I just found out that none of my third-years know how to read English characters. They don’t learn how to read Roomaji (the way of writing Japanese in western characters) until fourth grade.
Oh, MAN, that explains a LOT. It also means it’s totally time to switch gears and cover material I should have covered back in the spring! I’d preemptively copied some alphabet sheets today, and I handed out nearly all of them in the end, to the 3rd-graders and to the older kids who said they’d like to review.
(I got back about 10 minutes ago from my elementary school classes, and am about to head out now to grab lunch and head into work. Just thought I’d state this while it was fresh.)
Oh, and while I’m here–the earthquake and tsunami in/near Hokkaido were on the other side of the country from me, so we got nothing whatsoever down here. The only ones you would need to worry about are ones related to Kyushu, western Honshu, or Shikoku. Our area doesn’t really get big quakes anyway, so it’ll more likely than not be all right. But thank you for your concern, those of you who did contact me! (Including my dad, who called me just after my classes wrapped up.)