Love to Learn

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.

January 27, 2017
by saitod

It Was so fun and Hard Not to Smile

Joy was the word that came to mind when describing the Grade One Arcade. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely during the event. This was also reflected in the student comments as seen below. You can also see your child’s description of their game on Seesaw.

Grade 1 Arcade on PhotoPeach

Akihiko:  I enjoyed it. All the game was fun.

Ami: I thought I enjoyed it because lots of mum came and played.

Coco: I was happy because parents come more than I think.

Charles: It was so funny. I was laughing so much.

Charlotte: So .. I think parents and my dad liked my game. I put lots of effort into it. I laughed a lot because it was so easy for me but hard for the parents.

Dylan: I think  all the parents like my game and all the good prizes I made.

Eliza: We still have lots of prizes, because we made a lot of prizes. One of the parents got so close to get 100.

Hagyeom: I thought my game was awesome because all the people came to my game and all my prizes were good.

Jami: My game I was making has so many prizes. I needed to make more prizes. I put lots of effort. I put lots of decorations. It was not easy to make.

Jiyaa: All the parents like it. Some parents lost. They were laughing so much. For us it was easy but for them it was hard. They laughed so much.

Lucas: It goes like you need to guess how long the cobra is. It was fun. And there was like 20-30 people came. Jessy’s mum was the only one who guessed in one time.

Natsuki: It was good, everybody got prizes but they didn’t get the big prize.

Renee: I thought it was fun and funny. It was so fun and  hard not to smile. They always laugh.

Seiryu: Lots of customers likes the cobra.


January 13, 2017
by saitod

Author of the month for January, Leo Lionni.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.01.02 AMWe are beginning to think about a new genre of writing, narrative fiction. The children noted that in Grade one they have already created: poetry, extensive illustrations and personal narratives.

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:

  • Makes his  illustrations interesting by: using only a few colors or different shades of one color, mix colors, use white space, zooms in on an image or focuses on one thing on a page.
  • Some pages might have few words and some have lots of words.
  • The words are sometimes mysterious.
  • The words teaches a lesson.

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 surprise beginning
  • Pick a conflict or a big problem
  • Doing a drawing which turns into a story
  • Sometimes words come into your mind to make a title

December 16, 2016
by saitod

Celebration of Learning

After a busy morning preparing food, the children focused on preparing to host our celebration of learning. The room was decorated and menues created.

The parents were brought into the room, served food and the celebration was underway. When much fun, food and conversation had taken place the children brought out their stories to share with their parents.

This slideshow captures a little of the magic. THANK YOU to everyone who made this event possible. We are excited to continue our learning journey in January.

Getting ready for the Celebration of Learning on PhotoPeach


Happy Holidays!!

December 15, 2016
by saitod

Mystery Readers in Japanese and Korean

Last week Akihiko’s mom read to us in Japanese and today Hagyeom’s dad read to us in Korean.

The clues for Akihiko’s mom are:
I have black hair
I live in Yamate
I am Japanese
I have two children
I like pears


Hagyeom’s Father’s clues were:

Q: How many children do I have?
A: One

Q: How many countries did I live?
A: 3 (Korea/China/Japan)

Q: How many languages do I speak?
A: 2 at fluent (Korean/English) 1 at basic (Chinese)

Q: Where do I live in Japan?
A: Yamate-cho near YIS

Q: Which industry am I working for? (what my company makes?)
A: Automotive, car industry


Skip to toolbar