YIS Kindergarten is a kindergarten blog located in Japan. Yokohama International School is an independent, not-for-profit school for children aged 3-18. We seek to inspire students and to provide them with the academic and social skills that will enable them to fulfill their human potential as responsible global citizens.
As the children become more invested in their inquiry into how ‘Personal journeys show the way that people change and can lead to new opportunities‘ their discussions have gradually become personal. It also showcased their ability to share ideas in a group, listen to each other, develop new ideas, solve problems peacefully and collaborate on planning projects. We have been privileged to witness their development and progress and we are proud to have been a part of their learning journeys this year.
It is our new opportunity, we have to do everything by ourselves.
The children brainstormed ideas of what are some of the possibilities for this new opportunity.
As we continued our discussions over weeks of preparation, the ideas fused and developed. We finally narrowed down our options: pool party, breakfast at school, dance party, BBQ, watch a movie and bring stuffed animals to school. The children decided to do a blind vote (something they learned from Gr. 3) and the result was Pool party and watch a movie at school. Once this was decided, it was time to plan. Ingredients were listed out and each child volunteered to bring one or two ingredients. The children drew upon their prior experience from celebration of learning earlier in the year. They thought of everything from food, blow up pool, cutleries and utensils to movies for the afternoon when they will be tired and need a rest.
Pizza received the overwhelming votes. The children wrote a letter to Mr. Darren, whom the children think is an expert on making pizza, asking for help. They worked out that pizza dough need to be made ahead of time, thus a schedule was made (see picture above). Mr. Darren, helped with making pizza dough and baking four trays of pizzas in the kitchen oven.
At the end of the day, we wonder what the children think of their New Opportunity so we posed these questions for them to reflect upon:
What do you think about today?
Lubna It was so fun to make pizza dough. It’s so yummy to eat pizza. It’s a best day today. I like the pool because we all splash together. We all splash Mr. Claydon and Ms. May. I splash everyone. I want to do that every time.
Yibo I think so long to go to outside. I like the pool party.
Lin It was so fun to go into the blow up pool.
Caden I like that we had a pool party. It was so fun. The pizza was so good.
Yanchaun I like to splash.
Sophia I like when I bring my towel and I lie down to do a nap and eat fruit with Yuri. I share towel with Yuri and then we go to the water because it was too hot.
Elayna It was really fun today and I really like the pizza that we made. It was really fun playing outside at pool party.
Grace I like to be in the pool and splash around and playing with my friends running around getting splashed and playing with my friends outside.
Daniel It was really fun at the pool. I didn’t know that the pool was bigger than the mat.
Learah It was fun the pool party. I played with friends. It was fun because we played with Mr. Claydon and we just splash with each other so it was fun.
Silas I really had fun with the pool party because it was really fun that we did splashing and all of the other stuff- eating pizza.
Kaito It was so fun because Mr. Claydon was splashing with the hose.
Nico Today was so fun because the pool party we all got wet and it was fun.
Cole I really thought that today was really run because we had pizza and we also have a pool party and we watched Shaun the Sheep.
Kai I like the pool party because we played with pet bottle and splashed people.
Kodai Today is so fun because pool is fun.
Emma The pool was fun and it was fun to go out and it was fun to splash and kind of dive.
Rain I like how to make pizza. And I like splash up water. I like on pizza a cheese. I like eating pizza. I like cutting the fruit. I like splash in a pool in water and splash people. I like pool party.
What was difficult for you?
Grace Making the pizza dough because mine kept breaking into little wholes. It was difficult to stop the holes getting in the pizza.
Lin It was difficult to splash the water to Mr. Claydon.
Yanchuan It was diff to splash because different people run.
Emma It was hard to stay in the water so long because it was really cold.
Lubna The water was cold but now it’s warm.
Sophia It was difficult to go in the pool because it was cold.
For more pictures, please check out our Flickr album here.
To inquire into Who We Are, we looked at the children’s background such as places they call home, where they come from, language they speak and the food they eat. The children explored and discussed their characteristics, abilities, interests, likes and dislikes. They brainstormed their ideas about who they really are and what do they want others to know about them using Mindmap. They shared their ideas and documented them on Seesaw. The children were encouraged to find out about who their friends are and search for something new about their friends that they didn’t know before. Their reflections are on Seesaw.
We posed these three questions for the children to ponder:
What can you tell me about who you are?
What do you want other people to know about you?
What have you learned in Kindergarten?
I’m six years old.
I go to international school and I learned lots of things and I play with my friends.
I’m in Kindergarten and I learned how to play math games like One More.
I can go fast. I can climb well. My birthday is in March.
I am good at drawing and painting.
I am good at sports.
I learned ants eat rolly polly. And I saw it in real life.
I learned how to write.
I learned how to read the letters.
I can swim.
I am a girl. I like rolly polly and tadpoles. I can do art. I have glasses. I’m 5 years old.
When I grow up I want to do diving. Swimming ocean.
I want to be a movie maker.
In Japanese Culture we inquired into a concept of Cultural Obento. We looked at different colors of food in an bento, read books about food from different cultures. The children thought about their own food culture. The children created a plan for their bento considering their own food culture and incorporated school made Maki Roll as a representation of the Japanese culture. They enjoyed having the Cultural Obento picnic in a park.
On April 14th, 2017 the Kindergarten class visited Corelex, a paper recycling plant in Kawazaki. This field trip is a direct result of our unit of inquiry about how materials can be manipulated to suit our purpose and the children’s desire to reduce waste in the classroom. During our weekly big tidy up, a few children noticed the amount of wasted paper in the classroom as well as other materials such as plastic tape, markers and etc. These few children took initiative and presented their findings to the class at a meeting. This action prompted the rest of the class to take bigger actions: they reflected upon their use of paper and started to think about how they can reduce wasted paper in class. Some children found a book that teaches them how to reuse recycled paper to make other beautiful creations such as collages.
Our purpose for this trip is to extend the children’s knowledge and experience about recycling paper. We first asked the children what they think Corelex factory is and what it does.
It’s a paper factory.
Books. 100 books factory.
It has big machines.
We used Making Thinking Visible Compass Routine to help us clarify our thinking about this trip. Some children expressed excitement that they will get to see giant machines , some were worried about natural disasters while others offered suggestions on how to be safe.
Stay on pathway- walk in a straight line.
Don’t touch machines.
Stay with teacher or mom.
Don’t be silly.
Walk not run.
Stay in a group.
Careful of the truck- look and listen.
Don’t play with machines. They have buttons you cannot push.
We discussed what we needed to bring for ourselves and what we could bring for Corelex as a token of our appreciation. The children decided to make presents and coincidentally all of their ideas involved the use of paper. To their understanding, using paper is the best way to make presents as one child put it “…they are Corelex, they love paper so they will love our presents.”
After our visit to Corelex, we spent a few minutes discussing what we learned. We posed these questions for the children to ponder:
What do you know that you didn’t know before?
What was exciting and interesting for you?
What do you remember?
We asked the children discussed their experience using Think Pair Share routine. They proceeded to draw and post their learning on Seesaw.
I didn’t know toilet paper make out of machine and it was fun because I saw lot of machines.
I didn’t know we need train tickets to make toilet paper.
It was so interesting when the toilet paper are wrapped in the plastic bag because I never seen that before.
We saw giant toilet paper.
I saw when the toilet paper goes into small and they went to the different place.
I remember it going down the hall in the machine.
It goes to the bin.
They could make papers again.
It was really cool we could touch the big toilet paper rolls. I thought we couldn’t touch but Corelex said ok.
Big paper making and cut small rolls.
I saw lots of place there was a water they were washing the things, They need lots of water to make paper.
Paper making is very very hard. Water so hot. People work so hard.
There are already many learnings and inquiries happening in the classroom as a result of our trip to Corelex. The children have become more careful about using paper in class. We’ve noticed them picking up paper around the classroom with comments such as “This is wasting paper!” or “We can still use this.” Another small group of children discovered a book about materials and this book showed them how to make eco glue and how to create beautiful things out of recycle paper. While another group of children have shown interest in paper making using milk and juice cartons.
The Kindergarten students have been busy preparing for their first Student-Led Conference. The process started two weeks prior. We introduced this conference as a day for the children to be a teacher to their parents. A question then was “What do you want to teach?”
Lin – Pencil roll.
Daniel – egg roll.
Kodai- egg roll.
Lubna – I wanna teach my mum how to do race 100, and I wanna teach her draw.
Kaito – Teach how to make a cup from clay.
Kai- I wanna teach my mum build stuff.
Silas- I want to teach my mummy how to play “make big dots”.
Grace – I want to teach my mummy how to do chicken game and also – the poking also how to do peekaboo.
Elayna – I wanna teach how to teach the chicken game and I wanna teach my mummy how to cook outside.
Zahra – I want to teach my mum sweet potato book.
Yuri – Magic number and how to make snow flakes with origami.
Sophia – I wanna show my mummy that (collage).
Nico – I want to teach my mommy how to draw. She said she is not a good drawer so I’m gonna teach her.
Caden – Writers workshop.
Yanchuan – Doing camera.
Emma- Pencil rolls.
Elayna – We learned dangerous roll too.
Lerah- writers workshop and magic number.
After this initial brainstorm, we continued to gather more ideas and came up with this plan.
We organized our ideas into groups and we also used different colors to help us remember each areas of learning. The children began to think about the many areas and one child commented, “I won’t remember everything.” They realized that they needed a plan and a bit of practice. Most plans utilized many forms of mark making including words and illustrations to make meanings. Some children organized their plan in sections, some used multiple pieces of paper, and some color coordinated their plan according to the master plan above.
Emma – Pink is for reading and blue is for making stuff.
The children also planned and discussed how they wanted to organize the space. They designed and designated each learning area to a particular spot. The whole process required them to listen to others’ ideas, negotiate and develop their ability to work as a team. It really showed their ability to organize, plan and execute their objective as well as working cooperatively within a group.
We hope you enjoyed our Student-Led Conference.
Student-Led Conference 2017 - Vimeo
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