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February, the shortest month of the year

Montessori through Elementary students participated in Fun Day, with the theme of Science Experiments, on the last day of January.  Our class dealt with the  “Chromatography experiment”.  After coloring coffee filter paper with color markers, we placed the tail of the paper into a petri dish of water and watched how the colors separated right before our very eyes!

In this colorful experiment, the children saw the colors that make marker ink move and split apart when the ink on filter paper dissolves in water.

 

In the afternoon, a Bake sale fundraiser sponsored by the Elementary School Student Council was held. Prior in class, we have been talking and following up on the bushfires down under, and the children wanted to do something to help the people of Australia, as well as the indigenous animals, in some small way.  They brought coins to buy baked goods, and also to contribute donations.  Many children gave coins from their own wallets.

The Elementary School Student Council raised ¥267,557 to help Australian communities prepare, respond to, and recover from the ongoing natural disaster, and to aid in saving the wildlife and begin to restore the lost homes of indigenous creatures such as koalas.  Thanks to the organizational effort by the Student Council, the Montessori children were able to share in the school-wide theme of “kindness and consideration” while also having fun together.

Excursion:  On February 7th, the children of Language 1 Class from all three Montessori classes went on an excursion to Hamagin Space Science Center in Yokohama, where they had exhibitions related to hands-on experiences, such as touching a meteor from outer space.  There were also a training room, discovery room, a big Robot where the children could enter to play, and so much more activities. Below shows us on the school bus ready to head out. Photos courtesy Mrs. Tougeron, one of our volunteer chaperones.

On the way back to the bus, we stopped by a nearby park, where the children could run and play in the open-air outdoors.

The excursion was lots of fun, and, sure enough, some children also had a nice nap on the way back to school. Zzzzz…

According to the Japanese calendar, Setubun (literally, “seasonal division”) represents the day at the beginning of spring, February 3rd.  Traditionally on this special day, Japanese people throw roasted soy beans to cleanse the home and to drive away evil while inviting good fortune.

Before the family had to transfer to Texas, Ethan’s mom came to our class to share her story about Valentine’s, and to read a story about a puppy’s “love”.  The children then made personal Valentine’s cards.

Then came our all-time favorite Valentine’s Day, on the 14th. They learned to fold Origami to make lots of hearts.

Reading buddies: Montessori children of the Language Arts 1 and 2 classes had several visits by our 9th graders who were their reading buddies this school year. They came to read to the children in small groups.

Some of these 9th graders were also in our Montessori School nine years ago. The children appreciated the older ones coming in.  Thank you to the big 9th graders for taking the time to read to our young Montessori children.

A discovery:  Look!  The Vietnam flag shares the same colors we happen to wear today!

Map-making and flag-drawing are colorful activities.

It’s only the end of February, yet, all of a sudden, Sister Carmel’s early Sakura tree on the school campus is already in full-bloom! The children celebrated Ann’s third birthday under the sakura tree dedicated to Saint Maur’s long-time principal, during 60 years of devoted service to her children.