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Bresee's blog

Grade 2 Field Trip

DATE:2017.04.28 Friday  Category:Special Events

Today is field trip day!


I went with the Grade 2 students on their adventure to a park in Hatsukaichi.


Like all things, the event started with a ceremony.


We were soon on our way, leaving the school and heading out through the local park.


The children were excited to see the boats in the harbor.


The next part was a long walk up and over the bridge that spans the harbor's mouth.


The last part of the walk was along the south side of the harbor.


Then it was time for activities and games.

I started with a scavenger hunt. The students had to find all the things on the list. First, we practiced the pronunciation of the things to look for.


When a student found something, he or she had a teacher check it on their list. 



The next game was called jungle gorillas. Basically, it's a game of tag with those who are "it" kept in the center band of the field. The other students have to pass over that band as many times as possible without being tagged.


Then the teachers became the gorillas in the middle, just to make it more challenging for the students.


The last game was keidoro, or cops and robbers tag. Once tagged, the white hats had to stay in the circle until freed by another white hat.


Everybody's favorite part was next... lunch time!


Before leaving, we made a final check to make sure the park was cleaner than when we arrived.


The walk back followed the same route as the morning, but it seemed everyone was walking a little bit more slowly.



Almost home guys!


All of today's photos are from the Grade 2 excursion.  I plan to get some photos from the other adventures onto this blog after the weekend. Check back Monday afternoon to see more of Nagisa's adventurous day!

Welcome Assembly for the Grade 1 Students

DATE:2017.04.27 Thursday  Category:Assemblies

After the official welcome of the entrance ceremony and a couple of weeks to settle in, the Grade 1 students were welcomed with flair and humor today.


The Grade 1 students lined up on the stage to watch the show.


The Grade 2 students put on a performance showing the kinds of things that they will learn in Nagisa.


They demonstrated the flag dance from Sports Day.


The next group showed how to use Kendama, a toy made locally in Hatsukaichi.


This group shows off their jump rope skills, which the students practice for the Jump Rope Grand Prix.


Finally, this group demonstrates The Eensy Weensy Spider song. 


The Grade 3 students came up next to introduce some of the different subjects that the students will take. 


Grade 4 worked their way through some school rules and common school expressions. 


This photo shows the saying that we "listen" with our ears and eyes.


These students demonstrate how to begin each class.


What happens when people fall down and get injured?  


Where should they go? The infirmary? The meeting room? The auditorium?


Using this quiz style, the Grade 6 students introduced different places around the school to the new students. The new pupils put up their hands to choose their answers.


At the end of each presentation, the presenters were sure to say that if the new students had and questions or problems, the older students would be sure to help.  


To say thank you for the fun presentations, the Grade 1 students sang an energetic song of gratitude.


To end the assembly, the whole school body sang together to show their newfound togetherness.


Thank you to all the students who planned and practiced today's presentations. Our newest pupils now feel welcomed and like they are a part of the school. Good Job!

Student Committees

DATE:2017.04.26 Wednesday  Category:School Life

The older grades met today for the first time this year in their student committees. The Grade 6 students took the lead, and the Grade 5 students learned how the committees work.


This year, I am with the volunteer committee. I took these pictures as the students were discussing what they would do for the year.


The students decided on the broad themes for the year. They agreed to: pick up trash around the school neighborhood, raise money for charity, collect Bell Mark symbols, write the volunteer newspaper, and collect plastic bottle caps.


The Bell Mark symbols are printed on the packaging of participating companies' products. When enough of those symbols are collected, they can be exchanged for goods. Last year, the volunteer committee sent the goods received to Tohoku to help earthquake victims.


The bottle caps are collected for recycling. When enough are gathered, they can be sold to the recycling company. The money raised goes towards buying immunizations in other countries.


I'd like to thank these students for the work they will do this year to make our neighborhood and our world better places.

Going Home

DATE:2017.04.25 Tuesday  Category:School Life

Like schools all around the world, one of the things we teach is safety.  These Grade 1 students are learning how to get home safely, as they will soon be traveling without teachers or parents with them, which is usual in Japan. Most children in public schools walk to the neighborhood school every day. However, since Nagisa students can come from further away, they need to know how to use public transport safely.  


They will often be traveling with the older students but they need to know how to return home independently as well.


One last task before the day is done. The students have to use the card checker, which automatically sends an email to their guardians' cell phone. The guardians then know that the students have left the school grounds.


Next, they say goodbye to their teacher to end the school day!


These students get ready to depart.


Crossing the street carefully is a skill we practice every day.


This group heads out to the nearby train station.


These students get ready to walk down to the school bus.


However you travel home, make sure you get there safely every day!

Physical Education (PE)

DATE:2017.04.22 Saturday  Category:Lessons

There are always a lot of things going on at Nagisa.  Of course, regular lessons happen every day! Lessons may happen all the time, and they are fun!


Today Grade 4 had a PE class that I wanted to join too!


When I first got out to the field, I could see that all of the students had hula-hoops.


The students were learning how to throw the hoops with spin, so it would return to them.


Next, the PE teacher gave a challenge, to try and hop over the hoop when it came back to the thrower.


It was pretty hard for everyone at the start.


Everyone got better little by little.



The next challenge was to jump through the hoop as it was rolling. I didn't get any pictures, but I did get to laugh with the students as they tried the impossible. 


With the impossible challenge cut short, the teacher called everyone back for some more instruction.


Then it was time for a demonstration. The first person in a team of four was to roll the hoop and the remaining three had to jump over it.


It took some practice, but the students could definitely come together in their teams to make it work!


Take a look at the teamwork!


Here's another group!


Today's lesson was a great way to get fit, have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Break Time!

DATE:2017.04.21 Friday  Category:Around the School

Yesterday I showed some of the students enjoying their break time outside. Today, let's take a look at what some of the students are doing inside during the morning break.


The first students I came across were in the Grade 4 area. I've mentioned before that the students here are very musical. It's not a surprise that some of the students spend their free time practicing their favorite songs!


Some of the Grade 4 students took this chance to catch up on some reading!


In the Grade 5 area, I found some more students. Talking with friends is always a great way to spend your free time!


Just like the Grade 4 students, these Grade 5 students also used their time to work on their music skills!


Nothing beats peace, quiet and a good book!

Lunch Time!

DATE:2017.04.20 Thursday  Category:Around the School

Having time to play is an important part of the school day. That is the same anywhere you go.


What do the students at Nagisa like to play?


Let's take a look.


This first group is playing kickball, or as the students like to call it, "kick base". The rules are basically like baseball.  Here, you can see some Grade 3 students playing. First, there is the pitch...


Then comes the batter, who is actually kicking the ball.


After that, the students run around the bases just like baseball.


Another popular sport is dodgeball. Here are some Grade 5 students playing.


A little bit further down the field, some Grade 4 students enjoyed some more dodgeball.


Here are some of the Grade 1 and Grade 6 students paired up for a game of tag.


Some students used the time to play on their favorite equipment.


Swinging on the monkey bars is always popular too!


Some things are the same around the world. The games we play may differ, but everyone likes to have fun!

Chorus Club

DATE:2017.04.19 Wednesday  Category:Around the School

Of the many things that I love about Nagisa is the chorus club, or gassho bu. They constantly win prizes for their excellent singing.


To get to that high level requires a lot of practice.  I want to show you a little of the hard work that they do. 


Before singing practice begins, they students are silently doing their homework, waiting for the teachers to arrive.


However, the camera provides a big temptation to pose!


To gain the skills that they have, the students need a lot of practice, and also quality coaching and instruction.  These teachers provide the students with technique, motivation, and leadership!


The students line up for practice.


The practice session started. Even though the students were only warming up with scales, the clarity of their sound and the power of their voices was moving. 


I always enjoy hearing the chorus club sing and am very happy that Nagisa allows me the chance to hear them regularly.  


Chorus Club, keep practicing! You sound fantastic!

Morning Surprise

DATE:2017.04.18 Tuesday  Category:School Life

I'm sorry I don't have a photo to go along with today's post, but I wanted to share a pleasant surprise that I had this morning.


As I was walking from the station to the school, I heard the word "egg"  from a group of Grade 4 students ahead of me. This was followed by "bing-bong", the game show sound used to reward correct answers.  I was impressed, the Grade 4 students were giving each other English vocabulary quizzes.

English teachers in Japan are always excited when students use English independently, especially amongst themselves. You can imagine my inner glee when the next thing I heard was, "What's twenty minus twenty?"
Overhearing this exchange was satisfying to me personally, knowing that my personal efforts, the efforts of the English Department and of the school are paying off. We are creating students who are comfortable playing in a second language. This will lead to more and more confidence in using English, helping them on their way to becoming global citizens.


DATE:2017.04.14 Friday  Category:Seasons

Cherry blossoms fall

Children have a picnic lunch

Bento with classmates

-Bresee 2017



Seeing the cherry blossoms fluttering in the wind made me want to write a haiku today, but I think I need to practice!


Japan loves cherry blossoms. They make people want to write poems. They also inspire picnics. In Japan, "hanami", or flower viewing picnics, are held every year. In the most popular parks, the best spots are reserved well ahead of time until the whole group can arrive.


At the school today, I found several classes out enjoying the blossoms.

Here the Grade 3 students are sitting under the cherry trees in the school garden as they have their lunches.


Outside the auditorium, the Grade 2 students also soaked up the sun while eating.


Cherry blossoms don't stay on the trees long, so I recommend you go and have your hanami picnic soon!


学校法人鶴学園 なぎさ公園小学校

〒731-5138 広島市佐伯区海老山南2丁目2-30 TEL:082-943-0001 FAX:082-943-0004