March 18—Counting ONE, TWO, THREE...


John greeted us at the gate saying, “Good morning!” Then we walked into the classroom and worked on our morning jobs. We missed Chiaki in the morning because she was upstairs at the workshop answering questions from our mommies and daddies. We were excited to see the sand box and how cool is that to be able to play with sand indoors! A lot of our friends enjoyed playing at the carpet area with the dollies while singing along with Nimo and his ukulele. At the table, we used our fine motor skills to put a string through little holes. This activity requires patience and it can be a little bit challenging for our age group but it very good practice. At another table, there were lots of trays with nature materials that we could explore with. There were also pots and tools from the kitchen area and we each used our imagination to observe and cook with the different materials—pine cones, stones, shells, sticks and branches, beans and something... When we were asked what it was, some of us answered “flower” and some answered “tree.” It was actually an uprooted plant. We tried to use our magnifying glasses to see the details; how the soil was still stuck to it and how the roots were entangled to one another. We also talked about what we were making...

Nanako: What are you making?

O: Coffee.

Nanako: (Pointing at a shell) What is this?

O: Broccoli.

Nanako: Is this a breakfast for somebody?

O: For daddy.

Nanako: What does he like to eat?

O: Sandwich and coffee.

Nanako: What are you making?

C: Mushroom.

C: Here you go. (Handing a shell) This is a seaweed and (handing a stick) this is a spoon and on the other side is a fork. (Handing a pebble) This is commotion, rock and stuff…

Shortly after, we cleaned up the room and got ourselves ready for Maryna’s class! One new thing we did today was something simple but quite challenging for us. We went on our tippy toes and stretched our arms up to touch the ceiling keeping the balance was so hard and we kept swaying back and forth. We were also busy catching the mosquitoes slapping our hands and turning around and around. Soon enough we will be chasing after real mosquitoes! The song we really enjoyed was of course Five Little Monkeys :)

For circle time, we took our seven fingers and sang There are Seven Days in a Week. Concept of time is still a learning process for us but today after some good serious thinking, L answered “Friday.” When we were explained “Tomorrow is Friday so today is…” L guessed “Wednesday.” We were explained a bit more “Yesterday was Wednesday so today is…” and finally L answered “Thursday!” Well done! We then focused on our counting. Most of us are actually capable of rote counting. Nanako put out a picture of a ladybug and she would put THREE dots on one wing and then we would come up and put three dots on the other wing.

Most of us had no problem doing this. Then Nanako put out a picture of a tree and a bee and asked to put FIVE apples or SEVEN stripes. Interestingly, most of us would start counting “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…” and keep adding more apples or stripes. This was a very good way to see (for the teachers) who really understands the concept of counting rather than just following one number after another.

After using our head, it was good time to fill up our hungry tummies. While we got ready for a walk, we read a book called, “Spinderella” by Julia Donaldson & Sebastien Braun and reviewed on our counting skills. We also learned a new Japanese song visiting the fish pond…

Thank you for another fun day!

Love from the Buds

Medaka no Gakko wa

Medaka no gakko wa ike no naka,

sotto nozoite mite goran,

sotto nozoite mite goran,

minna de oyuugi shiteiruyo