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The 4+ Times March 10, 2017

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Our lesson on Japan proved to be a big hit. My trip there two years ago taught me a lot about Japanese culture that I knew I wanted to share with my class. The students saw traditional Japanese dress including kimono, wooden shoes, toe socks, and fans. The notion of fans really caught on, and kids have enjoyed making fans—plain and fancy—on their own as well as playing with two authentic Japanese fans all week. We all tried sitting on the floor Japanese style with legs tucked under, bowing when saying “konnichiwa” (hello), and walking with the tiny mincing steps of a geisha. The kids were fascinated by the foreignness of Kabuki Theater with its extreme postures, inflections, and costumes. Japanese is the most complicated written language in the world, and we looked at how differently they write from our phonetic based system of Roman letters. As an island nation, Japanese meals most often consist of seafood eaten raw with rice or noodles and that everything—including soup—is eaten with chopsticks. As an entertaining extension of this lesson, we used chopsticks to eat our own snack of Japanese sticky rice. The pictures in the hall say it all!

       Origami is a traditional Japanese art form of folding paper into beautiful 3D objects such as birds or flowers. Well...our paper folding project couldn’t exactly be called “origami” but it sure was fun! All the kids decorated their own paper airplanes and had a great time flying them in the gym. We ended the session with a challenge: hit Ms. Lindell and receive a dime.  One by one, each child took their shot:  0 for 17! We held a second round and this time Liam and Hannah earned a dime and bragging rights.

       “My Favorite Things” is a charming song from The Sound of Music, and we have a book with lovely paintings of the lyrics’ images. After reading the book and listening to the song, the children were asked to name their own favorite things which they put together on paper.

         We read Eli by children’s author Bill Peet when we were learning about African animals, and this week we finished our author study with several more of his books. The title character in Big Bad Bruce is a brute of a bear that is literally brought down to size by a blueberry pie.  Who could imagine that a caboose yearns to put down roots, but that’s exactly what Katy longs for in The Caboose Who Got Loose. My copy of my favorite Bill Peet book, No Such Things, had to be rebound from so many readings. These fanciful creatures of Bill Peet’s imagination have unusual eating habits and strange problems not faced by the animals of this world. In response to this story, the kids pieced together their own odd creatures and named them.

Upcoming dates:

• This afternoon: Krolick’s drive-thru fish fry 4-6PM

• Next week’s show and tell:  kids’ choice

• Thurs., March 23: 4+ Fathers’ Night  7-8PM

• Fri., March 24:  visit to Orchard Heights nursing home   10:30   Pick up is at Orchard Heights at 11:15.  

• Wed., April 5:  field trip to the Aquarium of Niagara Falls   9:45-11:30



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