Friday, October 24, 2008

Speech Contest

This week has gone pretty fast. On Monday and Tuesday I taught at Tenmyo. It was relatively easy, basic lessons, nothing crazy. On Wednesday I taught at Azuma Elementary. All the 2nd graders insisted on getting my signature again. I taught 2nd-6th Grade. In both 5th and 6th we played a game called Fruits Basket but it was “Halloween Edition”. I play this game at a lot of my schools so I think it deserves to be written about…

What fruits basket is if you don’t know: It’s a game where the students get their chairs in a circle and there is 1 less chair than number of people – kind of like musical chairs. Each student is assigned or picks a fruit (or whatever options there are depending on the category). It starts with there being one person in the middle of the circle of chairs. They are known as the ‘Oni’ (Demon). That person says a fruit (or item in the category of choice) and everyone that chose or was assigned that fruit must get up and find a new seat. In our case the words were ghost, bat, witch, jack-o-lantern, Frankenstein, mummy and skeleton. There is also a key word that can be said where everyone must find a new seat, usually it’s fruit basket but since we played a Halloween edition the key word was Happy Halloween (if said everyone had to get up and find a new seat). The person left without a seat is the new Oni. This continues until the teacher decides the game is over or time runs out.

It’s a really fun game and the kids love it. Whenever teachers get stuck in the middle the kids go crazy. When I’m the Oni I usually new a few items so more kids have to find new seats and they have to listen better.

Yesterday my Junior High School Azuma had its English Speech contest. Kids from every school in Sano met at this community center for the contest. After teaching at Azuma Elementary, 3 Azuma Junior High students came over to practice their English speeches with me. We practiced for about 2 hours. I had to help with their pronunciation, they almost all had the same common mistakes. It was pretty interesting and I took some pictures and videos. I wish I was able to post pics of the kids and stuff of it but apparently I can lose my job if I post pics.

My kids didn't win -- they didn't get 1st 2nd or 3rd but I thought they did well. My first year student Kentaro (7th grade) did well with no mistakes. My 2nd and 3rd grade students Momoko and Hiraku had some mistakes. Afterwards they cried, I felt really bad and they if I would of practiced more with them they would have done better but no one every asked me to help them out. i wish I would of in hindsight but can't change it now. After the speeches we had a long lunch break and Robb brought a hacky sack. We played that during the lunch break and after the kids watched for a while I made them play haha. They all looked interested but Japanese kids are just shy. So I brought the students from my school into the circle then other students started joining lol. Hacky sack is a good ice breaker haha.

video

After the results the contest was over. We went for ice cream to help cheer the kids up. I asked them what their favorite things were because I'm going to do something special for each of them. Momoko likes Naruto so I'm going to draw her favorite character for her and give it to her. Hiraku likes this band called News so I'm going to burn her a News CD. Kentaro likes DS, so I haven't decided what to do for him yet.

Friday (today) I taught at Ueno. The lunch was actually good today - it was dry curry beef (like taco meat basically) with pita bread. Whats funny is bread here is Pan - so it was Pita Pan when the kids said that I laughed. We also had some veggie soup and cheezy bread.

I talked with Matsumoto sensei about Ito sensei and we agreed he is a little weird and a little loud. He also wears his pants very high. We had a really good laugh about it, like falling over laughing – until he came back in the room. Then other teachers asked about it – we referred to Ito sensei as “He” and all I had to do was pull my pants up and they guessed correctly hahaha. I also gave Arai sensei my contact info and told him lets go bowling together sometime in Japanese lol. So hopefully he emails me or calls me and we go!

This weekend I'm headed to Tokyo (possible shinjuku ni chome) and Ageha! EXCITEMENT!

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