Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

On Friday, Team 20 visited the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center to learn more about Japanese American history in Oregon. Our guides, June and Colin, led groups through the museum and art exhibit. In the museum, kids chose an artifact, wrote why they chose it, and what story they thought it told about the Japanese American experience, learning more about life in Japantown (Nihonmachi) and Japanese American incarceration during World War II. 
After sharing their findings the groups traded places. The art exhibit, Yellow Terror, featured the work of Roger Shimomura and his collection of objects showing racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans. Kids chose an item in the exhibit, wrote why they thought the item was made, who would buy the item, how people pictured in the item might react, how the item could show a stereotype, and what effect these messages could have. We walked to the Japanese American Historical Plaza along the waterfront for lunch before catching the bus for our return to Lewis. Here are some photos by Bella.

Our poetry project continues.  Kids are growing the seeds (poetic images that they collected in their sketchbooks through observation in the Lewis garden and at Reed Canyon) into poems. We are working on poetry revision by focusing on line breaks, alliteration, similes, and repetition. We practiced Ghanaian drumming with Alex from the Obo Addy Legacy Project and performed for the school.  We also began writing a play as a class, which we will perform during the last week of school.

Looking ahead, all Lewis Library books are due by May 31st. A correction on the Spring Music Concert date – the concert will be the evening of Thursday, June 1st, and the afternoon of Friday, June 2nd. Everyone who has volunteered this year is welcome to attend the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, June 2nd, at 8:00 a.m. in the Lewis Cafeteria. On Friday, June 9th, we will be having our 4th Grade Family Breakfast. It will be a great opportunity for students, families, and teachers to come together to celebrate our year. The breakfast is for all 4th graders and will take place from 8:15 to 9:00 a.m. in room 22. A flyer with more details will come home soon.

Mark

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center Visit

On Friday, Team 20 visited the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center to learn more about Japanese American history in Oregon. Our guides, June and Colin, led groups through the museum and art exhibit. In the museum, kids chose an artifact, wrote why they chose it, and what story they thought it told about the Japanese American experience, learning more about life in Japantown (Nihonmachi) and Japanese American incarceration during World War II. After sharing their findings the groups traded places. The art exhibit, Yellow Terror, featured the work of Roger Shimomura and his collection of objects showing racial stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans. Kids chose an item in the exhibit, wrote why they thought the item was made, who would buy the item, how people pictured in the item might react, how the item could show a stereotype, and what effect these messages could have. We walked to the Japanese American Historical Plaza along the waterfront for lunch before catching the bus for our return to Lewis.

Photos by team photographer, Bella.









Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dr. Seuss's Racist Cartoons & the Artwork of Roger Shimomura

Waiting for the Signal From Home



(Waiting for the Signal From Home..., February 13, 1942, Dr. Seuss Political Cartoons. Special Collection & Archives, UC San Diego Library)

The Artwork of Roger Shimomura



(American Guardian, flomenhaftgallery.com)


(Image from rshim.com)


(Roger Shimomura, gregkucera.com)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

Poetry Project – by Malcolm – This past Wednesday we all went on a poetry excursion to Reed Canyon. We went to four places in the whole thing. First we went to a forest type place, then an island place where we saw baby ducks, next we went to a bridge over the water, and then we went to a grassy place to play a game. The game was really fun. After choosing a partner, one person closed their eyes and the other person chose an object and had to use words to describe how their partner needed to move their pencil to draw the object. Once they said to open your eyes then you have to guess what you drew. The game had to do with poetry because the game required you to really observe and describe something carefully with words. We will continue collecting poetic images and eventually grow them into poems.  

Ghanaian Drumming – by Sophia – This week Mr. Alex Addy taught us about Ghanaian drumming. We learned new rhythms and beats that we are going to play at the performance on May 23rd. We also learned a new song on Friday. In this particular song we added instruments other than the regular drums – bells and a bass drum that was a square that you sit on. Mr. Alex says we’re going to learn more songs this year and we’re a good class. This year more classes were able to participate including 2nd, 3rd, and 5th graders, instead of just fourth. Many people are excited in Team 20 for the May 23rd performance from 9:30 to 10:30. Family is welcome to attend.

Also this week, we welcomed Mrs. Glasgow, Lewis’s new principal, to our room to share what we loved most about our school. We saw our first grade buddies perform a play version of The Great Kapok Tree. We have been reading Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. We are continuing to learn about Japanese incarceration during WWII as part of Oregon history.

Coming up, we will visit the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center on Friday. Please help your kid remember to wear their Team 20 t-shirt. I will send a reminder about who ordered school lunch the day prior to our trip. We have Field Day on Wednesday, May 24th. I know that the school is always looking for volunteers. The Spring Music Concert is Thursday, May 25th June 1st, beginning at 6:30.

Lastly, please send your kid with a water bottle each day, if possible. As you know, our classroom water fountain is not usable, and having a water bottle will help kids stay more comfortable and hydrated as the temperature climbs this spring.

Mark

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Japanese Incarceration


We are learning Oregon history about the story of people of Japanese descent before, during, and after World War II.

Please watch the following videos about Japanese incarceration from the Densho website. As you watch each video, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.

Part One: A Community Grows, Despite Racism

Part Two: Looking Like the Enemy

Part Three: American Concentration Camps

Part Four: Responses to Incarceration

Part Five: Righting a Wrong

Part Six: Why Does This Matter Now?


Additional Resources


After you finish your notes for the videos linked above, please choose from the following.


Why I Love a Country that Once Betrayed Me


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In this video titled Why I Love a Country that Once Betrayed Me, George Takei reflects on his family's experiences before, during, and after their time in a concentration camp. He was five years old at the time of their incarceration.

As you watch, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.


Democracy Now!: Seven Decades Ago the U.S. Detained 120,000 Japanese Americans, Could It Happen Again?




This spring 2016 video from Democracy Now!, a news program about world and U.S. events, continues our conversation about "Why does this matter now?"

As you watch, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.


Dorothea Lange's Censored Photographs of FDR's Japanese Concentration Camps



These photographs by Dorothea Lange, a well known documentary photographer, provide a visual record of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1942.

As you view these photographs, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.


Incarceration by Executive Order: Remembering Japanese American Internment Camps, 75 Years Later



This Washington Post newspaper article includes a number of visuals while providing a summary of the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans.

As you read this article, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.


An American Contradiction




This documentary chronicles the journey of Vanessa Yuille to her mother's birthplace, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, where Japanese Americans were incarcerated in a concentration camp during WWII.

As you read this article, please complete an Information/Questions/Connections sheet. You will use your notes when we come back together as a team to talk about what we learned.

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

This week’s Classroom Notes are brought to you by Bella and Precious. Lewis Art Night on Thursday was amazing. It was more than amazing, it was spectacular! The animation art was beautiful! The docents were amazing. They reeled in the people so well and did a spectacular job showing them the artwork. They were amazed and surprised how the students made them. They were so interested. The Boom and Beats people were very talented. I could tell a lot of people enjoyed the show.

We're excited to head off on our field trip to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center on May 19th! Don’t forget to wear your Team 20 T-Shirt! (From Mr. Mark: We are learning the story of people of Japanese descent before, during, and after World War II, with a focus on Japanese incarceration. We began with some background information on World War II and on early immigration to the United States from China and Japan. The kids were very curious about World War II and I did my best to give an age-appropriate explanation. I told the kids that if they want to learn more, it is not a topic to just “look up,” but is rather something to talk about with an adult in their lives. For our study, our primary resource is densho.org, a website about Japanese American history that was created by the Japanese American Literacy Project. It has specific resources for educators and students, including several that the kids are accessing through the Japanese Incarceration page on our classroom blog.)

We are working on making poetry this week. We started by going into the garden and observing things we see and hear. Thank you for all the people that shared the great things they observed. And thank you for adding so much detail to every sentence. I hope you are all excited to start the new projects we will be starting and finishing before the end of the year!

We are coming back to multiplication and practicing with multiplication bingo and we are also practicing odd numbers.

Second, third, fourth, and fifth grades will have a five session art residency with Alex Addy from the Obo Addy Legacy Project beginning this past Monday. Kids will learn about Ghanaian culture, music, and dance with a focus on drumming

Mark, Bella & Precious

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

We concluded the Write_On Challenge, the project to write 30 letters in 30 days for the month of April, by having a Last Letter Party complete with lemonade, popcorn, and a last letter. For this last letter, kids designed and wrote a thank you card to the project’s sponsors, Egg Press, Hello!Lucky, and Mohawk Paper, who provided Lewis fourth grades with a generous supply of letterpress cards and envelopes to make this project possible. It was wonderful to see the kids reflecting and writing to friends and family as a daily practice.

Field trip forms for our visit to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center to learn more about Oregon history related to the story of people of Japanese descent before, during, and after World War II were due today. Thank you for turning them in on time. It really helps me out. If your kid has not yet returned theirs, please do so.

Lewis Art Night is tomorrow, May 4th, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Team 20 made thaumatropes, zoetropes, praxinoscopes, and flip books, four early forms of animation. Docents will be on hand to guide you through different art pieces. Music groups will be performing, including Boomin’ Beats, and there will be sweets in the Paintbrush Café. It’s a night you won’t want to miss!

Please keep practicing that good ol’ multiplication fluency. We have worked through this set of multiplication strategies in class. Having these facts down opens doors for efficient multi-digit multiplication and daily math for years to come. The language portion of state testing has concluded. Kids will begin working through the math portion over the course of several days. Kids who have opted out are continuing to work on some independent activities during our testing time.

Lastly, Lewis held its annual spring earthquake drill this past Friday. If you haven’t recently, consider talking about your earthquake plan as a family. Here’s a link for building a budget-minded earthquake kit and a link to a more detailed set of emergency plans.

Mark