Category: E2 (page 1 of 22)

Making learning visible in the E2 class . . . .

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.

The Craft Luncheon

Craft Luncheon from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

On Friday parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, teachers and ELC children came together for our annual Craft Luncheon. Our aim was to make gifts for the Baby Home children and too share a fantastic lunch together. It was lots of fun working in groups to make the playdough and to draw the cards. The variety of food at lunch time was exceptional. This was a wonderful ELC community event.


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.


Ceramic Fruit Bowls

On Wednesday a group of 10 E1 and E2 children walked down to the main with Ms Yuka and Ms Beth. We were going to the art studio to make ceramic bowls with Ms Justice (Evie’s mum) and her Grade 8 class. Our ELC children were each paired up with one of the Grade 8 students; Ms Beth’s daughter Sofia was there as was Anna’s brother Dan. Together the children pounded and rolled the brown clay which they formed over mould. Then they used  leaves, pinecones and sticks that they had gathered in the park to make patterns and prints in the surface of the clay. The bowls were then left to dry and would be fired in the kiln later. In two weeks time we will return to  art studio to glaze the bowls and then place then in the kiln ourselves to be fired again. The finished will be used to serve our fruit snack each day.

This was a wonderful experience for both our ELC children and the Grade 8 students to be able to work together. Ms Justice commented that her students ‘were buzzing’ after we left.

We want to extend this experience to the other ELC children and hope the ‘experts’ we now have in ceramics will show the other children how to make a bowl over the next few weeks.


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.

The ELC Garden

Gardening from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

We believe that the outdoor environment is very important and with this in mind we have been wanting to plant out the ELC gardens. One of our parents who is involved in a family nursery was able to provided us with flower and vegetable plants. On the only sunny day this week the children and Ms Beth planted. Every child was invited to help and most did, enjoying the sensation of the earth on their hands. We will now be watching to see how the plants grow.

The following afternoon the children discussed how they could care for the plants. “Why do you think we did planting yesterday?”

“Because we wanted our garden to look beautiful and we wanted the bees to come and make honey……..And we also want the ELC to smell good, like flowers………..We planted vegetables so we could pick them and eat them!”


What do you think we should tell everyone about the garden?

“You have to don’t pick it and just put the water inside………don’t step on the plants ……..don’t bounce a ball there.”

When it is sunny we will need to water the plants – how can we decide who waters them?

“We can take turns by you calling their names and they can have a turn and we can play outside and then they can have a turn…….we can write the list and we can buy a bucket and take turns!”

Our meeting finished there. The teachers will remind the children about the ideas of ‘taking turns and writing a list’ after the break and see how the children want to organize a ‘system’ to care for our garden.


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.

Otsukimi – a Japanese Full Moon Festival

Otsukimi from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

We believe in the valuable experiences a setting such as an international school offers. At YIS we are able to draw upon multiple cultures, values, ideas and traditions to better build one’s own identity as well as developing our understanding of WHO WE ARE. 

We experienced our first cultural experience this year with our Japanese mothers who kindly re-enacted the Full Moon Viewing (Otsukimi) with a display of ‘odango’ (rice dumpling), persimmons which are a seasonal fruit and pampas grass. In Japan, the pattern on the moon’s surface is associated with rabbits making rice cakes (omochi), and the children helped to make the rice dumplings by rolling it into little balls which were later boiled by the mothers. It was delightful to observe the engagement of the children and their courage to try tasting something unknown and unfamiliar to them. 

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.

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