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Part2 Educational Reform Q&A

-Answering Your Questions on Educational Reform-

Weekly Diary of a 5th Grade Elementary School Student in2002

-A Glimpse into a 5th Grader's Diary-


A gentleman in my neighborhood came toschool today.

He is studying the history and culture ofour town,but I didn't know that.In the socialstudies class,the third period of the day,hecame into the classroom with the teacher andtalked to us about"Why the Tenjin festivalcame to take place,""Why the castle in thenext town is in the place it is"and otherthings,while showing us photographs of howthe town used to look.

The story about the castle was especiallyinteresting and even our teacher,who waslistening at the back of the classroom,had alot of questions to ask.

Afterwards,teacher said that next week inthe science class,someone who was doingplant research would come to talk to us.Fromnow I will think of all the things I want to askand next time try to ask even more questions than the teacher.(Special Part-time Teachers: See Q19 )


We learned addition and subtraction of frac-tions for the first time today.

My mother is worrying that the speed atwhich I am learning is not as quick as thespeed at which my big brother used to learn,but since math is one of my weak points,I amglad that we are being taught in a steady andeasy to understand manner-it's just right.

The people who could finish the mathproblems given by the teacher were able togo on to a math puzzle,but I didn't have thetime to do the puzzle because I took quite along time to do the problem.

When I got home,though,I did the puzzlewhile eating a slice of cake.I was thinking what pro-portion of the total roundcake was my slice...(Careful Selection ofEducational Contents: See Q14 )


Today some elderly people came to eat withus during lunch time and we talked a lot.

Once a week we have exchange meetings,because our school was built together with ahome for the aged.

I always look forward to these meetingsbecause we can listen to tales about the timewhen the elderly people were young andplayed the old games they used to play.

Today though I told the elderly peopleabout what I am studying in school and aboutthe games we play nowadays.

When I went home and talked to my Dadabout the events,he told me that there hadbeen no schools and senior citizens homesbuilt together in his school days.He said thatschools had been surrounded by fences,withonly teachers and students inside.

I am glad it's not like that now,because Ienjoy playing with the elderly people.(Building compound school facilities: See Q8 , Q27 )



What I look forward to most are the integrat-ed classes.

For these,we choose one of our favoritethings,then form a study group with friendswho have the same likes.Our group likes bee-tles and stag beetles and we have all beenstudying about the lives of insects.We studied aline of stag beetles in the library today.Wecould not easily find books on the subject,sowe got the library teacher to help us.Then wefound a video as well as a book.We have allwatched the video together and were able tolearn many things about insects's lives today.

There's a little time left until the presen-tation next month and before that we want togo to the museum.

Our teacher told us that the PrefecturalMuseum had all sorts of insects that you cantouch and look at.We should all go over thereto have a look and get some information.(Periods of Integrated Study: See Q13 ;En-joyable Museum Project: See Q44 )


Today was sports club day.

I went to a nearby sports center with mybig brother after school had finished.

I played soccer.The owner of the coffeeshop,who had played in the national cham-pionships a long time ago,taught us.My bigbrother,who is a bit chubby,went swimrrnngto lose weight.

In the evening my Dad went out in highspirits to play a volleyball match with theteam from the next town.

It's really great because I don'tjust playsport with my friends from school,but peoplefrom the town,and not just soccer either,buta number of other sports too.I want to continue to play sports when I goon to lower secondary school.(Comprehensive community sports clubs: See Q49 )


I went hiking with my family today.My momhad found the place in the children's centernewsletter that she'd picked up at the PostOffice.

We went climbing in the mountains,fish-ing in the river and canoeing.It was reallygreat because it was so green and beautiful.Ihear that there are lots of places like this.Iwant to come every week.

It's good that from this year we get tohave Saturday off from school.School's funbut on Saturday I can go out with my family,or join in activities in the town or spend theday playing with my friends.(National Children's Plan: See Q5 and Q6 )


I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.

That's why I am studying about space andscience now.Today in the public hall therewas a workshop to build and fire a rocket,which I had been really looking forward to,and I took part with my friends.

It was difficult to make the rocket but Iwas really amazed and happy when my rock-et flew high up into the air.

I asked a lot of questions to the universityteacher who taught us and now I really wantto go into space,but I found I would have todo a lot more study before then.

During the summer vacation it looks likethere will be a lot more workshops,and I willdefinitely take part.

My big brother,who attended anotherworkshop,made a musical instrument out ofempty cans,and brought it home to performproudly in front of everybody.

I thought my rocket was better though.(National Children's Plan:Q5,6;FureaiScience Program(Getting Close to ScienceProgram): See Q46 )

-A Word from MESSC-

What did you think when reading this diary?Did you not imagine the sort of childrenwho all dream of the future as they live as lively students full of enthusiasm,boldly tak-ing up all manner of challenges with interest and concern?

In our aim to forge such a21st century,we would like to address educational reformwith the cooperation of each and everyone.

(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

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