Monday 23 February 2009

Sh vs Ch and a bit of excitement

I am a bit behind on my posts, sorry! Friday R-kun came for his lesson, maybe his last, we have our fingers crossed that he can make it on Wednesday. We started with warm up questions and a review of the emotions we studied last time. I took it one step further and asked the boys to make a sentence using the cards, R-kun's best one was "I am excited because I am going to Malaysia".
Then I gave them this group of objects, we went through to check that they knew all the vocab and then I asked them to put them into 2 groups. Which they did but they couldn't explain why they had chosen those groups (which I expected, older kids will be able to justify their choice). So, after a couple of attempts I arranged them into two groups and then asked them why I had put them in each group. Blank looks all round. I then named the objects again emphasising the sh and ch parts of the word, and the penny dropped! I mixed up the objects and had them sort them again by themselves.

They picked one object from each group to spell, write and draw.
Then we brainstormed other sh and ch words, I told them they were going to have a sh and ch snack, could they guess? They came up with sushi and chocolate, urgh what a combo! They actually got....
fish and cheese :o)
Ebi-kun had been pestering to play with R-kun and the playdoh, so I gave in, ebi-kun has a tub of letter stamps so they spent some time spelling things out. I have never taught Ebi-kun the capital letters, I totally focused on the little letters, this is my own belief that it is more fulfilling for the child to learn little letters first, with the knowledge of little letters he can pick up a book and start to read, he can't do this is he only knows the big letters. When I was teaching ESL I would do the same, my manager at the time would bollock me for it but then my students were all reading and writing far quicker than if I had followed his schedule.
Anyway, back on track, I also introduced comparatives and superlatives using the playdoh as a models, this worm is long, this one longer, this is the longest. It was done in a fun and relaxing way and the boys really enjoyed it.
Saturday we had a playdate at kodomo no shiro which was fun, we had a good turn out and it was a sunny day so a lot of time was spent outside. On the way home we saw a helicopter hovering over our town, not that unusual but then we saw another and another, 4 in all. Big news! We tried to drive to where the action seemed to be taking place, we live out in the sticks so it must have been something unusual. When we drove past the shinkansen tracks I spotted that the shinkansen (bullet train) had actually stopped. We had to wait until we got home to find out what had happened. Apparently a bloke had opened the emergency door whilst the train was going at 200kph and jumped! His body was found 2.7km down the track and all the trains were stopped for 2.5 hours. Jumping in front of a train to commit suicide in Japan is quite common but not with the shinkansen. The train companies actually charge the 'jumpers' family for clean up costs and loss of earnings and different lines cost different amounts. I was on the train one time with a Japanese friend and the train stopped, the first announcement said their had been an accident (read into the word accident) a short while later there was an apology for the delay, they were trying to locate a missing limb. There was a united gasp in the carriage, I didn't catch what was said so my friend translated, sometime I am glad my Japanese is rubbish!
A last note on suicide, in Japan people usually remove their shoes before doing the deed!

Did you guess Ebi-kuns word yet?


  1. Wow, I learned a lot through this post! Question, how old is your son? I am asking because he is spelling and I wondered at what age he started?

  2. Ebi-kun is 3 and 7 months. He started putting letters together when he was around 3, he has 3 letter words down or completely phonic words, we have just started working on blends etc.
    He actually started writing and putting letters together a good while ago but it would be 'his' words not real words. He still prefers to just write the word and not faff around trying to find the right letters.

  3. Chocolate and sushi does sound kind of interesting! Though fish and cheese is rather cute...


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