Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

What is Kindergarten?

As the year draws to an end, we are beginning to wonder what the children think of their time in Kindergarten. We pose a few simple questions:

What is Kindergarten?

Yanchuan   Learning.

Daniel     Kindergarten are good to make things.

Yuri       Kindergarten is a thing to learn about different things.

Lerah     Kindergarten share toys.

Sophia     To learn math.

Lin      Learn letters.

Cole    Kindergarten is also to learn Art.

Yibo     Kindergarten is kind to friend.

Emma     Kindergarten is to learn new things

Zahra      Kindergarten is to learn how to do letters.

Lerah      If you new friends come we will be nice to them.

Yibo     Good. Reading.

Sophia    Kindergarten is to learn something you didn’t before and now you can do it.

Silas    Kindergarten is to have fun.

Lin      Kindergarten have to tidy up.

Kaito     Kindergarten is a school.

Kodai     Kindergarten is fun.

Lerah     Kindergarten always be nice to friends.

Sailas    Kindergarten is nice to each other.

Yibo       Kindergarten always help each friend.

What would you say if an E2 ask you about Kindergarten?

Yuri   Kindergarten is a spot to learn lots of different things like Music and Art.

Lin    We can tell ELC that Kindergarten can make a story.

Yanchuan    Kindergarten can make backpack.

Yibo     We can make paper.

Lubna    Make clay. We can make anything.

What was difficult for you in Kindergarten?

Emma    It was difficult when I came to the very start of school because I was a little bit shy when I first came. Because now I know everything and I am not shy. And I made friends.

Zahra    It was difficult to do origami but now I can do it bc I do origami a lot of time.

Sophia     For me it was difficult to do braiding but now I already know.

Kai   It was difficult to read when I first coming to YIS.

Yuri     It was difficult to read. It was also difficult to write things. And also it was difficult to use lots of things in Kindergarten, learning about material from Mr. Reed.

Silas   It was difficult to make stuff with hot glue gun. I burn myself a lot of times.

Daniel   It was difficult to learn names, all of them first.

Yanchuan   It was difficult to make pizza (for New Opportunity Day).

Nico    It was hard writing on the white board.

Kaito    It was difficult to make a book.

Cole   It was difficult to read. (Now I’m) doing better.

Emma    It was diff to know all the people.

Rain   I learned English.

Lubna    It was difficult to climb the tree.

Lerah     It was difficult to write lower case because I was writing taller case.

Elayna    It was really difficult to write words.

Lin     It was difficult to sound out the letters.


Hiking With Our Takarajima Friends

After much anticipation, the day of the hike finally arrived! The children were eager to see their friends from Takarajima again and to share this special experience together.

Enkaizan Hike with Takarajima 2017 from Kindergarten S on Vimeo.

Upon returning to the school, we reflected on the experience together. The following is a transcript of our discussion.

Lubna – I just play the Takarajima friends. I play a lot with Takarajima and I so happy that Takarajima want play with me. Played like slide. A big, big, big slide. It was so fun. That’s why I happy.

Grace – It was difficult when I was trying to get to the big slide because there was lots of stairs. I just wish there was an elevator to take us up. That was really hard. I feeled puffed.

Zarah- When we were meeting Takarajima, I was happy with them because you played on the slide.

Sophia – It was so fun. The other slide. Not the big one. The red one. Because I no like fast.

Yuri – I played with many hills. We go up the mini hills and I was very tired at the bus. I played a doctor with Zarah on the bus. It was really fun. Sophia was sitting with Kai’s mom.

Yibo –  Good.

Lehra – It was fun on the bus.

Yanchuan – It was boring on the bus. I didn’t have someone to talk. I was sitting with nobody. Next time, I sit with somebody. The hike fun. The slide.

Lin – It was fun going on the slide. Playing with Takarajima friends. The slide.

Kodai – Korioni. Ice tag.

Elayna – When someone touches you, you freeze. If someone is in the group and he touches you, you run away

Caden – It was so fun going up the slide. It was so tired going up the stairs. Remember the bridge we made across that table.

Kai – It was so fun playing the slide. I was so tired going up the stairs.We saw lots of bridges.

Elayna – I was playing with the Takarajimas and I was sliding with them.

Nico – When I was going on the bus, I go past your home. Its is big. It’s a zig zag. Ms. Yuka saw my mom. On the mountain, there was lot of water dry but there was a little bit water not dry.

Cole – There were lots of that really big ponds. We saw also a squirrel nest in a tree. Because Takarajima teacher knows.

Daniel – The same as Lubna. I find a lot of leaves in my shoes.

Rain –  I like ice tag. I play ice tag and we like to play it. Happy.

Silas – I saw there was rocks coming into my shoes. I saw a squirrel and I picked up leaves and put them in my pocket. We saw a  two bat nests

Emma – So we were pretending in front of the moms that there were lots of cheetahs and we were pretending that we ran as fast as we could and there were lots of stairs. We were just pretending that. I saw the blackbirds. I saw a crow.  

Grace – There is a song about blackbirds (sings the song)

Kaito – There were lots of arthritic the park. It’s like a little rock climbing and a string.

Yanchuan – The circle is the tricky.

Kaito – Oh yeah, the net.

Grace – And it was so small.

Zarah – The climbing was tricky. Climbing from the rope was hard.

Silas – We saw snow!

Emma – First the teachers thought it was flowers.

Lubna – I was eat the snow. It tastes like little bit of spicy.

Caden – It was so cold when it touched my fingers

Kai – It was just a little bit.

Thank you so much to the parent volunteers who helped out and made this such a successful trip!

Planning Our Hike With Takarajima

This week, the children have been planning our third and final visit with our friends from Takarajima. The returning students showed the new students a picture from a previous field trip to help give them a better understanding of what to expect.

To help the children frame their thinking, we used a compass point thinking routine. We discussed over several meetings what we were excited about, what we were worried about, what we might need and any suggestions we that had for the trip. The following is a transcript for our discussions. 


Back to School

The children returned to school eager to see their friends! We exchanged stories from our holiday break during the first morning meeting. The following is a record of the children’s discussion.

Kai – I went to America and I went to game center.

Daniel – I went to America and I played with my friend and there is a puppy and big puppy. And played with lots of times.

Caden – Go to Tokyo

Nico – I went to my grandma’s house. That is my mum’s mum. I made a snow flakes with her.

Lerah – I go to grandma’s house. With grandma. Hose game.

Cole – My mum’s dad came. Play.

Kodai – Yuzawa. snowboarding.

Kaito – I did ski at Karuizawa.

Sophia – I go to my grandpa’s house in Mexico. He has lots of dogs. Big and small.

Rain – Mansion. Went to grandma. I fed to sheep.

Yuri – I went to the Disneyland and sleepover and I sleep over at grandma and grandpa 2 times.

Yanchuan – I go somewhere Japan and I go ski. Daddy fall every time. Mommy go to work.

Zahra – I went to Emiji castle. I fed the deer. I stayed in 3 hotels.

Elayna – I went to grandpa and grandma’s house and played with dogs, medium dogs. There is kind like a puppy and named piggy. That is not my dog.

Lubna – I go to the sea with my mum and dad. I played in the sea.

Emma – I had lots of things. We went to Japan. Then living in a hotel.

We have also been talking about what readers do to help them understand what they are reading. The students share their thinking in the following comic strip.


Kindergarten in the park

We are enjoying the wonderful autumn weather and took a trip to Yamashita park to see the row of beautiful yellow ginko trees, the oldest tree on earth, a living fossil.  It was a great opportunity for the children to connect with nature and experience the change in season within their environment.



We spent another morning playing in a rose garden. It was a beautiful morning and the children were happy to be running around exploring the park. With uninterrupted play time outside, we’ve noticed the children’s ability to develop  and broaden their imaginary play scenarios through peaceful collaboration and communication.  They were creative and sincere in their pursuit of fun. They enjoyed each other’s company while putting their learnings into action.

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There were pie restaurants that only sell two types of pies, drawings of various things they observed as well as advent calendar, proper restaurants with food and drinks, pretend dogs and many other imaginative scenes.

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It has been a wonderful learning journey thus far in Kindergarten. We look forward to more learning after the break.




Learning yoga with 3B

We are very lucky at YIS to have so many learning opportunities within and between grade levels. We learn with our High School Values Buddies, our Mixed Inquiry with Grade 1, and through a variety of interactions including performances, announcements, assembly visits, and passing by each other in the hallways or playground.
3B and KS started their special connections early in the year. In August, the Grade 3s were very eager to help the Kindergarteners with their first cafeteria experience. That experience led to sharing reading and playing time together. Recently 3B and KS shared a pattern and tessellation walk together, learning from each other. This week the 3B children were eager to share their experiences with yoga and the KS children were immediately taken in by the music and the atmosphere of the library’s dimmed lights with all eyes and ears on the instructions of the poses.
Enjoy our slideshow with photos taken by Mrs. Yamamoto.


Also enjoy these Yoga for Kids sites for standing poses, sitting poses, and lying poses.

Our first week in Kindergarten

The children have been exploring their environment within the classroom, finding their place and forming new friendships. We have observed various interests in our new Kindergarten class.  They’ve enjoyed painting, building with blocks and Legos, manipulating clay and wires, playing in the kitchen and creating beautiful arrangements.

Our first week has been about settling into the flow of the day where we have morning meeting to discuss our intensions for the day, free inquiry where the children are free to explore their interests, shared reading, meet and greet with our single subject teachers and learning about class expectations.

Grade 5 Food Drive

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As part of our PYP Exhibition we are looking at the Service Cycle and working out how to find and support needs in our Community. We found out that many people in Japan don’t have access to enough food! We learnt about an organisation called Second Harvest Japan.

We researched this organisation and believe in their mission which is to help give away extra food to those in need. We are asking all the Grades to bring in any EXTRA FOOD from their pantries at home


Ryan and Kota will personally bake COOKIES for the Grade that brings the most food to donate to those in NEED!



Dog Adoption Fair: Saturday May 9th

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Message from some grade 5 students.
Please click on the photo to find out more about an exciting event in Tokyo this weekend.
This is not a YIS event. There will be no teachers at this event. It is an outside event that the four of us grade five students feel strongly about. If you and and family would like to travel to and from the event with us then please click on the picture to find out more. If you have any questions you can email Wyatt at or Julius at
Thanks for reading.





Moon viewing and dango-making

With the moon nearly full, we happily reflect upon our dango-making and learning about O-tsuki-mi, the Japanese moon viewing time. Thank you Ms. Yuka for sharing this aspect of Japanese culture. We have been enjoying seeing the moon phases, learning about the “rabbit in the moon,” discussing what we know about the moon and the sun, and making our representations of the moon.  Please enjoy this slide show and the full moon on October 8th. (We also just learned that there will be a full lunar eclipse visible from Tokyo at 19:27 on this day, ending at 20:22, with partial eclipse starting at 18:18. More information here.)

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