Foreign Cemetery service – April 2017

This week we visited the Foreign Cemetery to clean up a little more. It was a beautiful sunny day. The 5W students worked extremely well in groups for about 30 minutes to make a real difference to this small area of the Foreign Cemetery. I was proud of them all. We discussed how good it felt to give a little something back to our community.

Relationship Brain Frame – Audience HOOK at Exhibition is related to our Service/Action

In class today we looked at how WHAT we could use at our Exhibition stand to ‘hook’ our audience could be related to WHAT we DO as a result of our Exhibition research.

This is what our ‘model’ for the issue of the need for ‘sun protection’ turned out like on our class whiteboard.

Hook > Action BF sketchbook

5W students made their own version in class which they did in their Exhibition sketchbook will look something like this:

Hook > Action BF whiteboard

Please DISCUSS with your child – what else might work? This is just the beginning! Hopefully!!

Talking about service learning and action with our Grade 9 and Grade 10 buddies

The students were asked to (in groups) to talk about what is service and what is learning? Then together the students were asked to write a definition of service learning.

Secondly, the mixed student groups were asked:

“what service groups have you been involved with at YIS? What service have you done in your learning?”
“what are some other ideas for service learning at our school?”

Kiva loans made by 5W

5W students have been working since September to raise/earn enough money outside of school to be able to finance one USD$25.00 loan through

All students have joined in our efforts in some way and I am proud to say that we have together made loans to people or groups on Kiva worth over USD$500 – or approximately JPY 60,000. You can check on who we have made loans to by clicking on the links in THIS document

Our loans will hopefully be repaid over the next 8 months. If the loan is repaid, it will then be up to your child whether s/he withdraws the money or re-lends it. That will be his/her choice as it is of course his/her money.

Thank you parents for supporting your child. I think it’s a great lesson in teaching how we can, in a small way, help others to help themselves.


Kiva – an invitation for your child to join

Today Grade 5 came together to talk about the organisation Kiva. Later in the year in our Grade 5 Exhibition, Grade 5 students will do their own research into a local organisation that is helping the world in some way to find out how they organise themselves, how they work and how the student can help in any way. Working with Kiva (a global organisation), the Grade 5 students will find out how one organisation works. Each student can make a real difference with a ‘loan’ of US$25 (about 3,300) yen. There is a 97% chance that each student will get her/his money back by next summer. Amazing isn’t it. The following video will show you how Kiva works.

If your child chooses to join with us in making a loan, perhaps your family can discuss how best your child can earn or raise the money so that the money really belongs to your child. This will create a genuine connection for your child to whoever s/he lends the money to.

Thank you.

Grade 9 visits 5W to discuss 3 types of ‘service’

At YIS we recognise 3 different types of ‘service’ to the community. In no particular order they are:

DIRECT service – Interaction that involves people, the environment or animals
INDIRECT service – Making a positive impact without direct interaction
ADVOCACY – Speaking on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest

Class 9U visited us to day for 30 minutes and together in groups the students sorted out a jumbled list of examples back into the 3 categories above – after plenty of discussion. It was a really good exercise and the students enjoyed their time together.

ACTION – what I’m actually going to DO with what I learned

If you would like to know WHAT your child decided to DO with what s/he learned during his/her Exhibition, please take a look at our Grade 5 Exhibition website – it would be great if you could make a final comment too. We posted our thoughts about what ACTION we could take last week.

We will check back in early June to see HOW your child has done! This ACTION component of the Exhibition is super important – it’s a real ‘so what!’ And we have discussed in class what action can be:

  • teaching / informing others
  • encouraging / motivating others
  • sure – raising money is one option
  • volunteering (with appropriate supervision)
  • continuing to learn more yourself – answering (and asking) further questions
  • producing a pamphlet, podcast, movie, essay, poster, art work – anything connected with your Exhibition
  • I’m sure there’s lots of other things you could do too!

The idea is that the students should (possibly with just a little bit of encouragement), your child should be interested in following his or her Exhibition up in an interesting and hopefully useful way.