December 13, 2011

Kids Christmas Party on Saturday, 12/17

Join us for our Kids Christmas Party  this Saturday, December 17. We'll have two sessions. The first is from 11AM to 12:00, and the second is from 2:00-3PM. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Waiting for Their Cake

Double Birthday Party

November 24, 2011

November Birthdays

Two elementary school children had birthdays in November. Happy birthday!

November 21, 2011

Group Storywriting

One way that we practice writing is by taking turns adding sentences to a story. Here is one that the elementary students wrote recently.

In case you can't read it, here's what it says:

Once upon a time, there lived a big dragon. The dragon captured a princess. The dragon took the princess to a mountain. The mountain was so high. The princess looked down from the mountain. In the mountain, there was a jail. The princess put the dragon in jail. But the dragon ate the princess. An ogre killed the dragon and took the princess out. The ogre made the princess a slave. The ogre died. The princess went back to the jail. In the jail was a boy. The princess helped the boy get out of jail because the princess wanted to marry the boy. The boy saind, "Yes!" and they lived happily ever after. The end.
I like the struggle between the students who were cheering for the dragon and ogre, and the students who wanted a more typical fairy tale.

Making Paper Bowls

Last we we learned about ancient China. One of China's many inventions was paper. We decided to make paper bowls to get an idea of how paper is made. We didn't make paper from raw pulp, but as you can see from the pictures below, we had a lot of fun!

First, we ripped up construction paper and catalogs into 1 by 1 inch pieces.

Then we blended them with water to make slurry ( a new word even for the teacher).

 We let the slurry sit in a colander for a few minutes to drain out the excess water.

We put the slurry into a sieve and flattened it into the shape of a bowl.

Here are the finished projects. If you try this at home, remember to put a little oil on the inside of the sieve so the paper bowl comes out easily when it gets dry.

October 20, 2011

Reading to a Partner

A few times a week at New Hope International School, students pair up and read to one another. Here are some highlights from today's reading.

"I like Mind Your Manners, Biscuit because there is a game in the book." -MK

"I like My Pet Turtle because I like turtles." -HO

"I like the animal in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish that has eleven fingers." -HP

"I like One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish where the animal has a cookbook on his hat and the wieners are in the fire." -MS

"I like I'm So Grumpy! because I like dogs." -MM

"I like Knut the Baby Polar Bear because I like animals." -HO

"I like Tirzah because it is about a girl who is leaving Egypt for the Promised Land." -RS

"I'm enjoying Wonders and Miracles because I like a story in it called "Milk for Wine." It is about a kind man giving money for a poor man's Passover." -TS

October 18, 2011

Planning for Sports Day

We have a field day coming up and decided to get the elementary school students involved in planning the events. Here they are brainstorming games. They wrote down all of their ideas without discussion or judgement.

 Then they discussed the pros and cons of each idea and voted for their favorites.

Democracy in Action!
It's going to be a great sports day!

October 05, 2011

Happy Birthday M

New Hope International School had its first birthday party in the new elementary division. Everyone enjoyed cake, singing, and having some "Japanese OK" time outside of Japanese class.

Happy Birthday!

Rainy Day Games at New Hope School

Because of the rain today, we had a short PE class and spent the rest of the hour playing games. These girls are learning to play chess with Quick Chess. It's basically a series of chess games that leads beginners through the process of learning how each piece moves and takes opposing pieces.

Learning with Quick Chess

These boys are playing a version of marbles on small whiteboards. They stagger the whiteboards and make traps between for the marbles to make the game more challenging.

Modified Marbles Game

These girls are playing Shoots and Ladders. It's a fun game and great for working on numbers through 100.

Shoots and Ladders

What do you like to do on rainy days? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.

September 27, 2011



プリスクールには6カ国籍・計18人の生徒が在籍しています。今週は”Me Book”(自分についての本)をつくり、私たち個々がそれぞれユニークで特別な存在だということを学びました。




・東京アート・ビートでは東京近辺で行われる子供向けのイベントを紹介しています。 (日本語・英語)

・エデュケーション・イン・ジャパン・コミュニティー・ブログでは日本での子供教育に関する記事を集めて記載しています。最近では原発による放射能に関するニュースや日本にいる子どもたちへの影響を問題にした記事が多く見られます。 (英語のみ)


New Hope School News - September 2011 (English)

Welcome to our first letter of the new school year! As you may know, we opened an elementary school this month in the same facilities as our preschool. We have eight students representing five nations! Our school is indeed international. The first few weeks we have focused our studies on ancient Egypt. Did you know that in the process of making a mummy, the brains were removed through the nose? Yuck! Our students know that bit of trivia as well as many other things about one of the oldest and greatest civilizations.

Preschool is also in full swing with 18 students from six nations. We are making “Me Books” this week and learning about what makes each of us special and unique.
Our staff has increased to include a Japanese teacher, a music/art teacher, and another Kids’ English and Afternoon Preschool teacher. We are having a great time learning from one another and from our students. If you see a new face, say hello and introduce yourself!

We are running an autumn campaign now. New students can save from ¥29,400 to ¥55,125 depending on which course they sign up for. As always, current students who introduce a new student receive ¥10,000 worth of gift cards. Contact us for details.

Here are some online resources you might be interested in.

  • The Education in Japan Community Blog is a collection of posts related to kids and education in Japan. Recently, it has featured lots of news about the nuclear situation and how it is affecting children in Japan.

Please take care as the weather cools off. Feel free to contact us any time. We love to hear from you.

September 26, 2011

Ukulele Lesson

Our school was recently given several ukuleles from Hawaii. In Hawaii, the ukulele is taught in elementary schools. It's just the right size for little hands, and the nylon strings are easy to press. Today, Miss Lauren, our music teacher began to teach the ukulele in our school. Can you tell by the smiles and looks of concentration that the kids loved it?

August 08, 2011

Don't Be Mottainai!

Today in the Graduates' Class, we read a picture book called Mottainai Grandma. It's about a grandma who scolds a boy about all the wasteful things he does. It was originally written in Japanese, but there is a bilingual version available now.

After reading the book together, we thought about ways we can conserve resources. It's timely for us here in Tokyo with the energy shortages related to the nuclear situation. Anyway, here are some of the students' ideas about how not to be wasteful.

  • "Turn off the light if you don't need it." M. K.
  • "Don't cut down trees." T. M.
  • "Don't put things around the refrigerator." R. Y.
  • "Don't leave the TV on when you're not watching." Y. T.
  • "Don't leave the air conditioner on too long." T. M.
  • "Use a reusable bag at the supermarket." R. Y.
  • "Ride a bicycle instead of driving a car." I. T.

Please add your conservation ideas in the comments and I'll share them with the students next time we meet.

June 08, 2011

New Hope School News - June 2011

Dear Friends of New Hope School,

The rainy season is coming and we are enjoying school very much. The big news this term is that Summer Preschool is coming in August. This year we are dividing summer school into two parts. Part 1 is eight days long (August 1-5, 8-10). The theme is “Daily Life: Clothing, Food Housing, and Transportation.” Part 2 is seven days long (August 18-19, 22-26). The theme is “The World of Nature.” Both parts will feature lots of games, crafts, activities, songs, and stories--all in English. Summer Preschool always fills up fast so sign up soon. You may sign up online.

The elementary division of New Hope School opens in September. We couldn’t wait to begin, so we jumped the gun with a prestart from this April. This term we are working on academic English so the students are prepared to start full-on in September.

Summer vacation is fun, but children sometimes forget what they have worked hard to learn at school. To keep your children learning all summer print out this summer activity calendar from Scholastic and do activities from  it every day in July or August.

Reading is also very important, not to mention fun! Make a point of reading to your children in English this summer or provide some good books for them to read. New Hope students can borrow books from our library to read over the summer. Most public libraries have a surprisingly good selection of English children’s books. Also our friends at Columbia International School in Tokorozawa are holding a big book fair on June 25 and 26. See their website for more information.

We still have space in some of our Kids’ English, Afternoon Preschool, and Mommy and Me Classes. Please let us know if you or a friend might be interested.

Have a great summer! Let’s stay cool as we all try to save energy.

ニューホープスクール ニューズ 2011年6月号








June 03, 2011

Mini Concert

One of our student's moms is a musician. She gathered some other musicians (including her daughter) and put together a mini concert for New Hope International School this afternoon. Performances included a string quartet, a piano-cello duet, and some violin solos. Several of our students' parents attended as well.

Besides enjoying the music, the students learned about the relative sizes of the string instruments, and that violin bows are made from horse hair, and violin strings of sheep's gut.

How big is a cello?

Young violinist with a bright future


Violist (had to look that word up)


String quartet playing Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Can you tell the children enjoyed the music?

May 14, 2011

Family Day

Today was the New Hope Preschool and Elementary School family party. We played a play dough word-guessing game, had snacks (including cookies baked by the students) and shared what we've been learning.

Mixing Cookie Dough

More Cookie Dough

Guess the Word Being Modeled with Play Dough

Play Dough Word Guessing Game

Preschool students share what they've been learning.

Kids' Easter Party 2011

April 23 was the Kids' Easter Party at New Hope Narimasu. About 80 children braved the wind and rain to come for games, egg-dying, face and hand painting, an Easter story, and an egg-hunt (indoors this year). Thanks to everyone who participated!

Easter Hand Paint

Easter Story Time

Easter Egg Dying

Easter Face and Hand Paint

April 17, 2011

Kids' Easter Party This Saturday

The annual Kids' Easter Party and Egg Hunt is coming this Saturday at New Hope Narimasu. See the details on our web site.

April 16, 2011

Congratulations Graduates!

Today was graduation day for the class of spring 2011. It was a month late due to the earthquake and several families temporarily leaving Tokyo. We're proud of the children's achievements. These kids will be missed in the preschool, but thankfully, most are continuing on with us in New Hope Elementary School or one of our after-school classes.


Last Circle Time for Spring 2011 Graduates

Graduating Class of Spring 2011

Preschool Students and Teachers

April 01, 2011

Spring School - Day Five

Today was the last day of Spring Preschool. We finished up "My Five Senses" with the sense of smell. We read a book about the five senses, and let the children smell eight different things from the kitchen without looking. Several kids were able to identify quite a few of the smells. (In case you're interested, the smells were chocolate, coffee, lemons, oranges, vinegar, soy sauce, grapes, and peppermint candy).

Smell Samples
"I recognize that smell!"
The children designed their own flowers with cotton in the middle. They chose from among several aromatherapy scents and put a few drops of aroma on the cotton so that their flowers would smell nice.

Cutting Flower Petals

We gave the children certificates of participation and said good bye. It was a little sad, but several of them are in our weekly classes or will be joining soon, so we will get to see one another again.