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View Full Version : Stuff to buy/make for THE CHILDREN!



pdgrizzles
May 12th, 2014, 12:06
Let's gobble gobble about what we're intending to buy/make or what we've already bought/made for our future students...

I have a serious question first though:
Would handing out buttons to the students be appropriate? The buttons with those little pins on the back? I feel like they would be awesome to give out during a game or whatever. Or are pins too dangerous?

I know that we're about to find out whether we'll get younger kids or highschoolers but, ya...

Jiggit
May 12th, 2014, 12:11
I think you'd be fine outside of Elementary school, though I'm not sure if they have them in Japan which might mean they have no idea what to do with them.

My general advice though is to not make giving them stuff a regular part of your lessons. If you have something different or special planned or want to set up some kind of points system or whatever (never seemed that great to me, but some people do it) then I guess it's ok. In general though they should be participating in classes because your lesson are interesting and because they're supposed to be paying attention. Other teachers don't bribe them to listen and answer questions so the ALT shouldn't either.

pdgrizzles
May 12th, 2014, 12:17
ok, good point

therealwindycity
May 12th, 2014, 13:06
Depending on who your JTEs are, I could see people balking at pins, although students at my JHS are allowed to put a few pins on their bookbags (one of the few things they're allowed to personalize). Like Jiggit said, some ALTs hand out points/cards to students who make an effort both in and outside of class and then have some sort of raffle or prize at the end of the semester. If I gave prizes away regularly, I'd probably have to work up quite a budget because I see so many students every week.

chikorita
May 12th, 2014, 14:11
I would say dedicate your time/ budget to making interesting lessons rather than buying prizes. Sometimes I do something craft-y with the kids, like making snowflakes or paper jack-o-lanterns. I think it means more to them to be able to take home something cool that they made than just being given a badge or sticker.

Giving out prizes on special occasions is fine, but when you're handing them out on a regular basis the students get used to being given stuff, and to doing well because it means getting a sticker rather than out of any sort of actual motivation. Also, at ES level at least, most kids are super-hyped about just about everything so you don't need to encourage them with special prizes.

If you do want to give stuff out, things like stickers or postcards work well- no one gets stabbed with a sharp pin, and they're super light. Just try to keep it an occasional thing.

uthinkimlost?
May 12th, 2014, 14:21
I would say dedicate your time/ budget to making interesting lessons rather than buying prizes.

That is what August is for.

BeckyJones
May 12th, 2014, 15:15
don't buy or make anything. If you do, buy some stickers that are small and make sure you have plenty of them. Outside of that, everything else is a no no.

Ini
May 12th, 2014, 15:39
if you want to spend your own money on the school then buy something useful like a can of kereosene so you dont have to wait until the temperature drops to -10 before they turn the heating on.

Ocaoca
May 12th, 2014, 16:01
Stickers, points and stamps. I'd only give out prizes when the kid has gone beyond what they've been asked of in class. So for instance if they've done extra work on top of their homework or classwork and in their own time. The school I am currently at gives out badges as prizes and had to change how they do things because students preferred to get other things instead. Edible prizes always seem more popular.

Namisuke
May 14th, 2014, 11:21
Write letters to government officials in your city/town. Your government should have a website and emails for everyone in office. Send letters to all who apply (especially to education and international affairs people) telling them about your role in Japan and ask if they have anything they can give you to support education and internationalization, such as books, flags, pins, posters, CDs, etc. I got TONS of free stuff by doing this and my kids loved what they got. Anyone who got a pin had it on their pen case all three years, and it helped them to remember my non-famous city/province name.

You can view a copy of the letter that I sent here: JET Programme Forums View topic - How to Get Started (http://www.jetprogramme.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10606&p=95593&hilit=Pins#p95593)

simply insert your details and send away!

I give out my prizes in my first lesson. I do a true and false quiz game and have students guess answers when I say something false. For example, "I am from the United States." (False) "Where am I from?" (Correct person gets a prize).

I also give stuff away for Canada Day just for fun.

Another great prize is money. Bring a sack of clean pennies/nickels/etc. They're good for cultural education, are super cheap, and kids love it. I had a small collection of special quarters from Canada too that was a great prize/token.

Prizes for me are more about giving things that are interesting rather than being an external motivator (although some external motivation has a place). Even after a game, if kids come to me and want to see something I was giving away and asks questions about it, I'll usually give them something also.
Once in a blue moon I'll make magnets that correspond to games we play just for fun. Back in Canada when I taught high school (senior 4/grade12), I decided to put stickers on work that got 90% or more for fun. My students were surprisingly excited about it because of the nostalgia factor of getting stickers in elementary school. Some worked harder to get the sticker...lol To be honest, I was the same way as a kid. Some students want proof of success. There are other ways to do that too, like stamps (or your hanko), using graphs to chart their progress, and so on. Sometimes if I have a goal, like exercising, I'll give myself stickers on my calendar for days I do well. We can't deny our craving for some forms of external motivation!

jacklostinred
May 14th, 2014, 12:37
Write letters to government officials in your city/town. Your government should have a website and emails for everyone in office. Send letters to all who apply (especially to education and international affairs people) telling them about your role in Japan and ask if they have anything they can give you to support education and internationalization, such as books, flags, pins, posters, CDs, etc. I got TONS of free stuff by doing this and my kids loved what they got. Anyone who got a pin had it on their pen case all three years, and it helped them to remember my non-famous city/province name.

You can view a copy of the letter that I sent here: JET Programme Forums View topic - How to Get Started (http://www.jetprogramme.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10606&p=95593&hilit=Pins#p95593)

simply insert your details and send away!

I give out my prizes in my first lesson. I do a true and false quiz game and have students guess answers when I say something false. For example, "I am from the United States." (False) "Where am I from?" (Correct person gets a prize).

I also give stuff away for Canada Day just for fun.

Another great prize is money. Bring a sack of clean pennies/nickels/etc. They're good for cultural education, are super cheap, and kids love it. I had a small collection of special quarters from Canada too that was a great prize/token.

Prizes for me are more about giving things that are interesting rather than being an external motivator (although some external motivation has a place). Even after a game, if kids come to me and want to see something I was giving away and asks questions about it, I'll usually give them something also.
Once in a blue moon I'll make magnets that correspond to games we play just for fun. Back in Canada when I taught high school (senior 4/grade12), I decided to put stickers on work that got 90% or more for fun. My students were surprisingly excited about it because of the nostalgia factor of getting stickers in elementary school. Some worked harder to get the sticker...lol To be honest, I was the same way as a kid. Some students want proof of success. There are other ways to do that too, like stamps (or your hanko), using graphs to chart their progress, and so on. Sometimes if I have a goal, like exercising, I'll give myself stickers on my calendar for days I do well. We can't deny our craving for some forms of external motivation!

THIS! ALL OF THIS!!!

I actually used this last year when I came over (thanks Namisuke for posting that last year). I sent it out early, as in just after placements, and recieved most of my stuff a week or two before I left. I was given so much stuff that I couldn't bring it all. I was given promotional DVDs, post cards, pins, travel books, photo books, you name it. Do it and do it early. Send it to everyone who is in office in your area, at worst you are out the price of postage at best you will have stuff to give away.

uthinkimlost?
May 14th, 2014, 13:24
Write letters to government officials in your city/town. Your government should have a website and emails for everyone in office. Send letters to all who apply (especially to education and international affairs people) telling them about your role in Japan and ask if they have anything they can give you to support education and internationalization, such as books, flags, pins, posters, CDs, etc. I got TONS of free stuff by doing this and my kids loved what they got. Anyone who got a pin had it on their pen case all three years, and it helped them to remember my non-famous city/province name.

You can view a copy of the letter that I sent here: JET Programme Forums View topic - How to Get Started (http://www.jetprogramme.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10606&p=95593&hilit=Pins#p95593)

simply insert your details and send away!

I give out my prizes in my first lesson. I do a true and false quiz game and have students guess answers when I say something false. For example, "I am from the United States." (False) "Where am I from?" (Correct person gets a prize).

I also give stuff away for Canada Day just for fun.

Another great prize is money. Bring a sack of clean pennies/nickels/etc. They're good for cultural education, are super cheap, and kids love it. I had a small collection of special quarters from Canada too that was a great prize/token.

Prizes for me are more about giving things that are interesting rather than being an external motivator (although some external motivation has a place). Even after a game, if kids come to me and want to see something I was giving away and asks questions about it, I'll usually give them something also.
Once in a blue moon I'll make magnets that correspond to games we play just for fun. Back in Canada when I taught high school (senior 4/grade12), I decided to put stickers on work that got 90% or more for fun. My students were surprisingly excited about it because of the nostalgia factor of getting stickers in elementary school. Some worked harder to get the sticker...lol To be honest, I was the same way as a kid. Some students want proof of success. There are other ways to do that too, like stamps (or your hanko), using graphs to chart their progress, and so on. Sometimes if I have a goal, like exercising, I'll give myself stickers on my calendar for days I do well. We can't deny our craving for some forms of external motivation!

What level do you teach in Japan?

Ini
May 14th, 2014, 13:27
I'd rather fill my suitcase with clothes and stuff but whatever floats your boat.

coop52
May 14th, 2014, 21:50
It really depends on your kids. I got a bunch of stuff from my local tourism board, and the kids really didn't care about it. They loved the pictures I brought of my family, house, and pets though. I ended up throwing out all the brochures I brough and search on Google for pictures whenever I need them.

As for prizes, be careful about handing out food or money, especially at JHS. There's probably rules about the students not being allowed snacks since it'll discourage them from finishing their school lunch. A lot of schools also ban the students from carrying money, or at least more than however much it costs to make a phone call, since the students might cause trouble with it. It should be ok to bring money to pass around. As for pins and other items that the students could put on their bags or whatever, a few schools are really strict about that since students having a bunch of stuff on their school bag hurts their image for some reason (or at least some parents at my school have complained about other kids having crap on their bags and thus making their child look bad).

I brought a couple of English-dubbed Ghibli movies, and the kids got a kick out of watching them. It's hard for the kids to follow the full movie since there aren't Japanese subtitles, but short scenes used as listening practice worked well. One of my JTEs also showed them one of the DBZ movies dubbed in English, and they thought it was hilarious.

Namisuke
May 15th, 2014, 08:01
I teach SHS. There aren't any rules at my school for handing out food, money, pins, etc. It's fine to bring stuff anyway. Sometimes you might attend English camps or international events that those are good for. A bag of pins really doesn't take up much luggage space. To be honest, a good section of my luggage was full or gifts and teaching stuff, but Air Canada allows 2 check-in pieces of luggage, so it was fine. You don't have to bring stuff, but I was glad I did. I always enjoyed getting little things from exchange students in high school, and I still have what I got.

Ini
May 15th, 2014, 08:20
Check with the nurse before you hand out any food incase someone has allergies

Libellule
May 15th, 2014, 08:24
Not sure where to post this - do any schools in Japan have interactive whiteboards (ex: SMARTboards)? They're pretty standard where I'm from, even in inner city schools.

Jiggit
May 15th, 2014, 08:27
They haven't even made it to regular whiteboards yet, give them a chance!

Libellule
May 15th, 2014, 08:41
They haven't even made it to regular whiteboards yet, give them a chance!

Hah. Oh. So... chalkboards then?

webstaa
May 15th, 2014, 08:50
Not sure where to post this - do any schools in Japan have interactive whiteboards (ex: SMARTboards)? They're pretty standard where I'm from, even in inner city schools.

My JHS has a couple smartboards. I am the only person on staff who knows how to use them (because technology.) In fact, my school has several of them, stuck in corners and storage (empty) rooms throughout the school from when they merged schools 6 or 7 years ago...

My ES has TVs with a smartboard-esc pen input thing. Only one teacher uses it in the English classes, but most teachers seem to use it for other things.

Antonath
May 15th, 2014, 08:57
Hah. Oh. So... chalkboards then?
Some schools have whiteboards, and sometimes even interactive ones, in special teaching rooms (for IT classes, in high-level schools, etc). But in general, the classrooms themselves are chalkboards, yes. Those are the rooms you will be teaching in 99% of the time.

uthinkimlost?
May 15th, 2014, 08:59
Every part of you will be covered in chalk at one point or another.

therealwindycity
May 15th, 2014, 13:57
All of my schools have smart boards that are usually free for me to use if I want them. They don't always have a dedicated computer, though, so don't always count on being able to use them on the fly

Gizmotech
May 15th, 2014, 14:45
There are 2 white board rooms in my school, and 2 other rooms with whiteboards at the rear of the class (sort of an after thought I guess).

Both white board rooms are technology rooms.

We have one brand new 70" LCD TV with interactive pen support for tablets and its connected laptop that noone knows how to use.

I think some of the ES level schools have 1 interactive white board in them for various classes. My spec-ed school has one, but they stopped using it when the English teachers all bought iPads and a really basic English learning app to use for pronunciation practice.

Ini
May 15th, 2014, 14:55
we have a couple of touchscreen tvs that are connected to laptops which you can wheel around and each classroom has a projector in the ceiling with a laptop/appletv and a strange interactive pen that allows you to interact with whats being projected (fuck knows what black magic is at work there)

Shincantsen
May 15th, 2014, 22:46
My ES was all black chalkboards. I think they were still using VHS players.

My recommendation for stuff to bring if you'll be teaching in Elementary school is stickers and stamps. Stickers are good to give away as rewards and stamps are good when you're marking papers. Try going to a teacher store and pick up stuff that has an American flag (if you're American) or English words (like 'great job' etc). Get packs of stickers that are small or at least all similarly sized, and come with a lot. Some places have books of like 500 little round stickers, those are great.

Namisuke
May 16th, 2014, 22:24
One more thing - a great gift for your school is age/level appropriate books for your school's library(ies). Some dollar stores sell Disney books, books about bugs, science, and so on. I bought a bunch of those for my SHS (they're really low level), and they were well received. It was cute seeing them get coded into the library system! The librarian said the bug one was popular with the kids for browsing.

Libellule
May 19th, 2014, 06:36
My ES was all black chalkboards. I think they were still using VHS players.

My recommendation for stuff to bring if you'll be teaching in Elementary school is stickers and stamps. Stickers are good to give away as rewards and stamps are good when you're marking papers. Try going to a teacher store and pick up stuff that has an American flag (if you're American) or English words (like 'great job' etc). Get packs of stickers that are small or at least all similarly sized, and come with a lot. Some places have books of like 500 little round stickers, those are great.

Is it common for people to bring over stickers/stamps? Will bringing these things make a better impression? When I was marking during my teaching practicum I would just write nice words beside the totals.

Gizmotech
May 19th, 2014, 07:23
It's common because someone 20 years ago brought some over, it worked well, and told everyone else to do it.

I did not bring em, and definitely did not need em.

Namisuke
May 19th, 2014, 08:44
You don't have to bring anything like that. If you see teachers going through work though, you notice many of them stamping it to show they saw it. If you have to do marking at your school, kids get a kick seeing your hanko. I write questions/comments about the content the student wrote about, personally. I almost always forget about stamping work/using stickers.

Don't bring stickers unless you know they're unique somehow. Japan is a sticker jungle! The one thing that isn't really done here are scratch-n-sniff stickers.

jacklostinred
May 19th, 2014, 09:02
I use Hanko cards in the classroom and change up my hanko whenever I remember. My pred left 30-40 different stamps in my desk and kids will answer questions so they can see what the hanko is for the day.

Shincantsen
May 19th, 2014, 23:35
Is it common for people to bring over stickers/stamps? Will bringing these things make a better impression? When I was marking during my teaching practicum I would just write nice words beside the totals.

You definitely do not need to bring them. I'm not sure if any of my teachers even noticed that I had special stamps/stickers. I just like stickers, and I was teaching young kids, so I brought them. In any case, it's possible that your pred will have left some English stamps, too.

Lianwen
May 28th, 2014, 15:33
I've taken to carrying around a couple stickers on my person. They're good for spontaneous rewards for kids who run up and talk to you outside of class. My friend made me custom stamps, which were great, too.

Page
May 29th, 2014, 09:38
A word about hanko--it's OK to use them but if you're a person that's considering staying here for the long term I'd make a custom paper checking hanko for it (can be made at most hanko shops here). There are no rules about not using your official bank hanko on papers but I'm sure most long term JETs would agree that they've never seen any J-teachers doing it. But for people who don't really care and won't be here that long it is pretty exciting for students.

You can get stamps and stickers here so you don't have to bring them with you. Japanese stickers are a lot nicer than the ones back home, imo (though I did bring a few reward packs for ES and kindy). It also depends on if your JTEs (JHS/HS) use them as to if you'll need or want them. Aside from the one JTE that specifically requests that I use stickers I just write comments and notes on papers.

teabot
May 30th, 2014, 23:31
You can get stamps and stickers here so you don't have to bring them with you. Japanese stickers are a lot nicer than the ones back home, imo (though I did bring a few reward packs for ES and kindy). It also depends on if your JTEs (JHS/HS) use them as to if you'll need or want them. Aside from the one JTE that specifically requests that I use stickers I just write comments and notes on papers.

they're nicer, but also more expensive. i've found that a yearly purchase of a few packs while i'm back home (or ask someone to send) tends to keep me in stock. i usually try to get scratch n sniff because they are much less common here. for other smaller/seasonal stickers i've bought here though.