International Children’s Day
The theme of this year’s international children’s day at JIES was international mindedness. Students, parents, international community members, and embassies worked collaboratively to promote international awareness and developed the curiosity about the world through a wide variety of activities including dances, games, and exploring country booths. We also enjoyed guest singer (Ikeda Ayako) and dance performances from JIES and Jinsho students.
We started the day with the opening speech sent by the Ambassador of Turkey to Japan. After that, our students performed a great dance show for the audience. There was a wide range of visitors representing many different countries, as well as visitors from the local community.
Each class was responsible for an individual country. Our students searched for information, organized games and activities specific to their countries, and decorated their classroom in cooperation with parents and embassies. It gave them a great opportunity to learn more about other countries and to develop their skills in working cooperatively. All the students, visitors and guests enjoyed booths and games.
Raffle and Turkish ice cream
Not only did we enjoy country booths we also had a chance to win amazing prizes from different countries during the raffle. The students, who visited a certain number of country booths, had free Turkish ice cream. At the end of the day, students also participated in the raffle. Winners were awarded wonderful prizes donated by various companies, and also by the South African and Turkish embassies.
International mindedness was also represented in our bake sale. Our PTA members showed a great effort by cooking delicious foods of various countries. All the visitors and guests showed a great interest and tasted these homemade foods.
International mindedness display
Our preschool students prepared an amazing display showing what international mindedness means for them. Each of our students also contributed to it by adding their own understanding of this theme.
Overall it was a great success with the effort of our students, parents, teachers, and staff. All the guests and visitors enjoyed the country booths, Turkish ice cream, delicious bake sale and presents from the raffle! They all appreciated the endeavor of the JIES community and expressed their sincere gratitude to everyone who worked diligently.
Literacy week provides an opportunity not only to celebrate the important skills of reading and writing, but also to cultivate a greater appreciation for the written word. This year's literacy week had a Super Hero theme. We wanted the students to think about literacy as a super power that can be used for the greater good. We designed a number of literacy related activities to encourage students to have fun while learning about the power of reading and writing. On Monday we played literacy based Jeopardy in mixed age level groups in order to get kids excited about the week. In super hero teams, the students answered a variety of literacy related questions appropriate for their grade level.
On Tuesday during language class, students had big write time during which they composed their own PYP-based superhero stories to be entered in a writing competition. They incorporated the PYP attitudes and learner profile attributes in designing an original superhero. We picked the top three stories and the winning authors received giant pens, certificates of achievement, and free books from the book fair! Congratulations to Eleanor from Grade 1, Alicia from Grade 2, and Hiromu from Grade 5 for submitting the winning entries! We also had an art competition in which students had a chance to design and draw an original super hero based on the attributes of the PYP learner profile. Kerim from Kindergarten took first prize for his entry of Communicator Boy. Communicator boy has the power to speak many languages and is internationally minded. He also has the coolest jet roller skates for zooming around the world. Kerim will receive a t-shirt with his original design emblazoned on the front. Congratulations, Kerim!
On Wednesday during the morning meeting, the teachers modeled a writing carousel. In the afternoon, the students worked together to write five original stories written in a rotation of 10-minute increments. This was achieved by assigning the first ten minutes to work on the opening, the second ten minutes to work on the build up, and the third ten minutes to write the problem, and so on. Teachers scribed while students let loose with a deluge of creative ideas. It was fun to see what the previous class had written and to add interesting details and plot twists in the subsequent sections of the story.
On Thursday everyone had a chance to come to school dressed as their favourite super hero or character from a book. There was no shortage of creative outfits. We also had an exhilarating school-wide Spelling Bee. Round after round of spelling excitement continued until finally, we were left with two spelling champions, Kerim from Kindergarten, and Sydnee from Grade 4, also received a book each from the book fair for their achievement. Congratulations Kerim and Sydnee! Your spelling skills are a truly phenomenal! After the spelling bee we read a portion of the book Would You Rather…, by John Burningham. Afterward, we played a game in which participants expressed their preferences among would you rather… choices. We did so by moving to a corner of the room that represented our preferences and then explained our choices. Would you rather have a hippo in your bathtub, spiders in your bed, or an anaconda on your sofa?
In order to enhance our literary experience, the entire school cooperated in a 5-day reading marathon. We were determined to surpass last year's record of 10,744 pages read in one week. This year we read 17, 169 pages! Well done JIES! Among other literary activities, we worked together to decorate our school with words, words, WORDS! Students and teachers found great sentences in the books that they were reading and copied them onto quote strips and posted them all along the hall's walls. By the end of the week we were surrounded by super sentences! Each individual class also created a reading fort using cardboard, paint, and other materials found at school. The kids constructed and decorated a colourful house, a cat bus, personal water-closets, reading pods, and a stately castle that was half haunted. On Friday the grand reveal of our reading forts took place. We had time for kids to explore the forts and read in them. Kids read on their own or in pairs or trios and enjoyed the fun environments they and their peers created. Everyone loves a fort!
On Friday we had our first book swap. Kids brought in good quality, used books that they were no longer reading. Participating students received a book voucher for each book brought in throughout the week, and on Friday they chose new ones from the books other children had brought in. It was a great way to recycle books that the kids had outgrown. We had a blast planning and participating in literacy week this year! Thank you to all of the hard working teachers and staff at JIES for making this year's Literacy week a smashing success!
Thursday the 28th of February was our Japanese Culture Day. This year everyone made Hina dolls and celebrated Hinamatsuri (Girls Day on March 3rd) together. For the activities, we invited a calligraphy teacher and wrote our school name, 神宮前国際交流学級, with calligraphy brushes. Also we played a fun game and made some peach shaped wagashi (Japanese sweets). For the main event, we had our students’ Japanese dance performance(Nihonbuyo). Everyone including our parents enjoyed both the performance and the workshop by the dance teachers.
JIES held its annual Numeracy and Science week during the first week of February. The children were mixed into their Suisha groups (mixed aged and ability groups) and enjoyed a week full of interesting and enjoyable activities. These included group Numeracy challenges like tangram,target number and Numeracy and Science jeopardy. Our whole-school topic was race cars. Each grade had to work on a different aspect of race car design such as wheels and axles, body shapes, light-weight materials, gradients and surface friction of ramps and body work. On the final day, the children shared their new-found knowledge with their Suisha group and worked together to build a race car and ramp. The winning group was the one whose car travelled the furthest and looked the coolest. Overall the week was a great success and we are all looking forward to next month’s Literacy week.
Every other year, JIES is participating to an Art Exhibition which is a part of exchange programs with our neighboring Japanese elementary school and it features art works by students of both schools. This year it was held on February 8th and 9th between 9:00 and 16:00 at the Gymnasium. Theme of this year is called “Colorful Atsumete (Gathered Colorful).” With the theme in mind, each class came up with a title and made a class work. Also, there were collaborative art pieces: A mosaic like drawing was an art work of all students from two schools and it was hung from the ceiling. A giant flower dorm was a 3D art piece also created by both schools. All parents were invited and enjoyed their children’s creativities.
JIES students did great job in Winter Performance.After voting on a musical, auditions, song practices, designing sets, choreography, making props and costumes, and weeks of rehearsals, JIES performed The Emperor’s New Clothes to an enthusiastic audience of parents and guests on Thursday, 20 December. Everyone enjoyed it very much!
On Friday, November 30th, all JIES students went on field trip to Kasai Rinkai Aquarium (See Life Park), 45 students and 4 teachers joined by 4 parents spent 2 hours enjoyed watching various sea lives. The most popular exhibit among students was baby sharks in a shallow tank and we could actually touch them! Everybody was so excited by the experience. Another popular one was penguins. It was fun watching them walk like babies and swim like bullets.
Before heading back to school, we also spent some time in a small park nearby the Aquarium and played together. It was a little cold but the students who often ran around didn’t seem to mind so much.
The greatest thing throughout this field trip was that the older students took good care of younger students. Each student from grade 4, 5 and 6 was assigned to pair up with one preschool student and they stayed together whole time. After all, we JIES are one big family!
A Special Art Exhibition at the Turkish Embassy
On Thursday, 1 November, JIES students were invited by the Turkish Ambassador to Japan to view a special art exhibition at the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo. The artworks were created by students in Turkey for children suffering from the effects of the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. It was an outstanding example of international-mindedness and caring. By viewing the exhibition, our students empathized with the victims of the disaster, and the pieces of art they saw inspired them to try to help victims of future disasters in their own creative ways.
Family Fun Day
Wednesday the 31st of October was Family Fun Day. Students, teachers, and parents alike enjoyed a parade around Omotesando. After returning to school we enjoyed food and drinks prepared by the PTA, and the students had the opportunity to play with friends from all the different classes inside and on the playground. Parents and teachers enjoyed having time to chat with one another and play with the kids. If you were unable to make it or would like to check out some of the wonderful photographs please visit our school’s webpage gallery. We hope to see you there next time!
Dr.Yoichi Miyao Visited Our School
On Thursday, 11 October, our students were treated to a visit from a surgeon, Dr. Yoichi Miyao. For many years, he has volunteered to provide greatly-needed medical care in developing countries such as Tanzania, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. Dr. Miyao spoke about Africa being a second homeland for all humans, and about his personal reasons for practicing medicine and volunteering to help people, especially children, in need. His presentation included a fascinating slide show, and the students learned a lot about life in those other countries and the challenges they face.
Shibuya Mayor Visit
On Tuesday 2nd October, some children from Grades 5 and 6 had an exciting trip to Shibuya Ward Office to meet the mayor. They each made a short speech in Japanese (which they had prepared at school) and then presented the mayor with Peace Day posters made by all of the children in JIES. Some of the children were a little nervous about making their speech, but their nerves turned to delight when he presented each of them with a present as a memento! Everyone behaved appropriately for such a formal occasion and all of the students were great ambassadors for the school.
Sports Festival (Undokai)
JIES had Sports Festival (Undokai) on May 26, Saturday together with Jingumae Elementary School (JINSHO). Congratulations to the Red Team for taking the cup this year. Congratulations to the White Team for being such good sports. Thank you to everyone for giving your all and showing great teamwork during a day of exciting athletic competition. We hope you all enjoyed it.
For Japanese people Undokai is very special and the biggest events which has not only running race but also many different performances. That’s why JIES and JINSHO kids spent lots of hours (in 3 weeks) to practice and get perfectly ready to it.
During this Undokai practices our students learnt so many things and made lots of friends from JINSHO. Even the JSL (Japanese as a second language) students tried to communicate to JINSHO’s kids, too! Also it was very impressive to see our upper grade students were very enthusiastic about doing their duties on the day. They listened to JINSHO’s teachers well and worked so hard.
We hope our students will keep the good friendship with JINSHO students!
JIES celebrated Earth day on Tuesday, April 24th .We discussed the responsibility aspect of the "Sharing the Planet" Theme. We asked the students, "What can we do to ensure that we will have a healthy planet with lots of plant life?" and the students came up with the idea of planting trees. Therefore, we decided to plant trees outside of the school to contribute to keeping the earth green and healthy! We got permission from the Meguro Ward Office to plant twenty trees in Higashiyama Park. The students planted ten Golden bells and ten of Reeves spirea. Each class made their own Earth day poster which reflects their feelings about Earth. Parents were invited to join us and five mothers of students put their hands in the soil with JIES students.
Finally, we had a presentation about how to plant a tree from preschool and kindergarten students.
International Children`s Day
JIES celebrated the fifth annual ‘International Children’s Day’ on Saturday, April 21st.
International Children’s Day is an event where children get to have a fun day in celebration of their efforts through the year.This year, we invited other international schools, outside communities and Japanese schools in Tokyo to make it more internationalized and lively.During the event, we put on various fun activities, performance (Bubble Show by a professional performer), as well as a bazaar and snack sale.All of which were enjoyable for both children and adults alike.
Numeracy & Science Week
This year we held Numeracy and Science Week between March 1st and 9th. Our aim was to promote the enjoyment of Numeracy and Science to all students in all grades. We achieved this through fun activities in mixed age groups as well as projects done during class time built around a general theme of Space. The games that we played were Pin the Tail where children searched while blind-folded with help from their team-mates for answers to questions stuck on a life-size skeleton. We played Build a Tower where teams had to build a tower from blocks as high as possible in two minutes then balance raw eggs on top in order to get bonus points. We played Grab a Number where children had to find the answers to Maths questions, Maths and Science Jeopardy as well as balloon rocket and paper aeroplane investigations. Class projects were based around a hypothetical discovery of a new planet between Mars and Jupiter called Blars. Preschool and Kindergarten had to design Alien Life Forms, Grade 1 made paper mache planets, Grade 2 made a 3D map of the Blartian surface, Grade 3 did an investigation into possible vegetation on the planet, Grade 4 made a scale model of the solar system and did a water filtering investigation and Grade 5/6 research gravitational effects and also came up with a plan to extract water from beneath the surface of Blars. Numeracy and Science Week was extremely successful and the students really got a lot out of the activities.
The second week of February was Literacy Week – a week of exciting literacy related activities for the whole school!
Throughout the week, the children took part in activities relating to every aspect of literacy, that they could enjoy and be inspired by. As well as different daily activities, there was a book fair all week and normal lessons were interrupted for ten minutes each day as the whole school dropped everything and read when they heard the sound of the reading bell! Literacy Week continued at home too, with a story writing competition set as homework.
On Monday, the whole school prepared for shared reading sessions with classes from Jinsho, the neighbouring Japanese school. The children chose a book to read and allocated parts or pages to be read by each child in the group. On Tuesday and Thursday, classes from Jinsho came to hear our English stories and to read one of their own in Japanese.
On Tuesday, the children were set the task of designing a poster to encourage reading. They had to try to incorporate persuasive language and advertising techniques into their posters, which were displayed around school as a colourful reminder to keep reading during and beyond Literacy Week.
On Wednesday, we had a spelling bee. Each class held their own spelling competition, before gathering in the playroom for the final to see who became JIES’s champion speller. Wednesday was also the day for readers’ theatre performances. Each class practised reading a play script, and then performed it at the end of the day to the rest of the school. All of the classes tried really hard to read with expressive voices in order to make their performance come alive.
On Thursday, we held a ‘Jeopardy’ style literacy quiz, in which teams competed to answer questions and score points. After being sorted into teams by the famous Harry Potter hat, the children wracked their brains to remember answers to questions set by their teachers.
Friday was costume day, and both children and teachers dressed up as a book character for the day. Throughout the morning, the children rotated between five different activity centres: a Pictionary grammar game, an instructional scavenger hunt, a literacy board game, recording a poem with sound effects and filming a scene from a story. After the activities, the story competition winners were announced, prizes were awarded and another year’s Literacy Week came to an end.
Now we’re looking forward to next year’s Literacy Week!