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A Job Well Done!

Hello everyone and welcome to the new school year! Our students moved up a grade, becoming Grades 4, 5 and 6, and moved into their new-old, updated classroom. 😄
Monday was the day to welcome new students to our ISN Elementary community, which is expanding every day. The 15 new Grade 1 students and 2 new teachers were all warmly welcomed in the Welcome Ceremony, with Grade 4, 5 and 6 students performing two songs (“Springtime” and their own, Mystery Destination version of “A Whole New World”) and working hard on making welcome cards for the new students, as well as pom-poms, origami and decorations used during the ceremony. They played together with the Grade 1 students as well.
The rest of Monday was spent in heated discussion over new classroom rules, which were all appointed official by the students’ fingerprints and signatures and in getting acquainted with the classroom’s new features, including our new robot friend! 🤖
Tuesday marked the start of the year’s first Unit of Inquiry, dealing with inquiring into the parts that make all living things and the way people and other living things grow up and develop over time. The Central Idea of the Unit is “Living organisms reproduce” and the students have already started their research into the first Line of Inquiry, entitled “Organisms are made of cells”. Their first assignment was to practice using the microscope and to write a report on the similarities and differences between microscope slides featuring non-living, animal, plant and human particles. They particularly enjoyed making their own slides, using their nail clippings, skin and hairs found on the classroom floor and looking at them under the microscope. 🔬
The following day, their research was deepened further by watching videos taken with very powerful microscopes, which enable scientists to notice tiniest parts of our bodies. They watched a video zooming in on the tiniest particles visible inside the human skin. They discussed that all living things are made of cells and tried making up their own cell design , thinking of what part a cell does and does not require and what are their functions. ⚗️
The students have also started thinking about the third (or in case of some students, fourth) language they would like to learn, after Japanese and English. In their weekly language lessons on Thursdays, they will start using language learning software to naturally (and individually) learn another language of their choice. A speaker of the language will be attending these lessons occasionally during the school year to check up on the students’ progress, have a chat with them and enable them to practice their freshly acquired knowledge. 🌍
It wasn’t just the individual activities that were fun this week, either – the students are teaming up with Grades 1, 2 and 3 every day for their morning Fitness and afternoon Cleaning time. The fitness proved a lot of fun (and a lot of hard work!) this week, with the students running laps on the nearby bridge and exercising their bodies inside the special classroom, even on rainy days. The cleaning time was a good opportunity to practice co-operation too, as the older students got a chance to organize their own teams of workers assigned to every shared school area, such as the toilets, the hallway and the school entrance. Hard work brings a lot of responsibility, but a lot of enjoyment in a job well done too!
Enjoy the weekend and let’s hope for lots of sunshine and cherry blossoms in the next week! 🌸