Two thirds of the order has now arrived. I'm expecting the last box of books to arrive in the next few days.
I should be able to distribute the books next week.
Very exciting. I hope you will enjoy them.



Next week the lunchtime chant (あいさつ) will go English!
The shortened version will be:
"Mothers, fathers, dear cooks too."
"Thank you very much for this yummy lunch"
"Itadakimasu" (there is no English equivalent)

This is in addition to the "Good Morning" song, "Lunchtime" song and one of the "Goodbye" songs, which are already sung everyday in English.
 

Last week we began Special Circle Times. These are a bit different to normal Circle Times. A group of about 8 children go with an English teacher for a session of English activity, normally work on the alphabet, story-time or phonics.
This is very useful as the children get more attention. Another benefit is that the group that remains in the classroom is smaller and more manageable.
You can see Lee-sensei giving a Special Circle Time session to a group from Bamboo by clicking the link below:
Special Circle Time for Bamboo

The bright green bear, Yamamoto-san came in to play with the children on Thursday this week. The children really enjoyed it and I'm sure Yamamoto-san did too!



In this photo you can see Lilly playing with Lilly class. If you
click the link below you can see a video clip of Yamamoto-san with Bamboo class!

Bamboo and Yamamoto-san



Very soon children in the Immersion course will be given catalogues from Scholastic and an order form (with instructions in Japanese).
The prices for English picture books in Japan are quite high and books bought through Scholastic are generally much lower than the shops and even many internet book shops.

The English teachers, myself included, have bought many books for the Kindergarten and our children this way.

Happy shopping!

Welcome to the Immersion Programme 2008-2009!
The year has started and the teachers have already taught their first Circle Time of the new year.
The teachers for this year will be:
Bamboo: Marika-sensei and Gregory-sensei
Lilly: Yuki-sensei, Lee-sensei and Anwar-sensei
Cherry: Yuka-sensei, Sobia-sensei and Yumi-sensei
Pumpkin: Risa-sensei and Augusto-sensei

We are all looking forward to teaching and learning with your children this year.

I'm in the process of applying to run a book club from the Kindergarten. This will mean that parents (and teachers) will be able to buy books quite cheaply from the U.S.
Watch this space!

For the last few months I've been researching phonics programmes and looking at ways of fitting a programme into the existing curriculum.
Phonics is very important as it teaches children how letters they learn as the "ABC" are used. You could call it the building bricks of the written language.
The programme I've selected builds very gradually. In Cherry the children will learn to recognise and remember instrumental, body and voice sounds which will be a lot of fun! Then in Lilly, the children will start to learn the sounds of the letters in games and activities. Gradually they will build up to learning short mixed sets of sounds. As new sounds are introduced, so more short words can be read.
Children in Bamboo will learn more short sets of sounds, so they will be able to decode more and more short words. For Bamboo, the programme will be supported by the monthly book which will be a phonics reader.
Eventually, they should be able to read very short phrases like "a dog and a cat". Of course, children develop at different rates, so some will be slightly behind and some will be slightly ahead.
The phonics programme is designed so that it blends into the Saturday School phonics programme guaranteeing a smooth progression.




 田上幼稚園の英語教育は、昭和51年の創立の時から、英語教育に力を入れてきました。「21世紀の日本を担う世界で羽ばたく子どもたち」をテーマに3千人を越える卒園生が巣立っていきました。卒園生の中には、テーマのごとく、世界の中で活躍している人達が多くいます。
30年の田上幼稚園の英語教育を通して、もっと国際人としての英語を習得するには、胎児から6歳までのバイリンガル教育が最も効果的であるという結論をえ、平成16年から幼稚園教育を英語で活動するクラスを編成し、保育園の認可も得て、0歳から6歳までのイマージョン教育を導入して、6歳までに日本語と英語がを聞き分ける子どもを育成しています。

 田上幼稚園の園児として、平成16年に2歳から始めたクラスの子どもたちが、今年の3月に卒園します。その結果が2月16日のお遊戯会で、英語劇で「オズの魔法使い」の英語劇を発表します。

サタデースクールの活用
第一期生は、4月からは小学生となります。今まで計画してきた。「サタデースクール」が本格的に活動することになります。サタデースクールは土曜日の午前9時から午後5時まで英語で小学校の科目を英語で行います。算数、社会、理科、音楽体操など、全ての科目を英語で授業を行います。これからが本格的な英語を使った教育になります。文部科学省のモデル事業として活動、報告もしてきました。16日(土)のお遊戯会にはどうぞ見学にお出で下さい。



Here are the picture books for February.
"What do you want?" (Longman, Mice series two) for Cherry class. This should help the children with the upcoming pretend shopping activity.
"Is it Winter now?" (Longman, Mice series four) for Lilly class. Lilly class with this book move onto the most difficult of the Mice Series. A good book for practicing the season names and winter vocabularly as well as the phrase "Let's____".
"The Storm" (Oxford Reading tree, stage four) for Bamboo. The last book in this series. We use this book as a sight reader but it will be very useful when the children start to read independently.

All the children take these books home with them at the end of the month.


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