When Grade One Define Learning.

Connie is developing a book about the Learning Wall and we wanted the children to develop their own definition of learning.

1P define types of learning:

  • It is something you can already do and you use it to teach yourself something new.
  • People can teach you things, but you have to work out how to use it by yourself.
  • You can learn things by yourself.


Owen: It’s when you don’t know it, then you think, think, think and then you  think… umm maybe it’s so and so.

Masaichi: First you don’t know then you think then you get it.

Erik: You do new things like your brain will grow.

Jimin: Teacher says something is wrong and you think again and again and then you do and the teacher say yes.

Vita: You don’t understand and you say to teacher I don’t understand and then like teacher  says what it mean.

Jesse: First you didn’t know that and then you write it then you know it. You think and then you know it now.

Chloe: When you do something, it is when you don’t normally do it and then you do it it like drawing.

Aoi: You can go to friend and friend says think and then you can learn to remember and your brain will get big.

Laetitia: Is like you the teacher teach you.

Diego: Learning is something new you don’t know. Someone can tell or you can use your fingers. You can figure it out.

Hayato: You don’t know, someone tells you and you know.

Ken: You like someone tells you, but you teach yourself how.

Sophia: You don’t know something, first you think yourself and then you can ask someone.

Mona: First you study and then you know.

Devano: You do something you don’t normally do and you do things you don’t know.


New Learning

 You can learn it by yourself or with people. You can learn from doing things. It is something new.

Ken: Stuff you don’t know and then you can do it.

Vita: You don’t know how to write something and then you write.

Erik: Is the teacher teaches you something new.

Devano: Your friends can teach you new stuff.

Chloe: Sometimes when you make a book.



Is asking questions because you want to know more about what you are thinking about.

Masaichi: You ask can you do it.

Jesse: You go to home and you want to eat and you wonder is there the ice cream.

Owen: My dad showed me a video about NASA, and I wondered how black holes were made.



It is about how we behave towards ourselves, the whole world and the universe.

Sophia It’s when you’re independent

Diego: It’s respecting

Ken: Not just people it is the whole universe

Hayato: It’s like being kind



They are something you can do to help you learn and help you do things.


I was scarred but I tried (this is a kind of learning the children added to the learning wall)

It helps you know you can do it and then you can learn new things.

Let’s go to the pond!

Jesse’s mum told us the toads had come to the pond and were laying eggs.  When we went two weeks ago there was nothing. We  went to explore.

First we discussed our responsibility for taking living things from their natural environment. Everyone agreed to the commitment needed to look after them… but how do you look after them?


Thank you Connie for the pictures


The children have been researching… we have toads eggs. The children came up with lots of sources of information (thank you to Ms Katy for all the work she did with us in library sessions)

  • Pebblego, Siri, Google, safari, You Tube (internet sources)
  • Books from the library
  • Ask grown ups
  • Ask kids who have looked after toads before

We have been learning about citing our sources if we take information. You can see this if you come to  the class. Thank you to Jimin for writing the title of the book, the author and the page number.

This is a great start to our new Unit of Inquiry, “All living things go through a process of change.”

Check out this weeks weekly round up for more information and video resources.

Sustained Play Leads To … Is It Good Enough For You Tube?

A group of children have been exploring designing weaponry. The constructions have become increasingly complex in design. This lead to playing “good verses evil” themed role play. Whilst this looked noisy and full of movement it also offered opportunities to explore equity. The next stage of the play became more complex with stories being acted out. The children made a very wobbly film.

At this stage we moved from observing the play to offering suggestions. We showed them how the sequence Brain Frame they use to plan could be used as a Story Board. The children liked the idea of making a ‘proper film’ and spent their own time planning the scenes. Next props were made and filming occurred. Unfortunately the sound quality was not good, so the children enrolled a cameraman.

The film was rerecorded. The children started to discuss what to do with the film. Their highest accolade was the thought that it could go on You Tube. There were cries of,  “No way!”. You Tube seemed unattainable, but dreams can come true… with the help of Mr Broughton we moved the video from seesaw to You Tube.


The children lead the making of over 370 onigiri to feed the homeless people in Yokohama.

The room was filled with grade 1 students, their parents, high school students and teachers. Today the children organized and lead the making of over 370 onigiri to feed the homeless of Yokohama. They raised all the money needed through an arcade they made. They went to the shops and brought all the ingredients. They researched how much rice was needed through a meeting with Chef Darren.

Thank you to everyone who help make this possible.

We are leaders not bosses. Organizing onigiri making for the homeless.

The children started to discuss their role as the organizers for the onigiri making for the homeless. They started to talk about ‘boss’ and ‘leader’. The conversation is recorded below. In summary the children equate ‘boss’ with ‘bossy’, someone who tells others what to do. They see themselves as leaders. These are people who do the work, ask questions to see how people are doing and are kind to others. We discussed that when organizing others you can decide the style you use. The children thought they were leaders today as they worked with others and were kind when they told people what needed to be done.

Finally we pointed out that leaders often take the time to say thank you to people. We also discussed that it is good to say why you are thanking people. The children decided to say thank you to Ms Connie for washing up by talking to her. They sent an email to the high school students thanking them for helping and coming to school early. They made a card and origami for Chef Darren for making the rice at 6.00am. They will thank their parents in person for taking the time to come and help.

We made 370 onigiri today and the children showed great leadership skills, from the careful weighing of 100g of rice, to organizing parents and cleaning up the area.

OUR SINCERE thanks for taking part today and most importantly standing back and letting the children lead.

Photo’s by Connie

“Being leader is difficult… it is trying hard with other people… then it is easier in the whole world.” Aoi

The Mathematics of Helping Others.

The children asked to meet with Chef Darren to research  how much rice would be needed to make the onigiri for the homeless. As the leaders of this session the children have raised money to buy the ingredients. Each onigiri needs to weigh 100g. The children have been practicing estimating and weighing 100g of plastercene as practice. They have been using digital scales.  Measurement should be a very practical area of Maths and be used to solve real-world problems.

What we did

  1. Spend time holding different items, one heavy, one light. We asked parents to discuss this in their home language.
  2. Children learned how to use the scales.
  3. They collected and weighed items.
  4. Children put together a collection of items that came to 100g
  5. They practiced adding and taking away amounts from the scale to make 100g

These learning engagements can be found on your child’s Seesaw learning Journal. Here is one example

Here is an example of making 100g of plastercene by estimating first, to “get the feel” of the weight.

You can clearly tell the children understand what they are doing and why.

The children took the money they raised from their cardboard arcade and made a trip to the supermarket to buy the rice and other ingredients. They learned that a 5kg bag of rice is heavy to carry back to school!

Thank you for the pictures Connie

What learning outdoors teaches us.

We spent a day immersed in the outdoors. The children climbed concrete embankments  and trees. They engaged in observations of worms. They ran and ran, waved sticks and defined their own social relationships.

The Tamagawa river excursion gave us a day to observe the children in a  different learning environment. Our sincerest thanks go to our parent volunteers who respected the children’s ability to learn as we watched them climb and explore.

Observations on learning. The natural and man-made environment as a provocateur of thinking and learning.

Children will always find a way to learn through play. Even sitting on a train to the river the children were swinging their legs as they explored motion. They played their own version of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Children are keen observers and quickly act upon their observations, using their own value system. The children wondered about the homeless peoples houses. the children asked whether they could go to the Chiku Centre.

Children work within their boundaries of comfort and risk. Every space provides an opportunity to play and learn. The children walked past a concrete embankment and spent twenty minutes climbing the structure. Someone  noted this was, “scary, but fun!”. We made careful observations of the children. We noted that children climbed as high as they were comfortable and only then carefully pushed their boundaries. This is the embodiment of education in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

Children can concentrate for extended periods of time. The children decided to make a tree house, they applied all their collective skills to the task. Other groups made shops and birds nests.

All this occurred before 12.00, the learning went on and on.

Reflections from the adults

Parents: The children can do so much.

Teachers: Children should not have their time over-planned, they are capable of self-directed learning. Children are able to sustain peaceful play for hours in a natural environment. They can concentrate and focus for extended periods of time.

Article Children focused through free play

Photographs by Ms Connie


“Make a donation, that means the money is not for us.” Making an arcade to help feed the homeless.

The children spent along time deciding how to raise the money needed to make onigiri for the homeless. As leaders they decided upon a cardboard arcade. After lots of thinking, designing and redesigning it is ready. The children invited their parents to come and play. There were donation boxes outside the room explaining what the money will be used for. As the children noted, we need to use the word donation because then people know it is not for us. The money is to make food for the homeless people. The chidlren are very committed to helping others.

To all who came to play the arcade, thank you! We raised…. 32,178 yen! THANK YOU


The arcade. You can aslos hear your child talking about their game on their Learning Journal (Seesaw)

Thank you Ms Connie for the pictures

The Making of The Arcade on PhotoPeach

An Arcade For A Cause on PhotoPeach