Monday, July 21, 2014

Japan Day 8- First Day in the Schools!

We were all so excited for our week in the schools!  On the first day we visited a pre-k, elementary, middle, and high school.  All of these pictures are from the pre-k and kindergarten school.  

This is the outside of the pre-school.  Most of the schools in Japan are tall cement buildings with lots of windows.  

The main hallway of the school.  

This was a sign outside of the school.  It looks like it is talking about walking home safety.  Most students walk to and from school.  

This is one of the kindergarten classrooms.  They all have a piano in them and teachers are required to know how to play.  Too cool!  

The classrooms open up to this large yard.  This is a picture of their sinks which are located on the sidewalk outside.  

This is a covered porch that is outside of their classrooms.  They do a lot of outside learning!  

After I took this picture I walked over to the teacher and kids.  It sounded like they were using the bars to practice some counting skills.  

Here is a few of their play areas and their school garden.  

This pre-school had no set curriculum.  All of their instruction and learning was based in student exploration.  The teachers went off of what the kids were interested in and somehow the kids are able to read before they go on to elementary school.  It is amazing!  The teachers take the children's interests and turn them into teaching moments.  For example, there was a star gazing festival going on in the town and the kids were really curious about it.  Their teacher supplied them with books on stars and other resources. The students decided to build the milky way (the blue paper hanging from  the ceiling) and they built a rocket ship out of boxes.  This involved a lot of research and teamwork on the students' part and the teacher was there to guide and support them as needed.  It was so neat to see such young students taking charge of their own learning!  

 Here is a photo of some of their school pets,  They have a goat, a rabbit, birds, etc!  

Here is a few students during their exploration time.  They are catching bugs, laying in the water station, and making their own paint from flower petals!  :)  

Here is another shot of their garden!  I love the little signs the kids made!  So cute! 

I could talk for hours about what all I experienced during my short time in the kindergarten class!  These were some of my favorite things that I noticed during my short time there.  
After we left the pre-k we headed over to the elementary school across the street.  I will talk more about their elementary schools in my next post.  We also spent a little bit of time at a middle and high school.  All of the schools we spent time in our first day are connected to the university that we were partnered with.  They have a wonderful partnership which is really beneficial to the teachers in training!  
After a busy day visiting multiple schools we were exhausted but excited to meet everyone at Sango-Kita Elementary the next day!  

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