November 20, 2013


We talked about the fact that Allen-sensei will be absent on Thursday and Friday for a conference. Everyone should bring their books to class on both of those days. Notice that we've studied nearly everything that's in the fist half of the book already this year!

On Monday, we will have our next test. Big focuses are PAST TENSE and using HIRAGANA to write. When you are reviewing, use the lists in textbook Chapter 16, as well as information on this website in addition to your notes. Show your version of the Kintaro story to your classmates and see where you can help each other out with adding detail or fixing errors.

New katakana is コ (こ). Keep studying katakana as well as the hiragana that you're reviewing.
On Monday the 25th, Jerome students should report to the library for our Chapter Test!

November 19, 2013


Today's quiz was over the past tense. Far better than yesterday, but we still have a way to go. We practiced in small groups using い adjective cards, な adjective cards, and verb cards. If you print your own copy, notice that the cards with a dotted line between them are front and back of a two-sided card. For the endings, both sides mean the exact same thing. For charts summarizing word forms, look in the back of your textbook at the information listed as Chapter 16.

Our new katakana of the day is ケ (け). Watch out for the top right corner!

November 18, 2013


Today's quiz was over the grammar that we looked at on Friday. Today's katakana is ク (く).

November 15, 2013


Allen-sensei had to leave school for a family emergency! We needed to analyze the story text to look for past tense patterns, and then use textbook pages 82-83 and 121 to verify the grammar patterns. Today's katakana is キ

November 14, 2013


Today's quiz was over adjectives and adverbs (very similar to yesterday). It was still pretty bad, but better than yesterday. Today's new katakana is カ which is super-easy, since it looks so much like the hiragana か that you learned.

Iya-sensei told the class a story about Kintaro, and went through it a couple of times. Please use the handout as part of your homework time tonight. Look for familiar words, then look for patterns that seem to be repeated several times. Last, try to make an educated guess about the meaning of the patterns that you are seeing repeated.

November 13, 2013


Today's quiz was over recent adjectives. It was a massacre. Everyone needs to make certain that they're studying how to write vocabulary terms using hiragana. Flashcards, writing words over and over, and quizzing yourself should be key parts of your daily study habits.

We reviewed describing George and quizzed each other on vocabulary.

Today's new katakana is オ and it looks like Oprah dancing happily.

November 12, 2013


Sensei is at school doing paperwork, and students are at home enjoying a pretend snow day. :(

November 11, 2013


Today's quiz was a translation using a couple of the adverbs from Friday. We got TWO new katakana today, since there's no class on Tuesday. ウ and エ sound like う and え and here are the flashcards that show the line order (you need to scroll down to the 8th page to find the start of the katakana).

We created a character together, and Allen-sensei drew him on the board as we decided what he looks like.
Coffman George.JPG
Coffman's George

Jerome George.JPG
Jerome's George


We had to add some description terms in order to get the details right:
  • せがたかい (p. 117)
  • せがひくい (p. 117)
  • つよい (p. 236)
  • よわい (p. 236)
  • やさしい (p. 126)
  • こわい (not in the textbook; it means 'scary')
  • かっこいい (not in the textbook; it means 'cool')
  • かっこわるい (uncool)



November 8, 2013


Today's new katakana character was イ which sounds like い We practiced by trying to think of non-Japanese words that start with the sound ア or イ and then trying to turn the character into a picture of that thing.

We added some new adverbs today. Adverbs don't need a particle after them! Look on textbook p. 76 and 78 for correct spelling and some examples on how to use these.

We practiced writing questions and then answering a neighbor's written question about the same topic. Sensei would put a key word on the board, then everyone had to write a question using it on their whiteboard. Then we passed the whiteboards to the next person, and had to answer the questions we received.

*Starting Monday, all answers on quizzes have to be written using hiragana!!*

November 7, 2013


We had a hiragana check-in today, and scores are getting better each time! You'll have to wait until Monday for cookies, but there are a lot to give out.

We practiced writing whole sentences using hiragana to describe classmates. Remember, you need to practice writing whole words and sentences using hiragana!!

We added a few new terms to help add detail to descriptions: まえ and いま (check text p. 68 for information) and four words for describing your skill level (text p. 105). We also added your first katakana character today: ア which sounds exactly like あ

November 6, 2013


We had a hiragana dictation quiz today and no new characters. We practiced hiragana writing, and used the cards to practice identifying characters. Instead of grabbing just one card, we tried to find ALL of the cards that had a particular vowel or consonant sound. Then we played Memory with the cards. Two cards with the same vowel sound are a match. If you turn over あ、い、う、え、お、を、or ん and read the character correctly, you don't have to match it to anything. Keep practicing hiragana, the hamburger numbers, and the でした ending.

November 5, 2013


Today was the last new hiragana! ん = n Remember, starting on the 11th, you need to use hiragana (or katakana for appropriate words if you've studied them) for all of the writing that you do for Japanese class!

We added the PAST TENSE alternative to です today. If you want to say what something WAS, put together the same pattern we're used to, but substitute the word でした instead of です at the end.

Remember, if you want to say that something IS NOT, you substitute the phrase ではありません instead of です. Now, you also have a way of saying that something WAS NOT: Add a でした at the end.

To summarize:
I am a cat. = わたしは ねこ です。
I was a cat. = わたしは ねこ でした。
I am not a dog. = わたしは いぬ ではありません。
I was not a dog. = わたしは いぬ ではありませんでした。

November 4, 2013


Today's test sections were both writing - one section describing a picture on a card, and one section filling in a crossword with sentences gathered from the crosswords that members of the class made last week as review.

November 1, 2013


Today's new hiragana is を which sounds exactly like お but is only used as the particle following an object in a sentence. At Coffman, we took a look at a couple of websites that could be interesting practice resources:

At Jerome, we practiced having a conversation in writing with the moms.

October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween! Happy test day! Today's test sections were multiple-choice listening and multiple-choice reading comprehension (both through the computer), and a "text chat" of short written answers.

October 30, 2013


No quiz today! We got back the Hiragana Check-in papers from yesterday, and cookies/brownies were handed out. Once more, here's the information on what is written at the top of your paper:
  • Overall number correct
  • Comparison of today's score and your most recent previous score. Since there were six school days since the previous Check-in, the expectation is that this number should be AT LEAST six.
  • Comparison of today's score and your own personal best. If today's score is lower than your personal best score, you will see a negative score here. Otherwise, you will just see "personal best."
  • Comparison of your score today and the day's cut score. The cut score is the expected total number correct, based on how many characters we've officially introduced in class. For this Check-in, that number is 65. You will either see "Cut score ✔" or "Cut score NO".

In order to get a cookie, you need to have both "personal best" and EITHER "Cut score ✔" or a minimum of +6 compared to your most recent previous score. If you improved your score by at least six, you get one cookie for each six points gained.

Today's new hiragana is わ (wa), which looks just like a ね without that final loop. We worked with partners to finish the crossword puzzles that we started yesterday.

For Thursday, Friday, and Monday, please be sure to bring earbuds.

October 29, 2013


We had another Hiragana Check-in today, which means that several people will be getting cookies (or maybe brownies?) tomorrow. Today's new hiragana is ろ (ro) which looks a LOT like る (ru)! The way that Sensei has always remembered which one is which is by remembering that る has a loop, and ろ is open (and emphasizing the vowel sounds in those words).

We practiced quizzing each other on writing hiragana, and then paired up to write original crossword puzzles. Tonight, everybody will finish writing your ten sentences, and then tomorrow, you'll put your head together to create the actual puzzle.

October 28, 2013


We worked on writing descriptions of Dixit cards, first working individually, then collaborating with classmates. The new hiragana of the day is れ (re). Make sure that line #2 STOPS at the top right corner. It should NOT look like the curve at top right corner of the character ね

hiragana_ne.jpg
hiragana ne
hiragana_re.jpg
hiragana re


October 24, 2013


We did not have a quiz today! We reviewed description words and particles, then added six new description terms (textbook p. 120):
  • おおきい
  • ちいさい
  • いい
  • わるい
  • ながい
  • みじかい
Please note: These terms are the first adjectives that we've learned (the color terms you know are actually nouns). You can't use the sentence ending ではありません after these words, so for the time being, just use the word with th
e opposite meaning instead of trying to translate "not big" into Japanese.
We listened to Allen-sensei describe a picture, and tried to sketch out what she was saying. We'll do some
Waluigi.png
more of this on Monday, and try to create some similar descriptions ourselves. Today's new hiragana was る (ru).

P.S. Recognize this guy? Do you now know why his name is a pun?

October 23, 2013

We had a translation quiz, then learned the following new vocabulary (textbook p. 101):
  • すき (like)
  • だいすき (love)
  • きらい (dislike)
  • だいきらい (hate)

These can be used in the "description" part of a sentence in this way:
  • Watashi wa coffee ga suki desu. (I like coffee.)

Today's new hiragana is り (ri). **Notice that we are almost done with introducing new hiragana! Beginning on Monday, November 11, you will not receive credit for Japanese answers written using English letters.

October 22, 2013


We had a hiragana dictation quiz, than practiced writing hiragana. Today's new character is ら (ra). We practiced writing and then took a look at the negative version of です

Topic は subject が description では ありません。

Notice that the start of that is the particle DE and the particle WA stuck together.

October 21, 2013


We did a Hiragana Check-in today and practiced identifying characters. We also added the character よ (yo).

October 18, 2013


At Coffman, we watched a children's TV show about hiragana. Alix is converting these into DVDs! Searching for Japanese children's shows on YouTube can be a really fun way to practice. At Jerome, we practiced describing people using the pictures in some children's books. Today's new hiragana is ゆ (yu), and just like や it can combine with characters that end with the sound "i". So きゅ sounds like kyu.

October 17, 2013


Today's quiz was a translation of two sentences. Then we used the Dixit picture cards to practice writing descriptions. Today's new hiragana is や (ya), and it also can be combined with other hiragana. A small や can be put right after a character that usually ends with the vowel sound "i" and the two sounds will combine. For example: きゃ (kya), しゃ (sha), ちゃ (cha). And just for pretty, here's the SpongeBob that Zion drew.


Spongebob.JPG



October 16, 2013


Today's quiz was on color vocabulary. We got a new seating chart at Coffman, and a new hiragana: も (mo). We talked about how to use flashcards, and Sensei encouraged everyone to read the note from Tuesday about the hiragana quizzes.

October 15, 2013


Today, instead of a regular quiz, we had a bigger quiz to see where everyone is on learning hiragana. And now we enter into a period called "Surprise! Cookies!" We will be re-taking the same type of quiz every so often, and everyone who earns at least the target score for that day (as determined by the number of characters we've studied by that point) GETS A COOKIE or some other treat the next time that we have class.

We practiced colors and the sentence pattern from yesterday, and introduced the hiragana め (me).

October 14, 2013


Today's quiz was over body part vocabulary. We looked at two new hiragana today: み (mi) and む (mu).

Iya-sensei introduced several words for colors today. In the textbook, these can be found on p. 110. We can use these in the pattern (Topic) WA (subject) GA (description) DESU as the description! Examples:
  • Sensei wa kami ga chairo desu.
  • Bart Simpson wa shirt ga aka desu.

October 11, 2013


At Coffman, we looked together at the videos from Erin's Challenge and talked about what we saw and heard. At Jerome, we practiced body part vocabulary with the moms.

October 10, 2013


Today's new hiragana - ま (ma). We also looked at another variation that we can add to the "H" sounds - ぱ (pa), ぴ (pi), ぷ (pu), ぺ (pe), ぽ (po).

We introduced several new vocabulary words for body parts; find them in the textbook Chapter 6, Section 1, p. 116. Make sure that these are very solid before tomorrow!

October 9, 2013


Unit 2, Test Day 2

October 8, 2013


Unit 2, Test Day 1

October 7, 2013


We created review sheets together to study for Tuesday and Wednesday's test.

October 4, 2013


At Coffman, we worked in class on the website Erin's Challenge and several people almost lost their minds over the Japanese Culture Quiz. At Jerome, we practiced hiragana with the moms. Today's new character is ほ (ho). Please watch out that your last line doesn't cross through the top horizontal line!

October 3, 2013


Today's quiz was about particles. Then we reviewed particles and the two types of sentence patterns.

Action sentence (What is happening? What is he doing?)

(noun) [particle] (noun) [particle] (noun) [particle] {verb}. Add more (noun) [particle] sections if you need them.

Description sentence (What is it? What is it like?)

(Topic) WA (description) DESU. But also this: (Topic) WA (subject) GA (description) DESU.

So we also took a look at why both WA and GA might be needed. To say the English sentence "Marge is Bart's mother", we can translate it as:
Marge WA Bart NO okaasan desu.

But that's not the only common way to express this idea in Japanese. Our main topic is really Bart, and we are describing who Marge is from Bart's perspective. So a common way to express this is:
Bart WA Marge GA okaasan desu.

Don't let your brain explode yet. The more we use this, the more natural it will feel. This doesn't match up as easily with an English language sentence, but just trust your sensei. TRUUUST. You are going to be so good at this soon.

To make everyone feel more comfortable, we ended with the hiragana of the day: へ (he).

October 2, 2013


Today's quiz was about the "hamburger" numbers. Today's new character is ふ (fu). We played hangman, and took another look at the particles that we've studied so far. Here's a printable set of particle flashcards that shows all of the particles that we are hoping to learn for the year.

We looked at how to put both a "wa" and a "ga" in the same sentence. I said that I would put detailed notes in the wiki about this, but I've decided that I want to talk about it during class tomorrow instead so that there's less confusion among all the delightful students.

October 1, 2013


Today's quiz was over the "hamburger" numbers, and we did more practice on them. Tomorrow's quiz will be over those numbers! Today's new character is ひ (hi).

September 30, 2013


Today's quiz was on hiragana. We came up with mnemonics to help remember the order of the hiragana characters next. For example:

Allen-sensei killed seven teenaged ninjas, having mauled yaks really well.

A knife stabbed the ninja, having missed your right wrist.

A king says that no hippos make yogurt really well.

Today's new character is は (ha). If you haven't yet done so, I STRONGLY recommend that you add the hiragana flashcards to your daily review, and that you practice actually tracing the characters as part of how you use them.

Last, we got a very short intro to the "hamburger numbers" that are used to count irregularly shaped objects. Work on memorizing the song for these that's on textbook p. 56.

September 27, 2013


No quiz! We practiced three-digit numbers using number turner tubes. Try using these at home when you are practicing these larger numbers. We used dry-erase dice to practice random vocabulary, and then used dry-erase boards to practice vocabulary even more. Today's new hiragana is の (no).

September 26, 2013


Today's quiz was over the numbers 11-999. We practiced some with the numbers, then took a look at the first section of the Star Festival website. Please try to take a look at Site 01: Station and especially the blue diary that shows up on this page.

We added the number suffix ___mai today, which is used to count flat objects, and the hiragana ね (ne).

September 25, 2013


We had a quiz today over the numbers 1-10, then we took a look at how to count up to 100. This is in Chapter 1, Section 6 of your textbook, but there's a very straightforward pattern:
10 (juu) + 10 (juu) = 20 (ni juu)

10 (juu) + 5 (go) = 15 (juu go)

10 (juu) + 10 (juu) + 5 (go) = 25 (ni juu go)

WAAAAAAAAAY easier than Spanish or French. Learn the pattern, learn the word for 100 (hyaku), and you're all set.

Today's new hiragana: ぬ (nu).

September 24, 2013


New hiragana: な (na) and に (ni).

We practiced a little bit, then introduced numbers 1-10 (Chapter 1, Section 5). Here's the song that we used

September 23, 2013


Allen-sensei was absent; study hall time.

September 20, 2013


No quiz today! We learned two new hiragana て (te) and と (to). We also learned what a " does to the T sounds; it turns them into D sounds. So だ = da, ぢ = dzi, づ = dzu, で = de, ど = do BUT you will never use ぢ for anything, and there are very few words that use づ either. Sensei can literally only think of one.

We practiced using the sentence pattern from yesterday as well as writing. Check out some whole words and phrases that you can now write entirely in hiragana:
  • たってください
  • きいてください
  • かいてください
  • だしてください
  • おとうと
  • かぞく
  • です
  • etc.

Sensei will be absent on Monday, so you will be responsible for helping each other learn the next hiragana: な Please use the time to review together, and don't forget that homework logs are due!

September 19, 2013


Today's quiz was over the family vocabulary terms that we studied yesterday. We practiced these terms, and got two new hiragana: ち (chi) and つ (tsu). We practiced using these as well.

**When a Japanese word has a doubled consonant/pause in the middle of a word, it is spelled by putting a small つ in for the pause. So the words "kokki" and "sakka" are spelled こっき and さっか in hiragana.

We practiced using the sentence pattern (Topic) WA (description) DESU.

We learned three pronouns:
  • kore = "this" (near the speaker)
  • sore = "that" (near the listener)
  • are = "that" (far away from everyone in the conversation)

September 18, 2013

No quiz today! Today, Iya-sensei introduced some terms for family members. These are in your textbook in Chapter 3, Section 2 (pp. 57-58). **All work that Allen-sensei has received so far (except for Day 2 of the test) is completely updated. Nameless papers can be claimed at the end of class, and credit will be updated the same day.

September 17, 2013


Second Day of the Unit 1 Test! It will take longer to score the open-ended responses. All grades other than today's test sections are completely updated with all of the work that Allen-sensei has received up to September 17th.

September 16, 2013


First day of the Unit 1 Test! Scores are posted on ProgressBook.

September 13, 2013


We didn't have a quiz or a new character today! We practiced for Monday's test all period. Please look back at the Class Notes, and also at your past quizzes to see what types of items you should anticipate seeing on the test. In all likelihood, we will be splitting the test over Monday and Tuesday so that you don't feel as rushed. Good luck!

September 12, 2013


Today's quiz was a sentence translation. Then we practiced hiragana in a few different ways, and added the next character: た sounds like "ta."

The only new grammar for the day is this: When you want to ask someone to give you something, use ___ o kudasai.
  • Please give me a pencil =
  • Enpitsu o kudasai.

September 11, 2013


Today's quiz was a hiragana dictation. The new character of the day was そ and it sounds like "so". We also looked at how adding " to the S sounds changes most of them into Z sounds: ざ = za, じ = ji, ず = zu, ぜ = ze, ぞ = zo. ***Notice that the character し looks like a backwards J, which could help you to remember that it sounds like "ji".

We added a few new vocabulary words:
  • otoko = boy
  • onna = girl
  • iimasu = to say
  • After a sentence that you are quoting, you need to add the particle TO. For example:
    • The teacher says, "goodbye." =
    • Sensei ga 「sayounara」 to iimasu.

September 10, 2013


We had a quiz over yesterday's homework vocabulary. The new character of the day is せ and it sounds like "se".

September 9, 2013


We had a sentence-writing quiz, then practiced sentence-writing in groups, using white boards and the sentence chart handout. Next, we practiced hiragana by playing KARUTA (card-slapping game). Today's new character is す "su".

We added some new phrases for telling someone what to do. Learn the phrases on textbook p. 38 tonight!

September 6, 2013


At Coffman: The moms did not visit today, so we made nametags, learned the character of the day, and practiced telling stories.

At Jerome: We introduced ourselves, practiced hiragana with the moms, and practiced telling stories.

Here's the chart handout from today.

***Photos of the moms who volunteer at Jerome are posted on the wiki home page, so please work to learn their names quickly!

September 5, 2013


We had a quiz today that was a translation of a sentence into Japanese. Today's new character is さ "sa".

We worked to tell a story and create original sentences by creating word lists of nouns, particles, and verbs. Then, we pointed out each word on the correct list as we created sentences.

September 4, 2013


Today's quiz was on the polite phrases from yesterday. Today's new character was こ (ko).

We used vocabulary that we've studied to start telling a story together today. We'll see where it goes tomorrow! For homework, try to write out sentences that describe what happened in the story so far.

Some key vocabulary that you may need:
  • dare? = who?
  • doko? = where?
  • nani? = what?

Important grammar! To change a verb into the negative version, remove the "masu" from the end of the word, and replace it with "masen."
  • tabemasen = DOES NOT eat
  • nomimasen = DOES NOT drink
  • etc.

September 3, 2013


We had a quiz about ALL of the hiragana characters we've studied so far. Our next character is け and it sounds like "ke".

Today we introduced several polite phrases that will be useful in talking with Japanese moms on Fridays. Find the terms on textbook pp. 21 & 22.

August 30, 2013


Today's quiz was on the classroom items from yesterday. The new character is く and it sounds like "ku". We also learned that you can add a " to characters that start with a k sound in order to make a g sound: が = ga, ぎ = gi, ぐ = gu.

Just two new terms today:
  • mite kudasai = Please look.
  • kiite kudasai = Please listen.

Please remember to sign and return the permission slips for Iya-sensei on Tuesday!
*ProgressBook records will be completely updated over the weekend. They're VERY incomplete right now due to start-of-the-year technical difficulties.

August 29, 2013


Today's quiz was on the characters from yesterday. Today's new character is き and sounds like "ki". Notice that in this font, the 3rd and 4th lines of the character are connected, but you don't want to do that with your own handwriting.

We practiced hiragana characters and then learned some new vocabulary for useful classroom items.
  • paper = kami
  • pencil = enpitsu
  • book = hon
  • textbook = kyoukasho
  • comic book = manga
  • picture = e

August 28, 2013


Since Allen-sensei was absent yesterday, there was no quiz today. Today we had two new characters to make up for none yesterday. お sounds like "oh" and か sounds like "ka".

We talked a little bit about the self-introduction in the book. Two important things to note:
  1. You can completely drop "Watashi wa" or "Boku wa" from the start of the second sentence. Everyone knows who you're talking about, so it isn't necessary.
  2. Douzo yoroshiku actually means something more like "Please do me a favor" or "I'm depending on you." People use this a LOT in Japan. Any time that you're asking someone to do something for you, you should say this to emphasize the fact that you appreciate it.

We added a couple of new words:
  • dare = who?
  • (topic) wa ***A topic is more general that a subject. For example, in the Japanese version of the sentence "My eyes are brown", you can say "Watashi wa 'eyes' ga 'brown' desu."

August 27, 2013


Allen-sensei was absent today, so everyone used textbook Chapter 1, Section 1 to learn how to introduce yourself.

August 26, 2013


Today's quiz was about the new verbs. Today's new character is え and it sounds like the "e" in "egg". We practiced using the verbs and sentence patterns from Friday, and added a couple of new particles:
  • (question) ka
  • and = to (only use this for listing nouns)
  • (owner) no

August 23, 2013


Today's quiz was over the animal words. Today's new character is う and it sounds like the "oo" in "food". We learned six verbs:
  • drink = nomimasu
  • eat = tabemasu
  • imasu = exist/be somewhere (animate objects)
  • arimasu = exist/be somewhere (inanimate objects)
  • ikimasu = go
  • shimasu = do (can turn all sorts of nouns into verbs like "kiss shimasu", "basketball shimasu", "dance shimasu", etc.)

We also talked about how to put sentences together in Japanese. The verb comes LAST, but otherwise, word order is NOT important. However, there are very short words (called particles) that follow the important words in your sentence to tell what job that word is doing in the sentence. We saw three of these today:
  • (subject) ga
  • (object) o
  • (location) ni

Some examples of how to put this together:
"The cat eats a bird" is written in Japanese like this: Neko GA tori O tabemasu.
"George is in France" is written like this: George GA France NI imasu.
"The dog goes to Arthur" is written like this: Inu GA Arthur NI ikimasu.

Notice that the English words "a" and "the" aren't needed in Japanese.
*Language Biography packets are due on Monday!

August 22, 2013


Today we had a quiz on yesterday's character. Everyone had to write down the character, then write down the pronunciation of it. Today's new character is い and it sounds like the "ee" in the word "feet". We also learned six new animal words today. We tried to think of silly ways to remember them, and practiced by throwing stuffed animals around. :) Here are the six new animal words:
  • cat = neko
  • dog = inu
  • monkey = saru
  • pig = buta
  • bird = tori
  • elephant = zou (sounds like zo-oh)

FYI, for the overachievers, spelling the same words out using hiragana looks like this:
  • cat = ねこ
  • dog = いぬ
  • monkey = さる
  • pig = ぶた
  • bird = とり
  • elephant = ぞう

August 21, 2013


Whoo hoo! First day of school! Yeah! Today we got several pages of written information about Japanese class. We'll be studying one character a day, so tonight's homework is to learn the first character and to look over the papers we received. The character is あ and it sounds like the "a" in the word "father". The packet of questions about our past language learning experiences is due by Monday.