Today is the last day of school for the second term. It feels very long because we started early in the summer. I hope you can take a break, enjoy time with your family, and refresh for the third term.
For grade three students, you have less of a break. Your improtant tests are coming soon, and now is the time you need to peak your powers. I wish you good luck and good health as you get ready for this important time.
Every year our student council comes up with an idea to decorate the shoe box area and cheer our seniors. I am always impressed with their different ideas. This year each class wrote a message on a board, and they were strung up in a line. H3 students, I hope that when you see the messages you feel the energy and encouragement of the whole school behind you.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
Congratulations everyone! Your tests are finished for the second term and the holidays are coming soon. It is a time for family and friends.
This time of year is called “Advent”. Advent is from the latin word that means “coming”. What is coming? Christmas! The Advent season starts four Sundays before Christmas and it is a time for people to get ready. My family did two things for Advent.
An Advent Wreath with all candles lit, on Christmas Eve.
First, in our church, we had an “Advent Wreath”. The wreath had five candles. On each of the four Sundays before Christmas, another candle was lit. Then, on Christmas Eve, the fifth candle was lit. I always enjoyed going to church on Christmas Eve, because it was at night. The music and candles were beautiful, and I knew the next day would be Christmas.
An advent calendar, with the choclates and Christmas story.
Secondly, when I was a boy, I got an “Advent Calendar”. This was a special calendar with paper doors for each day. Behind each door was part of the Christmas story and… chocolate! Everyday I got a piece of chocolate and saw Christmas getting closer and closer. The last chocolate was also the biggest one. I can never forget my excitement.
You have two more weeks before the holidays start. Start your winter homework soon, so that you have some free time with your friends and family in the holiday. Grade 3 students, this is your last push. Do your best!
There was important news in the space community last week as the capsule from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned to earth. It traveled a long way, 300,000,000 kilometers! This week scientists were able to look inside the capsule and see what was collected. Here is some of the report from Canada’s news site:
“We have confirmed a good amount of sand apparently collected from the asteroid Ryugu, along with gases,” JAXA Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda said in a video message during an online news conference. “The samples from outside of our planet, which we have long dreamed of, are now in our hands.”
It is amazing that there is not only dust, but also gases from space. That is the first time that has happened!
Hirotaka Sawada, a JAXA scientist, was the first to look inside the capsule’s sample-catcher. Sawada said he was “almost speechless” with joy when he found that the samples inside included some that were, as expected, dust size, but also some the size of pebbles.
I remember as a boy hearing about moon rocks, but this is from much, much farther away.
Following studies in Japan, some of the samples will be shared with NASA and other international space agencies for additional research beginning in 2022.
Hayabusa2, meanwhile, is now on an 11-year expedition to another asteroid to try to study possible defences against meteoroids that could fly toward Earth.
I think it is great that we can share this material with other countries, and that Hayabusa2 will continue to fly through space to make more discoveries. I will update you in 2031 when it completes the next mission! Maybe some of our rocket girls at school will be involved…
This week the weather turned cool, and something else cool returned too, the Advanced Communication Program! In this program, our grade 3 junior high school students spend four days in English immersion with a university student from abroad. It is a chance for the students to not only practice their English, but also learn about themselves and their future dreams. This program is several years old, but this is the first time we have done it since the corona virus became a problem. Because of this, we have had to separate the groups quite a bit and also exclude the homestay part. Nonetheless, it is a good chance for junior high school students to show off and practice what they study so hard. Good luck everyone!
Today is a busy Saturday at school. We have two different open school events for new students next year. We also have a big English test for high school grades 1 and 2, called GTEC. It is a lot of work for English teachers, because we need to arrange all the classes, as well as the tablets used for the speaking tests. In order to give the students a quiet test during the open school events, my class, M2C, and another class, H2C, changed rooms for the day. I think my students feel like high school students for a day! Anyway, hopefully everyone does well before enjoying a day off tomorrow.
Today is the last day of ther second term final tests. I hope you have been able to study well and answer all the questions. Tomorrow you have a day to study and refresh at home, and then there are only 13 days until classes finish!
It is getting close to Christmas time, and so some various decorations are being put up around the school.
How about at your house? Are you putting up any decorations or lights? I hope you enjoy this Christmas season.