Thursday, February 24, 2011

Question the Answers 答えを問え

Not "Answer the Questions."
It says, "Question the Answers."

In Japan, we don't have this culture of bumper sticker, so I was pretty surprised to see adults putting "stickers" on their vehicles when I first came to the U.S.  Now I understand how they can be a tool to express one's feeling about certain hobby, a belief system, a political view, and many other things.

I very much enjoy looking at these bumper stickers, and whenever I see something that provokes some deep thought or that makes me laugh, I praise whoever made them in my head.

Today, I found this one (see the photo above).
"Question the Answers."
I think that it's very important to question answers that we already have.

That's one of important skills I want my students to acquire - the skill to explore answers on his or her own even if it is frustrating.  I do not want them to swallow whatever answers given to them. I want them to be able to chew them well before they decide to swallow. It might not be an easier way to live, but I think it will be more tasty life for sure.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011


I just received a package from Ty for Valentine's Day.
(The reason why it arrived today was because he came back to the U.S. from India a day before Valentine's Day and sent out this package to me in Hawaii on V-day. I wasn't expecting anything, so I was just grateful to receive anything.)

What made me laugh and smile was finding the same chocolate bar I sent him.
(I sent mine to arrive on V-day, but he picked the package up today. We received each other's package on the same day, and he must be smiling at the chocolate bar I sent him :)


(The company that makes this chocolate bars are in Boulder, CO. Chocolove)

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Compliments of 10 10をつくるには

Knowing the compliments of 10 is crucial for my students to move on to the next stage of arithmetic.  If they can group numbers that equal 10 first, then they have easier time adding and subtracting numbers mentally.

For example, if they know 1+9 and 2+8 are both 10, when they do 382+18, it would be easier and faster for them to answer.

Therefore, I sat for awhile to come up with some manipulative tools for them to work with, so that they can visually and kinesthetically see the relationship between numbers.  I wanted them to be able to "see" them!

I had each student make these 12 sets of little boxes which they colored in (and I laminated).

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When you put the correct pair of number on the partner (compliment) number, it will create a complete boxes of 10 (as shown below) like a puzzle!


Here are some interactive on-line games.

Well, I will have them practice with this until they can automatically think of "2" when I show them "8."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Drops 甘いしずく

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

I can relate to people who do not necessarily celebrate holidays. Those people often say that everyday should be a holiday.  For example, everyday should be your birthday, or everyday should be Earth Day.  While I totally agree with them, I am not against holidays because those certain dates help us to remember certain aspects of our lives.  For example, birthday gives me an opportunity to appreciate all the lives who have come before me and thank them and extend my wonder to the miracles of continued life lineage. Earth Day gives me an opportunity to appreciate the earth even more than usual.  So, Valentine's day gave me an opportunity to think of my loved ones.  Whenever I think about loved ones, a sweet feeling drips down into my heart.  That itself is sweet, and no chocolate is needed, but I like eating chocolate, too :)

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ハッピー バレンタインズデー!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Maui Sisters マウイのお姉さまたち

I had a nice reunion with my important friends here on Maui.
From left: me, Kaori, Nene, Suga, Mika, and Mirra Rose.

They are all powerful, inspirational, and beautiful women whom I admire very much.

Kaori-san is a wonderful massage therapist (
Nene-san is a beautiful singer (
Suga-sensei is my dance teacher who has influenced my life tremendously (
Mika-san is a mighty mother and doula (
Mira-Rose is a loving healer who smells like pink rose (

I have known these women since I came to Maui (10 years ago), and I cannot express my gratitude enough for their warm sisterhood, watching after me always and providing a sense of home here on Maui, away from my home in Japan.

I look forward to seeing them again.

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