TIS Blog

Head of School’s Message

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Dear Parents



Bookings for these close on Monday. We are looking forward to seeing you all here to share in your child’s learning. You can read more about student led conferences in Chris’ article.



On the last day of school, would parents please wait until the end of the school day at 12.00 to pick up their child. If some families are seen to leave and other parents and students are around to watch, emotions rise (especially in cases where people are leaving TIS for good) The lack of consistency causes stress and is difficult to manage. Many thanks!



Today at the last PYP Assembly for this school year, it was evident that the end of the school year is imminent. We acknowledged the successes of the TIS Futsal Team, our Netball Team and the Writing Awards for the Japanese Sakura Medal Books. A very big thank you must go to our teachers who have been coaches and teachers in order to give our students these extra experiences.

Grade 2 were leading the assembly where they shared their learning through their units of inquiry. A key factor is how they have learned to transfer their knowledge into the context of TIS and how they have taken action – two key tenets of the IB programmes. Some Grade 5 students also demonstrated how they have taken action after their Exhibition, by adopting lots of tropical fish from the fish shelter, where prior to that, these exotic species have been vying for food and existence in our nearby rivers with the native fish. You can read more about this action in Greg’s article.

For the past five years, Japanese native class students (about 40 students), not only read Japanese Sakura Medal Books, but they write about what they have read and participate in a review contest. This is organised by the International School Teachers Association in Japan and this year there were over 100 entries from 13 international schools. Every year one or more of our students wins one of the main awards and this year Dohyun Kim G5, won the Bronze award. Each school is only allowed to submit eight entries. Our participants were: G1 Aurora Nakai; G2 Oura Inouchi and Hina Manabe; G3 Maho Noguchi and Eve Kagami; G4 Maho Minagawa. G5 Relli Kondo and Dohyun Kim .

TIS has had a very successful year across the whole spectrum of activities and learning. We can be very proud of our students and their achievements within the international school arena in Japan.



14 June:
Student Led Conferences

17 June:
Deadline – All MS Student laptops and chargers to be returned

17 June 9:30am:
G8 Graduation & MYP End of Year Party

20 June 8:30am:
G5 Completion Assembly

21 June:
All class parties – low key – afternoon or period 6

22 June:
Last Day of the Academic School Year
8:30am Whole School Farewell Assembly
End of year Report Cards – sent home for Primary; Middle School Reports will be published on Manabi Mon by 2:00pm
Dismissal at noon

Kind regards

Lorraine Izzard
Head of School

Primary School Principal’s Message

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Student Led Conferences


What is a student led conference?

This is a time where the students use their paper and/or digital portfolios, they take the lead and inform their parents about their learning over the school year. They will be using many of the characteristics of the IB Learner profile: being knowledgeable risk-takers who are open-minded, thinking and reflecting about their work and most obviously being able to communicate this to their audience.


What are Portfolios?

Over the year, the students have been collecting work from their various subject areas to include in their digital or paper portfolio. You should see completed work that may be the best a student achieved at the time, as well as work showing progress and individual student reflections and comments about their achievements.


How are the contents of the Portfolio decided?

In most cases teachers have included broad outlines of what needs to be included under specific subject headings such as Language, Mathematics, transdisciplinary units of Inquiry work, or technology etc. Over the course of the year students have been putting work that represents a wide range of disciplines into their portfolio. As the student-led conference draws closer, the students have had the opportunity to review their selections and remove, change or add work that is meaningful to them and that they wish to share.

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Rena’s portfolio


What happens during a student led conference?

Every parent and their child has been allocated a time slot. The students will use their Portfolios to speak about some of the things that are contained in it. In the PYP, at the end of the session, the Portfolio will be taken home and your child will be able to share with you anything missed on the day, as time will be limited and it’s unlikely your child will have been able to share everything in their portfolio.


What is the role of the parents?

As the main purpose of the day is to let the child inform you about their own learning, the role of the parents is mainly to listen, support and encourage their child by asking questions for further clarification and making positive comments to your child.

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Rena practicing for her conference
Audrey is ready for her conference!


What sorts of questions should parents ask?

It may be that your child’s teacher has provided specific questions to ask for his/her grade. Other general questions you could ask are:

  • What do you like about this piece of work?
  • Why did you select this piece to share with us?
  • What did you learn?
  • How did you learn?
  • What did you find challenging when you were learning?
  • How have you been a risk-taker, inquirer (or another of the learner profile words) this year?

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What is the role of the teacher?

Each session will have several groups discussing their learning. The teacher will be on hand to help facilitate the session rotations. However, as it is the students’ day, please do not engage the teacher in a situation similar to a parent/teacher conference.


When are the student led conferences?

For the K1 & K2 students, the conferences will be 8:30 am – 9:30 a.m. Tuesday June 14th.
For Grade 1 – Grade 8 students the conferences will be 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm on Tuesday June 14th. This is a normal school day for students.


How are they scheduled?

Grade 1-8 sessions will be from 3:30p.m.- 5:30p.m. There will be four, half hour time slots with five conferences occurring at once.
3:30-4:00 4:00-4:30 4:30-5:00 5:00-5:30?
These slots are booked through Manabimon the school Learning Management System. You should have already booked your slot. You received a letter about this booking process and you received communication in TIS Times over the last three weeks. Please look back if you need to – http://tokyois.com/new/tis-times/


How are students not in a conference supervised when they wait?

Students will remain at school until they have conducted their conference. Primary G1-5 students will be in the gym. However, if parents have a 3:30p.m. slot, those students will be already in their classrooms awaiting your arrival. Any K1 & K2 students also wait in the gym as their siblings have their conference. For other time slots, parents please collect your child from the gym to go to the classroom for his/her conference. All Middle School students requiring supervision will go the Learning Lab and there will be rostered supervision.

I look forward to seeing you on the conference day!

Best regards,
Chris Frost
Primary School Principal

MYP Coordinator’s Message

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Summer Learning

Keeping up with learning during the long summer holiday is important in order to avoid the dreaded “summer slide”. This was the topic of the last parent workshop offered at TIS this academic year.

According to research, in the area of reading, it is estimated that there will be [up to] a three month achievement gap between students who read and students who do not read during holidays (Mraz and Rasinski, 2007). In the area of mathematical computation, an average of 2.6 months is lost if children do not continue to practice and use math during the long holidays (Cooper, 1996). Play and social interaction with other children is also learning and helps develop children’s social and emotional development. However, finding a balance between play and keeping up with reading and math can be a challenge for many families.

To get ideas on how you can support your child’s learning during the upcoming summer holiday, please access the presentation slides shown at the workshop which can be found under the Resource tab on Manabi Mon.

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A note regarding Mathletics and Khan Academy: The current Grade 1 students can access Mathletics during the summer holiday. The current Grade 2-8 students are encouraged to use Khan Academy as this is what these grade levels will be using from next school year. Some students have already created accounts, but for those who have not, please set one up using the tokyois email account.

Thank you to the parents who attended the workshop and for the feedback you provided after the session!

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Grade 7 Writing Share

The grade 7 students have completed their last unit in Language & Literature English on argument writing, and yesterday it culminated with a sharing session of their work. The students shared their views on an issue they had chosen to write about, as well as the specific writing skill they felt they had developed the most in this unit of learning. Developing the skill of writing powerful counterclaims in argumentative texts was something several of the students mentioned as an area they had especially developed in. The students did really well sharing their knowledge about the issues, and they were articulate and passionate about their topics. Thank you to Tonya and Evan for the excellent work they do with the students!

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On Wednesday during lunch time the girls volleyball team played against a group of teachers in a final match of the year. Although the teacher team won in the end, the girls started off very strong and were leading the match with 5 points. It was great to see how much the team’s skills have developed since the beginning of the year, and it will be great to follow their growth as volleyball players next year. Thank you to Brandon for coaching the volleyball team and to the teachers for playing against them.

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Best wishes for a great weekend,

Kristine Adelsboell
Middle School & MYP Coordinator

Learning in the PYP

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Looking for Learning
What’s been happening in the PYP at TIS this week

When we think about the concept of homelessness we tend to think of humans as not having homes. But have you ever thought about fish being homeless? The Abandoned Creatures and Endangered Animals exhibition groups found out that some alien fish species here in Tokyo are homeless as they have been abandoned or dumped by their owners into an environment that is foreign to them. As part of their action during their exhibition the groups wanted to set up a home for some of these fish.

Their plans finally came to fruition on Wednesday. Mr Yamasaki (the fish post owner) who the groups have been working with, came to school and donated a small number of fish. With his help, the students set up the fish tank and welcomed the fish into their new environment in the lobby.

The groups have also set up their schedule to feed and care for them for the last few weeks of school as well as over the holidays. They are currently training the grade 5 students who have volunteered to help. Even though they will be in grade 6 in the next school year they will still continue to care and feed them. This is a great example of sustainable action.

When you are in the lobby area next time, please check out the fish and see how well they have settled into their new home. You may even want to find out what type of fish they are and where they come from.

Greg Parker
PYP coordinator

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Learning in the MYP

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Grade 7 & 8 Japanese Magazine

In unit 4, Grade 7 & 8 students learned different types of magazine articles to learn the structure, style and language use.
Students applied those knowledge to produce their own magazine.


This is one of magazines they created.

Grade 7 & 8 Japanese Magazine

Best regards,

Melina Weintraub
Middle School Japanese Teacher