Pink Shirt Day

On February 25th, students in middle school wore pink to promote the ‘Pink Shirt Campaign’ which originated in Canada. The campaign was started by two seniors from a school in Nova Scotia. David Sheperd and Travis Price bought and distributed 75 pink shirts after hearing that a male student was being bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt on the first day of school. Charles McNeill wore the pink shirt to support his mother, who was suffering from breast cancer but got bullied very harshly by classmates. To stop the bullying and show acceptance, David and Travis went online and e-mailed everyone they knew to encourage them to wear pink shirts the next day to support Charles, who was treated very unfairly by the bullies. David and Travis code-named it “The Sea of Pink” and on the next day to their surprise, over 400 students and teachers showed up wearing pink and from that day on, the bullies stopped what they were doing and their campaign was a huge success. Now, the campaign is recognized by over 25 countries worldwide and the pink shirt has become a symbol for the fight against bullying!

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Pink Shirt Day via

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Google Summit

On Saturday and Sunday, the Google Summit was held to provide a better understanding of google’s technology and inspire learning teachers to try new, different things. For both days, it started off with a breakfast time for teachers to relax and chat freely. At 8:30, all teachers assembled at the auditorium and google educators talked about the schedule and gave an introduction of the purpose of the google summit. Ken Shelton talked about Bloom’s Taxonomy and although there are many perspectives, I agree with Bloom’s revised version: Create, Evaluate, Analyze, Apply, Understand and Remember. During the transition time in between sessions, I stood in the hallway and guided teachers when they were not sure where to go. In total, there were 4 sessions for each day and to be honest, it was quite chilly and sometimes I was shivering but I think it was worth it as I was able to help a lot of people. For mostly every session, I went in the classrooms/ library to take pictures and I was appalled with the skill of the presenters. They were very confident and explained things very clearly and sometimes added a hint of humor and they talked about what awesome things people can create with google tools such as google docs and google maps.

During lunch breaks, I cleaned the tables as there were coffee spills and sometimes sneaked a few left-over snacks! 😛 On the first day, I went outside to get fresh air and buy a quick lunch and sessions started again at 1:30.  After the last session of the 1st day, I attented the Demo Slam. In the auditorium, teachers made presentations and shared knowledge about cool apps/ links etc. However, they were only given 3 minutes each and it was fascinating to see them explain about such important things in a limited amount of time. It was a little funny to see teachers speak hurriedly because of the time limit and the Demo Slam was definitely one of my favourite sessions.

The 2nd day of the google summit was very exciting for me. The morning started off with “Continental Breakfast and Networking” time and the opening keynote was led by Ken Shelton (Google Certified Teacher). After the two morning sessions, Masao and Insun shared their work that used google tools. They presented very well and the teachers were very impressed and interested in their projects. During the lunch break, we ate quickly and started making a slide show video of our favourite snapshots of the Google Summit. We included interviews of teachers and it turned out quite well. However, at about 40 minutes until the end of the closing keynote with Rushton Hurley, Jim Sill (main organizer of the event) came in to check on our video and give advice. We ended up starting the whole thing over again and changed the sound track. To be honest, we (especially Masao) were a little depressed as adjusting the timing of the pictures etc, took a lot of effort and time but we realized that it was a step that we had to take in order to create a better video and we were determined to finish it before the end of the closing keynote, so we can show the video to all of the teachers. We were very limited on time and when it was about 10 minutes until the deadline, we were very stressed out. We got really frustrated when the computer froze and we couldn’t do anything. When the video was finished, it was about 5 minutes until the deadline. However, we had to upload the video onto a USB Stick and we waited breathlessly and stared at the circle which indicated how much of the video was complete. The minutes of sheer panick was unbelievable and Andy’s calm demeanour was just absolutely annoying because I was almost bursting with panick.  Ms. Shigeta was also worried and was counting down the minutes until the deadline and tweeting Ms. Lemley. However, our level of panick was nothing compared to Masao’s situation. While counting down, he was exercising in order to run fast and deliver the USB stick and it was just absolutely hilarious. When the uploading was done at last, Andy started checking if the video was the right one etc. and we were literally shouting and when Andy was done, Masao ran to the auditorium and we were all pretty much exhausted after the tight tension in the room.

When it was time for the video to be shown in front of the audience, we were nervous and worried about the quality of the video but in my opinion, it turned out very well considering the time we were given to complete it. After the video ended, we were asked to stand up and the teachers applauded and it felt very good to know that our work was appreciated.  For the his keynote, Ken Shelton talked about why technology matters and the advantage of not knowing. If there are 100 choices and you pick a choice, there are 99 other options that you can learn from and explore. He tweeted, “Be Curious!! Ask questions, seek answers!! I call the whole theme of this keynote “Intellectual Curiosity” “. Rushton Hurley summed up the 2-day summit with a few inspirational quotes.  “Continue to inspire and be inspired each day” “The only person you ever need to compare yourself with is the you who you were yesterday” I think the teachers enjoyed the Google Summit and it was a fantastic experience. Ms. Shigeta tweeted, “I have to say I LOVE #GOOGLE extensions & add-ons! Changing the way I learn, teach, collaborate, and communicate. Learned at #gafesummit”. Sarah Reynolds (Deputy Head at St. Michael’s International School) tweeted, “#gafesummit feeling empowered, innovative and inspired to drive teaching and learning forward using Google for Education” Finally, I would like to give a huge thank-you to Ms. Lemley for literally everything (letting me help out, being an awesome teacher etc.), Ms. Shigeta for being there when we were in the midst of panicking and supporting us, the teachers who inspired me to be a better learner and of course the members of the tech team (great teamwork guys! :D).



CA + SMIS Teachers!

CA + SMIS Teachers!

Tech Team creating video

Tech Team creating video



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Grade 6 Debut Concert Accompaniment

Today was the Grade 6 Debut Concert and I had the privilige of accompanying a clarinet player (Clara) and two flute players (Jina & Jinbo) on the piano part. It was a great experience for me as playing in an ensemble is sometimes challenging as we have to adjust the tempo and play in unison. At some parts of the piece, counting carefully was necessary as the beat was not very straightforward. To be able to play the piece to our best ability, we talked about where the flutes should take a rest etc. and we changed a few notes so it would sound interesting and better than having the flutes play the same notes. For the effort and practice time I put in, I think i deserve 5.5 points. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Vest for giving me the chance to play with the three talented musicians!


Yusei Yogo Visit

Yesterday, students from Yusei Yogo visited our school and we did a lot of activities together including soccer and making clay masks. During the mask activity, I helped my partner carve shapes and lines into the surface and it was interesting to see how different and unique the pieces were after everyone was done.  Interacting with them was a very meaningful experience for me as although my partner was very shy and did not talk, I was able to communicate with him and create a beautiful mask together. Also, I was very pleased and surprised as they tried to talk to me in english and the teachers were very supportive and kind. The students had disablities but it did not matter as we had a lot of fun and we were able to share great experiences together.

International Kids Day

On May 24th, the 3rd Interntional Kids Day was held from 10:00~16:00 at Kobe Fashion Mart. During the event, international schools from all over Japan including CA hosted events and the event was very exciting! There were international food booths and we were able to enjoy cuisines from all around the world! I loved the Mexican tacos, takoyaki and cold, refreshing kakigori!!

International Kids Day!!

International Kids Day!!

One of the booths CA hosted was the garage sale and we sold books for 200 yen each that were donated by CA students, teachers and parents. During the book sale, I sorted the books neatly, helped the customers choose books and helped them when they wanted to know something. There was a huge variety of books and although the books were very cheap, there were a lot of really interesting books and I bought four books for 500 yen after the discount! From 11:00~12:50, I worked for about 2 hours. As soon as I finished my duty, I ran to the food booths and grabbed a tacos and takoyaki. After working for 2 hours, I was very hungry and so I devoured it in a few minutes!

After that, I continued on to work for about 2 hours in the cupcake booth from 13:05~15:00. I helped the little kids choose their toppings and decorate their cupcakes. It was very enjoyable as I felt really good when they had big smiles on their faces when they finished decorating their toppings. There was a variety of toppings they were able to put on their cupcakes. There were hershey chocolate chips, colourful jelly beans, kisses, marshmallows, sprinkles, oreo cookies and m&ms. The cupcakes looked so yummy and I loved helping out at the booth.

Overall, I worked for 4 hours during the International Kids Day and I felt really good to know that a lot of schools were supporting the Tohoku people and it was great as I had a lot of fun!

Tohoku Kick N’ Jam Bake Sale

On April 27th (Sun.), The Tohoku Kick N’ Jam was held to raise money for the people who were affected by the Tohoku Disaster. During the event, the Tohoku Team sold goods such as popcorn, drinks, ice-cream, baked goods, hot dogs and burritos. Also, the concert band played several pieces including “Beyond the Sea” by Charles Trenet. For the bake sale, I made twisted sugar donuts. In order to make it, it took approximately 2 hours. First, I made melted butter by melting the butter, mixing it with milk and putting a bit of sugar so it was soft and creamy. That took 20 minutes. Then, I mixed cream, butter and sugar in a large bowl until it was light and fluffy.  That took about 15 minutes. Then, I beat in egg and milk which took 10 minutes. Then, I combined flour and baking powder and gradually added it to the creamed mixture I made and mixed it well. That took about 20 minutes. When the dough was done, I seperated it into small portions and twisted each one so it would be twisted donuts. It was very challenging as the shape of it had to be appealing and I kept on failing at first. However, after i tried and tried, I succeeded. I then did the same to the other nine portions. Twisting all of the donuts took about 40 minutes. While the donuts were baking in the oven, I prepared the wrapping. When the donuts were done baking, I wrapped it and decorated it with stickers. That took 20 minutes. Therefore, the baking portion of the Kick N’ Jam took approximately 2 hours. For the selling portion of the Kick N’ Jam, I worked for about 6 hours. I arrived at 09:30 to set up the stalls and prepare for the bake sale. I organized the goods and prepared to sell the goods to the customers. As some people could not come, I helped out more than I was expecting to help. I worked from 09:30 to 15:30. However, I went to the cafeteria for 30 minutes to listen to the concert band and the singers. Therefore, I worked for about 5 and a half hours during the bake sale.

Selling the goods at the Kick N' Jam!!

Selling the goods at the Kick N’ Jam!!

In total including the baking and selling portion, I worked for approximately 7 and a half hours. Although helping out for the Tohoku Kick N’ Jam took a lot of time and effort, it really felt good to help and I felt it was my duty to help the people who were devastated by the Tsunami. Therefore, I really enjoyed it and I think it it was a wonderful opportunity to help the people.

Tohoku Kick N' Jam- Twisted Donuts!!

Tohoku Kick N’ Jam- Twisted Donuts!!

Culture Night

On Thursday, it was Culture Night and it was a very exciting event! It took an incredible amount of time and effort to prepare for it so it was a little tiring. However, it was very enjoyable as it felt good to present all the work we did. For math, Gry and I made a presentation powerpoint in which we combined the information for the four groups Government, Religion, Art & Architecture and Commerce & Leisure. Owing to Mr. Okada, who managed the slides, I was able to successfully present and give the speech. Thank you so much Mr. Okada!!!!

Click here to see the powerpoint we made!

Click here to see the script of my speech!

Click here to see the video of me presenting

My group which was G0vernment had to come up with the number and time systems of Charamba. In order to do so, we had to be very creative and also be thoughtful of how realistic the ideas were. In order to be able to discuss about possible ideas and to do our work quickly, we discussed on a document outside school and although it took a lot of time and effort to complete all the work, we felt extremely proud of ourselves when we finished it.

Math Speech at Culture Night

Math Speech at Culture Night

In order to explain the number and time systems well with visuals, I made posters about how the number system and the time system worked in Charamba. The pictures below are the pictures of the posters I made.

Charambian Number System Poster

Charambian Number System Poster

Charambian Time System Poster

Charambian Time System Poster

In P.E., we created our own original dance and although sometimes creating moves and memorizing all of the moves was challenging, we practiced a lot and we were able to dance confidently at Culture Night. It was very enjoyable and I would like to thank Mr. Wilson and Ms. Ayumi for helping us during the process. Also, thank you Ms. Nishizawa for helping us during the face-painting and Ms. Sugiyama for taking the videos for the skits.

Dancing at Culture Night!

Dancing at Culture Night!

Click here to see us dancing!

In English, we created our own Charambian myths that were related to our topic. For example, I was in the Government group and therefore I wrote about why there are six leaders for each district. Creating the myth was very enjoyable and owing to Mr. Smailes and his detailed check of my story, I was able to create a good myth. Below is the link to the myth I wrote. I hope you enjoy it!

At Culture Night, we also held a Reader’s Theatre and we presented a myth. It was really exciting and I really enjoyed telling the myth.

Reader's Theatre at Culture Night

Reader’s Theatre at Culture Night

For science, we learnt how constellations and the night sky were associated with different cultures and learnt how people from all around the world viewed the beautiful night sky. Learning about the constellations and looking at the Planetarium was very fascinating and I had a lot of fun. Also, I really enjoyed looking at the colourful lights that Mr. Vest let us see as a treat. My table group made a poster about “Pisces”, a constellation that was important to the Charambian tribe.

Pisces Poster

Pisces Poster

In Humanities, we created the Charambian culture from scratch and although sometimes it was challenging as we had to be creative and create our own, unique culture, it was very, very enjoyable and it was extremely exciting to be able to present our own indigenous culture at Culture Night. Also, researching about what cultures did in the past was very interesting.

Click here to read my “The Government of Ancient Times” essay!

Below is the picture of the poster I made.

The Government of Ancient Times Poster

The Government of Ancient Times Poster

In Design, we made an artifact that was related to our topic. As I was in the Government group, I made a box called “Chakampa” that was used to determine which leader was responsibe for which village’s finance etc.

My Design Project!

My Design Project!

Owing to Mr. Mayhew and Mrs. Smailes’ guidance, I was able to make a well-made project and poster and also write a good research paper. Also as Mr. Mayhew gave us lots of useful tips when giving speeches and practiced a lot, it really payed off and I was able to confidently speak.

Again, I would like to thank Mr. Okada, Mr. Wilson, Ms. Ayumi, Ms. Nishizawa, Mrs. Smailes, Ms. Sugiyama, Mr. Smailes, Mr. Vest and finally, Mr. Mayhew for organizing the whole event and other members who helped with the stage light. Thank you!!!!