Reflecting on how we build a community of learners

Before school started we reached out to our new grade 1 community. We shared a video that showed the grade 1 team and we welcomed everyone to grade 1. We wanted parents and children to enter school knowing a recognizable face.  A parent once commented to me that  the first day of school with your child was like going back to school yourself. You stand around and everyone seems to know everyone. You feel a little alone.

On the first day of school we  gathered the children and parents together and we all came into the classroom. We made a point of telling patents that this was everyone’s learning space and they were welcome.  You can see the video of children and parents exploring this space and getting to know each other. Parents were not asked to leave, but simply left when they were ready. We felt people left knowing they weren’t alone and this was a new community in the making.

Photos by Connie

About this blog

Last year the school moved to the Seesaw platform to provide a personal digital learning journal for each child. This year we have activated the blog component, in place of this class blog.  I have elected to continue  to use this class blog to reflect more deeply on the learning and share it with my personal learning network. I am also subscribing each parent to the blog. I wonder as parents whether you will find this insightful and worth reading. Please feel free to comment on the blog or talk to me in person.


With mutual respect and love in our hearts…

We came together to celebrate our year in grade one. It was apparent from the ready conversations and laughter in the room that we have formed a wonderful community who have worked together and learned together. With sincere thanks and joy in our hearts we enjoyed each others company.

A special thank you to Connie for all her work this year taking and curating our photographs.

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.

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.

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.