Welcome back to school

What a wonderful way to start off the new school term and the year 2016; we had sunshine and warmer temperatures, smiling faces, new friends, happy children and fun and laughter together with learning. We welcomed Griffin, Sofia and Laly to Petals Class today and they were so happy to be with us in their new classroom. We are focusing on New Year as we all just celebrated the start of 2016 and as part of the Japanese New Year tradition, we cooked mochi. We cut it into small pieces and placed them onto some silver paper. We then placed them in the oven and watched them change; they became bigger and softer and we ate them with some soy sauce, kinako powder and nori. Some of us really enjoyed


eating them and some of us just looked at them and preferred to give them to our teachers or friends.

Today was a day to transition us all back to being in school and to assist our new friends with their orientation in our classroom. We were all really happy and we did a few really fun things after our cooking and eating experience. At the tables earlier in the morning, we played with blue play dough and a few of us wanted to do drawings using coloured markers.

We listened to a story called “Who’s making that noise?” and because some of the text was repetitive, we were able to join in and say the words over and over in the correct context. Each time the words went like this: “Who’s making that noise? Is it those noisy boys?” and each time, it wasn’t those noisy boys, it was a different animal. At the very end of the story it actually was the noisy boys and they made a really BIG noise! We listened attentively and have great concentration………Adults always say that we are able to concentrate on things that we are interested in! We think that it is the same for adults! We spent a little bit of time looking at books during library time and then we went to sit on the mat to start singing.

We all sang and remembered our “Hello” song and learnt everybody’s name. We looked at our names on the magnetic white board and recognized them. We have more names to learn and were a little confused because we now have Sofia and Sofie that are almost the same. We have to remind ourselves to look at the detail in things so that we are able to differentiate more. We all took our names and placed them on the magnetic white board and then we went to our calendar. Before we changed the calendar, we sang “I’m looking to see who is clapping their hands” and we sang “good morning” in many languages. Today we sang it in Japanese, English, Tagalog, French, Hebrew and Chinese. We did a few more actions for example tapping our knees, clicking our fingers (Griffin said that he couldn’t click his fingers), bouncing our knees, swaying, winking our eye and nodding our head.

We counted how many children were in our class today and Daiki took charge of this. He used the pointer finger and tapped us on our heads as he counted nine children. Then we sang a song “If you are a boy stand up” and we did the same for the girls. We then counted five girls and four boys and right at the end we counted three teachers. Then we spoke about different parts of our body that we had two of. We said we have two eyes, two elbows, two knees, two nostrils, two legs, two shoulders, two ears and much much more!

We prepared some origami paper by cutting it into small pieces; which we will use for our “hagoita”. Outside our classroom on the information board, is some interesting information about Japanese New Year or “shogatsu” as it is called in Japanese. It is especially there for people who can read, so that they understand the things that we are doing, learning and making in our class at this time. Our teachers read it so that they too can understand all of the rituals and things that are eaten and done in Japan at the beginning of each year.

We sang “There are seven days in a week” and changed the calendar to January 5th, Tuesday and sunny for the weather. We played in the park and enjoyed seeing our friends and teachers from the other classes. It was such a lovely sunny day outside.

We want to thank our teachers and friends for a wonderful first day at school and look forward to learning, sharing, caring and having fun for the rest of the school year.

Love always the children in Petals Class.