Love to Learn

April 22, 2017
by saitod

Different Purposes for Measuring

The children continue to develop their measuring skills. This week the children inquired into measuring volume through making play doh. Using the tried-and -true Grade One recipe that Mrs Weekes and Ms Connie have perfected, the children measured flour, salt, boiling water, cream of tarter and food colouring to make perfectly soft and spongy play doh in vibrant colours. Children spend much of their Free Inquiry creating and playing with their self-made play doh.

Estimating and measuring height became necessary when Annemijn, our wonderful student teacher from Holland who spent the week with us, walked into the room. The first thing the students wanted to do was to find out how tall she was and they  impressed her with how closely they estimated her 174 cm height.

Children noticed stark changes in length with our living things this week. The students’ edamame bean plants grew considerably in height, requiring the need to plant them outside in soil. Another growth in length was the legs of the tadpoles that were first discovered on Monday. By Friday, the biggest tadpole’s legs were over 1cm long and seemed to be growing as our tadpoles continue to look more like frogs each day.

As the children chart the changes in these growing living things, they continue to developing understanding of life cycles and the process of change-while developing their understanding of different purposes of measurement.


April 15, 2017
by saitod

How tall is Jake?

We have been inquiring into measuring height this week.

Using meter sticks, children developed understanding of  the length of a meter. Realizing that everyone in the classroom is taller than one meter, the children made estimates on the height/ length of objects in the classroom including their own height and the height of the classroom door.

They wondered who was taller, Ms Zoe or Ms Donna. They also wondered about the height of the older students they noticed on the playground. The children were very happy with the wonderful response they got when they asked if they could measure the height of three students in middle school. These students graciously came into our classroom, listened to our estimates and then let us measure them with two meter sticks.

The children started to look out for other people they could measure. How about Jake? They knew that Jake, Ms Donna’s son was a senior in High school, was he taller than the middle school students? They made estimates on his height and kept a look out for him on the playground.

They noticed Mr Ken, who works with Grade 2. They asked him to come in to get measured. The children were getting considerably better at estimating. They knew Mr Ken was taller than Ms Donna and shorter than our 2 meter door and impressed Mr Ken with their logical estimates-some were spot on!

Just as we were measuring Mr Ken, Jake walked into the room. It was perfect timing. The children could compare to see who was taller to help them make close estimates on Jake’s height. Many children refined their initial estimates and made even better estimates on Jake’s height, 182 and 1/2 (They learned about 1/2 when measuring their own height earlier in the day).

A big thank you to all the people who gave us their time to help us with our mathematical inquires.


April 9, 2017
by saitod

Students as Teachers

Thank you parents for your support with our Student Led Conferences and allowing your child to be the teacher. It was wonderful to watch the confidence the students displayed while leading their parents throughout the various learning engagements and wonderful to note mutual respect. The laughter that permeated was indication that all were having a great time.

April 1, 2017
by saitod

What Happened to Our Toad Eggs?

The children seemed very happy to be back at school after the Spring break, but were surprised to see that the fish tank was empty.

Why did the tadpoles in grade one not survive? Taito, on his first day in 1S, suggested that possibly the water was poisoned. What caused this? Did we have too many eggs for our small fish tank? We used pond water but that seemed not to be the correct choice.

Luckily Ms Czubak’s tadpoles in grade 2 were fine and she shared some of hers with us.

Committed to help these thrive, the students went back to the books and videos to research. We also went to Ms Csubak and asked what she thought. Ms Czubak said that she used tap water and suggested that the water choice may have been why her tadpoles survived throughout the Spring break. Some books suggested using half pond and half tap and all sources indicated that tap water is dangerous right out of the tap and needed to be set out for awhile before using.

Could the location in the room also be a factor?

We decided to do an experiment to see what conditions might be the best.

We gathered some pond water and placed one jar with tadpoles in half pond water and half tap water in a different place in the classroom. We put another jar with only tap water near the window, and left the other tadpoles in the original place with only tap water to see if the type of water and location has an effect on our tadpoles.

We are looking forward to seeing the results next week.



 We, also spent some time this week in the beautiful Yokohama Necklace Garden. The children loved seeing the displays and playing outside. This is a great time to explore the changes in nature, which fits in with our Unit of Inquiry about all living things going through a process of change.

Playing in the park on PhotoPeach

March 13, 2017
by saitod

Signs of Spring

Signs of early Spring is everywhere.

The children were thrilled to learn that the toads were spawning therefore with bucket in hand, off we went to our local pond.

The Journey Begins on PhotoPeach

Back in the classroom the questions started: When will they hatch? What do they eat? How do we take care of them?

When asked what resources they might use to do this research the children suggested: our newly introduced data base, ‘PebbleGo’, books about frogs, the library and the 1S children who had frogs in Kindergarten last year.
After utilising these resources for their research, the children felt confident that the eggs can be left in the small fish tank and that although they most likely will have hatched,  the jelly will provide their initial food. With this knowledge, the children headed off on their holidays without worry.

Here are some signs of Spring the children noticed and photographed around our playground, hopefully they will notice more while out and about during the Spring Holidays!

March 5, 2017
by saitod

Sharing The Planet

People have an impact on the environment.

When presented with a flat board and the challenge to create their own world on this limited space, 1S got to work.


Inspired by a book about people’s impact in changing the natural environment and their understanding of the differences between natural and man-made, many children started by creating natural items for their world. Some groups utilised classroom plants to create a jungle environment, others created a lakeside recreational area using clay as sand to play in and another group created mount Fuji. More trees and animals were also created however one group did something completely different by creating a man-made ballet studio.


All items except for the jungle easily fit in the space and all students seemed happy with how their world was shaping.


The following day, most students used their free inquiry time to continue working and were able to peacefully agree on how to add the jungle onto their world.

The problem started when a large hospital was created with lego. The children understood the importance of having a hospital yet it seemed too big.  Some children thought that they could get all the medicine they needed from the jungle.

Another problem, what would they eat? Could they get their food from the jungle? Lucas thought that they could. One group suggested that they would make a supermarket, but where would they get the food for it? This led to the agreement that they would replace the jungle with farmland to grow their food. Surprisingly, all the children agreed to this.

Up until now the children were able to resolve their conflicts quite easily until Jiyaa noticed that some people had larger areas than others and not everyone had a place to live.

The willingness to live in their shop/hospital/lakeside recreational area and to house-share, minimised the need to use much space for housing, and when Coco agreed that Jamil could live on the roof of her house, all students seemed happy with their living arrangement in their world.

By now most of the world was covered with lego but the children seemed happy with the changes and that it seemed to have everything they needed.

It will be interesting to note how the children feel about their world next week and the Skills and Approaches to Learning they are developing as a result of negotiating how to live their shared space.






February 24, 2017
by saitod

Over 370 Onigiri!

What did you do well today?

This was the question asked when the children reflected on today’s onigiri making event for the homeless. The children talked about how they did a good job of forming the onigiri, weighing, wrapping, cleaning up and showing their parents what to do. They also reflected on how happy they were to be able to contribute to possibly the only food some people would eat today.

The event was a great success. We made over 370 onigiri and the children showed great leadership skills, from the careful weighing of 100g of rice, to organizing parents and in putting everything in the canteen back in place.

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

Making Onigiri for the Homeless people on PhotoPeach

February 23, 2017
by saitod

We are Leaders not Bosses, Bosses are Grumpy

The children have been working hard to get everything ready for making onigiri for the Homeless. When they were told that this time they would be the bosses and that they had to do all the research and planning, the children were very happy to take on the challenge. Akihiko, however, rightly stated that they were not bosses but rather leaders as “bosses are grumpy.”

One of the first things these leaders did was to ask Chef Darren to visit. They found out from Chef Darren that one onigiri was about 50grams of uncooked rice which is about 100 grams of cooked rice. He also made the suggestion that they make no more than 20 kilograms of rice as that would be more manageable.

How many onigiri would 20 Kg make? The mathematics of helping continued. The students had been practicing weighing 100 grams in order to become good at estimating and weighing 100 grams. These learning engagements can be found on your child’s Seesaw learning Journal.

The Children made their shopping list and on a very windy Monday morning, they took the money they raised from their cardboard arcade and headed off to Homes.

After lugging 5kg bags of rice up the hill back to school, the children discovered that 5kg is pretty heavy. After more mathematical thinking, the students discovered that 1 5kg bag of rice could make 100 onigiri-if each one had 100 grams of cooked rice. That meant that 4 bags of 5 kg would make 400. That became the goal, to make 400 even sized onigiri. That will require a lot of mathematical thinking, but these leaders seem ready for the challenge.

Going to Home’s on PhotoPeach

February 18, 2017
by saitod

Alongside the Tamagawa River

Moving from a man-made to a natural environment, the children found ways to play. Clambering up and down concrete embankments, helping each other to move freely, and then when they got into the nature alongside the Tamagawa river, after a quick snack, they got on with what we came for; sustained unstructured play within nature.
The children picked up branches and immediately used them initially for play fighting and then gradually for creating and building projects, such as creating tree houses. Much time was spent climbing up and playing within trees, looking and caring for insects, tag games and enjoying just being in nature. After a quick lunch, they went right back at it.
Several hours later, the adults started to feel cold however the children showed no signs of wanting to stop their play until it was time to head back.
However, a glance across the river on the way back, the dilapidated blue-sheet tents of the homeless came to view, validating for the children the need to help. Students are sure to reflect back on this when making onigiri for the homeless at school next week.

A big thank you to our chaperones and the Learning assistants for all their help and thanks to Mrs. Weekes for creating this slideshow.

Field Trip to Tamagawa on PhotoPeach

February 3, 2017
by saitod

Singing and Songwriting with Kathryn Claire

Violinist, guitar player, singer, and songwriter Kathryn Claire visited our classroom this week. Some of the students remembered her from last year and could not wait to start singing.

Singing along to Turkey in the Straw

The children also composed the verses of the following song,
to the tune of Oh Susana

Well I come from Belgium with a violin on my head
And I’m going to Utah to dream in my bed.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Malaysia with a guitar on my leg
And I’m going to The USA to eat a scrambled egg.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song

This connects with the Grade 1 focus on poetry and with an upcoming Unit of Inquiry, Writers use their imagination to explore feelings and to entertain others.

Skip to toolbar