Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!
The weatherman said it was going to be snowy tonight in Tokyo. The sky was gray and the air was very chilly in the morning. Our faces were freezing when we came in the classroom. Will snow come down on us tonight?
We were still interested in making the snowflakes with paper from Monday. We tried origami paper instead of normal paper because origami paper is thinner and easier to cut with scissors. When we opened the paper after lots of cutting out the small pieces, we were always amazed to see the beautiful snowflake shapes. Some of us wanted to make more complicated snowflakes.
Spiderman puzzle was easy for us these days and we were able to finish it during morning activity time. We also played with the sorting box. It is always a popular activity to play with. We love touching and playing all kind of small materials, even though it takes us lots of time to sort them out after the play.
Do you know this coming Sunday is special day in Japan? And in Ohana? One special thing on that day is our big tummy teacher Maki’s birthday! Another special event on February 3rd is “Setsubun” in Japan. Setsubun is a traditional ceremony to drive evil spirits out of the home before the arrival of spring. There are three main things to do for Setsubun.
1. Mamemaki: We throw the roasted soy beans inside our homes and out of every window and door. “Oni wa soto!” (Out with the devil!) , “Fuku wa uchi!” (In with good luck!) is the magic word to keep “Oni” (devil) away.
2. Eating “mame”: It is also custom to eat as many beans as your age. It is a kind of charm against bad luck. You will be healthy for the whole year if you eat “mame” on Setsubun day.
3. Ehoumaki: “Ehou” means lucky direction. We eat a sushi roll to make your wishes come true. There are rules how to eat the sushi roll. We first prepare seven ingredients for maki, and you look to the lucky direction and you make a wish and eat it without speaking.
Next week, some Japanese moms will come and introduce this event for our international month. Today we talked about how to make our own Oni mask and prepared some newspaper beans.
Some friends still remembered why we throw the beans from last year.
E: Because they are scary!
Al: When we throw beans, they run away. Then we don’t get scared anymore.
A: They don’t like beans because they get ouchy, so they run away.
Wow! We have good memory!
Hisami: How can we make Oni mask? What can we use?
W: I want to make them scary.
Te: With paper.
E: We paint.
Ta: Toy. We can use Lego.
Mi: We can draw.
Mo: Plastic! We can make it with rubbish.
N: Yeah, garbage.
Then we had treasure hunt in our rubbish bin. There were some plastic bags, trays, paper box, and more. They are rubbish, but we thought we could recycle them to make our Oni mask. Thank you for great ideas. We will create our original Oni masks with our own ways tomorrow.
Thursday is dance dance day. Maryna came us with black dress today. Our dancing skill is getting better and better. Our body can dance elegantly just like a butterfly, our body can be flexible just like a cat, our body can go quick just like a snake. After warm up and stretching, we enjoyed some dance tunes. “Five little monkeys” song made us jump high and laugh a lot. Singing and doing some actions with “It’s a small world” around the circle is always lovely moment. Thank you for the joyful time, Maryna!
Because the sky seemed not so happy this morning, we decided to stay inside. Instead of going to the park, we had some energetic exercise with Kai. There were some suggestions what we wanted to do in the classroom, laser game, freeze dance, duck duck goose, musical chairs, and build our own obstacle course. We took a vote, and we did our new trend “Duck duck goose” and “Freeze Dance”. It was a huge circle to run around, but we really had fun to be a goose and catch a friend. Freeze dance is making us excited and sweaty. Sometimes, it was tricky to dance to Kai’s drum. His rhythm went fast and slow, loud and quiet, so we expressed those changes with our bodies.
One more thing to mention from today. Today was M’s show and tell! She brought one board with nine photos on it and one box with full of yummy cookies. She explained about each photos.
1. These are baking powder, egg, butter and flour.
2. I am mixing the butter in the bowl.
3. I put baking powder inside.
4. I add egg inside.
5. I put flour.
6. I finish making the dough.
7. The cookies done on the sheet.
8. I put them inside the oven.
9. The cookies are ready.
It was a perfect presentation to show how to bake cookies with visual cue and her great explanation. Our questions were…
T: Why did you bring cookies?
M: Because I want to give them to everyone.
A: Why did you bring pictures?
M: Because I want to show it.
S: When did you cook the cookies?
Maki: What is your favorite part in cooking?
A: Why did you put tissue in the box?
M: to make it so cute.
And the most important part was we could have her handmade cookies after lunch! Special desert came together with show and tell. Thank you for sharing your cooking experience and yummy cookies. We all loved your sweet treat.
It was another busy bee day. What is coming next? Tomorrow will be another exciting day in Flowers!
Flowers Class Children