Greetings from the primary classroom. Ms. Reina, Miss Yoli, Ms. Bev and Ms. Manda would like to thank you for your support and enthusiasm for our wonderful program. Your children come to school excited, curious and ready to learn. We have recently been enjoying and exploring our outdoor spaces and observing signs of spring.
 As part of a school wide cultural studies curriculum, we have been learning about the continent of Asia. We began with a focus on the country of India and learned about the physical geography, clothing, food, shelter, musical instruments, literature, and festivals of this fascinating country. A few highlights include learning a song in Tamil called “Anilae, Anilae” (Chipmunk, Chipmunk), tasting a delicious Indian dish called dahl, and having the opportunity to hear a real sitar, tabla and other traditional Indian instruments performed by a local musician named Mohan. We are currently taking a closer look at the country of China. We have learned a song called “Fong Swei” (After School), created many beautiful Chinese inspired art works, studied the geographical features of this enormous and diverse country, and delighted in learning about the lantern festival and the customs of the Chinese New Year celebration. Next we will be learning about Japan. It is very auspicious that we have Ms. Reina, our lovely assistant from Okinawa, and Anne, our lovely office-everything woman who spent years living in Tokyo, to help enrich our understanding of this captivating country. 
Here in the primary classroom, we spend a lot of of time concentrating on being peaceful and calm. We talk a lot about what words to use when we are feeling emotional, how to solve problems when they arise using both peer and teacher support, and ways each of us can contribute to creating a peaceful, loving, joyful classroom. There is a great book called “Honoring the Light of the Child” by Sonnie McFarland that we have been using in the classroom to give our students specific, nonviolent ways to express the way they are feeling. This curriculum is designed to encourage dialogue about emotions and help each child develop the coping skills and strategies needed to establish and maintain healthy relationships. We love seeing the positive interactions that occur in the classroom among the students. 
P.S. Ask your child(ren) to sing some of the Asian songs they are learning… you won’t regret it!
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