This week in NELP, the students are all very busy.
In First Grade, the students just finished reading an article about the importance of smiling and the benefits of smiling. As a homework assignment, I told them to go home and smile and think positively and report back what changes they saw in the home.
In Second Grade, the students are reading about two students at Purdue University in America who go out every Wednesday and randomly say nice things to people they see. They're known as the "Purdue Compliment Guys".
In Third Grade, the students just finished reading about Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War veteran who lost 140 pounds in 10 months through diet and exercise. He has a VERY inspiring video on youtube.
Next, the junior high students are going to be learning about ecology and the environment.
In First Grade, the students will be learning about Maeda Corporation, which asked its workers to cut their hair, partly to save energy (short hair doesn't need an electric drier).
In Second Grade, the students will be learning about Rachel Beckwith, a young girl who told her parents that for her ninth birthday, she didn't want presents. She wanted to set up a charity to build wells in Africa to provide clean drinking water. Sadly, shortly after her birthday, young Rachel died after a terrible traffic accident. However, Rachel Beckwith's original charity:water campaign raised almost $1,000,000 MORE than her original $300 campaign goal.
In Third Grade, the students will be learning about the town of Kamikatsu, Tokushima, whose town council adopted a policy of "zero waste". The residents of this town produce NO garbage. They compost and recycle everything.
These topics are part of a new theme in NELP that focuses -not on "world problems"- but rather on "world solutions".
This is a kind of thinking I want to teach my students: positive thinking, productive thinking, forward thinking. I want them always thinking about solutions, not just problems. One of our themes in the new NELP readings is "Making the world a better place." I think this is an important thing to think about and the students have been really interested in what we're learning.
投稿者 nelp : 23:16
Earlier this month, there was an eclipse in the morning. When I arrived at school, the science teachers and many students were enjoying the eclipse. I stopped to talk with them and take some pictures.
投稿者 nelp : 23:07
In my high school class we're talking about invasive species, ecology, etc. It's REALLY got me thinking about the balance of nature and about how we value life and the place of each thing in creation.
For example, we were talking last time about Gambusia affinis - Mosquitofish. These tiny little fish can live in all kinds of places, even pretty dirty and polluted water. They breed like crazy and they eat a LOT of mosquitos. My students watched a video about how they're used to control mosquitos in America.
In the video, people said that they were having a "mosquito-free summer" because of a program to put Gambusia affinis into ponds and swimming pools at tenantless houses.
Yet, they're bad because they not only eat mosquitos, they eat juvenile Medaka (Japanese Kilifish) that also eat mosquitos.
But as my students point out, due to declining habitats and declining water quality, Medaka are declining in numbers, while Mosquitofish thrive.
A lot to think about.
投稿者 nelp : 23:32
Here are the latest pictures from the high school program.
投稿者 nelp : 23:02
Here are the latest photos from the NELP program.
Here are the junior high school first grade students in grammar class.
Here are the junior high school first graders doing their review quiz to prepare for their English B test.
Here are the junior high second graders in reading class.
Here are the junior high school second graders doing their review quiz.
Here are the junior high school third graders in discussion class.
投稿者 nelp : 22:16
投稿者 nelp : 18:36
As you may have noticed, the NELP blog has been expanded to become the English Education Blog.
I hope that this will mean more updates and a greater variety of updates. As well, I'm hoping that more members of the English Department will be able to post information about Seishin's English programs.
投稿者 nelp : 23:51
Two Saturdays a month, the alumni of Notre Dame Seishin Gakuen host lessons for local elementary school children at Nadeshiko Hall.
Brian teaches junior classes (elementary school second grade and third grade) and Kim and I teach the senior classes (elementary school fourth grade to sixth grade).
The students this year are really super. However, they are also really, really advanced. My senior students already know most of the basic material I usually teach.
So this year, Brian and I are going to be updating the Seishin English Hills curriculum and adding some new challenges for these really amazing students.
The classes are from 10:00 to 10:45, 11:00 to 11:45, 12:30 to 13:15 and 13:30 to 14:15. From 14:30 to 15:15, Brian and I teach advanced classes to student who have a higher level of English proficiency.
投稿者 nelp : 23:46
This April, we officially started NELP Curriculum 8 (it's actually more like #10, but the first curricula didn't have numbers). It's going well so far ... but it's going to get better.
One thing I'm trying to build into the curriculum is the ability to allow students to set the difficulty of the program. Already we have a few measures in place. Students choose the difficulty of their library books and they choose how much to read (within certain NELP guidelines). As well, students have their choice of presentation assignments (and in first grade, essays): easy, intermediate and advanced topics. Also, students who want a greater vocabulary challenge (and some extra credit towards their final grade) can do Language Development exercises (which include vocabulary from Eiken STEP test 2nd grade, Pre-1st grade and 1st grade). Students can also choose to do book reports in addition to their weekly progress reports.
However, very soon, I'm going to move on to Curriculum 9! Curriculum 9 is going to offer many MORE choices to students, and it will allow NELP to better fit the needs of a wide variety of students who want to learn English in the NELP program.
There will also be some adjustments in homework to help students get more benefit from the time they spend preparing for NELP class.
So there are some very big and exciting changes coming soon that I hope will make the program a whole lot more interesting and beneficial for the students.
投稿者 nelp : 23:35
This Week in NELP, we're very busy.
In junior high school first grade, the students are reading about Cliff Young. He's a really interesting guy. In 1983, Cliff Young ran the Sydney to Melbourne Ultra-Marathon. He ran for 5 days and 15 hours. By accident, he only slept for two hours the first night, and then completely went without sleep for the rest of the race. Oh, and he was 61 years old and ran in gumboots! When he won the 10,000 dollar prize, he gave 2,000 dollars to each of the five people who finished the race after him, keeping nothing for himself.
In junior high school second grade, the students read William Dame's true story of a young soldier during the Civil War who had a very inconvenience interruption in his haircut. This year, because Brian is teaching them twice a week, I only see my second graders two times a week. I really, really miss them.
In junior high school third grade, the students read about Juan Mann and his Free Hugs Campaign that has since gone worldwide. The students really responded well to this story. I just want to say that my third graders have been totally awesome this year. They're working really hard, and their attitudes have been just SUPER. Keep up the good work, third graders!
My high school first grade class is learning about debate and about invasive species. Today, in our writing class, all of the students turned in their homework (Affirmative Constructive Arguments) and I got them started on Negative Constructive Arguments and attack. Rather than using tournament rules, I'm approaching debate more in the way that debate would be conducted in a company. After all, the theme this year is "leadership and business".
Thursday, my high schoolers will do their second debate on Mosquitofish. I'm really looking forward to it. Their first debate was BRILLIANT. I only wish I could get them to speak louder and speak out more.
投稿者 nelp : 23:27