Exploring how things are made

The end of February has blended with the start of March and the same cold, wintry weather is here today. Apparently in Japan, the season now is called Spring however we can only feel the cold of Winter and wish for Spring to show us it’s beautiful face. We stayed inside today and were so productive with many new experiences in singing, dancing, actions and activities at the table. When we arrived at school we noticed machines on the table and screwdrivers. What were we going to be doing today, we were thinking?

We looked at the things on the table and knew that eventually we would know so we went on to the mat for free play time. In these photos you can see some machines and tools; the other picture is of us with all the pieces that we made, discovered, found etc in the machines. It took a long time and we loved doing it and hope that we will be given the chance to do more of these kinds of activities again, soon.

In our morning circle, Shelley showed us two different kinds of screwdrivers. We felt their “heads” and could feel that one was flat and one was roundish and a bit bumpy. The flat one is called a “flat head” screwdriver and the roundish one is called a “Phillips head” screwdriver. We learnt that in all machines there are screws and parts of wire and bits and pieces of metal. The screws are what we were looking for today and we found plenty of them. We spent time unscrewing them and then opening up the machines only to discover that there were more screws inside. It was amazing. We worked carefully and understood how important it is to work slowly and be aware of what we were using and what we were doing. We will probably use some of the parts that we found today and make something with them.

After free play time we sat together for an incredible circle time. When we got up to go and get ready for snack time, our teachers noticed that we had been there for half an hour which is a really long time to concentrate, listen and learn. We have to tell you that it was a really fun morning. We started off by talking about our “Today is……………..” chart and we learnt that today was the first day of the new month. Shelley asked us if we knew what number represented the first. We were not sure but James worked out that the first number of the chart was a zero. Then Shelley showed us one finger and we realized that first meant one. We went all the way up to tenth and each time we added one more finger to show everyone. So second was two, third was three, fourth was four etc. Then Koyo found number one and placed it on the chart. James noticed that it was upside down, which is okay as we are all learning and when we make mistakes we learn from them. When Shelley told us that the new month was called March, she asked us to stand up and we did a fun action game with marching. We would march around and when she said “stop” we would stop and salute like soldiers; then we would march again. We did this for a while and then sat down on the carpet again. Once we had completed our chart we then focused on Spring, the new season and the theme for our new month. Shelley curled up on the ground and told us that she was a seed; we watched her and she grew and became a beautiful flower. We then curled up into tiny seeds; she counted seven seeds; she covered them with soil; watered them; gave them some sunshine and some shade and then she sang a song:

I am a little flower, I’m growing in the garden My scent is very, very sweet so come and dance with me

We all grew into beautiful flowers, found a partner and then danced with them. We laughed a lot and did this twice.

Briefly, we had an interactive story where we could read the pictures while Shelley read the words. It was called “I am Sam”; we pretended to be monkeys and sang “Seven little monkeys jumping on the bed”; we had a lesson on facial features and sang “What are my eyes for?” etc; Finn and Quentin decorated Finn’s crown for his party on Thursday and Thorsten, Koyo and Constant spent some time sitting at a table, playing with stacking cups.

It was a really busy day and we were happy to be inside doing so many exciting things, rather than be outside in the cold weather.

Love Shelley and Darren