Friday, 7 August 2020

“The father of electricity” Nikola Tesla

 Nikola Tesla (1856.07.10-1943.01.07) is an electrical engineer and an inventor from now parts of Croatia.

I think that Tesla’s best achievement was inventing the transmission system utilizing AC. Electricity is something that we cannot live without. It is no exaggeration to say that we can live a comfortable life thanks to his idea and invention.

Tesla emigrated to America in 1884, and he was employed by the institute of Thomas Alva Edison. But, they had opposite opinions about transmission systems and lost his job. In 1887, Tesla organized his company. There was keen competition between Tesla and Edison. Finally, Tesla won, and the transmission system utilizing AC has been become the mainstream of the whole world. Today, the competition between Tesla and Edison is called “War of Currents”.

It is said that Tesla lived in obscurity in his later years. When he was dead in 1943, he was almost flat broke. I think that his inventions and ideas form the basis of many technological innovations of 20th century. Therefore, I feel that his end is really lonely.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

I can virtually dance - Bon Bon with Luna 2020-style!

Massively disappointed our dance cards are BLANK tonight...except they aren't, because we did our homework a couple of weeks ago :)

Please give our highlights video on Youtube  lots of love & likes as well!
Loads more pics on our:

Thursday, 30 July 2020

A postcard from...The Selfish Giant

Dear Cornish Giant,

The spring's here at last. The Hail stopped and the North Wind is quiet. There is a wonderful perfume. The trees are happy because the children are back. The birds are singing happily in the sky. The flowers are coming out of the ground and the children are laughing.

Let's play in my garden!

Mr. Selfish Giant

By Miyu & Aoi

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Japan needs help from immigrants

The Japan Immigration law was revised in 2019 and we are at a turning point regarding this issue now. By revising the law, it was accepted for immigrants to work longer in Japan. 

The fact behind this is that the population of Japanese is decreasing. However, Japan requires to increase production resources and we need help from the immigration. I think that this will accelerate diversity and globalization for Japan and their man power has been already necessary.

On the other hand, this may make a problem. In Canada, there are a lot of immigrants. Canadian have fear of losing job to grate immigrants. Although it may be difficult to get good job, young Canadian does not want to work with low salary. This made young Canadian frustration. Therefore, Canadian government has tightened the regulation not to accept many immigrants.

I hope that acceptance of immigration leads to good result in the future for Japan.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Cambridge speaking tests in Japan - an insight into staying safe

JP026 training Tokyo
JP026's solution to the Covid-19 risks has been to deploy these screens between speaking examiners (SEs) & candidates both, as well as SEs wearing masks & being 2m away from candidates. Each candidate has their own copy of materials, delivered by the interlocutor.

JP029 training Tokyo

JP029's solution to the Covid-19 situation has been to really keep distanced, again wear masks, and give candidates laminated materials which are disinfected after each use.

JP004's response to Covid-19 concerns has been clear screens, clear face masks as well as 2m distancing, separate materials for each candidate beneath clear mats, & disinfectance of these after each pair of candidates.

JP004 in Gunma

I think you will agree, Cambridge English Assessment Centres in Japan are taking the delivery & assessment of speaking tests in this country very seriously, and managing to do so very crediditably & safely.

Caveat - if you do not feel safe, please do not travel/sit your exam. Another exam will be available to you eventually, wherever you are. Your safety is our primary concern. Stay Safe.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

An interview with Jonathan Swift

If I were able to talk to ghosts and ask them questions, I would like to see Jonathan Swift.

Sayuri: Hello, Mr Swift. May I ask you some questions?

J.S: Yes, of course! I've been waiting for this moment for a long time.

S: Thank you! So how did you have those unique ideas for Gulliver's travels?

J.S: I saw many politicians and religious leaders. They were all eccentric really. They were good models of the stories.

S: Right, and are you a Small-Endian or a Big-Endian?
J.S: Well, I am a Big-Endian and a High-Heels, actually. It is practical to break the larger end of an egg. It's easier to eat from a big hole! And High-Heels are more fashionable, don't you think, girls?
S: Well, it's been a big campaign not to wear high-heels nowadays…
J.S: Is that so!

S: Yes… Well, tell me the truth, Mr Swift, can you neigh?

J.S: Ha ha, yes, of course! I can talk to horses, yes!

S: Wow! I thought so! Wonderful! Thank you so much for your time. Your books are very popular here in Japan. Everybody knows Gulliver.
J.S: It's my pleasure to talk to you. Keep reading!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

What do you need - YLE chefs' recipes

A follow up exercise, to a follow up game, to a textbook activity!

Difficult to conceptualise countable/uncountable items in a classroom without going to the office fridge on a raid...and most young learners, certainly here in Japan, do not linger very long in their kitchens & can barely cook instant noodles.

Orchard Toys' Crazy Chefs works to fill that concept gap very nicely, as players take turns to fill their recipe...asking "What do you need?" or "What do you want?" and replying with "I need/want a..." or "I need some ...." if they've turned over a card on their list. Wrong card = "I don't need a ...." or "I don't need any ....."

Now I know this seems obvious, but how often can you get an activity to occupy & excite five players at once and keep the language learning drilling away? We even managed to include a player Zooming in to the class :)

Support for this writing task with unfamiliar vocabulary (spelling - we asked each other during the game) on Quizlet = autonomous work possible and another game on the end of that (Match).

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Virtual Matsumoto Bon Bon - Can Do!

The Zoomed-in Team
Thank you everyone who made the effort to join us for an early, socially distanced but joined up Bon Bon!

We are very excited with the video that Emmy has edited together, which we hope will be shown on local TV on Aug 1st (when the festival should have been held). We will be sharing a lot more of our photos & videos then.

Well done Eleanor & her friends leading the charge outside in our car park. They know the dance and did a really genki job with no crowd!
Outdoor distanced Team

Indoor connecting Team
Participating via Zoom, and with a lagging video stream (sorry, we've not done a virtual festival before!) and learning as they went were former Matsumoto natives living in Singapore and Tokyo; ex-teachers joining us from Tokyo with family, Auckland in New Zealand & Cairo in Egypt - we miss you guys! - and even another language school owner & her daughter from Tokyo. Super moves!

Trying to co-ordinate these two groups, who couldn't see each other, our staff in the downstairs classroom + Matsumoto Castle :)
doing our best to demonstrate the dance & keep everything going.

We also had for extra bonus videos arrive from old friends who did Bon Bon once, somewhat inebriated, in 1995. Still got the moves in Cornwall, Brighton & Southport in England, and in North Carolina, USA.

Great that we could all do this and get our super red Bon Bon t-shirts sweaty again. Wish we could have done this 'for real', but in a way this brought us all closer.

Thank you again Luna's truly International family - across five continents you are inspiring! See you here August 7th, 2021.

Friday, 17 July 2020

So you think you can't party? "Zoom in" for a unique Matsumoto Bon Bon with Luna Sat 18th, 6pm JST


毎年恒例の松本ぼんぼんが、今年は コロナウイルスの影響で中止となり、残念な気持ちでいっぱいです。
ですが今年は、信濃毎日新聞が「松本ぼんぼん」を踊る動画を募集、ルナ連としてリモートで松本ぼんぼん企画に参加することにしました♪ (三密を避ける為、Zoomを使います。)




Zoom ID : 下記よりアクセス

参加費は無料。 ご家族ご友人など、お誘いあわせの上 是非ご参加ください!

Hello Luna family,
As you may know that "Matsumoto Bonbon " has been canceled this year.
However, "Shinano Mainichi Shinbun" will have a ''remote'' Bonbon dance event this year.
Luna will join this event .

Let's dance together with our families and friends with zoom! We will make a Zoom chat room for Luna members,and we will record the dance routine as a group. We will then send this to 'Shinano Mainichi '' for them to use. They will collect recordings from different groups and make a dancing compilation. This compilation will be played at several shopping malls in Matsumoto city during summer.

Date : July 18th, 2020 (Sat)
Start time : 18;00
Time schedule 18:00~Chat、18:10~Practice dance、18:25~Record dance together…

ID: 867 5969 6384
Password: 580897

Wear a red shirt/union jack/express yourself!

We can't wait to see all our friends :)

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Celebrating New Year in Nagano, Japan

OUP Graded Reader "Japan"
Because of his job, we have moved house 13 times during our 34 years marriage.  We lived in Nagano city for over 15 years in total.

In Nagano city there were so many temples and shrines.  Each one was well managed by local people.

On New Year's Eve, we visited shrines and temples as much as we could.  We left home before midnight and walked to Zenkoji-temple at first.  Next we visited our local shrine Kamo.  They welcomed us with a glass of sake, a mikan-orange and a lucky charm.  Then we started our New Year walking tour of visiting holy places.  Each one entertained us with their original way: a glass of sake, a bowl of miso soup, a cup of hot sweet sake, lucky allow etc.  By the end of the tour, we were full, quite drunk and hands full of lucky charm. 

We came home about 2am and straight to bed.  We got up around 8am and had a box of New Year food.

  That was our enjoyable typical New Year celebration in Nagano city, which we are missing so much…

Posted for Sayuri

Monday, 13 July 2020

Pure & Sad love of Romeo and Juliet

I think that Romeo of the Montagues family and Juliet of the Capulet family should talk the marriage over the Prince Escalus of Verona.I guess he always hope that Verona will be peaceful.He will be happy to take an action for their marriage because he will think that their marriage will be a chance to finish the arguments between the Montagues and the Capulet and to bring peace to Verona forever.
The Prince Escalus could stop the fighting, but the Montagues and the Capulet hated each other.Even if he could remove/alleviate feeling of dislike, the dispute was happened at any moment in Verona.I would like the Prince Escalus to persuade them to apologize for past sins firstly, and then to promise not to fight again and to be good friends.
Romeo and Juliet are loved by their parents.With the advice from the Prince Escalus, their parents might consider their marriage unwillingly, but eventually they will be able to accept it because they want to be happy for their child.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

House - a spooky story

Tomo is a very clever Japanese college student. He is standing on his own two feet this spring, living alone in a rundown old apartment in a quiet, sleepy Tokyo suburb. One night, he had just finished his shift and had watched the news on his phone on the train ride home. Sleepily, he got home 1 o’clock in the morning, took his clothes off and went to bed right away. 

The next morning, he realized that his T-shirt had vanished. “That’s odd”, he said. It was his favorite one, and he was pretty sure he’d left it on the floor. However, he was not certain and he was late for school. So he left, puzzled. ‌ 

He came home early that evening because he didn’t have anything special after school. He said “I’m starving!” He looked for his Cup Star instant noodles in his stockroom. “What? Why aren’t there any? I bought more than ten last week!” he said. He thought that something was strange. Suddenly, he heard a dull sound from his bedroom. He walked cautiously towards his dark room, and opened the roof-space very slowly, silently. The next moment, a mysterious massive lump dropped from the hole onto his bed. Surprisingly, the lump had long black hair and was wearing Tomo’s clothes. There was also some rubbish, too. Paralyzed with terror, the student raced out of his house calling 110 as he ran. 

The homeless tramp was arrested, but Tomo will never sleep well again – he had been stalked and spooked.

Posted for Masato

Thursday, 9 July 2020

A chocoholic on pralines!

Dear Neuhaus,

As an English learning student, I am reading English books, mainly
Oxford Bookworms Collection.

When I read a book 'Chocolate', I was so delighted to find the story of Neuhaus's invention of a new chocolate 'pralines' in 1912. That was the same story that I had learned through the booklet inside your lovely chocolate box that I bought at Neuhaus in Brussels. That shop was very elegant and beautiful and shop clarks were nice and friendly. There were so many different kinds of pralines and other chocolate. They looked so delicious and I wished to have them all!

Your first invented pralines are really tasty and I can easily understand why they are still popular. Their triangular shape is unique and outstanding and they make the texture and taste more sensible and irresistible.

You also support sustainable cocoa farming, which is important nowadays. I feel no guilty buying a lot of your beautiful chocolate because that helps some cocoa farmers as well.

Thank you for your great invention of pralines. I know you keep fascinating us with your magical chocolate.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Great homework excuse!

Unfortunately, Aoi missed class last week with a painful broken wing; happily able to joke about it this week and find a homework work around! From adversity, we flourish :)

Created with ChatterKid

Love a parade?! Join us for our first GLOBAL Bon Bon!

毎年恒例の松本ぼんぼんが、今年は コロナウイルスの影響で中止となり、残念な気持ちでいっぱいです。
ですが今年は、信濃毎日新聞が「松本ぼんぼん」を踊る動画を募集、ルナ連としてリモートで松本ぼんぼん企画に参加することにしました♪ (三密を避ける為、Zoomを使います。)
Zoom ID : 下記よりアクセス
参加費は無料。 ご家族ご友人など、お誘いあわせの上 是非ご参加ください!
Hello Luna family,
As you may know that "Matsumoto Bonbon " has been canceled this year.
However, "Shinano Mainichi Shinbun" will have a ''remote'' Bonbon dance event this year.
Luna will join this event .
Let's dance together with our families and friends with zoom! We will make a Zoom chat room for Luna members,and we will record the dance routine as a group. We will then send this to 'Shinano Mainichi '' for them to use. They will collect recordings from different groups and make a dancing compilation. This compilation will be played at several shopping malls in Matsumoto city during summer.
Date : July 18th, 2020 (Sat)
Start time : 18:00 (JST)
Time schedule 18:00~Chat、18:10~Practice dance、18:25~Record dance together
ミーティングID: 867 5969 6384
パスワード: 580897

Dress code - red t-shirt or something "British"

Monday, 6 July 2020

If I were rich, I would go traveling with my family

If I had as much money as Toad, I would like to spend for traveling.  As I don’t have much money, I always have to make plan within my budget.  But, if there is no limitation of budget, I can enjoy everything I want.

I would like to go travelling with my family as much as I can.  We went to Okinawa a few years ago and spent good time there.  As Okinawa is south area in Japan, I would like to go to north area for next trip.  I think Hokkaido must be an ideal destination.  It is north area of Japan and popular destination for tourists.  There is a lot of famous places to go and food to eat. 

After we enjoy travelling over Japan, I would like to take my family to foreign countries.  My plan is to enjoy watching professional sports games.  Soccer games in Europe, baseball games in America, tennis games in Wimbledon and so on.  I will reserve the best seats at every stadium and buy the premium ticket of league championship.  It should be the exciting experience for my family to visit famous stadium as well as see top players.

The famous destination like Hawaii, New York, London, Dubai, etc should be another great idea and the world heritage tour will surely give us inspiration.  It is fun to think about my trip and the most important thing for me is to enjoy every moment with my family wherever it is.

Self-destruction - Dorian Gray after reading

When the artist drew the picture of  Dorian Gray, he was only a good looking boy with an innocent heart. His portrait had pure beauty, just like the sitter, Dorian .

But the Lord, a very influential man opened up a new world for Dorian and he discovered the pleasure in the dark side of the world, which he'd never tasted before.

Even though Dorian hurt innocent people to seek his desire, he still kept his youth and beauty. His sinless appearance and his wealth helped him and people still listened to him. So he'd never realized his sin. Those bad spiral took him into darker side of the world and gradually it got spoiled him like opium.

When he realized his mistakes, it's too late. Nobody listened to him and believed him anymore. Only his empty appearance with no heart was remained. No wonder he would self-destruct.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Heathcliff's epitaph - as imagined for the local newspaper

It was a very quiet burial.

Mr Heathcliff passed away and was buried next to Mrs Catherine Linton. Following his will, only Mr Hareton Earnshaw and Mrs Ellen Dean, the housekeeper, were present and there was no ceremony and no words from the Bible. No one knew about his detail, even his age, so only one word 'Heathcliff' was on the gravestone.

There were a lot of rumors about Heathcliff.

Mr Earnshaw brought a gipsy Heathcliff to Wuthering Heights from a street of Liverpool in 1770. He got along with Catherine very well and he was brought up like her good friend. But after Mr Earnshaw's death, he was treated like a servant and was punished by people in the Heights. He was getting miserable but proud and started hating the Earnshaw and the Linton. His cruelty and violence were from his sad upbringing and all his life was the revenge to two families.

Posted for Sayuri

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Sayuri's favourite garden - Karuizawa

My favorite garden was the deep green mossy garden of our previous house in Karuizawa. It was covered with beautiful moss and surrounded by azalea hedges.  Many tall larch trees made the garden like a small reserve for wild animals.  You could see squirrels, pheasants, titmouses and even wild boar.

I thought moss grew without any care but it was quite a job to keep moss beautiful.  They were very sensitive and we needed constant weeding.  Once weeds made their way into moss, it was almost impossible to get rid of them from moss and they made moss die.

When it's autumn, colourful leaves fell on the green carpet of moss like a beautiful picture.

In winter, white snow on the moss was like a playground for small animals and you could enjoy seeing several kinds of small footprints on it in the morning. 

It was only one year but we still have cherished the beautiful memory of our beautiful garden in our lovely house in Karuizawa.

Posted for Sayuri

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Leonardo da Vinci time and now

It took over 500 years from Leonardo da Vinci time. Technology in our life has been improved and there are a lot of things which are changed and unchanged.

Unchanged is that there were a lot of artists such as painters and performers when I was walking down streets in Italy. I felt that an art was very closely related to their life. I could meet the art easily without going to museum.

On the other hand, a lot of things have been changed since Da Vinci time. Air plane or helicopter have been developing and we can fly and go abroad easily in just one day. Sculpture is also made easily by most advanced technology such as 3D printer.

I think Da Vinci would excite if he had been alive in the present world and he would develop more for the current technology by his fabulous idea and genius observation. I also imagine that he would think the current world was not much changed than he expected.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Father's dream

My father has a dream after retirement.It is to go various countries by a cruise like ASUKA II. On the weekend, he often watches the television programs which introduce the comfortability/facilities of some cruises and what beautiful views we can watch at visited countries. His dream is hold due to the coronavirus now. However when he makes his dream reality, I am going to go with him and to prepare a tour fee for the future tour.There are various operating companies and numerous tours.We can choose a tour duration with a flexible period. We can enjoy the short-period tour in almost one week, and the long-period tour in almost one year.

When a question comes where you want to visit after solving coronavirus situation, my answer is islands in Okinawa to watch the blue sea.The tour by a cruise will make me a lot of chances to watch the oceans.Also, it will make chances of experience to eat local dishes and to sightsee in various countries while the anchorage time is limited.

Friday, 5 June 2020

People have the right to make a protest, but…

On 25 May, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A, a black American was killed by a policeman. This incident raised a storm of protest and now it is growing to a massive riot case. This disturbance can’t be quelled and getting spread all over the country.

I think people has right to make a protest and in this case the protester fight with good cause. There is deep-rooted racial discrimination in this country. People should protest it. Their claim is reasonable but lately some of the people turned into a mob and they destroy cars, buildings… also loot stores. However, their claim is reasonable, acting of violence never be allowed in any cases.

The terrorists who hijacked an airplane in this book “Skyjack!” have right cause for themselves but murder and violence are not allowed.

An after reading task, for OUP Bookworms "Skyjack!", by Teruki

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Love letter - Henry VIII to Jane Seymour

Dearest Jane,

I received your letter this morning but you sounded very ill.
The doctors have reported me that you shall get better soon, so please be strong and get well for me and our precious son, Edward.

Thank-you for giving me a son, my dear Jane.  Now I am the happiest person in the world.  I will cherish him and make him a great King after me.
OUP Bookworm - Henry VIII

You are the only person to listen to me well.  You are very kind to my daughters, Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth.  I always have a lot of enemies around me and I was almost implicated in the plot of Anne Boleyn.  But you are so different from the wild dangerous witch.  My life with you have been peaceful and contented which is the first time ever since I became the King of England.

Please live a long life with me.
I will come and see you tomorrow.

Your loving husband and the King of England

Henry Ⅷ  xoxo

Posted for Sayuri

Saturday, 16 May 2020

High school student's PPT advice for COVID-19

A high school student's advice for COVID-19 prevention
A poor reproduction of Yuto's excellent PowerPoint poster, with advice about COVID-19 (can't upload PPT to Blogger I'm afraid). As you can see, he put a lot of thought & care into his design & message.

An after reading task to OUP's Read & Discover level 6 graded reader title "Cells & Microbes", somewhat relevant especially as he aspires to become a doctor (still!).

Posted for Yuto

Friday, 15 May 2020

An ex-journalist's (imaginary) newspaper report - Chemical Secret


Two days ago, some dead seals were discovered on some small islands and sandbanks around the mouth of the river. The cause seems to be an unknown disease. What can be assumed is the possibility that the damage was done by the water supply from the paint factory. It is said their drain carry waste products into the river. We must find out the bottom of the case.

When John Duncan got to the hospital, his daughter Christine and Simon were there with their baby. The baby was beautiful and looked healthy. John felt relieved and suddenly cried loudly. Nobody could stop him crying for a while. When he stopped crying and looked at Christine, she smiled at her father forgivingly. John talked to Christine and Simon how much he had worried about their baby and how much he had been stricken with guilt. Christine showed her understanding about her father. Finally, she recognized that her father had brought up two children desperately by himself and he had always loved them deeply. Now her father had lost many things, so they decided to live together.

John Duncan is basically a hard-working, serious man. He looked after his children very well. Since he needed job to provide for them, he had to do as his boss said. He found out a big secret about the company, but he could not bring the issue out into the open. He tried to keep the secret to protect their lives and the employees, but his daughter did not understand him at all. He lost his house and his daughter’s trust and love.
Are jobs for people are more important than seals dying?

It looks like a difficult decision. If lots of people lose their jobs, some people might not be able to live. However, also we should not ignore about environmental preservation. This is a fundamental issue. We should not compare human life with animal lives because each life has same weight.

An after reading task, for OUP Graded Reader "Chemical Secret", by Teruki

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Biography of Taka - Japanese pop idol

Takahiro Moriuchi - One OK Rock vocalist
Takahiro Moriuchi is the vocalist of Japanese rock band "ONE OK ROCK". He is an excellent musical talent. Now he is one of the best singers, and "ONE OK ROCK" is getting popular not only in Japan but also around the world.

Taka was born in Tokyo on April 17, 1988. His father is a famous Japanese singer, Shinichi Mori, and his mother Masako Mori is also a great singer.

When he was 13 years old, he joined "Johnny & Associates". He joined the idol group "NEWS". However, he was bashed because he was the son of celebrities and had become famous without having to struggle, so he quit.

When he as 17 years old, he joined "ONE OK ROCK". After that he wrote many wonderful songs, and they succeeded playing a lot of concert tours in Japan and also around the world every year. Their concerts in Tokyo Dome and Nagisaen (Shizuoka) drew audiences totaling 100,000 people in two days.

Now he tries to provide a new style of music with "ONE OK ROCK" band members. I hope and cheer for their success.

Posted for Masato - a big fan!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Roar into another I-Spy challenge!

The reason why slippers were invented? Lego, the domestic landmines!

How long will take you to find ALL the objects on the list?

Thank you Liz!

Friday, 1 May 2020

Let the kids play! Quizlet Live "individual" for remote learning

Collaborating competitively!
With half our students of this class Zooming in from home, we tried out Quizlet Live to review vocabulary competitively. This worked out very nicely, in "Individual" mode.

Teacher set up the game from PC on the Quizlet site, then shared the QR code on screen; quick tap & added their names with no explanation needed (think they've been improving digital skills with being at home - isn't that an indictment against schooling in Japan?)...all members of the the game need to be playing synchronously.

Press play & realised the set was far too easy! Our learners quickly demonstrated their grasp of technology as well as the target language.

Only problem with the F2F students = using my devices we could only play as "one" person, so some collaboration required, having disinfected hands & device first (and after).

We are lucky that our students have access to smart devices I know, and that they have good connectivity. Downside is more screen time, but to be honest the variety for book-based classes is more important.

Verdict? Strongly recommend Quizlet Live Individual

What's in your drawers?

Another lovely I-Spy challenge from "Aunty Liz"...

Can you find all the things in the list on the left?

How many of these things can you find in your drawers at home?

Why not share a picture?

Have fun searchng!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Flipping boardgames for remote teaching - going on a safari!

Keeping it simple and familiar is a mantra I've been trying to apply as more & more of Luna's students are joining us remotely. There are enough 'new things' to have to learn on the hop right now, an overload of advice and a fair avalanche of problems usually at the last minute or as classes are starting/students arriving...

Animal Safari is a simple board game from Orchard Toys, which I like to use to reinforce learning of (low) numbers + animals, and the target language to differentiate singular/plurals...
  • "What can you see?" "I can see a parrot" or "I can see three alligators" etc
But how to play when the mice are all at home?!

Solution: looks messy (my end) but worked a treat for the end users, (9-10 y.o.) on iPhones.

Game set up on the floor, counters flat on the board. Bird's Eye view of the game & pieces by balancing an iPhone above it (plastic train track cellotaped to a box overhanging the table edge = avoids a shadow. Share that screen in Zoom, with your camera app open, making sure everything is "the right way up".

Floored - analog game play!
Teacher shakes dice for the students. Hold dice up to the iPhone camera so they can count for their turn. Teacher moves the relevant counter forward (make a note of player/colour counter in game play order!). If there is extra action eg take a card etc, then hold that card also up to the camera and let the game play happen - as much as possible get the participants to do all the talking (establish turns eg A plays, B asks the questions...B's turn, C asks the questions & so on).

Teacher meantime on video as Zoom host, giving feedback & correcting if necessary, keeping the action going & everyone involved. Not easy - juggling a number of roles! I got so confused I couldn't remember "Meerkat" when asked!

I think this set up will work with most simple & familiar board games out of the cupboard...going to try a few more! Avoids downloading apps and all the hassle there with extra screen time etc and also clearly not digital ie I, the teacher, need to be 'in the room' so I'm not going to making myself unemployed...

Give it a go - what analog game & set up works well with your YLE class?

What can you see?

Can you find all the items listed with the picture?
What colour are they?
What is your favourite thing?
What is the strangest thing?
How many of these things can you find in your house or garden?

Thank you Liz George for this lovely idea!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Remote postcard from...Whangarei, New Zealand

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well and are at home staying safe and healthy away from corona.

Luna students met Laura here 20 years ago!!!
Here in New Zealand we have been in lockdown for one month, and it has been extended for one more week until Tuesday. This means that everyone in New Zealand has had to stay home and only communicate with people in their ‘bubble’ in person, the only time we are able to leave is to go for a short walk/bike ride or to an essential service (supermarket, pharmacy etc). I have been staying with my family on a farm in Whangarei, but will be moving back down to Auckland after the alert level is low enough to continue with work and prepare for university which I will start in July!

I miss all of you so much, and love seeing all of the photos of everyone on Luna’s social media!

Lots of love,

Laura :-)

Friday, 17 April 2020

Japanese users' guide to Quizlet

生徒様 保護者様

Quizlet の使い方(パソコン・iPad/iPhone・スマホ)

[Quizlet] のアプリをダウンロードする

1. 検索画面から「Lunateacher」を検索。
2. 「LunaTeacher先生」を選ぶ。
3. 各クラスで使っているテキストブック毎に Quizlet があるので自分の使っているテキストブックのタイトルを選ぶ。 また「Edmodo」を通じて担当講師から課題(homework)が出ているときは課題をやり提出しましょう(オンラインで)。
4. 是非、音量をオンにして行ってください。正しい発音が聴き取れるようになります。















  True ○  False ×

単語と単語の間はスぺースを空けること。 音声入力もできます。





ゲームです!設定は All, Easy, Englishでプレイします。


Day 1 /Flash card + Learn         

Day 2 /Write + Match                

Day 3 / Match + Spell                       

Day 4 / Test + Match                               

Day 5 / Gravity 

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Sockpuppets on inventions

To celebrate getting to the end of our text book, we had some fun with one of my favourite older apps "Sockpuppets". The free version works fine (but I seem to have lost a load of purchases/usability) and the outcome for Miyu & Aoi was very satisfying! Round of applause!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Online class #1

As promised, from April 13th, Luna is offering students who want to stay at home the opportunity to nevertheless join in with their class. We totally understand our students' & parents' concerns...and we also really understand that others really do need to get out of the house - which for now, is relatively safe here. We will provide our students with their classes 'live' online, as long as we have 24 hours' notice to do so - we found out today that we need a lot more preparation time & logistical care....a lot of things we cannot do at the last minute.
Cardboard box + Thomas track = cheapo interactive whiteboard!

As long as needs be, we will provide this opt-out/stay-in service, and at no extra cost. We are sharing an audio of these classes via Edmodo, as well as other asynchronous homework tasks/games/projects and add ons.

We know an online class is no replacement for the flexibility & warmth of a a face-to-face class...we are going to find it really hard to replace game play for example...we will instead introduce a favourite free app & give our class members a challenge therein. We are lucky; most of our students have pretty good wi-fi, plenty of memory space on their smart phones/tablets, parental support. Chance to share/learn & extend everything we do and build on all the good ideas we've been having for years! It really strikes me that there is going to be such a conversation to have soon about digital poverty on top of actual financial poverty.

BIG moan I have now = why do publishers only produce large flashcards - back in the day, playing card size was the default & perfect for all manner of games, and cheaper/easier to manage. And now, would fit half a dozen under an iOS device >> be able to gamify.

Little other moan - I have to stop biting my fingernails!

Last moan - at Luna we only ever give students homework AFTER we have taught something, or occasionally in a flipped learning scenario as in "we'll be doing this next week"...what the hell have Japanese school teachers been doing since closure in March?

  • Delivered or learned how to deliver a single class online? Been given training/log in/security training in how to do this?
  • Mastered or even tried the #EdTech to deliver above?
  • Written a single email or message to any student/class via any app/online learning system/LMS?
  • Learned how to use/apply an app? Shared that/assignment within?
  • Been given a budget to buy/master an app & enroll a class eg Class Dojo?
  • Been allowed to take a PC/laptop home & do anything from there? 
  • Attended any webinar or used SMS to ++ on professional development?
  • Figured out how to use/install a webcam/mic?
  • Figured out how to connect their iOS device to an online meeting & share that screen?
  • Justified the need to actually go to school when there are no kids there?
  • Checked in on their students' mental well-being?
  • Provided online homework (boring as all fuck that it is) provision?
I think I could go on...

My point really is, we will not be going back to school as usual. We won't at Luna, and as a parent I will not accept it at my children's schools. Will you?