When we counted our friends this morning, we put our hands on our heads. Ava went around the room and counted 18 children and four teachers. When we count four teachers, there is only one numeral but when we count 18 children, there are two numerals. We also counted mats and we had 18 mats. Io said: “18 is like our friends”. The game that we played with the mats was similar to musical chairs. The mats were the chairs. So we laid all of the mats around the room in a circle. Kai directed this game and let us create a cir-cle as a team. Our teachers had “team building” on Monday, so they thought we could do “team building” too. So we set about creating a circle together as a team. Our teachers watched carefully to see how we co-operated or whether we worked together as a team. We think that we needed a little more guidance in order to make it a successful “team building” experience; however in the big picture we did an amazing job.
We first practiced how to play the game and there were a few variations. We were inside the mats for one song; we were outside the mats for another song and all the time we had to move our bodies. When the music stopped, we raced to find a free mat. Kai played interesting music for us. We had so much fun playing this game and didn’t mind not going outside. Our days this week are so full with many things to do and we can concentrate for a long time to complete tasks. We played another game and this time we requested that we played the game to the music called “Come on baby America”. We love this song! It gives us lot of energy.
During the morning our activities that kept us busy were similar to the ones that we did yesterday. A few of our friends who were not at school worked with Shelley at one table. They had shapes to draw in, write in or colour in and then cut out. They chose a piece of paper to paste the shapes onto and made their own unique designs. A few of us wanted to make another one which we took home in our school bags. We were happy to have one inside our workbooks/portfolios and one to take home.
Hisami made cookies with us and Kai continued working with us as we made cards for our families. We could choose what we wanted to write on the cards. Some of the words we copied and some of the sounds we tried to work out by ourselves. We hope that our families like what we wrote and made. Our classroom of course smelled like a bakery which always gives us a warm, beautiful feelings. We mixed the ingredients to make the dough and even then the smell of the dough was so enticing. Shelley said that she wanted to eat it but we told her “NO”.
We decorated the cookies with coloured sprinkles and chocolate chips and can you guess what shape the cookies are? Yes we made them heart shapes because hearts are filled with love and are connected to Valentine’s Day which is tomorrow. Shelley also told us that while there is a separate day each year, in the calendar, to remind us about showing love to our families and friends, she thinks that we should show love and say “I love you” every single day!
This lead us into welcoming our special guest for International Months today. We welcomed Natan’s grandma who taught us about Israel; we welcomed Kai who taught us about Chinese New Year; we welcomed Gaelle who taught us about France and we welcomed Yuko san and Karin san, who taught us about Japan and the fun (and perhaps scary) festival called Setsubun. Which country were we going to travel to, today? It was a very big country with lots and lots and lots of people. It starts with a “ch” sound…………………….Yes, China. We wel-comed Hideko san, Ai chan’s mummy to Flowers Class and she shared some fun things about China with us.
Firstly, she told us that Ai chan’s daddy was from Beijing and Hideko san’s daddy, Ai chan’s grandpa, was from Shanghai. So Ai chan has an interesting, colourful family. We were so excited to learn about China and want to share with you some of the things that we now know:
1. In Beijing and Shanghai, the way that you say many words is different e. g. thank you in Beijing is “she she” and in Shangai it is “shashanong”.
2. Mommy and daddy in Beijing are “mama” and “baba” and in Shanghai, they are “umm’ma” and “djadja”.
3. Ai dressed in a kimono in Japan however in China it is called “tchipao” for a lady and for a man, it is called “tangtzuwan” (from the Tang dynasty)
4. The most important event for people in China is the Chinese New Year. Every-one goes to spend time with their families, including cousins, grandparents etc.
5. Children receive a “hon bao” or “yasui kian”. The envelopes are always red and inside there is always money. There is a scary story behind the history of the red envelopes which is about the envelopes warding off a monster called “sui” so that children have a safe, peaceful year. People used to put eight coins in-side a red envelope and place it under a child’s pillow. If the “sui” came near, the coins would send off a bright light and chase the monster away…….YAY!
6. Food is a very big part of the culture in all countries and in China, it differs from the north to the south. In the north people eat dumplings and in the south people eat wonton; they are both wrapped differently. People in the north eat dumplings like gyoza without soup and in the south they eat dump-lings inside soup with some vegetables.
Everything sounded so delicious. We want to go to China and taste all the different foods there. Hideko san brought along many pictures for us to see and we even had a chance to try on the beautiful Chinese “tangtzuwan” that belongs to Lou, Ai chan’s papa. Oh, my gosh, it is so beautiful. The material is just like that of an obi with exquisite designs on it. Some of us wanted to try it on, which you can see from the photos. We want to say a HUGE “she she” to Hideko san, for coming to our class to teach us about China and also for being so generous and giving us a gift bag. We love learning from our families about the many countries and cultures that make our wonderful global community at Ohana International School.
As you can see, there is so much happening in our classroom each and every day. We hope that you are also getting prepared for Valentine’s Day as we are. We know that “Love is something if you give it away, it will come right back to you”
Flowers Class Children