Welcome back, we hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and managed to stay warm in this cold wintery weather. Unfortunately Shelley was out today and we all wish her a speedy recovery. We welcomed Wiley to the class on the second floor today for her first day at Ohana. Wiley is Blue’s younger sister and they had a great reunion in the park this morning. On the third floor we put out some further Japanese New Year activities including Kite decoration (Tako), Japanese Calligraphy (Shuji) and Spinning Tops decoration (Koma). For the kite decoration the children had the choice of using paint markers or permanent pens on the main body of the kites. Ava Grace decided she wanted to put some more decoration on her spinning wheel and did an excellent job coloring it carefully. For the shuji calligraphy each child was given two sheets of washi paper, one large and one small. On the large sheet they wrote 3 kanji characters representing the word ‘Sunrise’ while on the second they wrote the word ‘Horse’. Tokutaro decided to dress up as an astronaut while Beckett and Sean got together and used the Kapla blocks to make a tower which they then filled with mini counter teddy bears. Yossi and Tirza headed for the play kitchen and when we asked them what they were doing they replied ‘Breakfast’ with a big smile. In the Library after snack time today we read a book titled ‘If you take a pencil’ which shows a number of objects in the story from 1 to 12 and then returns to the single pencil at the end. In the park we all had a great time although it was cold we were very lucky and the sun came out. Many of the children who have younger siblings were able to meet them and play together. After we came back from the park we had our circle time and started off by looking around the classroom for pieces of art. Jennifer immediately spotted the shuji we have created over the last few days. Ryan then pointed out the paintings hanging on the wall by Van Gogh, sculpture by Rodin and prints by Lichtenstein. We then looked at a book all about Van Gogh in which he described how he used himself as a model and in all the 40 self portraits he did he never once smiled. He also described how he would draw the outline first and then use small strokes with paint to create a ‘texture’ to his work. Jenny then volunteered to be a model while Ayaka drew a portrait of her. We looked at how we could apply color using crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk and paint and then let Ayaka choose which one she wanted to use on her drawing of Jenny. Ayaka chose colored pencils and chalks. Jenny stood very still the whole time posing for the portrait. In the morning on the second floor we made a ‘Shime Kazan (door decoration) for the new year. It is going to be a nice decoration for the classroom. To make these we bent some beautiful gold, silver, red and white wire to make a hoop. These we then decorated with silver and white origami paper and added a red and pink tissue paper flower. We are going to keep them at school today so that we can show Shelley tomorrow. Wiley had a great first day with us and really enjoyed singing, dancing and playing outside together. In the library we all read together the book ‘In Wibbly’s Garden’. The story follows Wibbly the pig and has many lift up flaps so we all could enjoy finding something behind the window flaps. Together we all enjoyed singing the “Rainbow Song” with new colors today; gold, silver, red and white for the Japanese New Year. It was fun to sing different colors together. Have a great afternoon and stay warm. Lots of Love, Darren, Shelley and the Ohana team.