  and say sorry and say are you ok?

I didn’t know the ELC but I know ELC now.   In the sports day, there is big, big ladder, little  scared, I couldn’t do it.  But now I could do it.  Small one I wasn’t scared.


Please enjoy the self portraits slideshow below.

The Assembly VDO

Many of our ELC parents asked for a copy of our 2014 ELC Assembly, please find the full video clip of the show below. We hope you will enjoy this wonderful memory  and share it with your family and friends.

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