Happy New Year everyone

It was a lovely start to the New Year at school today with a few of our friends and teachers sharing time together and enjoying being back at Ohana. We can’t believe that it is now 2012, the Year of the Dragon which represents an emperor and power in Ancient Chinese mythology. It is a symbol which brings success and good luck therefore we are looking forward to this year being filled with these two attributes. Yoohoo! We started off our day playing with our friends and teachers; remembering the different toys that we used to play with and the things that we loved looking at and doing. We have some new wooden beads for threading so some of us went and sat at the table and worked here. We enjoyed the smooth texture of the wooden beads and the flat ones have pictures on them which we recognized e.g. apple, butterfly and a few others. Our teachers will use them to help us with our vocabulary so they will end up being a multipurpose toy. Last term we remembered playing with the matching cards which were laid out on half of the large table when we arrived at school this morning. We spent some time looking for the matching pairs. Miya couldn’t reach the ones that she needed so she had to lean on the table to get them. She explained to her teachers her problem and they said that it was fine to do this. The most exiting activity that we had to do today was making play dough. In fact we made two lots of play dough – one for upstairs and one for downstairs. Downstairs we will start off with the orange play dough and upstairs will have the purple one. Later on during the term, we will swap the colours so that we can use both of them. We started off talking about the different things that we had on the table for this activity. We had a bowl, a wooden spoon, a silicone spatula, flour, salt, Cream of Tartar, oil and food colouring. We spoke about what colour we could make the play dough and decided with our teachers that since we had already made greenish blue play dough, orange and purple would be good. However, there was no orange colouring and no purple colouring so we had to mix colours to make them. We mixed yellow and red to make orange and we mixed blue and red to make purple. We each had a turn to pour one of the ingredients into the bowl and we had to look carefully for the numbers 250 as this was the amount we needed for the recipe; 250 is the same as one cup. We usually cook the play dough mixture in the microwave however Darren suggested that we use the hot pot. Kana is an expert at cooking play dough in a hot pot, so she did this. When she took the play dough out of the hot pot, it was really hot. We touched it a few times and waited for it to cool before we played with it. It is so soft and yummy, to touch!

You can see in these photos how much we were concentrating and working together. While Kana was cooking the play dough, we did some music and actions to the music. We did Hot potato; Come on let’s jump; Walk; and we sang our morning circle songs together on the mat. We sang “Hello”; “Open them, shut them”; “Everybody tapping” and we said good morning to one another in different languages e. g. German, French, Japanese and English. Outside we took special care of our garden as there has been no rain and our flowers looked really thirsty. We gave them ample water using bottles, pots, plastic bags and watering cans. They looked a lot better when we left the park at the end of our outside time. We will make sure that we take care of them every day. It was a great start to the New Year. Welcome back everyone.

Love Shelley, Darren and Kanako