Welcome Emily and "old" friends

It was a wonderful day with the sun shining and many children in attendance. We also saw all of our teachers today and welcomed them back to Ohana with hugs and happy faces. We love having our new friend Emily at our school and she spent the day enjoying the classroom with its many toys and she also took care of Eva when we were walking back to school from the park. She has a baby brother William so she knows how to look after children who are younger than she is. Upstairs Nakaba, Noah’s mum came to make “zoni” with us. She brought with some shapes so that we could cut out shapes in the carrots and daikon. There were pieces of chicken that we added to the soup together with “mitsuba” which is a green vegetable that gives off a lovely smell, “kamaboko” which is fish cake and “ohu” which is flour which we used instead of mocha. We put all of the ingredients into a pot and added some noodle stock. We all ate the soup and our friends from downstairs came upstairs to eat some as well. Then we ate snack together at the one table. We want to say a big thank you to Nakaba for coming to school to teach us how to make “zoni” which we will try to remember for next “Oshogatsu”. She also read a book to us about how the animals in the Chinese zodiac were chosen. They all had to race to the temple and they were chosen in order of which one arrived first. In the story, the mouse told the cat a lie so the cat arrived a day late and was not chosen. This is why cats chase mice! Later we told our teachers which animals we could remember from Nakaba’s story. Noah – dragon, tiger and mouse; Oliver – rabbit, sheep and cow; Jamie- chicken, snake and horse. It was a fun start to the New Year celebrations which will continue this month. We also spoke about what we did during the holidays; where we went and who we saw. We will put our thoughts up in the form of documentation in the classroom so everyone can read about it, on the third floor.

Downstairs we welcomed Emily and her family to school and as we said earlier, we all enjoyed meeting her and we are looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. Eva returned to school today as well so it was a really busy time on the second floor. The special activities that we did were drawing, play dough and threading. We spent time working at the tables; rolling the play dough and using the cookie cutters to make shapes. We drew with coloured markers and wax crayons and enjoyed chatting to our teachers and friends while we were working. Eva, Tokutaro and Gento spent time threading and naming the pictures that are on the new wooden beads. We like the feel of the new wooden beads and especially like the large holes which make threading them onto the laces a lot easier.

During our morning circle time we sang a few songs and taught Emily our “Hello” song. She learnt how to say the words and sing her name and we all remembered the words as well. We read books during library time and then sat together and concentrated for the entire duration of the story which was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” This story is repetitive and we have read it before however we remember new things each time we read it. Our teachers noticed how we were able to recognize more colours and name more of the animals; and we were also able to “read” the story as it unfolded. We make big steps each day.

Love Shelley, Darren, Gou, Marie, Sabine and Kanako