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Covid Protocol

Fall Term 2021 Q: Is vaccination mandated for all teachers and staff?A: All JAMS teachers and staff are fully vaccinated. Q: Will you maintain social distance in class?A: We will keep a 3-foot social distance. Q: Are masks required?A: Yes. Everyone must wear a mask...

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SENSEI’S STORY

JAMS MILESTONE: 20 YEARS AND COUNTING! I clearly remember my first Abacus class 20 years ago. It was in the living room of my old house. I had just two students, one Japanese and one American/Japanese, who are now 27 years old. Now, two decades later, I am looking...

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SCREEN TIME CAN DAMAGE YOUNG BRAINS

Yes, you read that right. Screen time can damage your child’s developing brain. It’s no secret that, over the years, there has been increased use of television, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets with adults and children. What you may not know is a new study...

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HOW TO AVOID ILLNESS DURING HOLIDAY TRAVEL

If the holiday break means vacation time, it also means flu season. While winter is the perfect time to sip some hot cocoa and read a good book, it’s also is the season to get sick with a common cold. Of course you want to avoid all these nasty germs! After all, you...

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GET OUTSIDE!

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GREAT WEATHER AND GET THE KIDS OUTSIDE! Remember how much time you used to spend outside when you were a kid? Whether you were playing with friends, exploring nature, or just hanging out in your yard, it was fun, right? So, what happened? Today’s...

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GIVE YOUR KIDS SOME HOUSEHOLD CHORES

Oftentimes, we ask ourselves, “Should we give our kids chores to do at home?” After all, it is our responsibility as parents to run the household, right? Our kids have to deal with their own activities at school. Isn’t it really fine to just let them be kids for now?...

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WAY TO GO, DHUN!

If you see Dhun Kakkar in the halls, make sure you give her a big high five and tell her good job! Dhun, a student at Jacob Wismer School, scored in the 97th percentile on her third grade CogAT ability test and in the 97th percentile on her Iowa Test for math. Way to...

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THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL EXERCISES

Over the years I’ve been teaching mental math, I have noticed trends in certain age groups. Younger children tend to get more physical exercise than children that are older. As children progress in school, they lose privileges such as recess or taking breaks. The...

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THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING INDEPENDENCE

We always want what’s best for our children. Without a doubt, our kids need us for love, guidance, and assurance, but there are times that some well-intentioned parents go overboard to a point where they do everything for their growing child. We show our love by being...

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ARE YOU A TIGER MOM?

No sleepovers. Straight A’s. Play a musical instrument. Study a foreign language. Respect your elders always. These are just some of the guidelines Tiger Mom’s impose on their children. This stereotypical parenting method is most common among Asian cultures; although...

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ABACUS VS. KUMON

ABACUS VS. KUMON It seems that there are as many unique teaching and tutoring approaches out there as there are children! And while many of them are similar, it’s important to make distinctions between the various styles – especially when your child’s education is the...

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JAMS MENTOR PROGRAM

We are excited to launch, beginning with Spring Term, a Mentor Program for new JAMS parents and parents of students who are having difficulty advancing or other issues. The goal of this program is to help our students, and student families, to succeed, and we believe...

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SUMMER CAMP

This year our Summer Camp offering will be 8 weeks long, and be held on Tuesdays through Fridays from June 27 through August 18. Students may attend once or twice per week. There will be no make-up week, but students can make up as they go. Dates: 6/27 – 8/18 Tuesday...

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IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT WINNING

My little one started Abacus when she was in Kindergarten (2015). By mid-1st grade, her enthusiasm began to waver. However, she won a prize at the 2016 JAMS abacus competition, and that made her want to continue for another term. The excitement of winning a prize...

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ABACUS MASTERS ’17

The annual competition – Abacus Masters – will be held in February 2017. This is a mandatory event for all JAMS students, and students from other states will also be participating. We’ll be at the same venue as last year and more details will be coming to you over...

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NEW CLASSROOM SPACE

We’re very excited to be growing and that our landlord has provided us with the extra space to accommodate additional students. Recently we opened the wall in our classroom to add more than 300 square feet, six tables and an additional 18 seats, as well as 8 new...

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NO BUGS ALLOWED!

As we head into cold and flu season, please be mindful of your child(ren)’s health, and that of their classmates. If your child is sick, please keep them home until their illness passes. It’s very important that we all take necessary steps to keep all of our...

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BOOSTER WEEKS

During weeks 3 and 4 this term we offered Booster Weeks for Intermediate level students. During these weeks, intermediate students had the opportunity to participate in the Advanced class. We tested this concept and it was very successful. The Advanced students became...

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NEW FALL TERM AT JAMS

New Term and New People – We hope everyone enjoyed their summer break! With the new school year started, we’re beginning a new Fall Term at JAMS. We’re looking forward to an exciting new term with our new and returning students and new teachers! Recently, our new...

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FALL TERM CALENDAR NOTES

New! Prep class for all the new students: 9/12 Monday, 5:00 – 6:00 New! Intermediate (multiplication/division) boosting weeks: Week 3 and 4 8/26 Fall Term Registration Ends & Tuition Due 9/13 Fall Term Starts 10/18 Winter Term & Camp Registration Begins 11/15...

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MEET SENSEI TIM

Sensei Tim Migaki was born and raised in Oregon and is a fourth-generation Japanese-American. After becoming interested in Japan, Sensei Tim began studying Japanese in 2003 and has been doing so ever since. He attended Willamette University to study Japanology and...

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SAYONARA SENSEI KYOKO

Dear JAMS community, Thank you for the wonderful time with you all. I really enjoyed teaching talented kids and interacting with wise parents. It always makes my heart warm when I think about JAMS kids’ bright future with lots of love from the wonderful parents. And I...

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WINSTON CHAN TALLIES UP MORE HONORS!

Last winter JAMS student Winston Chan took first place honors at the Pan Pacific Abacus & Mental Arithmetic Competition. Earlier this month, he did it again! Winston took first place at the All-USA Calculation Contest, held in Milpitas California. Way to go...

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TANABATA

Tanabata – Also known as the Weaver’s Festival or the Star Festival, Tanabata is held annually on July 7th, or the seventh night of the seventh moon, according to the Japanese lunisolar calendar. Thought to have origins in the Chinese Qixi Festival, Tanabata...

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MEET SENSEI MIKA

Just prior to Summer term, Sensei Mika Comeaux joined the JAMS team. Sensei Mika brings her Japanese roots and several years in America, along with experience as a mom and assistant teacher, to offer a unique perspective for teaching Abacus. We’re thrilled to have her...

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A VERY IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON

My daughter Prakruthi has benefited immensely under the guidance of Sensei Miwako and we are grateful for having found JAMS. Sensei Miwako is an amazing teacher and role model for our daughter. We wanted our daughter to attend JAMS to develop more interest in Math as...

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CHILDREN’S DAY IN JAPAN

The 5th day of the 5th month is a special day in Japan, kodomo no hi, or Children’s Day! This is a special holiday to celebrate, you guessed it, the wonderful children in our lives. There is even a special Google Doodle for today, check it out! The main symbol of the...

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JAMS NEW SUMMER TERM

JAMS SUMMER SCHEDULE We have changed our summer schedule again! With JAMS community input, we have devised a new schedule that we think will best for most students. Our new summer term is 9 weeks, and resembles our normal schedule. The only difference is because it is...

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GROWING TO THEIR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL

It is with great delight that we write about our funtastic experience with JAMS, Portland. All three of our children have been learning Abacus math here for close to a decade. Sensei Miwako is simply an amazing teacher who inspires and motivates her students to...

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AT JAMS WE GANBARE

“Ganbare! Ganbare! Ganbare!” You hear it shouted over and over again in the video. In Japan will hear it from friends, neighbors, classmates, and parents. You will see it on signs, buttons, and bumper stickers. It is an important expression, and exemplifies a crucial...

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BRAINS GROW AT JAMS

Are you right-brained or left-brained? Do you prefer art over math, or understand music better than language? Why not both? Normally when we do mathematical calculations we use the left hemisphere of our brain. However, researcher Kimiko Kawano found that advanced...

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WHY JAMS MATTERS

We are fortunate to have discovered JAMS, and grateful to Miwako Sensei, who instills discipline and motivation in her pupils.” -Karen C., Parent You may think JAMS is just about learning the abacus, but we are about so much more! It is Sensei Miwako’s goal to help...

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ABACUS VS CALCULATOR: WHICH WOULD WIN?

In an epic battle between the Japanese abacus and an electronic calculator, which do you think would win? On November 12, 1946 the abacus was put to the test! In the capable hands of Mr. Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, the abacus won in a decisive victory of 4 to 1! The Nippon...

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SYUZANDO

In the Japanese and other Asian cultures, the concept of DO (pronounced ‘doh’) represents the ability to persevere and is taught through many activities. Life is filled with many challenges, and children who learn skills to overcome them are better prepared for the...

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JAMS ADDS NEW TEACHER TO TEAM

October 30, 2015 – Portland, Oregon – JAMS is pleased to announce that Stephanie Cavanaugh has joined the school as a teacher. Ms. Cavanaugh was selected based on her teaching experience and familiarity with Japanese culture (in addition to being fluent in Japanese,...

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