Recipe for successful preschool recital

What goes in an enjoyable, for both students and teachers, pre-school recital? What are some of the things you need to give prominence to when planning for and practicing your school play? Through some bitter-sweet trial and error, I concocted the 'successful preschool recital' meal. For the most part, every recital is a function of … Continue reading Recipe for successful preschool recital

How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

The World of Work As mentioned in my previous post, during the first month of the school year I took my students on a voyage of self-discovery. With it, I implicitly communicate the importance of learning taking place beyond the boundaries of the classroom and the school building. In our attempt to let students take … Continue reading How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

Pop-up, pull-out, peak-in, stand-up picture books

As teachers we need to continually work on our creative skills and constantly strive towards introducing kids to things that surprise, amaze, inspire, or tickle their curiosity. But how do we know what grabs children's attention and teases their imagination? The effect of some things is quite predictable - such as the construction of a … Continue reading Pop-up, pull-out, peak-in, stand-up picture books

Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Design thinking activities are a powerful tool for engaging students and developing their creativity and communication skills. The real value lies in the interactivity and authenticity of the experience. The content of the learning is genuinely supplied by the students in the room in the form of their impressions, memories, experiences, ideas, opinions and feelings. … Continue reading Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Our Nice, Nice Christmas

Christmas Puzzle Our year culminated with a garland of fun Christmas activities. Even in Japan, Christmas is filled with excitement and anticipation of the time spent with one's family and friends. Building upon this sense of community, for the most part, we worked collaboratively while celebrating our individual strengths and tightening our bonds the way … Continue reading Our Nice, Nice Christmas

The Japanese Way of Educating Children

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” Yesterday, as part of my professional development, I had the privilege of visiting the kindergarten associated with Tohoku Bunkyo University - … Continue reading The Japanese Way of Educating Children

Choosing the “right fit” school

When hunting for a suitable school for your child or for yourself as a teacher, you need to study hard as if you were to sit for an exam. Because not all schools are created equal, making sure a school is the right fit might be a stressful experience. It can also be an exciting … Continue reading Choosing the “right fit” school

The Kindergarten Recital – put the needs of children at its core

Keep it simple and have fun The end of the first semester is just around the corner. Parents are expecting to get a snapshot of the dynamic first months of the academic year. As a teacher, you might be tempted to choose a great song with a deep lyrics and an intricate choreography in a … Continue reading The Kindergarten Recital – put the needs of children at its core

Is English Language Immersion Right for your Child?

The book "Japan: A Guide to Traditions, Customs, and Etiquette" reveals what makes the Japanese Japanese and what sets them apart. The revelation about the distinctiveness of Japanese culture literally threw me into a deep contemplation. I ventured on a deliberate interrogation of my teaching practices and my role as a home-room teacher of 16 Japanese kids. … Continue reading Is English Language Immersion Right for your Child?

Building Pre-Writing Skills

Reading as a Prerequisite to Writing One of the classroom resources I prepared as soon as the kids began to connect visual letter symbols with letter names and sounds were a few sets of magnetic uppercase and lowercase letters. On their own, kids enjoyed matching the letters to a picture that has the same initial … Continue reading Building Pre-Writing Skills