Poor Sandy.

A couple of days ago, the children noticed that one of our goldfish, Sandy was bent double and was lying on the bottom of the fish tank. Lego, the other goldfish was also looking a bit sick. We observed the fish carefully for the next two days. Lego seemed to get little better. However, Sandy was bent double and was not moving. But the children noticed that he was still breathing. We did some internet research and found out that Sandy had bacteria in his stomach which was making him bend in the middle. We found out that there was no way to help Sandy because the bacteria was already in his stomach, and that Sandy was going to die.

We talked about what we should do about Sandy. After much discussion, the children decided to take Sandy out of the fish tank so that he would die quickly, and so that he wouldn’t infect the other fish.

The children wondered where to bury Sandy. They remembered burying Madeline and were able to transfer knowledge and understanding from that experience.

Where can we bury Sandy?
We can’t bury him with Madeline because the children planted seeds and we might dig up the seeds.
Yeah, because now it’s a garden with things growing.
Before it was nothing growing.
So maybe we can put him in another garden?
But we don’t have another garden.
How about if we went to the park to bury it?
Yes. I agree with Jenny’s idea.
No, we can’t bury in homes. I think he don’t understand.
It’s okay.
It’s because we buyed the fish at Homes, that’s why he think that.
Yeah, he’s good at remembering.
No space in the park.
No way to dig.
Like moles.
We are not moles.
We can’t put in the desert because it’s too far away and there might be sandstorms.
Anyway there are no deserts in Japan.
Egypt maybe?
It’s too far away. We have to go in a airplane but we can’t do that.
So where?
I have an idea. Maybe we can bury the Sandy outside of the school? We can put it in a zip bag and we can bury him.
Yeah! Good idea.
We need somewhere.
How about the ocean?
But how can we get there?
It’s too far.
No, we can go on the train.
Nihon Odori. It’s the next stop.
Yes, it’s only one stop.
It’s not too far.
But not in the ocean.
No, not the ocean, only in the sand
Or we can bury him in Yamashita Koen?

The discussion bounced from child to child with very little adult intervention. It is interesting to see how much the children’s speaking and listening skills have developed since the beginning of the year. The children are listening to each other and are building on and developing each other’s ideas; every child contributed; all of the contributions are relevant and logical; the children are supportive of each other and everyone’s ideas are respected.

It was time for lunch and we still had not reached a consensus on where to bury the body. So for now, Sandy is literally sitting on ice, in the freezing compartment of our fridge, while we decide what to do. To be continued …

Uh oh! Carl just noticed that now Lego is bending in the middle.

Clever Ways of Using Space in Motomachi

We went for a walk around Motomachi to see how people use spaces in clever ways.


The children took photographs of the interesting things they saw. When we got back, we printed the photographs. Together, we at the photographs and shared ideas the clever ways of using space. Once the children had had a chance to discuss their ideas verbally and listen to other people’s ideas, they wrote comments about the photographs on posties and stuck the posties on photographs.


Afterwards we read all the comments together to see what different people thought of each photograph. Once the children had shared and developed their ideas through talking and writing, they made a voice thread about the photographs.