Leadership in Sports

Leadership in Sports

Every Year for Sports Day, our Mercury class takes on some extra responsibility with our special Sports Day Leader roles. Everyone in the class has a role for a different part of the event. Our 2021 graduating class is the biggest we’ve had, so we have included more leadership positions than last year!

The first leaders we choose as a class are our team captains. Everyone writes on a piece of paper a name of someone (not themselves!) from the class, and later we count all the votes to make a decision. The captain is in charge of their whole team and it is a tough job!

Captains leading their teams during tug-of-war

Alongside our captains we have our co-captains, who are equally as busy-if not MORE- than the captains. Co-captains are also in charge of leading radio taiso at the beginning of Sports Day.

The morning of the big event, all students will enter the field with a dramatic march! Leading the march, we have our drum leaders, baton leaders, and flag leaders giving us a colorful performance before the rest of the kids march in.

Before we get into our games, our cheer leaders take control of the field and lead their respective teams in a big cheer to get everyone’s spirits high! Later in the day, cheer leaders also take center stage during Red and White Team cheer dances!

Meanwhile, our MCs will be going back and forth to the front stage to announce the next event throughout the day. 

These leadership roles not only teach the Mercury class how to connect sports with responsibility, but also gives them a sense of pride as it is their last Sports Day at International Language House Kindergarten. Saturn and Jupiter classes can look up to them and get excited to grow up and do the same cool things themselves in a few years!

Sports Day Next Week?!

Sports Day Next Week?!

The days leading up to Sports Day are getting shorter! As we are getting closer to the competition day, our practices are becoming more often and more serious!

Mercury class has been focusing a lot on their soccer skills and jump rope skills.

Saturn class is focusing on their obstacle course for their class game this year.

Jupiter class has been practicing their animal-themed relay as well as getting used to “Ready, Set, Go!” commands.

Since September, Red Team and White Team have been working on their energetic cheer motions and dances every day.

We have also been increasing the amount of Park Days to also work on our group competitions, which include relay, sprint, and tug-of-war.

Not only are we getting a physical workout, our brains are also working very hard. We have been creating designs for our 2021 badges, practicing Mercury class’ Opening and Closing Ceremony speeches, counting points during practice, and memorizing vocabulary for some of our games.

This year’s badge 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners

With the collaboration of volunteer parents, our kindergarten teachers, preschool teachers, and other volunteers, our teachers are hard at work coordinating every detail for each part of Sports Day.

We are looking forward to next week!

2021 ILH Matsuri

2021 ILH Matsuri

This September, we held our 2nd annual Matsuri event at International Language House!

Last year was such a huge success and we are happy we could do it again!

This year, our matsuri had 5 stations:

Yo-Yo – Everyone grabbed a yo-yo from one of our water tubs outside!

Goldfish Scoop – Whatever kids could scoop, they got to put into their bags!

Snack Lottery – Each kid had a chance to pull a string from a group of strings. The string pulled would decide which snack they got!

Target Game – Each kid would throw a ball into one of 5 hula hoops and got a balloon!

Photo Booth – Everyone took a picture in front of a cute lantern design!

Before going into our different stations, all ILH kids and teachers broke into Bon Odori dance. We danced to two different songs together in the sunlight.

The days leading up to our Matsuri event, each class spent time making full-faced character masks out of different colored pieces of paper. We had so many different characters, including Pokemon characters, Doraemon, Ultraman, cats, etc.!

It was so fun to see all the girls dressed in their yukata and boys in their jinbeis! Many girls had their hair done to look fancy, so boys wore their masks while walking around to each festival station. We were so happy to have preschool kids join us as well 🙂

It was fun for the teachers to think of activities and games leading up to festival day. For the English teachers, we haven’t seen or heard of all the activities before, so it was fun to learn about each one and think of ways to set up our station.

Enjoy our video of the festival on YouTube by following this link:

Leader Board

Leader Board

One of the biggest changes in second semester is having Jupiter class being added to our unique ILH Leader Board.

What is the Leader Board?

Our school goes through a rotation every week, and a few students are chosen at a time to be that week’s leaders. The leaders are broken up into categories: Group Leaders, Teacher Helpers, Room Leaders, Daily Leaders, News Leaders, and Outside Leaders.

Under each category, the leaders each have various responsibilities.

Group Leaders

Lead Radio Taiso every morning and head up the lines

Teacher Helpers

Bring the role call sheet to the teacher, take care of the lunch box coolers, and help feed the fish

Room Leaders

Set up chairs for lunch, wipe off tables, and sweep floors

Daily Leaders

Lead morning and afternoon greetings and Show & Tell, and organize the library

News Leaders

Announce weather, the day, month, and day of month in the morning

Outside Leaders

Water the plants, pick up leaves or flowers, and clean up the sandbox toys

Teachers help make sure each Leader knows what job they have, and give commands in both English and Japanese. This helps Leaders each week to practice using everyday phrases in both languages.

Because Jupiters had all of first term to watch Saturn and Mercury classes take on Leader Board responsibilities, they all should know what is expected of them as they join from second term.

Not only does this help Jupiters participate more in our daily life at school, the Leader Board teaches life skills to also use at home, and brings out a stronger sense of responsibility from within.

Reuniting After Summer Break

Reuniting After Summer Break

Welcome back to second term!

We have been back at school for one whole week now! Our teachers have been so happy to see some familiar faces again at the kindergarten! Some kids have gotten taller, some kids have gotten faster at getting ready in the morning/afternoon, and some kids have gotten new haircuts!

Jupiters have been working on how to hang their uniforms on their personal hangers.

Teachers have also made a lot of changes for the new semester. First, our school also has a new sanitizer station, included with a thermometer to measure everyone’s temperature on their wrist. Second, we have also asked students to make sure they stay home even if they feel only a little under the weather. None of our students have gotten infected up until now, and we intend on keeping it that way while the virus continues to spread.

After welcoming everyone back to the kindergarten, we took some time in our individual English classes to talk about what everyone did over summer break. Everyone brought photo collages and hand-drawn pictures to show their friends what they were up to.

From second semester, many programs are added to our normal daily structure at ILH. Jupiters will be included in Show & Tell and also will be given the same Leader Board responsibilities as their upperclassmen. Project BOB will also be added from the middle of September to help supplement everyone’s daily English learning.

Besides additional English, everyone will be busy getting ready for our various fall and winter events. It may turn into a busy time, but with a lot of support from our teachers, it will be a fun, fast, exciting couple of months!

Stay tuned for more updates this fall as things get started!

Emergency Drills

Emergency Drills

Every month, we practice emergency drills at International Language House to prepare us for any potential natural disasters that may occur during the school day.

Types of emergencies we have drills for are fires, earthquakes, and intruder drills. Everyone acts out the situation as if it were really happening. We allow the kids to feel fear or surprise in the moment since they may feel the same way during an actual disaster, but also encourage them to use courage despite what they may be feeling.

After going through with the simulation, we make sure every one knows the incident is over and have a talk with everyone. Teachers make comments about what went well and what we need to work on for future drills with the kids. We also review some important steps to emergency reactions:

No running!

No screaming or panicking!

Don’t go back inside the school after you’ve left!

If it’s a fire, don’t breathe in the smoke. If it’s an earthquake, put on your shoes and cover your head!

Once we review the rules, we are ready to return to our normal school day.

Every year in September, we conduct a simulation of a large earthquake similar to Kobe 1995 or Fukushima in 2011.

On this day, we display a video of what those earthquakes looked like, talk about it, and hold a simulation.

When it’s time to go home, all parents must come to pick up their kids on foot. This is because if an actually big earthquake comes, the roads and train tracks will not be safe enough to ride on.

waiting to get picked up after our large earthquake drill

The more we practice for an emergency, the more prepared we will be in the future. Here’s to everyone’s safety moving forward!

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

At ILH, we are doing summer camp in the kindergarten! It’s been fun spending time together despite the hot weather.

Every week of summer camp has its own theme.

Last week, Timo teacher led a sports themed program.

This week, Thom teacher has been leading a science-themed program.

building sports cars

After Obon, our dispatch teachers will guest-lead our culture week, and the last week of summer camp will be led by Janna teacher, with the theme of movies!

Our normal daily schedule at summer camp starts with some English time and craft, followed by lunch and pool time.

After we get out of the pool, we do another activity and end the day with some ice cream and movie time.

Many kids from our school attend, but we also have had several graduate kids and / or community kids join us as well. Anyone is welcome!

Are you interested in joining summer camp next year? We will answer any questions you have about our school, summer camp, etc. through email, phone, and in person. Check out our Contact Us page for more information.

Introducing…

Introducing…

This academic year, we have been teaching with a new system in place.

The new system, called STAR, mixes English with special topics to help immerse our students into the language more while doing different activities.

We have added three new special classes:

Timo Teacher is in charge of our music class,

Janna Teacher is in charge of our Theatre class,

And Thom Teacher is in charge of our science class!

Our English teachers teach their special class to a different grade three days a week.

Here are a few words from our teachers about how the past few weeks have been with our new program in place.

Timo Teacher:

“Timo’s STAR class is focused on teaching rhythm through 3 different approaches: Drumming, dancing, and singing.

The Mercury class [learns] rhythm skills [with] drums and other percussion instruments while the Jupiter and Saturn classes [do mainly] singing and dancing.”

*All of the music that we use in the class is either an ILH original songs created by TILT, or a monthly kindergarten song.*

Thom Teacher:

“So far in Science class we have studied anatomy, the senses, and this month we are studying water.

Through experimentation, I hope that [the kids’] motivation to speak English will be sparked by a natural curiosity [in science].”

Janna Teacher:

“We have been using Phonics as a way to practice good pronunciation and voice projection while acting in Theatre class.

My goal is to have students confidently practicing phrases that are used daily at ILH! We have also been exploring our creativity and imagination!

After teaching STAR class, our teachers return to our regular classes and teach normal english after that.

So far, it’s been a lot of fun! We are happy when our kids go home and practice what they’ve learned with us even at home.

>>>Check out our Instagram page for more daily life photos<<<

Book Review: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny

Book Review: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny

This book we recently did for story time with Mercury class, although it was a simple enough story for all three age levels to enjoy.

P. J. Funnybunny is tired of being a bunny. So he decides to travel around and live like a bunch of different animals to fit in somewhere else. He ends up realizing he is the happiest being himself–a bunny!

This book is great for teaching different animal names in English in a fun way. It’s also a cute way to address self-love and accepting what makes you unique!

Many people, not just kids, try to be someone else to see if they will be more comfortable that way. After seeing how different people live, it becomes easier to know who you want to be.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Our overall rating is 5 stars!

Do you have any book recommendations? Leave a comment!

New Kids, New Feelings

New Kids, New Feelings

What does your child feel when they’re in a new place?

They may feel:

  • scared
  • homesick
  • uncomfortable
  • tired
  • lonely
  • overwhelmed

What do we do at ILH to help?

We provide:

  • friendly environment
  • fun games and new toys
  • modeling proper behavior
  • new friends
  • explanation in both languages
  • practice & patience

We make it a priority to make every day fun, safe, and full of opportunities to grow!

This year’s Jupiter class has adjusted relatively quickly to being at our kindergarten during the month of April.

We have seen crying faces, anxious faces, confused faces, stubborn faces, and tired faces. But recently, we have seen a LOT more happy faces!

Our Saturn and Mercury classes have been very willing to help their new friends get used to life here.

Watching everyone become comfortable here so quickly has been a joy for us teachers to see!

Here’s to a new school year!

>>>Check out our Instagram page for more daily life photos<<<