Saying Thank You

The Caterpillars took some time to create “Thank You” cards for their big buddies and the teachers that created art pieces or wrote  poems for the collaborative art project. This project has connected with our Te Whariki strands throughout the school year, especially with the
Contribution strand and now with the Communication strand.

One big theme in this project was the act of communicating. All students involved (big and small) explored and discovered different ways to communicate. There were many opportunities for students to communicate ideas, interpretations, reflections and develop purposeful verbal skills in creative and expressive ways.

#EC1photo Collaborative Art Show

The EC-HS art show was a great success! The Caterpillars were so excited to see other students and teachers viewing their photo art. Some of the children were interviewed by those who visited, explaining why they chose their photos and what was happening in the photo. The Caterpillars were beaming with pride and they smiled as they received complements on their pieces.

Some of the elementary students left thoughtful comments on the children’s art, praising them for their hard work. These thoughtful reflections from community members added another layer to this project. EC1 teachers have seen how the project’s value deepened as the SIS community, shared their reflections, making stronger connections than we initially thought would happen.

Several grade levels did not get a chance to view the art show and requested that we extend the timeline of viewing. All photo art pieces will be hanging along the ECLC stairwells and Hallways. If you missed the opportunity to see your child’s or the other students’ pieces, please take a stroll through the ECLC building and enjoy all the art.

Sharing Our Photo Art Show With Our Families

The Caterpillars and all of the other ECLC1 students were very excited to share their photo art work with their families. The whole morning on Friday, they kept asking ” Is Mommy and Daddy coming yet!?” As a teach it was great to see such a turn out and to see how genuinely interested parents were with their child’s art and the entire project.

Setting Up Our Art Show

SIS Director of Learning Innovation, John Burns, came this morning to document EC1 students choosing where they wanted to display their art pieces in the Secret Garden.

Having our young students be an active part in the set up process of the EC-HS art  show has been important for their understanding in recognizing their part of the collaborative process.  The students developed a sense of pride and ownership, the responsibility and engagement that they experienced has helped them make valuable and personal connections with this learning experience.

Looking Forward to our trip to Bayside!


The High School art students have the ECLC1 photos!



Our SIS high school art students have been very busy preparing for the EC1 students to visit. Today I met with the high school art teachers, Alex Gutierrez and Maria Yung. I was impressed when I learned about the activities that art students came up for the EC1 students.

High school and EC1 students will be buddied up and do 4 different art centers together. In our first center students will have a reflection session, where the EC1 students will share about their favorite photo that they took and the art student will share the artistic representation they made for the photo . There will be a center to color the custom made coloring sheets drawn by the art students, that are based on the story “The Gruffulo”.  There will also be a creative center to make the owl character from the same story and a station for whole body tracing.

EC1 and art students are very excited to meet each other. The teachers are excited to be viewing the kind of authentic, collaborative learning that will make our community a more enriching environment!

gruffalo sheets making owls


The Caterpillars Pick Their Favorite Photos

After a few weeks of practicing taking photos with the Ipads, the Caterpillars have picked their favorite photos.  I spent some time with each student looking over their photos in reflection.  I asked them questions about the general quality (i.e. Is this too blurry? Can you see the person’s face?) After the students picked their one favorite photo, I asked them; what is it a photo of and why did they like it.  As you can see their choice of favorite photo and their reasons why are not just “cute”. They are interesting, playful, artful and capture quick and sometimes magical moments in their day.

All of the ECLC1 teachers have sent our students’ favorite photos to both the High School art teachers and the 9th grader writers. It will be exciting to see how the older students were inspired to create their own pieces from the EC1 photos. We also can’t wait to read the poems by the 9th grade writers!

If you are on twitter, you can follow the hashtag #EC1photo and see how the teachers of the classes involved share the process of our collaboration project with each other, our professional learning community and fellow educators.


Aaron Fav

Aaron said ” This one monster. I like it monster”

Charlie Fav

Charlie said “Aaron, this photo because Aaron is smiling and he is my friend.”

Chloe Fav

Chloe said “Xixi.”

Edison Fav

Edison said ” My photo is Xixi. I like it because it’s silly.”


Eita said “I like it because toys.”


Yuki said ” It’s Yuki and Ms Dodo. I like it because Yuki is angry.”

Jiawei Fav

Jiawei said “It’s water pipe. I like it cuz Edison also have.”

Marc Fav

Marc said “It’s a photo of Ms. Kang. I like it cuz it’s awesome!”

Miranda Fav

Miranda said “My Sasha.”

Nava Fav

Nava said ” It’s a photo about a little girl. I like it because it’s beautiful.”

sasha fav

Sasha said “It’s a bike. I like it because I can ride it.”

Xixi Fav

Xixi said ” It’s Miranda shouting. I like it because she is shouting.”


Photo Taking

Today Mr. Lill brought his 9th grade writing class to visit all the ECLC1 classes. The 9th grade students worked with the children practicing taking photos with the iPads. Today was also the first day that the ECLC1 students used iPads this school year.

Today’s visit marks the beginning of our cross campus community collaboration project. The project’s aim is to promote the use of technology in the early years in an authentic way, that supports learning. As a teacher, I do not believe that they best way to integrate technology in the early years is to spend time on apps or engrossed in “screen time”. I hope that my young students will develop an understanding that technology can be used to document their learning and can be used to make connections within their community (school or world wide) to share and collaborate throughout their learning journey.

The 9th graders gave the children simple instructions on how to take a good photo. They asked the children what they wanted to photograph, told them to hold the iPad still, count to 3 and push the button. The 9th graders proved to be great mentors during this activity. They were kind and patient and understood that they needed to be responsible for supervising their younger buddies. The 9th graders used engaging and encouraging words throughout the photo taking, praising the children for trying their best.

Later in the classroom, the 9th graders had a reflection session with their small buddies. They asked them what they thought of their photos. The older students went beyond just asking the children if they liked their photos but engaged the children in higher thinking questions. “Do you remember why you wanted to take this photo?” “Did you mean to include the person in the background?” “Did you hold the iPad still or is this photo too shaky.”

ECLC teachers were impressed with the level of maturity and responsibility that the 9th grade students showed. I think that the 9th graders were also impressed with how capable the 3 and 4 year olds actually are. It seemed that all the students enjoyed their time together. It also seems that connections within our school community have begun to grow!

We will meet up with our 9th grade buddies later this school year. After the children have some time to practice photo taking, they will choose one favorite photo. We will share that photo with the high school art students, who will create representing artwork. That same shared photo will be given to the 9th grade writing class, who will compose a piece of written work. We will go to visit both classes at the Bayside campus in the new year.

In March the great unveiling of the collaborative community project will be showcased to the whole school community during the week of ECLC’s Learning Comes Alive.