Friday, February 22, 2019


Konnichiwa from Japan.
We really enjoyed creating Japanese cuisine.
Playdough sushi was fun to roll, cut and "serve".
Bento boxes are a tradition that tend to be very healthy, usually containing many different foods such as fruits, vegetables, rice, and meat/fish.

Morah Katie: What is on my fan?
Lochlan: Bamboo.
Morah Katie: In Japanese culture, what does bamboo symbolize?
Makayah: It grows. 
Evan: It grows and grows.  It keeps going, it doesn't stop. 
Clive: It can grow through anything. 
Morah Katie: It symbolizes endurance. It continues to grow.  How are you all and bamboo similar?
Lochlan: We keep growing and we just keep going.
Morah Katie: Why did I paint 3 bamboo plants on my fan?
Moshe: It's odd.
Morah Katie: What do odd numbers symbolize in Japanese culture?
Makayah: Good luck.
Morah Katie: What about the fan with the cherry blossoms?
Lochlan: Love.
Makayah: From a mom and dad to a kid.
Morah Katie: How many flowers did I paint?
Evan: 5.
Morah Katie: Why?
Makayah: It's odd and good luck.
We know that Japan has Bullet trains that can travel between the majors cities.
Lochlan: They go super fast to all the big cities.  You can bring small birds, dog and cats on them!
Evan: They go really really fast!
Running as fast as the bullet train.
Train talk
I came across an article earlier in the week that used trains and tunnels as an analogy for children and their more challenging feelings.
I decided to share this analogy with my young friends.
I asked them to imagine themselves as a train on a track.  
Morah Katie: You are a train on your track, traveling along seeing all the wonderful things you have to see. What would happen if your train went off its track?
Lochlan: It wouldn't end up at the end of its journey.
Moshe: It could land in the river with the fishes.
Morah Katie: We want our train to stay on its track.  
Kids: Yes!
Morah Katie: We are the train and currently our track is traveling in a beautiful area, but a dark tunnel is coming up. The tunnel is our challenging feelings- anger/frustration/disappointment. 
We don't want to take our train off its track, we need to go through it. Why?
Lochlan: The train has to go through the dark tunnel. At first it may be kinda scary. It might want to jump its track and not go but then it would never ever be able to finish it's journey.
Morah Katie: So you go through the tunnel.
Lochlan: And then It's all over and you're not scared anymore. And you are on the tracks.
Makayah: And you are out.
Morah Katie: And how are you feeling?
Evan: Good.
Morah Katie: So how do you feel when you see another tunnel coming, knowing you have gotten through one?
Makayah: A little scared.
Lochlan: You may be a little scared again but you still are brave.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hello from Belize.
It has been raining all week, but the climate is tropical 
and much of the country is rainforest so we are not surprised!

Clive: The flag has two men on it under a tree.
Makayah: There is shade because there is a lot of trees. It's a rainforest.

Makayah: Lots of animals live there.
Lochlan: Jaguars live there, and it rains a lot. There are A LOT of birds.
Emily: Flowers, so many flowers.
Lochlan and Zoey were both enjoying the play dough.
Zoey had the frogs and Lochlan had the birds. Zoey asked Lochlan if they could trade, and he agreed- they both continued playing with big smiles.

Moshe: The howler monkey lives there!
Emily: One of the birds is the toucan.
Moshe was sitting at group time and he noticed a toucan on the cover of a book.
He collected all the toucans in the classroom,
Moshe: Threecan toucan!

Belize has been delightful. Next week we are off to Japan.

Friday, February 8, 2019

World trip - first stop Sweden

We are taking our imaginations on a trip around the world.
We spun our classroom globe and have chosen 3 countries to "visit": Belize, Sweden, Japan
Due to our recent snow day, we decided to make Sweden our first stop.
Once we stamped our passports, we were ready to travel to the northern most area of Sweden to view the aurora borealis, the northern lights. How are these lights created?
Morah Katie: Can we breathe in Space? 
Makayah: No, there is no air.
Morah Katie: What is there?
Lochlan: Just a bunch of gases, space gases.
Morah Katie: Earth is in space. One of the reasons we can breathe on Earth is because it has an atmosphere. What's the atmosphere?
Moshe: Its protecting us from the stuff and the gases. 
Clive: It keeps asteroids and meteors out.
Morah Katie: I agree. Our atmosphere also protects from the Earth from the strong energy from solar winds and flares. The aurora borealis, or the northern lights, occur when there are collisions of energetically  from solar winds or solar flares into the atmosphere.   Imagine running around the play ground yelling releasing all your energy, the energy released from these collisions (I clapped hands) is shown in colors in the night sky.
As we watched a short video of the northern lights the the kids described them as:
Lochlan: Currents in the ocean or hurricane winds
Makayah: Wavey lines
Clive: Rows of colors lined up
Annabel: Dancing
Eliana: Fireworks
To experience a better understanding of collisions, we created some collisions paintings.
We stood back and threw paint cover sponges at the easel.
Morah Katie: What was the collision? Or when did the collision occur?
Lochlan: Collision happened when it hit the paper.
Morah Katie: When do the Northern Lights occur?
Makayah: When stuff hits the atmosphere.
Chalk northern lights
We also pretend to visit the renowned Ice Hotel.
We enjoyed playing in our snow and imagining what it would be like if we stayed in a hotel made entirely of ice!
Lochlan: I really like the ice hotel because it is all ice and I could probably skate there without even needing ice skates.
Clive: I liked that even though it was so cold they had candles and a fireplace.
Makayah: I liked the dining room with the ice table.

The Swedes take time each day to enjoy Fika. It is about taking the time to sit down with friends, family or even on your own, while you’re enjoying a break-for the Swedes coffee and something sweet.
At the Gan we also have a Fika tradition, we call it snack time.
We take time to enjoy our friends and say thanks for the food we are about to eat.
Evie is very thankful, and practicing all her blessings.

It has been a great visit to Sweden.
Next week we are on our way to Belize.