Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu kotoshimo yoroshiku onegaishimasu

We were so happy to see our teachers and our friends at Ohana this morning for the start of school in 2013. We all were so eager to tell our teachers and friends what we did during the holidays especially in the upstairs classroom where our language skills are very good. We welcomed DSCN7429Sofia to the upstairs classroom and William to the classroom on the second floor. Sofia settled in and became our new friend so easily. She is kind and sweet and so helpful. Miya and Shoko helped her with some of the routines while Nico worked alongside her when they were both doing the hammering activity. We like her very much. William settled well too and he learnt the routines that we have in our day. He had snack time after us as he needed to observe us for a while and then when he saw what we were doing, he copied us. The same thing happened at rest time; he watched us as we lay all snug underneath our warm blankets and his head nodded to show us that he was ready to take a nap. Shelley lay down on his blanket and afterwards, he lay down too. When we do something for the first time, we all have different ways of settling in; many of us needed time to observe our peers at work and at play before we do things; some of us get into the rhythm more quickly and just slide in and experience a sense of belonging immediately. Our teachers are sensitive toDSCN8686 these issues and this really helps all of us.

Not all of our friends came to school today as some are still away and some were sick today. Downstairs we had an easy flowing day and learnt some new songs during our music and circle time. We now all know what a circle is and when we sing the song “Let’s all hold hands in a circle”, we do just that. We then do actions while we are holding hands e.g. jumping, blinking, swaying, nodding, stamping; in fact we do actions that don’t require hands as we are holding our friends and teachers hands in the circle. We sang our “Wake up” song which we remembered and we love making the buzzing sound for the bee. We sang “Good morning Mr. Sun” and then we sang “There are seven days in a week”. We are learning about the days of the week and thinking about the weather. When we were asked: “Is it sunny outside?” Tokutaro answered: “No it is cold”. And he was right; Tokyo is so cold at the moment and we have to dress really warmly when we go to the park. We made brand new play dough today and had turns to put the flour, salt, Cream of Tartar, oil and water into the bowl and mix it. We chose red and had to use almost two whole containers of food colouring for this; when we used a few spoons the colour became pink however we were quite certain that we wanted red. We will play with it tomorrow as it was too hot when we touched it earlier.

Upstairs we read “We’re going on a bear hunt” as a precursor to thinking about how we can travel from one place to another. Our teachers asked us the question: “How do you think the family got from their house to the cave?”

We thought a lot about this and then Miya said that they had walked.DSCN9240

The following question went like this: “How can we go from one place to another?” This made us think about various forms of transport and how we have travelled to different places here in Japan and in other countries. Part of our theme for this term is “Transport” so this was our introduction to it.

Sofia – bus; Miya – taxi, bicycle or train;

Shoko – airplane; Andres Felipe – ship;

Margo – horse; Nico – helicopter.

We then did a group drawing project and drew the form of transport that we had mentioned on a large piece of paper using black markers

While we were drawing our forms of transport, Ayaka introduced us to Shuji which is Japanese Calligraphy. We each had a turn to come to the table and try using the brushes and ink and draw on washi paper. We each did two sets of kanji letters; the one is “Shogatsu” – New Year and the other is “Hebi” – snake, as 2013 is the year of the snake. It was a great start to the new year at school and we want to wish our friends who are sick “Get Well Soon” and our friends who are far away “Come Back Soon”.

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