O Little Town of Obama

Almost everyone here in Japan has by now heard of Obama – both the town and the guy running for POTUS (President of the United States).

Yes, they’ve communicated.

If you haven’t had your daily dose of randomness yet, I think this video will do.


Need more? Nozomu Sato, a Japanese comedian, is walking the Chicago streets impersonating Obama (the guy, not the town).


Doceo ergo vegetarian

Some of my first-graders are enormously thrilled at finally being able to express their likes and dislikes in English. They’re so excited, they shriek their opinions, then they run around the room trying to find a buddy with similar tastes in life.

It is usually during this time every year when my students learn that I am a vegetarian. I almost never say the word vegetarian, but after trotting through a list of my likes and dislikes, they notice the pattern and we move on.

But this year – today, in fact – there was mass confusion when the 6-year-olds learned I don’t like eating hamburgers, fish, chicken, and octopus.

What? How can this be?

I said nothing, curious to see how they would figure this out.

Aha!, the leader of the class soon announced to the others, It’s because she’s a teacher!

Yes but no but…eh?


Oef, my Latin is rusty. Help, please.

Watch out! Dangerous!

Helpful little information books seem to appear hourly here in Japan, and the latest, called 「あぶない!きけん!」 (Watch out! Dangerous!), is aimed at teaching kindergartners some of the various daily dangers they may experience.

Ooooh, my kids love sharing their playground wounds with me. Aren’t these often just the results of typical kid curiosity?

Pushing on the slide, fingers jammed in doors, falling down and bumping the head, and not walking carefully down stairs are examples almost cheerfully described in this book with before and after illustrations.

Read more about it in English here (heads up: Daily Yomiuri links don’t last forever), while the 65-page Japanese-language book is available for free (free!!) download at www.kikengaku.com (you can skip the survey if you click the little button at the bottom).

Let’s be safe out there!

Do it!

Early childhood educators have the enormous responsibility to teach basic skills to young learners. These children are being prepared for their futures, and these very important skills must be taught and learned well.

Can your young learners do all of these things?

  • count to 8
  • clap their hands
  • point up
  • point down
  • walk forwards and backwards
  • flap their arms like a chicken
  • make 2 fists

A grapevine might be a bit difficult. Straight steps right and left will do.

They probably have no clue who Travolta is. Ummmm…let me think about that.

But the rest is ok?


They can do the hustle! (Oh you hafta watch this….!)

Happy thanks.

Halloween Twisting and Shouting

This is for the parents, aunts and uncles of little ones.

The parade scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is going to be recreated in New York City this Friday.

Yes, call your friends and grin. You know exactly which scene I’m talking about.

Email projectbueller@gmail.com for more information or look here (heads up: a few NSFW words and images – you decide before calling the kids over).


Green Halloween

Try going green for Halloween.

No no, not your costume. Just your approach to the event (although yes, a recycled costume is a terrific go-green idea – trade with your friends or visit your local used goods store!).

Green Halloween is urging communities to consider more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It started in the Seattle, Washington area last year, and now it is expanding nationwide.

I only just now discovered this site, so read along with me while I learn more.

Yes, I know organizations such as this are popping up everywhere. The more the merrier, I say, because taking on the world all by yourself is really not much fun.


Q: What is a pumpkin’s favorite sport?

A: Squash.

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