November 20, 2013

We had a vocabulary quiz, then worked to write stories based on Dixit card pictures. Please use these stories as a way to practice and review recent vocabulary and grammar, and take a look at your classmates' stories too!

Allen-sensei will be at a conference Thursday and Friday. Please bring your textbook to class to review Chapter 4 together. On Monday the 25th, Jerome students should report to the library for our Chapter Test!

November 19, 2013

Kanji quiz, then today's new character is 洗 (p. 157). We worked on reading the conversation from the start of Chapter 4 and discussing it in Japanese to make sure that we're understanding as we go. Please try logging in to the Moodle site (the link is on the Japanese 4 main page) and listening to the audio track as you follow along. I've un-garbled the titles of all of the items related to Chapter 4 there, so take a look.

November 18, 2013

Vocabulary quiz, then today's new kanji is 単 (p. 113). We practiced the Grammar D pattern for talking about what it SEEMS like someone wants/want to do.

November 15, 2013

Allen-sensei had to go pick up Felix-sensei from daycare, since they wouldn't let him stay there with that rash all over his body. As usual, if Allen-sensei is absent, we followed the calendar.

November 14, 2013

No quiz today. Today's kanji is 送 (p. 113). As you are studying kanji, please start paying attention to the radicals that are being used to build each character. Relating new characters to the meaning of the radicals and to other kanji you know that share that radical is a powerful way to improve your retention and strengthen your ability to make educated guesses about unfamiliar kanji. Dictionary apps are great for this (imiwa? FTW).

We practiced using the allow/cause grammar pattern that is shown in Grammar C. At Coffman, we finished writing the kanji stories that we started a few days ago.

November 13, 2013

Today's quiz was on vocabulary. At Jerome, Japanese 4 finished their kanji stories. At Coffman, we worked to send text messages to each other and practice typing in Japanese. Today's kanji is 活 (p. 112).

I'll post a page soon with information about flashcards that you might want to buy...

November 12, 2013

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

November 11, 2013

Kanji quiz! Today's new kanji is 不 (p. 112). This is the prefix meaning "non-" in several words. Notice how it is a little different than the prefix 無 which means "an absence of". Then we looked briefly at the text chat responses that we wrote for the Chapter 3 Test. Allen-sensei wants class members to work together to write stories using AT LEAST 15 of the kanji introduced so far this year (underline or highlight them as you add them to the story). The condensed list is shown on p. 433.

November 8, 2013

No quiz today. Today's new kanji is 平 (p. 112). We practiced using the Grammar B pattern a little bit. At Coffman, we fought with the loud neighbors by watching some Mameshiba. At Jerome, we talked about Sensei's meeting on Sunday that had guest speakers from an employment agency that specializes in helping find applicants who speak Japanese. The focus was how to help students turn the skills that they're gaining in the classroom into a marketable skill after they've graduated. The agency's website is and she's going to add more information/notes to the wiki in the near future.

November 7, 2013

Vocabulary quiz. At Coffman, we played bingo to practice recent verbs, and at Jerome we finished working on the worksheet and discussing it. The new character of the day is 止 (p. 112).

November 6, 2013

Kanji quiz! Today's new character is 合 (p. 112) and it is used in terms that refer to "joining" or doing something together. For example 話し合う means "to talk together", 付き合う means "to associate with someone/be in a relationship with someone", 見合わせる means "to look at each other", etc.

At Coffman, we talked about the handout. At Jerome, we talked a little about it, but will need to finish on Thursday.

November 5, 2013

No quiz today. The new kanji is 次 (p. 111). We worked on writing out whole phrases using the transitive and intransitive verb pairs. One of the big goals was to work around any vocabulary that were unfamiliar rather than looking them up.

November 4, 2013

Today's test sections were a written essay, a simulated verbal conversation, and a spoken presentation on a cultural topic. At Jerome, we will have to do the presentations tomorrow, so please bring earbuds tomorrow as well. Study Chapter 4 Grammar A tonight - it's mostly review!

November 1, 2013

Today's two new kanji is 第 (p. 111). At Coffman, we practiced having a conversation in writing with the moms. At Jerome, we worked with the moms to go over the reading and listening passages from Thursday.

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! Happy test day! Today's test sections were multiple-choice listening, multiple-choice reading comprehension, and a "text chat" of short written answers, all completed through computers. We will be doing a fair amount of practice with typing during the second quarter, and I think that once you become used to it, you will feel like it helps a LOT with improving your spelling and kanji use, and also makes your writing a lot more understandable to others.

October 30, 2013

No quiz today! Today's new kanji was 界 (p. 111). We practiced writing outlines for essays and discussed some details of how to improve future essays, including cohesive devices. At Coffman, four class members talked individually with Allen-sensei about their most recent essays.

Please remember to bring earbuds for Thursday and Monday.

October 29, 2013

No quiz today! At Coffman, we worked on reading the story about the 442nd, and discussed part of it. At Jerome, we got back a giant stack of graded papers and talked a little bit about the rubrics. Then everyone spent some time typing, and Allen-sensei met with each member of the class individually to give a little more feedback about their writing. Today's new kanji is 州 (p. 110).

October 28, 2013

Today's quiz was about the rest of the vocabulary in Chapter 3. We didn't have a new kanji today. We looked at the books that each person read over the weekend to try to find vocabulary or grammar from the current chapter.

We got started reading the passage that begins on textbook p. 386 together.

October 24, 2013

No quiz today! Two new kanji for today are 村 and 町 on p. 110. We worked on reading children's books from Japan. For the weekend, everyone should try to summarize their book in English.

October 23, 2013

Today's quiz was over kanji. We practiced using the grammar pattern for giving orders by imagining what non-negotiable rules the principal would give to students at the start of the school year. We worked on writing these rules down, and shared our work with the class.

October 22, 2013

Today's quiz was over vocabulary #21-30. Today we got two new kanji (since Allen-sensei forgot and is a terrible person). They are 婚 and 忙 and they are on textbook p. 69 and the kanji handout that you were given. Then there were extraordinarily dramatic role-play practice skits (textbook pp. 141-142).

October 21, 2013

Today's quiz was on kanji. We talked about the reading section a little bit. The End.

October 18, 2013

We talked with the moms about possible topics for the Speech Contest. We'll continue to plan this through the second quarter. Today's new kanji is 結 (p. 69), which is the first half of the word けっこん and also the kanji for the verb むすびます (結びます) which means to tie/bind something together. That verb is also where the term for "rice ball" おむすび comes from, but usually that is written all in hiragana.

October 17, 2013

Vocabulary quiz! Today's new kanji is 夏 and it's on textbook p. 101. We talked about the text at the start of Chapter 3, and then some about possible topics for the Speech Contest.

October 16, 2013

Even shorter class! At Jerome, we finished 「かぐやひめ」and pestered 先生 about the kanji that you might use to spell that name. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), there are two options that are commonly used: 輝夜姫 or 赫映姫 The first one is "sparkling evening princess" and the second one is "sparkling reflection princess", but since it's a children's story, usually it's written in hiragana. This story also gets called 「竹取物語」(たけとりものがたり), "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter".

At Coffman, we read a little bit more. The new kanji of the day is 達 as in 友達 or 人達 (p. 68), which you can add to the end of most terms for people in order to pluralize them.

October 15, 2013

Short class! At Jerome, we watched more of 「かぐやひめ」and at Coffman, we continued reading the story from the textbook. We also got the new kanji 族 (p. 68).

October 14, 2013

Vocabulary quiz, then today's new kanji (which we were technically supposed to look at on Friday). 末 as in 末っ子 (すえっこ) and 週末 (しゅうまつ). At Jerome, we watched a kids' video version of 「したきりすずめ」and part of 「かぐやひめ」 and talked about the visual style of them. At Coffman, we read part of the story from the beginning of Chapter 3 in the textbook.

October 11, 2013

We talked with the moms about 「桃太郎」and how the command forms are used in it, as well as the TV drama that we watched last week.

October 10, 2013

Today's new kanji - 困 (text p. 68).

We practiced the Grammar A information that was last night's homework, and read 桃太郎 together.

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

Today we practiced kanji with the moms. Today's new kanji is 降 which is the ふ in ふります (to fall, as in rain and snow).

October 3, 2013

No quiz today. Today's new kanji is 育 as in 体育(たいいく).

At Coffman, we had a study hall (all those absent band people), and at Jerome, we watched the rest of Episode 1.

October 2, 2013

No quiz today - Coffman and Jerome were too different, so I'm taking a pass on today. Today's new kanji is 忘 as in 忘れる(わすれる).

We watched Episode 1 of 日本人の知らない日本語 and were very happy.

Register for the SAT II Japanese test! Do it!

October 1, 2013

Today's quiz was on kanji. I forgot to give a new kanji at Coffman, but it should have been 者 as in 医者(いしゃ).

At Coffman, we watched part of Episode 1 of 日本人の知らない日本語 with Chinese and Japanese subtitles. You can't get to that using the DUBNET wireless, BTW.

September 30, 2013

Vocabulary quiz, then we had a conversation about the questions in the textbook about what you think your future might be like. Keep reviewing!

September 27, 2013

We talked with the moms about our own family histories today. Today's kanji is 医 (text p. 66).

September 26, 2013

We had a vocabulary quiz, then read the essay at the start of Chapter 2 together. Today's new kanji is 院

Everyone also received copies of AP essay examples, along with the scores and the explanations for these scores. Please take a look at these. They're similar in many ways to the text chat examples we looked at, but this will give you a good idea of what it looks like to address the prompt fully and appropriately in that type of writing.

September 25, 2013

Short study hall, with no quiz. New kanji = 病

September 24, 2013

New kanji: 世 and 親 (text p. 66).

We worked on AP writing rubrics; tomorrow we'll take a look at the comparison essay rubrics. Exciting!

September 23, 2013

Allen-sensei was absent; study hall time.

September 20, 2013

No quiz today, and the new kanji is 横 on p. 21/kanji supplement/your iPhone.

We spent the class having a conversation with the moms, trying to get a better feel for using the passive form in regular conversation. Like I've said, it's very commonly used!

On Monday, Sensei will be absent, so please make sure to work together on Grammar A-C and vocabulary up to #15 in Chapter 2.

September 19, 2013

Today's quiz was over writing the passive form of verbs. New kanji of the day is 写 and it's found on p. 21 as well as the kanji supplement handout. I STRONGLY recommend that anyone with an iPhone/iPod/iWhatever get the dictionary app imiwa? and use it to create vocabulary and kanji study lists. There are other good apps out there, but this one is well-made, free, and lets you create vocabulary lists. For all of you Android people, Makimono Japanese Dictionary appears to have nearly all of the same benefits, but doesn't let you create lists as far as I can tell.

We practiced using the passive form based on our homework from last night. The conversation went to some very dark places, which I shouldn't find surprising.

September 18, 2013

No quiz today! Our new kanji of the day is 願 and it's found on textbook p. 21 as well as the kanji supplement handout.

We worked on the practice on text p. 88 and discussed how these examples relate to the grammar explanation of Grammar A's subsections. We also used the practice on p. 86 together. For homework, write out and translate into English your responses to the items on p. 87.

We also briefly discussed signing up for the SAT II subject test in Japanese. Here is the link to College Board's Test Practice for Japanese. You would need to sign up through the Guidance Office. *The test is only offered on November 2nd this year!!

***Friday, September 20 will be a "super update" day for Japanese 4. Nameless papers can be claimed at the end of the following class, and credit will be updated the same day. All items other than the open-ended sections of the Unit 1 test will be updated by 5:00. Please familiarize yourself with the rubrics on the Japanese 4 Main Page for information on grading of those items.

September 17, 2013

Second Day of the Unit 1 Test! It will take a little while to score the open-ended responses.

September 16, 2013

First day of the Unit 1 Test!

September 13, 2013

We didn't have a quiz or a new character today! At Coffman, we talked about the format for Monday's test. At Jerome, we talked about the articles you read yesterday with Cathis-sensei, then just had a general conversation about current events.

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. We will be splitting the test over Monday and Tuesday so that you don't feel as rushed. Here is a detailed explanation of possible question types found on the exam. Good luck!

September 12, 2013

Kanji quiz, then the kanji of the day: 礼 Next, we read and discussed two passages from the textbook. Last, but not least, we used the checklist at the end of the chapter in the book to self-assess how well we know the grammar and vocabulary found in Chapter 1.

The blog that I mentioned in class is by Anna the Red. If you want to see some of her awesome real-life versions of the food found in some of the Studio Ghibli films, search for the term "Ghibli feast", but there's amazing food and bento of all kinds on her site.

September 11, 2013

Vocabulary quiz over the remaining words in Chapter 1. Today's new kanji is 歳 and it is shown on the Kanji Supplement handout that I gave you today.

We read the remainder of the page from yesterday, then everyone got a Dixit game card and worked on writing a continuation of the story based on the picture on the card.

September 10, 2013

Kanji review quiz, then today's new kanji: 有

We summarized the first page of the Harry Potter book that we were reading yesterday, then worked on reading a second one.

September 9, 2013

Vocabulary quiz, and NO NEW KANJI TODAY! We worked to read a book together today; If you are interested in downloading your own copy, you can buy it at the Pottermore Shop. Be aware though, this may not work with the Kindle app on your regular computer! It works well on my iPhone using the Kindle app, but not at all on my laptop. There are other apps that will make Japanese books work on your computer. I haven't tried with a Kindle/Nook/other e-book readers. But e-books are a great language learning tool! You can add notes or pronunciation to tough words, or use the dictionary function...

September 6, 2013

At Coffman: We didn't have a visit from the moms today, so we introduced the two new kanji, made name tags, and practiced kanji and vocabulary.

At Jerome: We had our first visit from the moms today. They introduced two new kanji to us, then we talked through what we had written so far in our scripts and tried to finish more of the story.

***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 and worked on our scripts. No new kanji today....

September 4, 2013

Kanji quiz, including a review character. New kanji of the day is 悪

We worked together to write a script for a comic of a man planning a summer vacation in Kyoto. We'll keep working on this tomorrow.

September 3, 2013

Today's quiz was on vocabulary. Then we used a textbook activity to practice polite greetings. New kanji: 同

August 30, 2013

We had the Summer Homework kanji test today, then added the kanji 業.

**Please remember to bring in the permission slip for Iya-sensei on Tuesday!

August 29, 2013

We had a quiz over yesterday's kanji, and added 卒. Next, we listened to several examples of how to use the polite forms in Grammar D (text p. 33) in conversations. Then we read the dialogue from the start of Chapter 1 (textbook pp. 12-13) together and discussed the polite/honorific language used.

August 28, 2013

We had a quiz on the first 10 vocabulary words in Chapter 1. Since we didn't get any new kanji yesterday, we added two today: 島 and 取

We re-wrote the story about オバマさま to include more verbs. We'll have to talk with the moms about what the most natural uses of polite honorific speech are.

August 27, 2013

Allen-sensei was absent today, so we reviewed kanji and studied vocabulary.

August 26, 2013

We had a kanji quiz, but no new kanji to learn. We practiced the Grammar A from the textbook, which is used to talk ABOUT the actions of someone to whom you're showing respect. We then used the pattern to describe President Obama's day.

August 23, 2013

Kanji quiz, then kanji of the day: 店

We did a baseline writing task so that Sensei can see what we'll need to work on this year in order to get to the end goals of Japanese 4. Yes, it'll be scored based on the rubrics for that final goal, but the results are to give us information, not for giving you a grade.

Due Monday (check the calendar to see this too), study Grammar A on textbook pp. 30-31.

August 22, 2013

First kanji quiz of the year! Once that was done, we introduced the new kanji of the day: 員 After that, we did some practice story-telling activities to get back into the habit of actually using Japanese.

August 21, 2013

新学年おめでとう! A LOT of paperwork and procedural talk today! We are working to keep a nearly 100% 日本語 environment during class this year, so I'm looking forward to hanging out with you!