Shuji and Shimekazari

We are getting into the rhythm of being back at school and relearning the rules in our classrooms and in the park. Our teachers always help us understand these things by asking us questions so that we can truly understand what they mean e.g. ‘When we want to cross the street that is full of cars driving, what DSCN7917do we do?” Of course we know that you wait for the green man to show at the pedestrian crossing and the reason for this is that the cars can knock you over and then you will be really hurt and may have to go to hospital. So we have different rules for different places. Just like when we are home, our mums and dads have different rules for us from the rules in our friends’ houses etc. It can be confusing as we like things to be the same mostly!DSCN8527

We welcomed Allie and Lily back from their holidays downstairs and Noa and Emily upstairs. We enjoyed playing outside together even though it was quite cold and windy.

Downstairs we are enjoying playing with the red play dough that we made on Tuesday. It is soft and pliable and we love the texture of it; it is easy to roll and push and pinch and……… The red colour is also a colour that represents this time of year and is used on a “Shimekazari” which we made today. A Shimekazari is something that people hang on the front door of their home; on the front of their car; in the front of an office building etc. People believe that it is a charm against evil spirits and protects our homes in the coming year. There are a number of things that are used to make “Shimekazari” and we created our own unique ones which we attached to a piece of white paper. We each had a golden roped pipe cleaner and we made a circle shape with it; we attached the circle shape to our piece of paper and then cut and pasted pieces of red, pink and white origami paper onto the page however we wanted to. We pasted on some red and gold sparkly circle shapes and lastly we added “mizuhiki which is a long thin twine made from washi. We will add things to them as they usually also have some Japanese writing on them and some pine branches. We looked at a real one and have a few of them hanging at the entrance to our classroom. We sang a song about New Year called “Sing a long song” and also sang “Wake up it’s a lovely day”; “Twinkle, twinkle little star”; “ABC song” and our Hello song. We always start off by doing actions and singing together. We tapped our knees, blinked our eyes, nodded our heads, fell asleep, woke up, shrugged our shoulders, clicked our fingers etc. We read a few stories together in small groups but the main story we had today as “Don’t wake mama!”

DSCN8867Upstairs we enjoyed having a busy class today with thirteen friends together, learning and playing. They were excited to share with us what they had done in the holidays and how they had been to different places. We have four birthdays in January and are very busy making hearts for all of them. There are three children and one teacher celebrating this month; Ayaka, Sophie, Sean and Emily.

When we sign in each day we are enjoying writing numbers for the time that we arrive at school. We played a game during circle time where we rolled the dice, counted the dots and then wrote the number symbol on a white board. This is a good way for us to try to remember what they numbers all look like. Of course we know the number that represents our age.

Emily, Noa and Jennifer did their “Shuji” today and were able to make strong lines with the ink and brushes. We re-read “We’re going on a bear hunt” today and did actions as we read the story e.g. we swished through the long grass, we swam across the river, we tiptoed through the dark cave and then of course we ran home as fast as we could; in order to hide under the covers and say “We’re not going on a bear hunt again!” We sang “Where is Thumbkin” and then to add to our vocabulary around how to ask questions, our teachers asked us: “Where did you go over the winter holiday break?” “Wh” questions are a good way to learn how to ask our teachers, parents and our friends a question e.g. what, why, where, when, who are all “wh” word for “wh” questions. These were some of the places we went to: Tokyo, England, America, Dolphin Show, Nagano, Friends house, Nanny and grandmas, Manila in the Philippines.

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