Shapes and more shapes
It was a beautiful hot sunny day after the rainy typhoon day yesterday. We were so glad that the rains swept away the grey, cloudy skies and we could enjoy bright sunshine and a little breeze. We thought that the park would be busy because it is a national holiday today, however we were pleasantly surprised. We think that summer came back to Tokyo!
Since it was a national holiday here in Tokyo, we didn’t have our regular gymnastics class with Miyashita sensei and we also didn’t have obento from the company that makes our school lunches. We were so happy to have food made by our mums and some of our dads. We love meal times because not only are they time to sit quietly and feed the space in our tummies, but we have the opportunity to chat to our friends and teachers and look curiously at the different kinds of foods that our friends have.
Every morning we have one table for playing games and todays one was called “Figure It”. It’s a game that requires us to combine a number of skills in order to work it out. There are three dice, six cards and 25 counters. The goal of the game is to cover all the cars on your card. The cars are the same cars from the “Lightning McQueen” movie. The biggest challenge is to be able to work out whether your pictures on your card, match the three dice. One picture is of a car, one is of the inside circle and one is of the outside circle. Some of us needed some help from our friends to work it out.
This game took a long time and we didn’t end up finishing it. Of course, we will play it again another day. We like playing games a lot and love that we get the chance to play a variety of ones, and then come back to those that we really like and play them again. Today’s game involved very specific visual perceptual skills and also the need for us to be focused and alert to the dice that our friends were throwing, in case our pictures matched their dice.
We did some painting on our large group works of art using white and a light peach colour. We used forks and scratched patterns with them on the one painting and the effect is beautiful. Tomorrow we are going to trace our hands and paste them on both paintings and then cut out 22 pieces so that we can have our own piece for our art portfolios.
We have been doing a lot of sensory play with things that you find in nature. You can see that we include tweezers in the sensory play, to encourage us to develop our fine motor skills. Our sensory tray this morning had little logs, pine cones, sticks, twigs, wood shavings tiny round annual rings. We had one small box where we sifted fine white sand through a sieve and discovered some things that were hidden inside the sand. The sieve has tiny holes so only the small fine white sand went through them; anything else bigger was left behind in the sieve.
We learnt about some unusual shapes and while we always thought that a ball was a circle, it isn’t actually; it is a sphere. We guessed that a lemon could be a sphere and even an orange; Shelley suggested that our head could be a kind of a sphere. We also noticed that a block has six sides and if it is equal on all sides it is called a cube. We played with dice this morning that are just like cubes.
The names of the shapes that we learnt about were cyclinder, cone, cube, pyramid, rectangular prism, triangular prism, tetrahedron and ellipsoid. Our teachers didn’t know all of the names so they looked them up on the computer. The computer has a brain that can store a lot more than we can, which is great when we don’t know things. We just go to the computer and ask it for the answers.
We forgot to tell you but when we were in the park, it was so hot so our teachers helped us cool down by spraying water on us. It was so much fun. We did a full evacuation practice today and met our parents at Nanzan Shogakko which will be the designated place for us to go if there is a disaster in Tokyo. We practiced walking there last week so today it was quite easy. We also learned about practicing and pretending. Today we pretended that there was an earthquake and that we needed to leave the school. It was an evacuation practice. We did one new thing for the practice and that was, instead of walking with the rope as we usually do when we go to the park, we walked with a partner. We are the oldest children in the school and our teachers felt that we would be able to rise to the occasion and walk responsibly and successfully in this way. And………we did! It’s a great feeling when you feel that other trust and believe in you.
Thanks for a great day at school and we are sure that our mums and dads enjoyed their time together on the national holiday.
Love, All the children in the Flower’s class.