Spring is here. April 1st is Easter Sunday. Happy Easter to you and your family!
On the last day before Easter break, each child took home their handmade Easter basket with their own Easter card, along with a hand-crocheted hen egg cover made for our children by Ms. Mimi’s church friend, Ms. Takahashi.
A few days following the previous blog, the same “Sister Carmel” sakura tree has turned pink! This photo was taken after visiting the library.
In February, Xinyue’s mother offered to come with some of her Chinese friends to show us how to make a Chinese New Year’s ornament using origami paper. They showed us, step by step, how to fold the square colored paper and then draw lines to cut out the ornament with scissors.
This is how it looks when you open up the paper after cutting.
The Chinese character means “spring”. We put a yarn in the middle, and, look, we now have a beautiful ornament for our celebration.
Valyn and her family returned to Singapore for Chinese New Year’s to celebrate this important annual holiday with her relatives. After they returned,Valyn’s mother came to share how they celebrated Chinese New Year’s back home. She also offered us some cookies from Singapore.
March 3rd was Girls’ Day. We enjoyed making traditional Hina dolls using paper plates and colored origami paper. We also had a taste of Hina-arare (colorful rice crackers) to celebrate on this special day for girls. Of course, the boys enjoyed it as well.
Then came March 17th. We learned more about Saint Patrick of Ireland and colored shamrocks. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
You can see that March was an eventful month. All the three Montessori classes accepted an invitation to the Ikebana (flower arrangement) display at Ehrisman Hall near the campus. The flower arrangement teacher, Mrs. Kamata, whose daughter had attended Saint Maur Montessori, explained to us about the beauty of arranging flowers and the message of peace it conveys to people. The flowers were arranged by YIS and St. Maur parents as part of their Adult Enrichment programs. Our parents are all “life -long learners”, too, discovering new things everyday.
Then came Japanese Culture Week. The Japanese mothers got together to plan interesting presentations for us over three days. On the first day, they read us a picture story of “Hanasaka Jiisan” using kamishibai (see the picture below).
In the olden days, when there was no television or movies, the kamishibai-man would come on his bicycle to the neighborhood to read to the children kamishibai stories outdoors. It remained a very popular entertainment among the children, who enjoyed some snacks as they listened to the tales. Our mothers showed us photos of those days, and we also got to eat some treats!
On the second day of Japanese Culture Week, the parents (five mothers and a father) helped us make sushi crafts using styro foam and colored paper. It was fun making sushi to pack and take home… too bad we couldn’t eat them, as they really looked so real!
On the third day of Japanese Culture Week, mothers helped us make a collage composed of our names in Japanese katakana characters. There were plenty of colorful sakura cherry blossoms decorating our names, thanks to the mothers also bringing in punched-out paper petals.
On the last day of Japanese Culture Week, we dressed up in Japanese costumes, and all three classes went up on the stage in the Fine Arts Auditorium to sing a Japanese song in front of all the elementary students at their Elementary assembly. Then we had a chance to see a traditional Japanese drama performance of “kyogen“. Although it was hard to understand the old language spoken, we could visually see and enjoy the two kyogen performers act in front of us. We also tried to practice their movements and emotions. Thank you to all the Japanese parents who helped us appreciate Japanese culture by preparing such interesting and informative presentations
We look forward to see what more discoveries and learning are awaiting us in the months of April, May and June.