I'm particularly well-acquainted with the 3rd graders on the tennis team as they practice right next to where I park my car. I typically spend a good 5 or 10 minutes talking with them before driving home. The girls are a lot more engaging than the boys who don't often volunteer much beyond pleasantries. As such, I have managed to develop good student-teacher relationships with a good number of the 3rd grade girls as well as a few of the 2nd and 3rd grade boys.
One 3rd grade girl who's a friend of many of the tennis player often engages in a sort of pantomime display with me in the hallways between classes. It starts with exchanges of greetings and then quickly switches to us yelling back and forth in a mixture of English and Japanese without either of us ever using a full sentence in either language. This is not something I intended but it just seemed to have happened over time.
Anyway, yesterday I went to this girl's class several minutes early since I had nothing to do in the office beforehand. We went through the normal routine as I approached the class but this time I used a fairly obvious topic to try and force her into an actual English conversation ... "what are you going to do over summer vacation?" Once she got the meaning we actually had a nice conversation and I talked about my own plans. During a short pause, she yelled over to one of her classmates in the back (in Japanese of course) "hey, guess what? I'm talking with a foreigner!!!!"
Her friend rushed over in a heartbeat and hung onto every word we spoke until the bell rang.
I hope they can now go through life without being mortally terrified of large pasty skinned blonde men that speak English.