Carpenters at work

It was a busy full day for all of us at school and we happily welcomed Kirsten O’Connor who is the Elementary School Principal of the British School in Tokyo. She came to see Ohana International School and chat to Shelley as they are good friends. We think that it is important for other teachers to come and see our school so that they know how it looks; how it feels; how it works and how much we love our school. Our teachers can also go and look at other schools and learn from them. Kirsten brought a beautiful plant for the school.

Downstairs we did a lot of sorting and classifying and categorising. We had a selection of fruit, transport, insects and links for a chain. All of the things came in yellow, green, blue, purple, red and orange and there were bowls in the very same colours. The links were a new addition for us and we tried to join them together. We needed to use quite a bit of strength to do this and to find the right place on each link where it would be easy to join them together.

We sang our “Hello” song and Olivia helped everyone to sing their names as well as her own. We also sang good morning to our friends and teachers in different languages. We sang in English, Japanese, French, Chinese, German and Spanish.

We had so much fun in the park today and enjoyed playing with our older friends and siblings when they came outside. Upstairs we did something new today using real tools. During library time, we looked at the book on ‘Farm Animals” and noticed on the first page a picture of a farm with a farm house, lots of fields of grass and wooden fences, There were no animals in the picture. We wondered: “Where were all of the animals?” Oliver said that he thought they were in the house for animals. The next question was: “Which animals do you think eat grass?” FJ answered: “Sheep”. We have moved from learning about animals in the jungle to animals on a farm and are really curious about them and the noises they make and how they look. When we sang “Old Macdonald” we looked carefully at the book and tried to see different things e.g. fences and people. On our one shelf in the classroom, we have green paper which represents the grass and fields and blue paper which represents the sky and the background. We remarked that there were no fences, farm house or animals yet so how were we going to create them. We decided that fences are really important on a farm because if there are no fences, the animals can escape, be captured or eaten by other animals prowling for food. Our junk art animals are going to be the animals and we don’t want anything to happen to them! So the first thing we needed to build was fences. We talked about the difference between toys and real tools e.g. we play with toys and we don’t play with tools. Real tools require a level of safety which toys do not. Darren explained to us how we need to pay attention to what we are doing; ask for help if we need it; and work slowly and carefully. We learnt the words screwdriver, saw, hammer, screws and nails. We had two kinds of screwdrivers; one with a point that is in the shape of a cross and the other one in the shape of a horizontal line. We learnt that a saw is for cutting wood. We put the screws and hammer into the practice wood and used a bench clamp to hold the wood. We looked at a real fence and saw that each of the sticks needs to be the same length so we had to cut some of our coloured paddle pop sticks in order for them to be the correct size. We put these in the bench clamp too and cut the sticks in order to make the rail and posts. We glued the paddle pop sticks together and then clamped them in place with pegs. Some pegs we discovered are really stiff and you need a lot of strength in your fingers to squeeze them. We preferred the regular clothing pegs as we managed them easily. We each had turns to do the activities viz. learning to use the screwdriver and screws; clamping the paddle pop sticks in the bench clamp; cutting the paddle pop sticks; gluing them together and then using the pegs to hold them together as well.

As you can see from the photos it was an interesting morning. We are all becoming carpenters.

Love always Shelley, Darren, Ayaka, Nanako, Sabine, Goh, Liezl and Christine.