China, Hong Kong and Happy birthday Vincent
Welcome back everyone after a snowy long weekend for all of us. We loved having the time to go out in the snow and play with it. When we walked to the park, we noticed that there were four snowmen in the neighbourhood; two were inside a garage and they had many decorations on them e. g. hats, facial features, arms and more; one was outside a house and the fourth one was outside a block of apartments. We had fun playing with the snow and throwing some snowballs at our friends and teachers. Some of the snow is melting and made puddles of water in some areas. We loved stomping our feet in the water and splashing the mud with our boots. Our teachers said that it would be best for us to wear rain boots to school for this, as they know that it is so much fun and tempting for us.
Upstairs we were very happy to welcome Karin and Ted, Jeremy and Jessica’s parents who came to teach us about Honkg Kong and Canada. We looked at the world map to see where Canada was and we learnt that it is the second biggest country in the world. It is much bigger than Japan however the population (which means, the number of people living there) is about a quarter of Japan’s population. So less people live there than in Japan, even though Japan is much smaller than Canada. The flag from Canada is the same colours as the Japanese flag which are red and white however the design is completely different. There are two red stripes on each side of the flag and in the center there is a red maple leaf. Canada is famous for Maple Syrup which comes form Maple trees and many of us have tasted it on pancakes.
In Canada one of the provinces is called Manitoba and there is a city there called Winnipeg and this is where there is an interesting story. Winnie the Pooh got his name from a black bear called Winnie that Christopher Robin, in the stories of A.A. Milne, used to see at the London Zoo. Christopher Milne
had named his toy bear after Winnie, the Canadian black bear and "Pooh", a swan they had met while on holiday. In Canada there are famous waterfalls called Niagra Falls. The water comes crashing down over a steep ridge. We used a bucket and water to demonstrate how the waterfalls look. But you may be asking: “Why are we learning about Canada when Karin was born in Hong Kong?” Well, when she was a young girl, her family left Hong Kong and went to live in Toronto which is a city in Ontario, where many other Chinese people went to live.
These are the original toys that the stories of Winnie the Pooh were created from. Then we learnt about Hong Kong and we looked at the flag from Hong Kong, which is also red and white. However, it is mostly red and in the centre there is a design that looks a little bit like a flower. Jessica and Jeremy counted in Cantonese and sang a song with the words. In Hong Kong there are many tall buildings and the most famous food from there is “Dim Sum”. Children love egg tarts and the best food is from carts in the streets which make it easy for people to eat whenever they want to. We want to say a huge thank you to Karin and Ted for coming to teach us all about Hong Kong and Canada. We would like to visit these places one day.
Downstairs, we celebrated Vincent’s birthday with his mum, Mayuko and his dad, John. We sang together in a circle, holding hands and doing actions. This is always our emergency song that our teachers use, when they want us to listen. We love this song and come running to hold hands and regroup, no matter what we are doing. We asked Vincent to count in English and Japanese which he did all by himself. We looked at Vincent’s life book and saw what he looked like when he was a baby. We looked at him today and realised that he has grown so much since then. We sang “When you’re happy and you know it” and asked John and Mayuko to give us an action to do. We jumped, spun around, clapped our hands, stamped our feet, shouted “happy birthday” and whispered
“happy birthday”. We sang “Three little candles” and blew each one out separately until there were none left; and then when Vincent had blown all of the candles out, we sang “Happy birthday to you” in both English and Japanese. He asked Liezel to put the crown on his head and then he asked Miyu to present him with his gift. He opened the gift and his dad held one end of the chain of hearts and he held the other one. He invited all of us one by one to go to the snack table and get ready for snack time. After we had eaten snack, we all had some cupcake, if we wanted to.
We forgot to tell you that while we were on the mat waiting for the party to start, we continued learning about shapes. We have always been talking about circles, squares and triangles and today we looked at diamonds and a heart. Friday is Valentine’s Day and the heart is the symbol for this day. We sang “Love is something” and “Skinnamarinka Dinky Dink”. We have prepared something special for our families and look forward to packing them tomorrow in special bags and taking them home as a gift. Our teachers often tell us that they love us which we like a lot, so we are not waiting for Valentine’s Day so much. We are loved all the time, and we know it and feel it! Our parents tell us this as well! We are surrounded by love and affection each day.
Love Shelley, Darren, Hisami, Ayaka, Liezel, Nanako, Goh, Christine & Maryna