Bible Reading – Jan. 28, 2021

Good morning everyone,

Today Sr. Taira did our bible reading. It was Matthew 1:18-24. You can say this as The book of Matthew, chapter 1, verses 18 to 24.

It is a story about Joseph accepting his role as Jesus’ father, even though he was worried about how it would look.

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

Joseph was in a difficult position to accept Mary, but his faith in the Lord kept him on the right path. We can also move along our life path if we listen to the Lord speaking to our hearts.

Have a great week!

Little by Little – Jan. 2021

Hello everyone,

Today is Thursday, but there are no Shin-ai students at school today! It is the last junior high school entrance test for this year. I hope everyone taking the test does their best today. Good luck!

When you have a big job, like studying for a test, it is best to do it a little everyday. You can’t remember everything in one study session. But, if you study things day by day, you will remember them. That is the same for all work, really.

Recently one of our cleaning teams has been cleaning the tiles by the principal’s room. It isn’t possible to clean them all at once. However, day by day they have been working. Now they are almost finished, and it looks great! Take a look:

Starting…                                  Getting better…                 Almost done!

Just like this cleaning, treat your studies like a journey and I am sure you will reach your goals. H3 girls, you have finished your center test, now is the last push for university tests. Good luck! One more month!


The New Center Listening Test – Jan. 2021

Good morning everyone!

Today is Sunday, but it is a busy day here at school. We have an entrance test for elementary school students who want to join our school next year. Good luck! Also, our senior students are taking the second day of the center test. Today is math and science. Good luck to you, too!

Yesterday our seniors took Japanese, history, ethics, and English. The English listening test is different this year, so I thought you could try it for yourself. There are the questions and scripts below. See if you can get the answers by reading, and check at the bottom! This year, different questions are worth different points, so be careful. My comments will be in blue text.

First up, part 1A has four questions. Students just have to listen to sentence and choose the English that matches the situation. 

These questions are a walk in the park. They are basically spoken grammar questions. Number 2 is matching “go” and “visit”. Number 3 is “To do ~, Yuji ~”. Number 4 is just recognizing give,  gave, and got. I expect everyone got these right.

Next up, part 1B. Students have to listen to the script and choose the correct picture.

I think these three questions were also easy to get. Number 5 you have to catch the word “Almost everyone”. Number 6 is about the word striped, and number 7 is realizing that “herself” refers to the mother.

The next questions are about listening for information in a conversation. The different part of this year’s test is that the question is spoken, at the end. It is a challenge to remember the information and then also catch the question. To do these questions, students should listen for the general theme and characters the first time, listen to the question, then find the information during the second listen. There is a Japanese sentence for each question that gives students a hint.

Answering these questions is often about crossing out the wrong answers as you listen. For example, with number 8, when you hear “it has a strap”, number 1 and 4 are out. Then you listen again, and you hear there is no handle, and you can choose the right answer. Or, looking at number 10, you don’t need bags so numbers 2 and 3 are out. Listen again and you need something if you get dirty or too much sun. You can choose the answer after that.

Next up, longer conversations where students have to find information. These are more traditional questions because the question is written down. There is also a Japanese hint. But, the conversations are longer, and can have twists that chance the meaning. Looking at question 12, the man says “I’d love to! Oh… no, wait…” and his plans change, and so does the answer. Listen to the end before you choose something!

One of the most important part of these questions is catching the correct character. What did the woman do? The woman didn’t get the email from the man. Keeping the characters straight gives you a hint on what to focus on.

Part 4A is similar to the old 3B questions. Listen for data and fill in the details.

This question is tricky because of the sentence “exactly half that percentage…” halfway through. They are talking about the 30%, so you have to calculate quickly. “A quarter of all the votes” is also difficult to catch, but since there are 100 students it is just 25%. But, be careful, you have to get all four answers correct to get any points!

There is a lot of information in just a few sentences for this question. It is important to be able to take notes while you listen. Here is a hint, two of the questions have the same answer!

On to the next part…

This is a four point question, so be careful! Listen to the four pieces of advice about which play to watch, and take a memo about which play matches the three conditions you have. It looks very complicated, but just treat every condition like a O/X quiz and you can fine the answer.

Next up is a worksheet question. You can only listen one time, so make it count!

Questions 28+29 and 30+31 are a set, so you need to get them both correct to get the points. Again, taking notes while you listen is very important. Looking at the vocabulary words and taking a quick memo about them is helpful. Question 27 is a worksheet, so you are choosing the title for yourself, not from the script.

The next question is about data based on the same topic, but there is a new passage to listen to. The question is spoken, and is simply “What do you think?”

Your answer should just show that you understand the graph and the topic of conversation. As a four point questions, this one is an easier one.

We’re almost finished (wow this was a long test) and part 6 has two more traditional questions. One is a longer dialogue with questions, and the other is a four person talk that is similar to the group discussions on the older tests.

If you want to take a look at the answers and see how you did, here is the scorecard. It is much different than previous years when every question was worth 2 points. Look at which questions are the most valuable. The total is out of 100 points now.

To all our seniors, good luck on day 2!

Bible Reading – Jan. 2021

Hello everyone,

Today Mr. Tagawa gave a reading from the bible. It was Luke 6:27-31. You can say this in English as “The book of Luke, chapter 6, verses 27 to 31.”

This is a famous part of the bible where we are told not to get revenge, but to “turn the other cheek” if someone is angry with you. My favorite verse is the last one:

31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

In English this is called the “Golden Rule”. Kids learn it when they are young. I remember learning it when I was 5 or 6 years old. If you want to be treated well, you have to treat other people well, even if they are angry or upset. I hope you can try it in your everyday life. Have a good day!

English Newspaper Desk – Jan. 2021

How the Japanese keep their traditional rooms freaking clean?! | GuidableGood morning everyone,

There is more snow on the ground today, it really feels like winter! The next two days there is no school, so I am looking forward to being in a warm kotatsu and reading.

Speaking of reading, there is a new desk by the H2/H3 shoe boxes. It is the English newspaper desk. Everyday I will put two English newspapers there, The Japan Times and The New York Times. Please take a look! Also, I will copy one interesting story. You can take a copy to read anytime you like. Finally, the old newspapers will be under the desk. You can take one of those home too.

If there are any interesting stories you want to talk about, or if you need help with the English, come see me any time. I am always happy to help.

Enjoy your two days holiday and stay warm!

Snow Day! – Jan. 2021

Hello everyone,

Did you make it to school ok today? There are not many bikes in the parking area right now, because at about 7am it started to snow. It was the first time this year! Right now there is only a little snow on the ground. In English we say a “dusting” of snow, almost like icing sugar on a cake. It looks pretty I think.

It was good timing, because here is a comic that was in the newspaper today. Do you know why he is saying “Let’s go make some money?”

After it snows, shovelling snow is an important job. Some people are too busy, or too old to shovel snow, so it is a chance for others to do it and make a few dollars. When I was in high school, I could make $10 – $20 dollars an hour doing this. Of course, I didn’t have magic shovels like this wizard.

Have a good weekend!


Happy New Year! – Jan. 2021

Hello everyone,

2020 is finally finished, and 2021 is here! I hope you had a good winter holiday with your family, ate some good food, and recharged for the next term. It is very short, so I hope you can enjoy each day with your friends and teachers.

When you come to school, don’t forget your shoes, report card, song book, and winter homework. Of course, you already finished it… right? See you tomorrow!