Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween: I don't get it

 Call me a killjoy, old and boring or just English...I really don't get Halloween. Actually, it should be Hallowe'en. Erm. Or in full, All Hallows' Eve.

For me, the real autumn party is November the fifth - Guy Fawkes; bonfires, fireworks, toffee apples -oh, my first kiss (in Endcliffe Park) too!

If we want to to do witches and stuff, then surely that has to be autumnal equinox - preferably somewhere nice and remote like Pendle Hill or Salem County, chuck in some bad weather...or just a fab location like Stonehenge or a Mayan pyrammid?

We are a long way from Luna! Compared to life in Japan 20+ years ago, things are a lot more multi-cultural (on the face of it). Kids don't point and shout 'GAIJIN' anymore for a start, like they did when I first landed on the moon (Suzaka). Christmas starts in October. I can get real Guinness...When my friends & I went carol singing in Christmas Eve 1990, the police were called.

Kokoro and Kyoichiro dressed up for our play lesson this morning...for once mums not in matching garb. But, both families featured in this month's life & style maybe some teacher envy?! Nooooo. We have the best train set in town!

A few links:

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Board readers?

 We have been in our new school for ten months now - a decade in short-termism - but I STILL love my board on the floor. It's enormous, it's magnetic and it is so damn useful. I stuck 26 hooks across the top and hey presto is even more favourite feature is that it allows me to reverse the focus of any class and step away from the action.

When half the class doesn't turn up - flu, school trip, the generic *club* activity, plague, too hot,.....exploiting the graded readers and rewarding the readers is something I particularly like to do. ALL the books that our students are reading are now supported by at least one quiz set on Quizlet. Check them out - search for "Lunateacher".

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Temple of the Golden Pavillion, Kyoto

Takuro has asked me to post this poster project, which he made after reading "Wonders of the Past" - an excellent OUP 'Read & Discover' graded reader.

You can also learn with Takuro, if you want to pick up the key vocabulary from this level, with the set of flash cards from the glossary available on Quizlet "Wonders of the Past"

We are slowly putting together flashcards for the graded readers our students are using, and making them all available in this Quizlet Graded Reader group. Join the group or become our 'friend' on Quizlet to keep up with new sets as they become available?

Meanwhile, enjoy Takuro's good work about Kyoto's most famous landmarks. I am looking forward to helping him 'go digital' soon, and he is looking forward to actually visiting these buildings on his school trip next year.
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Thomas is No.1

 We have lots of little trains at Luna now, thanks to one of our extremely generous mums (we think 80!) and our tiny ones have been knocking themselves out with "What's his name?"

And we didn't know. So, hello Wikipedia, and a flashcard set for all on Quizlet. Download them to your smart phone or PC, play online or just reference this page when you get asked!

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Young Learners at Luna

 A big round of applause to our stand up young learners today, who wanted to show how much they are improving in English class.

Always a proud day for us at Luna, and also a worry - children can freeze on their big day...and there's nothing we can do! Cambridge ESOL Young Learners Exams (YLE) Day.  The children are taking exactly the same test today as their counterparts in Sapporo at EFL Club, and many hundreds of others at venues worldwide.

We are so proud we can offer this to our students - and we need to thank Yukari for her hard work in preparing everything meticulously, sourcing the papers from the UK, and making sure everybody knew what they were doing. Thank you Rico for being our speaking test examiner, and Kat for helping invigilate. Every little bit helps.

Our students always enjoy the 'tests' more than they expect, because they get to colour things in; all the answers are somewhere on the page; the pictures are really colourful and should know pretty much all the words anyway - and if we don't know we can still read them/have a good guess!

We are hoping to get our certificates back before Christmas now, so we can make a big fuss over them in front of all the parents. Papers have already been sent to the UK for marking. Fingers crossed everyone gets the kind of result they expect - and even if you don't, you still get a lovely certificate to put on your wall!
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Friday, 21 October 2011

Fresh air - can't beat it!

Our little walk to the new D2 hardware store was not a success - not the right kind of ink - so we made a sortie to Watahan. The benefit for our pre-schoolers here is the large fish tanks we can go 'wow' at. We can also try to find the gerbils and hamsters in their cages, but they are starting to thing about hibernating and hiding under their newspaper & cabbage leaves. The rabbits are too big to hide - and the dogs have nowhere to do anything, which is sad. But, they love jumping around when the children are there.

Across the road (once we'd found the ink) is the nice new park with all the swings and slides, and lots of open grass to run around on. It is still not too cold in the sunshine, and we ran around all the attractions twice over. Beats being indoors, again!

There were lots of other children there (and Jim even had to rescue one of a tall ledge!) with the same idea, so we had to wait for a turn (which is good to learn!)

Finally, we enjoyed a nice sunny picnic with lashings of fresh air. A very healthy pre-school day!

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Postcard from...London

Hello! All.

I enjoy petit Life in London.

The weather is
I see the sights of the London city here and there every day! I walk so'm tired a

See you in class.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Postcard from...Budapest, Hungary.

Jim & NHK guys

Hi everyone!

I have been walking around Budapest, Hungary for three days. Here is different from other Europe cities, I think.

Budapest is quiet, but dignified city. I enjoyed walking around Duna which is fabulous romantic in the evening. Hungarian food is very good. I like Gulyas soup. Some day, I hope to come back to this lovely, interesting city.

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hokuto's favourite photo

This photo is my favourite.

It was taken at first date with my wife in 2002. We were in Matsumoto.

We ate yakiniku and drink beer. She was working in Matsumoto as a dancer. I was a good customer, wasted much money in her bar.

Maybe she didn't like me, but I used to go to her bar, so she started to like me. We married three years later.

I keep this photo in my computer. When we argue, I show this photo to her. I say "Remember those days".


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A postcard from...Rudesheim, Germany

Jim & NHK guys,

Hello everyone!

After I visited various romantic towns in Germany, I stayed 3 nights in Vienna.In this trip, I went a cruise Rhein and Danube river.

When I visited a small town, located riverside, I feel like I am in the world of picture book. These towns are really amazing! Lovely!

I can enjoy new wine "Sturm" every town! It is fresh, fruity, sweet and sour! Wonderful!!

I am going to leave to Budapest from now!! Exciting!!

Teruki @wine
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Friday, 7 October 2011

Book Review - New Zealand

A happy reader
a) Did you enjoy the book? Why/why not?
  • Yes. My dream is to be a farmer. I might go to New Zealand next year, so I learned a lot of things.
b) What was the most interesting chapter? Why?
  • Chapter 5. In London there was a teacher from New Zealand. She had done Bungee jumping and she said it was so much fun, but when I read the book I thought she's mad!
c) Which is your favourite Maori story? Why?
  • p53 - in the Turi story, there were people who didn't believe the priest, but when the tsunami came the people started to learn from the priest.
d) If you visit New Zealand, where would you like to go? What would you like to see? What would you like to do?
  • I would like to go tramping.
  • I would like to see the whales at Kaikoura.
  • I would like to go skiing on the South Island.
e) Do you think Japan and New Zealand are similar? How? Is anything very different? What?
  • No. New Zealand has a lot of farmland. In Japan we don't do bungee jumping and New Zealand are very different.
f) Do you recommend this book? Why?
  • Yes. This book tells you everything about New Zealand. The people who want to go to New Zealand. I recommend this book.
Posted for Tomoro
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Thursday, 6 October 2011

A food chain - poster presentation

Posted for Takuro, as follow up to his graded reader...

"This is an example of a food chain. A food chain is when big animals like Eagles eat snake, then snakes eat frogs and frogs eat grasshopppers...So, in this food chain, the most important thing is sunlight because if there was no sunlight, grass can"t grow and grasshopppers die which means frogs die because of no food (grasshoppers). Animals that eat other animals are called predators and the animals that they eat are called prey."
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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

We're going on a ....castle hunt

Yes, I have to admit that location sometimes trumps everything.

Pre-school this morning, and one of our trademark fabulously cloudless early autumn skies on display...the mountains marking the skyline beautifully and just a hint that the trees are starting to turn. What would you do?!

Well, we went through the motions for a little while, but after snacktime the day really was looking to inviting to ignore anymore! Hats on, jackets on, shoes on - let's go on a castle hunt! And what would you know, we found one about half a mile from Luna. It's black, and over 400 years old. Today, the workers were preparing the grounds for the soba matsuri coming this long weekend - it will be rammed! Can you really do a long weekend based on buckwheat noodles? (Personally, will be yelling at England to beat Les Frogs in New Zealand!)

We had a picnic under a tree, then nearly fell into the moat with the fish (submarine-sized). On the way back, sleep attacked the weary walkers and we had a nice little nap time together :) That is the recipe for a very jolly day!

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Monday, 3 October 2011

Oceans in Danger

Readers will have to forgive the poor rendering of this excellent poster - my scanner is not big enough, and my iPhone is too small!

This is Takuro's poster as a follow up to the cool National Geographical reader he just finished on Oceans. The book was so interesting I had to read it as well, and the chapter quizzes were a lot of fun/challenging!

As you can see, he worked hard to produce an important message - and one I would love to see/hear more young Japanese people making (especially today, with the news that the Japanese whale hunting season is about to start 'with better security').

Let's hear it for Takuro and his sound ecological opinions!