Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Yesterday I got up at 6 o’clock in the morning. I had breakfast and I went to school. I didn’t play volleyball before school, but I played volleyball after school and I went to piano school. I went to home at 9o’clock. I did my homework at 9:30, and I went to bed at 11o’clock. I listened to music by Yuzu, but I didn’t watch TV. I was sleepy yesterday. I talked to my friend a lot.
Friday, 27 May 2011
“The only man made structure which you can see from space.”
Thursday, 26 May 2011
This story is set in Tokyo. It is about a weak school basketball club which changes by experiencing many hardships. The main character whose name is Youichi used to be in a different school and was in the basketball club, but he got bullied by his team mates because he was a very good player. He was extremely hurt and he stopped playing basketball and went to a different. He meets some people from the basketball club and gets invited to join them. At first, he didn’t want to, but in the end he said “okay”, and they cultivate their friendship in this story.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
PANSIG people 2011, a set on Flickr.
About 250 teachers from all over the country (and some from further afield) made a pilgrimmage to Matsumoto last weekend (May 21-2) to attend the annual PANSIG Conference, hosted this year by Shinshu JALT. That is a remarkable turn out, made even more remarkable by the fact that the number of Japanese JHS & HS teachers attending could be counted on one hand.
It is obvious that everyone had a very positive experience in Matsumoto as well as at the conference. Of course! It's such a super setting!
The quality of the presentations was uniformly high (apart from mine, perhaps) and big audiences attended the Plenary sessions.
I was delighted to meet a lot of familiar faces, and to make some new friends & acquaintances. I did not get to see as many presentations as I wanted to, concentrating instead on some photography. I realised I need to improve my low light/flash skills.
For everyone involved in organising the event, it was a massive weekend and a great relief that everything seemed to go smoothly. Certainly everyone left looking as cheerful as they had arrived.
In all, a thoroughly rewarding and professional weekend.
I gave him time to calm down (and me too) and maybe figure he was missing out on a fun activity (he did miss out, and was peeping around the door to see what we were doing). His friends decided to go and get him, but that didn't work either (they were very nice about it, but they gave up in the end and got back to the game).
Eventually it was obvious he wasn't coming back, and I didn't want him to get pointed at when other students came upstairs - nor did I want to set a precedent i.e. bailing out of class is OK. His mum also needed to know what had happened without a big song & dance/in front of his peers, give them a chance to go home a bit early & minimise the crushing embarrassment etc. Loads of wailing...
I made sure mum got the message that I did not need bowing at profusely this week before class. An apology was in order, and I got a quiet one as we trailed the others into class. No big deal - please behave?
Any prizes for guessing who was the star student this week? Funny how it goes like that. Tested the limits, found the breaking strain and didn't enjoy the result. So, maybe now we can stay in bounds and lead the class rather than trip it up.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
|Whose fridge is this?|
There isn't any beer, pizza. There aren't any french fries, hamburger(s).
Takuro says: There is a left-over curry. There are some eggs, tomatoes. There is some Pepsi, aquarius, mayonnaise, beer, balsamico, ginger, wasabi.
There aren't any hamburgers, cereals, noodles, bananas. There isn't any cola.
Posted for A.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
You bet you can see it, best chance on May 25th at about 3.45am. Check out this link for better info
You can also see the International Space Station regularly - I use this app from NASA to find it & tell me where to look. Night time is obviously best!Wednesday (May 18th) in my part of Japan, look 10 degrees above south at 03:46. You will see ISS cross the sky to 17 degrees above east (it will take three minutes, and get to 22 degrees above the horizon).
Posted for M. (another one!)
There is a garage, a lawn, and a small garden. There is a quiet street.
There is a biggish kitchen, and I have my own room.
Posted for M.
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
They had been asked to read the book, listen to the accompanying CD, and colour code s or es endings on words eg frogs, witches). Why? To notice that one of them gets an extra syllable...So you can teach syllable awareness to elementary school kids in Japan and kill of katakana? You bet! (Just don't tell them!)
I do use a bit of Japanese in this video - I had my hands full with book/video. I try to minimise my teacher talk time (TTT) as much as possible with my body language/facial expression/hand gestures...so not a great example of my teaching as I am asking them for nouns/verbs in L1. I hope you get the idea though . It also helped me suddenly realise (yet again - bell ringing moment) that my left-handed student had a glaring problem with word order. I'd never noticed, but we all did as we went along...and he got plenty of opportunity to correct himself. (I do have a few pet theories about south paws as language learners, non-scientific, but very related to my experiences with dylexia/or not, hearing impaired, and a considerable number of lefties I have taught and one I married).
Personally loved this Cuisenaire Rod exercise, as it was so competitive and really milked the workbook/homework aspect to death. How many times are they repeating the story (and getting more accurate because they want to)? How much are they listening to each other (a lot, and much more critically than in a usual Japanese EFL classroom I'd suggest)? How monotonous is their production? How much meaning are they putting into context/how much context are they interpreting in meaning?
I would love to get some feedback on this as an exercise. I would love to share feedback with the lads on their performances as well.
|Basler Munster St. Georgsturm|
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
from my iPhone today as Blogger is not working on any of our school PCs. Odd? Yes, but at least 140 other users are complaining about the same issue today...excuse the rough formatting.
OUP Story Tree (Green series) "Grandma" presented itself as an ideal Cuisenaire Rod moment, especially as I was having to deal with 75% absentee rate in a class of 4 - curse of the ubiquitous (and superfluous) "school club activity" killing off my super reading class.
Can I whinge for a moment? This class has done especially well in reading & spelling (yes, I am biased but I am pretty good at assessment) so to loose out to volleyball or anything else on a Monday evening is galling. I am busy six days a week, and if they can't have Jim at 7pm they quit...
Prepositions everywhere in "Grandma" as she takes the children to the Fun Park, jumps on a Bouncy Castle & goes in Chip's room etc. Buy the pack if you really can't live without the rest of the plot!
This was homework checking and comprehension, analogue review, time-filling, listening practice (T > ss and ss > < ss), reading practice & peer support. All in one go?!
As I repeatedly bleat about these packs, the workbook is the (magic!) key, specifically designed to mine the most out of each title. Usually, a simple vocab set or thread of course, but just as often a key grammar target such as singular vs plural nouns, putting an 's' on verbs for he/she/it subjects (present simple tense) etc.
The light green rid represents the bouncy castle from the story; Grandma's (old but good) car is blue; there are 5 children; Grandma is blonde (yellow); her 'things' are red; home is purple and the fun park brown; other characters are generic green! I asked my readers to build the scene & refer to it as they "check" "homework" - pointing at speakers & actuating movement.
I didn't decide - Yuu & Mayu did. I did insist they were consistent though, using the same rods etc. Also the first time we have really come across direct speech (requiring the new skill of flicking ahead to the end of the parentheses), and the need to follow direction as well eg so and so "shouted/whispered/said" etc also performed!
It worked a treat; we re-read & re-told the story variously, recycled the language and made things move appropriately eg through doors not over, play football with others, not alone.
And then Mayu, who turned up late, announced this was her last class. Staggered; she has been with me/this class since she was half her age, worked tremendously well and picked up so much (especially confidence). I couldn't say goodbye properly or manage a "stop, don't do it!" because I was legging it to my next class....great lesson, dire outcome :(