Class Notes for April 14-18, 2014

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The trip to Ft. Vancouver was a resounding success! Thanks to our excellent chaperones who accompanied us. I’m posting some pictures with this week’s Class Notes, so take a look if you get a chance. The students in the class have written about their experiences and I hope to get them posted on the class blog soon.

On Monday, the class visited Cooley Gallery at Reed College and got a chance to learn more about the ancient art of Persian and Arabic calligraphy. Gregory MacNaughton told the class that the word “calligraphy” comes from the Greek words “kallos,” meaning beauty, and “graphein,” meaning write. The class watched a video that showed an artist working on a beautiful version of scripture from The Koran from the very beginning of the process. We also got a chance to look at the examples that were on display in the gallery.

The class will take the OAKS reading test on Monday, April 21. Please make sure your child is well rested (sleepovers are not recommended just before taking a test) and comes to school on Monday with a good breakfast and a healthy snack for partway through the morning. Thanks!

I hope you can all make it to the Lewis Drama Club production of “We Open Tomorrow Night?!” on Friday and Saturday. Emmy and Franny are on stage and Sean A. and Tate are in the orchestra. Tickets are available online at

There will be no Math or Spelling homework this week (meaning also that there will be no spelling test next week). I want to send home homework geared more towards reviewing reading skills that we have worked on so far this year. Please work on the packet throughout the week. It is due on Monday, April 21, not Friday.

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Class Notes for April 7-10, 2014

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We started Round One of our Oregon Trail simulation and it was a great success! The students are ready to roll, but there are a few things they need to take care of before they hit the dusty trail that ends in Oregon City. Two things we did last week were the portrait of their character and a diary entry that centered on introducing themselves and giving some reasons for leaving the comforts of life in the eastern part of the United States in 1843. I am looking forward to traveling along with the four different wagon trains as they make their ways westward. Good luck and may the Fates be with you!

Math was a little different last week. For review and reinforcement, along with some new material, I had the class using Front Row Math (works on only on Chrome browser and iPads).  There are four domains the class worked on: Fractions, Numbers in Base Ten, Algebraic Thinking, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. This site covers all the math concepts in the 4th-grade Common Core curriculum and goes up to 8th-grade concepts for students that want to challenge themselves. We have several students who have “maxed out” the Geometry section and a few more who have done the same with the NBT section. I would like everybody who is able to to use it as much as possible at home this week. If you can’t access it, please use the IXL site on Section T, which is decimals.

We are covered as far as chaperones for our trip to Ft. Vancouver goes, but still could use a couple volunteers to join us for next Monday morning’s walking trip to Cooley Gallery. Send me an email or call if you are able to come on the walk down to Reed College. The exhibits are always amazing.

Spelling homework came home last Friday. The words all have the schwa sound. In many words, the vowel sound gives no clue to its spelling: science, iron, Canada. That vowel sound is a schwa. Think of it as the “uh” sound.

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Class Notes for March 31-April 4, 2014

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Welcome back! I hope everybody had a good week off, even if we did nearly break some rainfall records the last few days of the break.
We are in need of chaperones for two upcoming field trips. Next Thursday, April 10, we are taking a school bus to Fort Vancouver. We will be gone from 8:45-12:30. This is a fun field trip that zeros in on the time around 1830 in this area, when it was primarily a fur-trading outpost. There will be room for parents to ride on the bus, but you are welcome to drive over if you’d like.
Reed College’s Cooley Gallery is our destination on Monday, April 14. This will be a walking field trip to the Reed campus to see the current exhibit on Persian and Arabic calligraphy. We will leave at 9:00 and return by 11:00.
I have set up separate SignUp Genius pages for both trips at (Ft. Vancouver) and (Cooley Gallery). Thanks in advance if you’re able to come along.
We start our Oregon Trail simulation activity this week. The class will be divided into wagons that will be responsible for making decisions that will determine their fate along the way. Each wagon member will have a specific job that needs to be done well if the group is going to survive the trip from Independence to Oregon City in 1843. Cooperation among group members is essential for the group to do their best and get to Oregon City before the snows of winter set in.
Homework is the spelling packet and Front Row Math ( I sent an email to all parents over the break extolling the virtues of this website and I would like students to work on the NF (fractions) section this week for ten or fifteen minutes a night.

This week’s spelling words are variations on a theme. You can find the words on Spelling City at this link.

1. please
2. pleasant
3. breath –You take a breath.
4. breathe –You breathe air.
5. image
6. imagine
7. product
8. production
9. heal
10. health
11. triple
12. triplet
13. relate
14. relative
15. meter
16. metric
17. compose
18. composition
19. crumb
20. crumble
21. origin
22. original
23. academy
24. academic
25. inspire
26. inspiration

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Oregon Historical Society!

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The class headed down to the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland and here are their impressions.

Today I went to the Oregon Historical Society or OHS for short and what I saw there was amazing. I saw artifacts like coins, flint & steel, axe, clothes, pots and a lot more stuff that I don’t have time to type and they were amazing. They traveled without a wagon because when you sat on it it was all bumpy road  which is pretty dumb and I saw a collection and I also saw a really cool model of the ships that they used on their journey it had an extra boat on the side of the ship. I thought that the old guns were really cool because they were so old and they looked like they were used in World War I and I also liked the little ship models that they had for demonstration of their ships. By David

Today we went to the Oregon Historical Society. Our docent’s name was Jerry. First we looked at a pair of moccasins made of reeds. They were very old, and were once worn by Native Americans. Next we looked at a duck decoy. The Native Americans used it to trap ducks. Then we went into a different room with things that Native Americans would have traded for. Things like bells, and beads. There were also things that they would have had, like dice because they enjoyed playing games. After that we went into a room with a covered wagon. It had lots of things in it. By Emmy

When we first got there we were split into four groups. I was in the purple group.
My favorite part was when our docent showed us a wagon that was used on the Oregon Trail from the floor down. When he asked us questions and we said a good or the right answer he would give us a high five. I got three or four high fives. Once I got to stand up and give him a high five. The reason I got to stand up is because he was showing a map and ¾ of it was nothing but a river. They thought there was a river there but there was not a river there. So when he asked us what’s wrong I said mountains and he said that nobody else has ever said that. Then he went into detail about how Thomas Jefferson thought the mountains weren’t that steep and would be easy to cross over.
After that we went into my favorite exhibit with the wagon. He all gave us a tool used on the Oregon Trail but they were copies and let us try to figure out what it was. I got something used to pour wax into a candle maker. I didn’t know what it was until he asked us, but right before that Kennedy got a high five for guessing her item which was a hair curler. After that he asked somebody else who had a candle maker. Just after that he asked us who had the candle pourer. So I said “uhh” and he gave me a high five for that. Then Kennedy said “oh come on you already have gotten three.”
I also enjoyed seeing and feeling real obsidian. At that same time he showed us a 5,000 year old pair of sandals. When he showed us a pair of sandals that were made recently the 5,000 year old ones weren’t bad at all. The reason they found the sandals is because there were some Native Americans that couldn’t live there anymore and had to move out. When they moved out they left some stuff behind and those sandals were one of the things they left behind. He told us after that a few years later a volcano erupted in that cave. Then a few years ago from now somebody found those sandals and went to somebody that could find out what they were and how old they are. By Gabriel

We took a field trip to the Oregon Historical Society.  When we got there we got introduced to the person (Dick) who will show us around the museum. I saw a canoe, Native American plank house (which we went in), and then we saw some of the stuff Lewis and Clark collected, and some stuff about the Oregon Trail.
Then he showed us some of the things the people used in the Oregon Trail. I got see a wagon from the Oregon Trail and there was some stuff they would take. Then Dick showed us some of the things Native Americans used like tools, the wood they used,  and what clothes they wore, and how they made their woven baskets. We talked about what ships they used and where they traded furs, tools, etc. We talked about what shells and bones the Native Americans used for the necklaces and bracelets. The Native Americans are really good at making necklaces and the bracelets. By June

When we went into the Oregon Historical society I saw a coin it was a penny and it was old! We had chaperones and ours was named Dick he was really nice and my favorite stop was when we went to the Lewis and Clark expedition we knew everything! We went in a fake boat to get used to what they were on and when we answered what they thought was hard it was easy for us except the Oregon Trail. We got to see ships and Native American picture of their houses. Their houses were awesome and they had an entrance like a hole. It was cool. I saw some necklaces that were made of tule. When we went to the Lewis and Clark expedition when they met a Native American tribe they gave them medals and displayed their guns to them and they really liked it. They discovered an animal that was a prairie dog and they sent it back to Washington, D.C. By Lawson

Today my class went to the Oregon Historical Society. First we went to this little room with no door and looked at all the stuff in there. Then we went to a 9,000 year old pair of sandals and an old canoe. By Ruby

Today we had a field trip to Oregon Historical Society, also known as OHS. We went last year but we learned more so we answered more questions right. We learned about Lewis and Clark and Native Americans. The purple group’s (my team ) docent was Dick and the yellow group’s was Jerry. We got to see the real wagon from the Oregon Trail but they rebuilt the walls and the top but the floor and the wheels were real! We got to hold tools and skin and clothing that were around 9,000 years old but they weren’t the real things, but we got to walk into a model of a plank house and inside a ship that the native and Lewis and Clark used. We held so many objects and items. They were models of the actual items. We looked and talked about items that were traded and got to hold the peace coin and see the coin that was flipped. We saw many pictures of people and saw many of the models of tools and food and guns and clothing that they wore and used and ate. Dick was a good docent and describer. I got too hold the candle maker and it was the one we had in here in the classroom. I had fun but I’ve also been there before. By Sevyn

I think one of the coolest things there was a chainsaw, because it was really big and it doesn’t look the same as the small new chainsaws. My second favorite thing there was the pistol and the rifle, because they are guns. The people on the Oregon Trail used wagons for storage but the people had to walk. They couldn’t fit in the back because the back was filled with stuff.
There was a big penny that Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy used for the name of Portland. Lovejoy wanted Portland to be named Portland and Pettygrove wanted it to be called Boston, they did a coin flip and Lovejoy won so Portland was named Portland. By Tanner

Today I went to OHS. It was not fun, but I learned a lot. The guide’s name was Jerry. They have guns, knives, and axes. I liked the lottery machine, I liked the small movies.
Some of the things I did not know. They had lots of different facts on different things like the Oregon Trail. I learned that the wagons had to be pulled by oxen. The people had to go by foot on the Oregon Trail. There was a whole floor for Lewis and Clark and a room for the Oregon Trail exhibit. They also had a room designed like a Max Train. OHS was kind of small on the outside but big on the inside. By Alex

Our field trip was awesome. We went to the Oregon Historical Society. When we got there the first thing we saw was the Native American place there were a pair of moccasins that were 9,000 years old! After that we went a station that had these models of ships that they would use you even can see cannons they are tiny, after that we went to the Lewis and Clark area where we saw things that they would have with them. Our guide had this map of their trail, below the picture of Lewis and Clark was a medal that they would give out to the Native American tribes. When the guide was showing us the map of the trail he also talked about the things we already know about like Sacagawea’s tribe chief is her brother and that she was pregnant. Then we went to the place that was like a log house. It had a wall of things that Lewis and Clark brought with them they brought blankets, beads, knives, axes, traps and other things in the log house there were bunk beds in the other side there was a hat, some otter pelts (fur) there were tons of of other cool things in the log house. At the last place we went to was downstairs we learned things like how the Chinook would catch salmon at the Celilo Falls, they would put this wooden boards type thing and then would have the gigantic nets out, some salmon would jump high until they were in the nets. We didn’t get to go to some places like where all the hats and where all the shoes were, we did a pioneer wagon on the Oregon Trail. They had a lot of things in there, there were two chairs, a fake chicken hanging from the top of the wagon, and some other things in there. Our docent Jerry had lots of information at each station.
I had a awesome time at the Oregon Historical Society!!! By Brittany

Wow that was cool! Today we went to the Oregon Historical Society, or OHS, to study more about Oregon. We studied a lot of things; from Native americans to the Missionaries to the Oregon Trail. Jerry was my group’s docent. He showed us one room full of stuff people in Oregon traded and got. We saw 9,000 year old moccasins, a conestoga wagon, and guns and other weapons the Europeans used. By Declan

Today we went on our field trip to OHS with Ms. Sarah’s  class. The docent who showed us around said we should at least stay at each exhibit for 20 minutes. Our docent Jerry  showed us the rifles and guns and the Oregon Trail wagon. He talked about Lewis and Clark and he let us watch half of the movie that was playing.We also got to see little model ships and an old letter. We also passed the case with old shoes and cloths they looked like they were. By Faith

Today, we went on a field trip. We rode a bus downtown to visit the Oregon Historical Society. There was a lot of old stuff from the 1800s, the time when Lewis and Clark made their way through Oregon. There were a lot of old guns, like a double-barreled shotgun. One of my favorite items was a pair of 9,000 year old moccasins. They were made of animal hide and were decorated with colorful beadwork. They were found in a cave that had collapsed. I think it is amazing that the moccasins survived so long. There was also a canoe that was as long as 4 students lying down head to toe. The natives hand carved it out of a cedar log, using chisels and fire. The chisels were made of stone. I think it is ingenious how the Indians used fire to cut and shape the logs. The small scale replica of the Indian log cabin was brilliant. We got to sit in it. The floor actually had dirt on it. I really loved this field trip and I would like to go again. By Henry

Today we went to the Oregon Historical Society. When we finally got there, it appeared as if it were 38 Fahrenheit outside. We got inside fast enough and started the tour. We started at the Native American section. It wasn’t very interesting because I had seen everything we toured. The only thing I didn’t learn was about was the missionaries, which I wasn’t that interested in because it was 11 o’clock on Monday morning, so really, nothing new that I learned about on what we toured. It wasn’t all that interesting, probably because I’m a 10-year old boy who’s more interested in 30 Rock than history lessons. By Kellen

Today was awesome! We went to go to the Historical Society. And it was really educational. It was a lot about Lewis and Clark, Native Americans, the wagon, Oregon Trail, and the fur traders. We got to hold the fur before anybody else got to and we got to see and hear about artifacts that were very old. We got to see these really old guns that were bigger than me!! By McKela

Today we went to the Oregon Historical Society. Its pretty fun and we saw the exhibit Oregon My Oregon.  I got to hold a flint and steel box and a buffalo hide. The wagon we saw was was pretty cool  and I had a really good time here and I recommend the trip because 1) it’s free if you live in the Multnomah  County, and 2) it’s awesome. By Sean A.

I loved the field trip to the Oregon Historical Society. My favorite part was the Portland penny. Another part I liked was the wagon. I really liked the part about Lewis and Clark. It was a really fun experience. I hope we can go there again. Dick was a really good tour guide. If we go there again I hope we get Dick again. I thought that that was the best exhibit I have ever been to at the Oregon Historical Society .  I learned a lot about our history and the Native American’s history. By Simon

Today was the trip to the OHS (Oregon Historical Society). First we saw The Portland Penny, the Penny decided the name of Portland, it was going to be either Boston, (chosen by Asa Lovejoy) or Portland (chosen by Francis Pettygrove). Pettygrove got 2, and Lovejoy got 1.

My favorite was the Life On a Boat section, they had flint and steel, tobacco pipes, tomahawks, jaw Harps, and bells. When we got to the Lewis and Clark exhibit, they asked “what was Sacagawea’s baby’s name?” I answered right away while everybody was still scratching their heads, I said “Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.” Everyone said, “How could you remember that?” I replied in “I honestly have no idea,” but actually, I’m just a history nerd! By Tate

Today we went to the Oregon Historical Society. It was super fun.
In the Native American section, the docent showed us some things that we studied about. For example: The duck decoy. The Native Americans would use the decoy to put on their heads, go under the water, and when the duck thought the decoy was one of them, the person would grab the duck by the legs and pull him underwater until he drowned. There were a lot of interesting things. We saw lots more cool things like models of boats that the Europeans used to travel to North America to trade with the Native Americans. We saw some things about Lewis and Clark too. We also saw some things about the Oregon Trail. We saw a covered wagon with lots of things that I bet people used to explore the west.
We also saw some trade goods that the Native Americans got from the Europeans. Some of the things were beads, axes, furs, traps, and blankets.
They showed us beds where the settlers slept, traps that they used, furs that they collected, and guns and rifles that the Europeans and Lewis and Clark used. There were shells, trade goods, and like I said, boat models. It was all really cool.
They also showed us some 9,000 year old moccasins. They were at the same place as the duck decoy.
They had small and big sacks around the covered wagon that said things like: Fruit, sugar, flour, beans, wheat, and things like that. Inside the covered wagon there were things like kettles, blankets, wood seats, food, trade goods, and a map I bet. I saw lots of things that other groups that studied about other Native American tribes. We saw canoes and trinkets and weapons and clothes that the Native Americans used.
The docents’ names were Jerry (for our group) and Dick.
We saw the weapons that the Europeans used and that they traded with the Native Americans, such as axes and guns (that they showed them). Also, we saw tools that the settlers used. By Franny

Today we went on a field trip to the historical society. When we got there we got introduced to our leader, Jerry. He was really nice and knew a lot of facts about the Lewis and Clark journey and a lot of more stuff. We went upstairs and there was a lot to look at. First, we went to a place where there were moccasins of the Native American tribes (Great Basin). They were more than a hundred years old. Wow!
Then we went to a place where there are was a big map of the journey of Lewis and Clark. The hardest part to go through was the Rocky Mountains because of the snow and hunger. After that we went to a place where there were traps that were used by traders. One of the traps was made of steel and when an animal steps in it closes on the leg and it can’t get out until the trapper can get it . Last we went to a place that had rifles, revolvers, and shotguns. There were so many of them and some of them were really big. Some were pretty small. Next we went for lunch, after lunch we went back to school. Here are some words that they talked about: Native Americans, Lewis and Clark journey, fur traders, missionaries, Oregon Trail, Europeans, docent, wagon, dentalia, rifles, revolvers, shotguns, disease, moccasins.
I also saw a huge canoe that was 50 feet long. It was used for Indians when they were hunting or going on long trips. The whole field trip was really cool. By Joe

We had a great time at the museum! Our tour guide Dick was very nice and he told us that most of the artifacts were authentic. We saw otter and beaver hides. The otter hide had a woolly feeling but I like the beaver more. It’s silkier.
Guess what we saw? Sandals that were over four thousand years old! I guess when they said cedar really holds up they mean it really holds up!
We talked about Lewis and Clark. We did awesome!
I hope you liked hearing about our amazing field trip as much as I liked experiencing it. By Kennedy

We went To The Oregon Historical Society! I saw the Oregon Trail exhibit! The docent told us about the white settlers and how they survived the territory of the Indians Such as Teton Sioux And The Lakota. I saw that the Teton Sioux wanted more gifts From Lewis and Clark. By Sean S.

The Oregon Historical Society was so fun, I saw so many amazing things like Terry Porter’s Blazer suit, a peace coin that Lewis and Clark would give to the Native American people, canoes, a pair of 9,000 year old moccasins (native shoe) that was found from a volcano, duck decoy (to attract ducks), and otter skin for blanket. Each group has a docent their names are Dick and Jerry, they are very nice. My favorite exhibit was the Lewis and Clark expedition because when I got to the Lewis and Clark exhibit I felt connected to it and since I knew a few facts about the expedition it was amazing how the exhibit had added more facts to my brain. By Somaly

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Class Notes for March 17-21, 2014

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It’s been a busy week in Room 24. The class finished up its residency with Portland Taiko on Wednesday with a performance for parents and friends in the cafeteria. Please check the class blog for pictures, student observations, and a video. I think the kids were in awe of the energy and joy that Michelle and Toru brought to the residency. The three principles of respect, cooperation, and perseverance were embodied in the actions of the leaders and their commitment to their art form. Once again, we are all lucky to be at Lewis School with its many enrichment activities.

The students got a close up view of and handled artifacts that Lewis and Clark would have taken along on their journey. Among the items were a bullet mold, a candle mold, a compass, a pair of moccasins, and a Jefferson Peace Medal. These items were part of a kit on loan to us from the Oregon Historical Society. We will finish up our Lewis and Clark Expedition studies this week, then look into the early days of the fur trade here in Oregon before heading onto the dusty Oregon Trail. We have a field trip planned for April 10 that will take us to Fort Vancouver, the center of the fur trade in this area in the 1830s. I will get more information about that trip as we get closer to April 10.

We will be working on persuasive writing this week and after Spring Break. Students will be asked to provide compelling reasons to convince others of their point of view on a subject.

All homework went home on Friday of last week and is due on Friday, March 21.

I hope that everybody has a safe and enjoyable Spring Break. I hope to get over to the coast to get my feet wet in the surf, see Fort Clatsop, and to visit my parents in Madras. The rest of the time is dedicated to getting our yard back in shape. As usual, if you go anywhere interesting that you want to let the class know about, send me an email and pictures and I’ll add it to the blog! So far, our traveling correspondents have filled us in on New Zealand, Seattle, and New York. Write on!

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Day Four of Our Taiko Drum Residency- Putting It All Together!

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The final session of practice before the performance was pretty intense. Michelle and Toru kept the students’ focus on the goal the whole time, showing more than once that respect, cooperation, and perseverance are key to a successful practice and therefore the performance. 
Above are pictures from other classes at the recital and a video of one of our performances of “HA!”

Today we are done with Taiko and we basically did a review and we practiced the song and I got to do a call out and it was “kamiati.” I thought it was the best call out but I guess everyone would vote for themselves. We did get to do a cool su form when we stop. It’s like a fighting stance. The best time I had in the entire class was when we played the actual song. By Sean A.

 Today the show is at 2:00. Taiko mens drum in Japanese. Toru is the leader. Michelle is the teacher. I like taiko. We had fun. I hope we can do more. Taiko has vocabulary. By Alex

Today was our last day of Taiko! We did our warm ups as usual and then went straight into practicing Ha! We changed the song a little bit. Instead at the last Su we made a really cool pose with our Bachi.
I am really excited for the real performance! I think we will do very well. I wonder what the grown ups will think. They’ll probably be impressed because we know so much Japanese. By Emmy

Today we learned what the program will be like at two o’clock. I can’t wait for two o’clock!!! I really like Toru and Michelle because they are very energetic. By Simon

Today was our last practice. Yep, that’s right. That means today is our performance. I’m so excited to play today at 2:00.  Brittany and Somaly and I got put in different groups. By Faith

Today was the last session of Taiko. We practiced Ha! again. Group one came up first. We didn’t do copy cat today, but the two leaders for the drumroll are Emmy and Tate. Emmy is the leader for group one and Tate is the leader for group two. I can’t wait until it’s the performance!!!!! I can’t wait to see the other song the other classes do.  Franny also got to lead the group and June got to lead the group, too, but they aren’t going to lead the group for the performance. By Brittany

Today is our last day of Portland Taiko. We practice our song HA! We learned some new things to make our song more longer. We didn’t do Copycat because we didn’t have enough time to it because we were too busy working on the performance that we are going to do at 2:00. I am really nervous. When I was drumming on the Taiko drum my hands started to sweat. By June

Wow, its come so fast and gone so fast. Barely any practice for performance. Ok,  maybe we did do a few but still. I can’t believe we didn’t do a day of practice and were already going to perform. Well, I did get pretty good. So today I got to do something I never did before I got to play on the lead drum. When you play that drum you get to shout out words in Japanese that makes them go into poses to get ready to play the drum. When I first went up my heart was racing. But after a while it wasn’t so scary. Then we went into playing our song some more. We got to choose two different poses for the ending. By Gabriel

Today is the concert! Speaking of the concert, it’s at 2:00 not 2:20. They did the same thing as yesterday except the people who did it today might be the leader later. I like the BANG! and BOOM!! By McKela

Its my last day at Taiko and I don’t want it to end. We did our last practice today. It went like this “ha su su su COPYCAT” and when we copied him and after he was done we did a drum roll. We also got to have someone come up and be the leader of us all and I wanted to do it the most. It was great. Unfortunately I am never going to be able to do it again. By David

This was our last day of Taiko. Today we practiced with a lot of energy because in a little is our Taiko performance. I am so scared and shy for my performance. Emmy is a leader on drum roll in the performance with group 1. Tate is leader for group 2. Today the teachers Michelle and Toru kept reminding us that it’s the last day and we had a performance and pay attention so we can make it good. By Sevyn

Today is the final day of Taiko drumming practice and performance. Group 1′s  leader is Emmy and group 2′s  leader is Tate. At 2:00 we will be performing,  but  I am very nervous. One of our words is kara. By Somaly

It was epic!!! I had memorized the song we are doing, which is called “Ha!” and we figured out a pose for the ha, su, su, su part. It’s bachi up, one down and one up, switch, one about 2 inches from your chest and the other out like an idiotic superhero’s (the superhero, not the pose) pose. I like Taiko quite a lot and I’m glad to say that I’ll miss it quite a lot. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to do it again this year. Toru and Michelle were great teachers!!!! Thank you for doing it with us! By Kellen

Today we had our final day of Taiko!  I had an awesome time. We finally got to channel my excitement into loud noises! like BAM! and  POW! Well, we are about to go to our concert! By Kennedy

On Wednesday we did Taiko. We first did the drum roll. My heart was beating really fast. Then we did the song that we learned yesterday called “Ha!” This is how it goes. don don doko doko don don kara kara don don don don ha su su su and on the last su we do a pose that looks like a superman pose. The song “Ha!” is the song that we are going to do in the performance. And I cant wait! By Joe

Today we finished our song and we tried 2 choices for the end and choice 2 won. In choice 2 you raise your hands right left or left right 2 times, and then pose like a superhero. Toru and Michelle had lots of energy when they played. The drum at the back looked like a barrel and it had a slant. By Tanner

Today Is The DAY!
I will be playing today on stage in front my family etc.  I am doing Ha! And I can’t wait to perform!
Michelle mentioned We need leaders for the Taiko performance to play “Ha!” our song. We were triumphant for the song today. The audience surrounds us to watch us be awesome. By Sean S.

Today is the day we perform. I am really excited. Today we went into our warm ups with Toru and we warmed up our bodies, then it was time to warm up our drumming with a drumroll. Then it was time to play the song we have been practicing and after two times playing the song. It was team two’s turn to play on the Taiko drums. They did a good job. The next time team one went to the Taiko drums and I got to lead on the taiko drums. When I was leader we did a drumroll and it was awesome. I enjoyed it a lot. A lot of people got to be leader and they also did a great job. I had the best day with Taiko ever. By Lawson

 Today we’re going to perform! I will do a lead drum roll on the Shime Daiko! Now I will repeat the song “Ha!”: Don Don Doko Doko Don Don Kara Kara Don Don Don Don Ha! Su, Su, Su. By Tate

Today was our final session of Taiko. We have a performance coming up at two o’clock. Today I got to go up to the leader drum and lead the class! I lead the class through a drumroll, and then quietly went back to my drum to get my bachi, (the sticks that they use to play Taiko), and was lead through another series of parts of the song, and the song. The order of the things we did were: A drumroll, some parts of the song, the whole song. We also practiced what kind of su we were going to do for the performance. Su is a type of kia.
After a while, we decided on the second type of su that Toru demonstrated. That type of su that we were doing was the kind where you put one arm up, switch and put the other arm up, and finally do a thing where you point both arms in a side direction like a superhero. It was cool seeing everyone do it at the same time, and especially doing it yourself.
The people that got to come up to the leader drum and lead the class through a drumroll were: Emmy, Tate, and Me, (Franny). There was cool vibration going on throughout the room every time the drumroll happened or we played something else. It was so cool. I can’t wait to do the performance! By Franny

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Day Three of Our Taiko Drum Residency- Perseverance

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Day Three of our Portland Taiko residency focused on perseverance. The class worked on building stamina and worked on the performance piece they are going to do at tomorrow’s recital.
The recital will be in the cafeteria at 2:00 and parents are invited. Please come if you can!

Don, Don, Doko, Doko, Don, Don, Kara, Kara, Don Don, Ha, Su, Su, Su.

Thats it, that’s the song we learned today. Its the one we will do for the performance. Its not that hard actually I got it down pretty quick. I played on all the types of drums today and they all have different sounds. My personal favorite drum is the barrel drum. I call it the barrel drum because the body looks like a barrel. My favorite sound is Kara (KA-Da) it is two side hits. Toru (tor-du) and Michelle helped us with the piece they explain it well. By Sean A.

Taiko  there is different types of drums. My favorite drum is the one in the front. By Alex

Today at Taiko we learned our whole song. It is called Ha! It goes like this, Don Don Doko Doko Don Don Kara Kara Don Don Don Don Ha Su Su Su. When I played it I felt very full of energy.

When the other team played it, it sounded like a bomb was going off! It was so loud!! I am so excited for the performance! I love Taiko drumming! By Emmy

I really liked hearing the finished song today the song we learned was called Ha! . It goes don, don, doko, doko  don, don, kara, kara  don, don, don, don  Ha!!!  su, su, su. I think that it will sound really good tomorrow. I really like Michelle and Toru because they are very helpful. The only beats that are not used in the song are Tsu and Tsuku. I can’t wait to do it tomorrow. By Simon

Tomorrow is our performance. I’m nervous and excited. I missed yesterday’s practice but today was really fun. I got to do a solo on the Taiko drum. The sticks are called are bachi. Today I had a bad headache but now after Taiko….Its really bad. We learned the whole song. The name of the song is HA! Michelle and Toru are the best Taiko teachers that I know. I’m so happy that they’re back with us and teaching us Taiko. By Faith

Today in Taiko we did a whole song! The name of the song is called “Ha!” The song had a lot of dons. Some kids in the class had to be our leader or play something by themselves in front of the music room. The kids who went up to be a leader were Kennedy and Tate. The kids who played something by themselves are Ruby, Sevyn, and Faith. Ruby played the whole entire song and Sevyn played the dons and the dojos. Faith played the dons and the karas. Group one played first again. We had to do lots of transporting to another drum. I got to go to all of the drums. The first row drum that is dark brown, the second row drum was aqua, and the last one was light brown. When we were playing Copy Cat Toru our leader clapped the two things together really quickly,  but all of us were done just in time. By Brittany

Today we are still in the music room. It was really crowded. Today we didn’t have to talk about what not and what to do to the Taiko drums, we just got started on playing the Taiko drums. Today we learned Don Don Doko Doko, then we learned another rhythm then another. At the end it was whole song. The song was called “HA!” Some kids got chosen to be a leader and play the whole song in front of the class. Some kids got to lead the other kids in a rhythm. When group number 1 played the drum and group 2 was on the wall your back vibrated because of the wall and the drums. Then at the end we said Arigato and left the music room. By June

Today is day three of Taiko. Today we got to play the drum five times. Last time we started a song called Ha! This time we finished the song. The song went something like Don Don Doko Doko Don Don Kara Kara Don Don Don Don Ha Su Su Su. When the instructor told us to say some of the words loudly we compared it. The drum did nothing. The reason I said compared to the drum is because once we were done the other instructor played it the way he heard it. Usually the drum’s sound waves were so big it made you rattle. But when he played it it was so quiet.So we had to try again. The next time we tried we were at least fifty times better. So when he played the drum he probably hit it as hard as he could without breaking the drum. The reason I think that is because it made me rattle even more. For some reason we tried it again. That time we were louder than any other time. So the instructor couldn’t play it. So he asked somebody to play it but not as loud as they heard it. So that was my day at Taiko.  by Gabriel

Today was the worse day of Taiko ever! I hurt my shoulder at recess so I couldn’t play the drums, but I got to see how everyone played and learned from them. I saw some of my friends getting to lead the group so they had fun there. I think the song was very energetic. By McKela

Today I got to go in front of everybody and play a part of the song we are going to perform tomorrow. I played don don doko doko on the drum in front of everybody. Also today we learned the whole song it goes like this don don doko doko don don kara kara don don don don then say ha su su su. The song is called Ha! Michelle did something where she clicked two instruments together (they look like sticks). There were two rows. Row one and row two (also known as teams).  There were three rhythms: one to put the bachis together and put them on the ground. Another was to go back to your seat in either row one or two. The last rhythm was to let the other team go get to their Taiko drum and get their bachi. Tomorrow is our last day in Taiko drumming and I think it is a fun class and I have good teachers named Michelle and Toru. By Sevyn

Today we learned the song Ha which worded out is don, don, doko, doko, don, don, kara, kara, don, don, don, don, ha, su, su, su. I kind of love it and you are kind of are bored of it at the same time. I guess I Iike Taiko. I hate that we have to perform in front of an audience. By Kellen

I have  something really awesome!
So we waltz in feeling all fine, having a normal day, but in that moment when we saw that Taiko we went crazy but in a good way.
We stood and did our warm ups like we do every day with all the stretching and that sort of stuff. Then I saw the Taiko. So I think I have made it clear that I had a magical moment with the Taiko.
I got to lead the song!
We did three parts of the song and as they called it “gluing them together” to make them into one bigger song.  By Kennedy

Today we went to Taiko again. This time we played a whole song! The song was called HA! We sang it at the same time we played it on the drums. The song went like this: don don doku doku don don kara kara don don don don ha su su su. By Ruby

DON!!!! DON!!!!!!! DOKO!!!!!!! DOKO!!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!! I’m vibrating so hard, I’m shaking. Later in taiko first when we came in we did stretches. We’re learning a song called HA!the song wright out is like this.Don don doko doko don don kara kara don don don don ha su su su su.We took step by step instructions. By Diego

Today in Taiko we made our song and we practiced it and we are awesome at playing it. The song goes like Don don doko doko don don kara kara don don don don ha su su su.
I am on team 1 with Lawson and Sean A. The time we had with Taiko was very fun. By Tanner


We were doing Ha! We were doing Don, Don, Doko, Doko,

Now Don, Don, Kara, Kara, Don, Don, Don, Don, HA! su, su, su! I wonder if it’s going to be a lot louder! In general, I don’t know maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. By Sean S.

I had a really great time at taiko today. Today we got to play the drum as our warm up and then they taught us a song. It was a really cool song and this was what they say in Japanese: don, don, doko, doko, don, don , kara, kara, don, don, don, don, ha, su, su, su. That is the whole song and we have two groups and I am with Sean in a group. We played the game called copycat and it was a cool song. At the beginning we warmed up our bodies and voices with Toru and we spoke stuff in Japanese and then we got to our warm ups. I had a good time and I can’t wait to do it tomorrow. I want to do it  forever. By Lawson

Today was the third day! That means we’re going to perform tomorrow! Yeah! Okay, now I have to tell you about what I did, I got to go on the Shime Daiko! (Tighten Drum) and I got to lead a song! I will explain what I was thinking. I was slowly walking up to the Shime Daiko, I picked up my bachi with conviction, “KAMAITE!” I boomed, “HAI” they responded “SO-RE!”
I said, “YO-OH” they said back, and then we started the song. Don, Don, Doko, Doko, Don, Don, Kara, Kara, Don, Don, Don, Don, Ha, Su, Su, Su. By Tate

Today was our third day of Taiko. After we did our drumroll, we worked on the song Ha. We learned the rest of the song, and finally put it all together! It sounded so good! The instructors had some people come up to the other drums and play parts of the song. Also, some people got to come up to the leader drum and lead their group through the parts of the song we were playing at that time.
We also played the copycat game, where we would go to our drums and copy what Toru was doing. There were lots of cool combinations.
Throughout the song, there were lots of dons and dokos. It was cool seeing the different people come up and show how they could lead their group and the class. The first part of the song was don, don, doko, doko. The second was don, don, kara, kara. The third was don, don, don, don. And the fourth was ha, su, su, su. It was so cool when we put it all together! We had so much fun!
The goodbye and the greeting are both something where you stand with your feet together and your hands held tightly to your sides. Then, you bow and say goodbye and thank you in Japanese. It was really fun. We have a performance coming up where we show our families. It sounds really fun. I can’t wait to do it again! 
By Franny

Today we started to paste the parts of the songs together. We  did a thing called copy cat. By Henry

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