Welcome back with Ditty

Made with Ditty
Welcome back, I hope you all had a well-earned break and are feeling refreshed and ready for this upcoming quarter!

I would love to hear about your break, and share your stories with our global audience.  I have condensed my break using the Ditty.  I would like you to create a short music video, using Ditty.


Photos and stories to follow....

House Day

20th October

The weather did not disappoint and we were set for what is Seisen International School's Second Annual K-12 House Day. A massive well-done and our appreciation must go to The House Captains, they did a wonderful job of organising activities at school and outdoor events at Kinuta Park for their teams.

With 48 teams, the task was huge! Keeping an entire school organised and on task, without breaking a sweat they kept students and staff entertained!

We spent half the day at school competing in activities to earn house points for our respective team (Go Ontake!) We were given the task of designing house mascots! We also played Charades and Pictionary. In the gym, there were competitive races, only here would we see staff racing around on mini skateboards.

Over at Kinuta Park, teams worked together to get to know each other and use our individual strengths effectively. The park events closed with K-12 three-legged races and a staff race for good measure.

The day drew to a close with a 'Seisen Records' event, where each house was given 30 minutes to make as many coloured paper cranes as possible.

16th October

Rain Stops Play!

ScreenChomp with Kindergarten

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been using ScreenChomp with Kindergarten.  I continue to explore the ways in which an iPad can enhance learning. 
I wanted to use an app with students where they would be able to draw and record. With this app, they are then able to share their recording via Twitter or by email, which is a bonus!  It is great to share student learning with their school community in such a convenient manner.  It is wonderful observing five-year-olds who are able to open an app, create a video and share it via email with their parents.

The purpose of the described app was to develop the children's fine motor/coordination skills by drawing members of their family.  I was looking for students' control of the interactive pen whilst drawing on the canvas.  

Here are some of those links:

Blogger - Steps to Success Pt 2

Single Subject Teachers were today introduced to the world of blogging!  For most of them, it is completely new - their reaction showed great enthusiasm and it a privilege to be a part of their blogging journey.

Homeroom teachers have been blogging for a couple of weeks now. Last week homeroom teachers were introduced to our steps to success during a session at our recent professional development day.  Today was the turn of our single subject teachers.  Specialists are going to contribute to a grade level blog once a week.

Using our steps to success #SOLOTaxonomy we are able to identify where we are now and where we are going.

It is an amazing feeling to be in a room with such creative and inspirational teachers, moreover to see this passion applied to blogs when celebrating the success of our students is a privilege!

Committed! (Seisen Teacher profile!)

Great to see Grade 1 at almost 500 visitors (in a week!)

Teachers leave after an 'exit tweet'

I am looking forward to our next session.

If you are looking to introduce blogging at a school in Japan - please do not hesitate to contact me!

Sakura Medal @ Seisen

Sakura Medal

Sakura Medal Season is underway at Seisen International School, Tokyo!

Today saw the official launch of Sakura Medal.  This week, all elementary classes will be introduced to this year's collection of books.  Ms. Lea & Mrs. Ingrid are very excited, and it has been great to see such a 'student buzz' surrounding Sakara Medal 2016.  Today alone, we have had four elementary classes drop into our newly rebranded media centre to find out this year's contenders.

What is Sakara Medal?
Started in 2006, Sakura Medal is a book award voted on by children and young adults in Japan. Sakura Medal brings together students from international schools across Japan, giving them a voice, each year to vote for their favourite books!
Ms. Lea outlined the process of Sakura selection this morning to a grade 1 class:

Ms. Lea holding two of the books nominated from our school
"Librarians from lots of different international schools meet, with their favourite children's book and then 25-30 books in each of the Sakura Medal categories are selected by the different librarians, working together. The criteria for books chosen is that they are no more than two years old and that are from a variety of backgrounds and across varying levels of reading abilities.
Being relatively new to Japan and being a part of my first Sakura Medal Program, I am looking forward to the next few months and seeing children further develop a real passion for reading! To find out that one of my favourite books 'The Day the Crayons Quit' was last year's winner, I am already hooked until the very end to see what this year's winner is going to be. If only I could vote!"

Seisen's Guidelines
Students from Grade 1 to 5 read at least five Sakura books, and Grade 6 students read at least four.
The list of Sakura Medal short listed books is available online and in the media centre, and may be borrowed from the Elementary Media Centre.
For every four of five books read, each student can place one vote at the end of the programme. For example, if a student reads ten books in the picture book category, she is entitled to put two votes in the box.
Students complete a bookmark for each of the Sakura Medal shortlisted books they have read. These are kept in the Elementary Media Centre and students can refer to them when it is time to vote. Students will vote for their favourite books in April.

The winning book will then be announced, and the author will be awarded the Sakura Medal.

Word of the day (for me at least) Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossoms! I cannot wait until spring to see this incredible sight!

Blogger Steps to Success Pt 1

@MrTowse #Japan #CPD
As part of our whole school implementation of blogging here at Seisen International School #bloggingatseisen we had a 45-minute session, where I introduced staff to Seisen's Steps to Success.  Steps to Success is a model built in conjunction with Mr Michael Hughes from the great work by  #SOLOTaxonomy & Pam Hook.

The session also showcased apps that may also find a way into a classroom, and if you would like to hear more about this workshop or further sessions that are available, please do not hesitate to contact me @MrTowse or email

Staff sharing initial feedback regarding blog practice

Staff using #SOLOTaxonomy to reflect on own practice

Update: 15th October

Single Subject Teacher's Blogging

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Digital Portfolios

With conference season just around the corner, I thought I would publish this blog post. At Seisen we offer two models of conferencing:...

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