Why We Are Teaching Coding In Grade One.

We constantly read about the need for programmers and the advantages this gives. Coding is challenging but fun, just like grade1!

The children are learning how to develop sets of logical instructions to program into our toy robot. We discussed this as a form of writing. The children are developing their understanding that the robot only does what they program. This has proved challenging… especially if they forget to program the “clear” command and get the last person instructions!

Why is this Maths?

We have five areas of Maths we cover (Number, data handling, measurement, shape and space and patterning). Shape and space encompasses the language of direction. As with all good Mathematical thinking this affords an opportunity to be creative in our thinking and application.

Check out your child’s Seesaw account for personal examples!

The Mathematics Of Giving. Real reasons to count.

We constantly strive to find authentic reasons for children to apply and transfer learned number facts to real-world situations. This is a true indicator of what children understand.

The reason for doing this

The children will lead the onigiri making for the homeless of Yokohama. They have taken this responsibility and leadership challenge very seriously. They realise they have to raise all the money for the supplies. There was some money left over from last year and the children decided to count it.

The Mathematics involved

Each child guessed how much there was. We discussed the importance of naming items which are counted. If you just say 300, no one knows what you are referring to and it is not accurate or mathematical.

The children started to take the money, some children took piles for themselves, others realised it would work better if they sorted the coins into different types. The next issue was removing coins from other countries. The children are increasingly aware that this can not be used in Japan,

The children were then faced with large amounts of coins… how would they count it and not lose track of the amount? Someone started sorting by tens.

The amount was recorded and then checked by someone else. The children are becoming aware of the need for accuracy, especially when dealing with real items like money.

The amounts were put together… no one felt they wanted to add up all these numbers!

Video taken from Seesaw (online learning journal)

Grade One, Social entrepreneurship.

The children have shown initiative and entrepreneurship as they are working out how to raise money for others.

The children are excite to be given the responsibility to lead the onigiri making session for the homeless of Yokohma. We asked the children where they were going to get all the supplies from. Who will pay for it? Many conversations ensued. The children thought they could ask for money. We told them they were responsible for raising the money.

How will you raise the money?

Ken said he had made a lemonade stand. Vita said she had made a circus show for her parents, both of these activities were rewarded with money. We showed the children what the children did last year. We also showed them the video of Caine’s arcade. The children were very taken by this idea.

How will this raise money?

The children decided their parents could play the games and pay.

How much will you charge?

The sums ranged from 100 yen a turn to 300 yen for a Fun Turn (unlimited turns). Caine made a Fun Pass in his video, but the children noted you can’t take his word – but you can be inspired by him.

Chloe and Sophia often make restaurants, cafes and banks so we asked them what we should do. Chloe suggested tips. She explained this way people only paid if what they made was good. Vita said if people didn’t pay she would explain she had worked very hard on the game.

The games are being developed, prizes are being made.


Come and play the grade 1 arcade Wednesday 25th 8.20am to 9.00am


Author of the month, Leo Lionni. Being inspired by others.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.01.02 AMWe are beginning to think about a new genre of writing, narrative fiction. The children were rightly proud of all the forms of writing and book making they have created: poetry, illustrations and personal narrative.

Each month we take inspiration from other authors. This month we have chosen Leo Lionni. We have guided the children through a series of mini-lessons about what authors do to make their books interesting.

The children noted that Leo Lionni:

  • Uses illustrations such as think bubbles,repeating images, white space and cutting off an image.
  • Some pages have few words and some have lots of words.
  • The print is organized differently on each page.
  • Each book has a good idea and a great story.

About Leo Lionni Why Leo writes animal books, Leo’s inspiration

“From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge.”—Leo Lionni

Lionni started to write children’s books in 1959. He was on a train journey where he wanted to entertain his grandchildren.  This turned into a new career. He said it wasn’t always easy to get ideas but these are some of his ideas:

  • Picking a strong hero to begin with.
  • Starting with the end and making a suprise beginning
  • Pick a conflict or a big problem.
  • Doing a drawing which turns into a story
  • Sometimes words come into your mind and make a title.




Time to say thank you to our parents. Children create a joyous celebration.

The children artfully arranged the room  to make it beautiful and comfortable for their parents. Cloth was placed on tables, food was arranged and cushions were placed on the floor. The children brought their parents into the room. They thanked them for something they had  for them. Then they served them food. The children gave the parents their suprise… the first official reading of their published book. Such joy.

Sincere thanks to all the children and parents for their time and effort.

Video can be found on your child’s Seesaw feed

Thank you Ms Connie for all her photo-stories.
Creating A Celebration Of Learning For Parents on PhotoPeach

I can’t wait! Time to share our Seesaw Learning Journal.

cropped-IMG_7571-tq8grk.jpgThe children were very excited their Learning Journal was being shared with their parents.


As the children pointed out, some parents have seen their Seesaw Learning Journal on the iPad… because they couldn’t wait!

Children’s reflections

Devano: You can look at other peoples and be inspired by them

Aoi: If you learn something, you can teach other people and then everyone can say it. It is good for showing learning.

Ken: You can keep it in your brain and then you can see it on Seesaw and share it.

Erik: You can put the learning on it. Lots of learning.

Jesse: It is good… you use it for if you do learning you can put it in the Seesaw.

Chloe: It can use more things like, so for example, you can show your writing and draw on it.

Sophie: It can record your voice and if you do it on paper, it can’t do that.

Hayato: Seesaw is good because it can use more like, you can see the pictures that you do. It helps learn how you draw or say.

Jimin: I think we lost [ we can’t remember]  the maths or writing you can go to Seesaw and see the writing. Mummy and daddy is see we are writing.

Vita: You get a video and you put it on Seesaw not just video. You can keep it, and video doesn’t learn. Seesaw learn.

Diego: You can do all the learning that you do. You use photo or video. You can do videos of learning.

Owen: It is good because a portfolio [paper] can’t hold much stuff but Seesaw can. Paper you would have to cut down a whole tree for learning. Seesaw is an iPad and doesn’t take a tree, so it is better.

Parent Comments taken from the Seesaw feed

I am so proud of you! I really liked to learn more about you Learning Wall. My favorite part of the video is when you say: ” Learning is something new that goes into my brain”. I really like your video. I love you!

I really enjoyed your story. You describe very good and clearly with the pictures. I love your drawings.

I really like the way you talk, you speak slowly and clearly, you even make eye contact with your listeners. Your book also shows how much you have improved in such a short period of time. Great job!



It’s not about us. Creating a celebration of learning for parents.

Today the canteen was a buzz of respectful productivity, children and parents working as one. It took a lot of trust to help watch the children use sharp knives and design sandwiches.  This was a “YIS moment”, learning together.

The children have spent a long time thinking of what to make for their parents. What would they like to eat? The children made a list, collected data and recorded it on graphs. They decided on:


Fruit kebabs



The children are rightfully proud of their onigiri making. After making 400 for the homeless of Yokohama, it was easy to make a few for their parents. As the parents noted, the children are proud of their skills.

Whilst the children were very independent, this couldn’t have happened without all the love and logistical support we receive from parents. We thank you.

You can also find this video on your child’s Seesaw feed.

That was so good! Can we do it again? A response to meditation.

On a very windy day we wondered how the children would respond to their guided meditation session. The children reflected upon the experience by saying it made them feel: calm, happy and rested. Even though it was very windy outside the children also went to the park and meditated by the fountain. The children realized that they had done 11 minutes of meditation in total. They noted that they would like to do it again and they could do it by themselves.

The teacher focused on these affirmations

I am beautiful, I am lovely, I am perfect the way I am

Peace begins with me


Freeing The Mind and Spirit with Meditation on PhotoPeach By Ms Connie

Erik’s mum reads to us in Taiwanese.

These were hard clues!

Q1: What’s the meaning of your name?
My name means Good Book.
Q2: where do you come from?
I come from the country of the End of the world.
Q3: What do you like to do?
I enjoy letting my brushes and colors take me to an imaginative trip inside my brain and my heart.
Q4: What’s the meaning of your child’s name in your language?
My child was named after a sketch I made of a child with wings standing on top of rocky hills, looking down, thinking that he has all he choices in he world available to him if he decides to open his wings and fly.