March 21, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

21 March 2014

1. Spangdahlem/Bitburg Consolidation Delay
2. Healthy, Clean Schools
3. Library of Congress (note the short suspense date)
4. Spangdahlem Middle School Anti-Bullying Campaign
5. April: National Poetry Month
6. Retirement Articles
7. Brainteaser

1. Spangdahlem/Bitburg Consolidation Delay: As I am sure many of you are aware by now, the planned relocation of Spangdahlem Elementary School has been delayed by one year. This is primarily due to the SES facility design falling behind schedule. The new timeline indicates a March 2015 construction start date. FEA will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

2. Healthy, Clean Schools: Terese Sarno, the FEA Kaiserslautern District Representative with the enthusiastic support of the FEA Kaiserslautern District members, prepared HEALTHY, CLEAN SCHOOLS, a 70 slide multi-media PowerPoint presentation highlighting the major health concerns being faced by our students and teachers with the reduced cleaning contract. This was presented at the District JCC March 19th. The information in this presentation was gathered from our Kaiserslautern District educators, OSHA, the EPA, and Healthy Schools, U.S. Department of Education Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Pest Management, and Cleaning Building Services New York Inc.

The health and safety of our schools is important to our students and us because without healthy and clean schools, academic success is not possible. We should not forget that "If you do not have a clean school, you do not have a healthy school." When students and their teachers are healthy and comfortable, children learn and produce more in the classroom, which in turn improves performance and achievement later in life. (Thank you to Terese Sarno, FEA Kaiserslautern District Representative, for providing this information.)

3. Library of Congress: The Library of Congress is now accepting applications for its week-long summer programs for K-12 educators. Held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the professional development provides educators with tools and resources to effectively integrate primary sources into K-12 classroom teaching, with an emphasis on student engagement, critical thinking, and construction of knowledge.

Tuition and materials are provided at no cost. Selected participants are responsible for transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and any required overnight accommodations.

The Library is offering five programs this summer: three of the programs are open to teachers and librarians across the content areas, another focuses on civil rights, and one concentrates on primary sources in science education. (Previous Teacher Institute participants are eligible to apply for the science program.)

Institutes Open to K-12 teachers and school librarians across the content areas

Institute Session 1: June 9-13

Institute Session 2: July 7-11

Institute Session 3: July 21-25

Civil Rights Institute Open to K-12 teachers and school librarians with teaching responsibilities related to the Institute focus

Civil Rights Institute: July 28-Aug 1

Science Seminar Recommended for K-12 educators who teach science or collaborate with science teachers

Science Seminar: July 14-18

Applications are due March 24th and require a letter of recommendation. Read more and apply now:

(Thank you to Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA for providing this information.)

4. Anti-Bullying Campaign: Check out the link below, featuring our very own Dr. Sennie Smith, Counselor at Spangdahlem Middle School. Congratulations Sennie and thank you for the excellent work you do on behalf of our students. View here.

5. April is National Poetry Month: This national event is just around the corner.

Save the date: Poem in Your Pocket Day 2014 will be held on Thursday, April 24. On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. On the website there are several examples of how classes and learning communities participate this fun learning experience.

Request the National Poetry Month poster: (The poster arrived in just over 2 weeks for me.)

There are so many resources for this event. Listed below are just a few. If you are looking for something in part cular to support this event please let me know and I will do my best to assist.

Grangers Poetry Database:
Username: dodea
Password: dodea

Poetry Out Loud:

Poem Hunter:

Youtube has many clips of poets reading their poetry. One of my favorites is Dr. Maya Angelou's, "Still I Rise"

Read Write Think:

National Poetry Month:

Poetry Foundation:

From a blog on Japanese Poetry and lesson ideas:

Haiku, Haibun, and Haiga: National Poetry Month Lesson Ideas for Your Students Phil Nast

One of my favorite haiku is by Matsuo Basho.

Sparrows in eves
Mice in ceiling -
Celestial music

I live in an old farmhouse and listen to my share of celestial music. I like the humor of Basho's lines, and I admire their clarity and brevity. The poem is a verbal snapshot. When a haiku really works, the image is fixed in your memory.

April is National Poetry Month, and if you might have a poetry unit in mind, haiku is a great form to work in with younger and older students. You'll not get the how long does it have to be kind of questions. Haiku doesn't rhyme. Haiku requires observation of nature, and though it has emotion, it is not confessional. Haiku can be combined with prose in a form created by Basho called haibun, and it can be illustrated by haiga. These additional arts provide opportunities for engaging more students

History. Haiku began as the hokku part (first 3 lines: 5-7-5) of the traditional Japanese poetry form of the tanka (5 lines: 5-7-5-7-7). The following resources give historical overviews of haiku: The History and Artistry of Haiku and History of Haiku . This last page links to biographies of haiku masters and matters of form. Mushimegane -- Haiku, Tanka, And Contemporary Art approaches the history of haiku through its notable writers. The site has brief biographies, images (haiga), and examples of haiku.

Form. Shadow Poetry's section on Haiku and Senryu describes differences between the Japanese and English languages and recommends a looser interpretation of the 5 kana-7 kana-5 kana form when writing haiku in English than is generally taught. Kana should not be compared to English syllables. The haiku section of Jane Reichhold's website, Aha Poetry, provides essays on haiku form and technique. The Academy of American Poets has a short discussion of form and has links to information about modern haiku writers in English and to a discussion of haiga , the restrained and minimal ink brush painting that traditionally accompanied haiku.

Aesthetics. The Japanese aesthetic principles underlying calligraphy, painting, and gardening are also evident in haiku. Stanford University's entry on Japanese Aesthetics discusses sabi and kire and Frieda H. Blackwell develops the ideas of sabi or simplicity, and irregularity. Blackwell's adaptation is based on the writing of Donald Keene. She cites His The Pleasures of Japanese Literature. I also recommend Appreciations of Japanese Culture, which has chapters on aesthetics, Basho and haiku, and modern Japanese poetry. Concepts like wabi, sabi, are mono no aware are slippery. In the film In Search of Wabi Sabi , filmmaker Marcel Theroux learns that even Japanese find the concepts difficult to explain, though they can easily point to examples. The video is on the Internet, and though it's about 90 minutes long, is well worth watching.

Haiku Masters. The four names most often mentioned when talking about haiku are Basho (1644-1694), Buson (1716-1784), Issa (1763-1824, and Shiki (1867-1902). allows you to print these PDF collections of translated haiku from all four. Imitation is always a good way to start writing haiku. The Heron's Nest and Simply Haiku have modern haiku in English. Simply Haiku ceased publication in 2009 but complete archived issued are still available.

Haibun. Students can also try writing haibun, a combination of prose and poetry developed by Basho. The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a record of Basho's wanderings on foot at a time when travel in Japan was difficult and dangerous. It's considered a masterpiece. Contemporary Haibun Online http:/ and Haibun Today provide modern examples in English.

Haiga. Combining art and writing is hardly a new idea. Ink brush paintings accompanied haiku from the beginning. The difference between the illustrated books we're familiar with and Japanese Haiku/Haiga pairing is that haiga was meant to complement, not explain, the haiku. Photography is used today and offers another avenue for older students. Haiga Online has examples of traditional haiga as well as modern painting and photography. Haiga: Japanese Art and Haiku Poetry has graphic and photographic images accompanying haiku.

One last haiku. This one from Shiki.

Spring rain:
browsing under an umbrella
at the picture-book store

Have fun.

Brian L. Chance
Information Specialist
Kaiserslautern Middle School
NEA Director for FEA

6. Retirement Articles: Here are links to retirement articles that may be of interest to some of you. The first is entitled Federal Employees Need to Rethink How Much Income They Will Need in Retirement The second is TSP Rollovers to an IRA: 10 Tips that TSP Participants Should Consider

7. Brainteaser: Congratulations to Ms. Robin Baker, Robinson Barracks E/MS for being the first person to report in with all answers correct. The answers to the Brainteaser from March 7th:

Joined Commonwealths of the Western Hemisphere (country)

Birthed to Move Quickly (album title)

A Wind-Up Citrus Fruit (novel and movie)

Bestride, Increasing the Frequency Which You Hurry (American Landmark)

Woman and the Vagrant (animated movie)

"We are not retreating---we are advancing in another direction."---Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army

Lisa Ali
FEA Europe Area Director