Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 15th,

We had a good amount of snow during last weekend. In this week's Mandarin class, we talked about seasons and reviewed months. For the middle school classes, we also talked about Intangible Cultural Heritage defined by UNESCO and the Chinese 24 solar terms used in the traditional Farmer's calendar. The 24 solar terms were granted the Intangible Cultural Heritage status last month.

The elementary classes learned a new rhyme to help them remember the seasons and months, as well as things to do in each season. The middle school classes also learned that rhyme, read the text aloud, as well as wrote the Chinese characters of "春“ (spring) and “冬” (winter). They have a better understanding of what is Intangible Cultural Heritage and how farmers can use the traditional Farmer's calendar to plan for the year.

Students also watched videos of traditional Chinese ribbon dance, and all of them had a chance to practice three basic movements of the ribbon dance.

December 8th,

This week in the Mandarin classes we talk about giant pandas.

The 1/2nd grade class learned a nursery rhyme about the color and body parts of a panda. 3/4th grade class reviewed body part words by a panda craft project, and 5/6th grade classes have reviewed body parts vocabularies by a worksheet. Some of the 5/6th grade students also read fun facts about panda and work on a word puzzle after the reading. The 7/8th grade students also reviewed the body parts words, and went down to the art room to draw an ink painting of a panda.

Apart from this cultural related topic, we have also reviewed all Pinyin we have learned so far by listening, reading, and writing. 3/4th grade students and above have done reading activities by rearranging the text of a rhyme they learned into correct order.

Vocabularies about seasons and weather will be sent to students by the end of this week to let them prepare for next week's topics.

November 18th

In this week's Chinese program, most students have watched a documentary video A Bite of China - Gifts from Nature, and search for Chinese recipes with ingredients and cooking methods introduce in this video.

The Monkey King stories, the most well-known Chinese mythology, was told during the 1/2nd grade class. They have also started to learn Pinyin, with an online game that mix Pinyin knowledge with the Monkey King story.

The 3/4th grade students are also working on a Google slide introducing basic geographical information of China.

The 5/6th grade students are starting a translation project for the book One Year in Beijing.

The 7/8th grade students are learning vocabularies and conversations in a Chinese supermarket.

November 3rd,

In this week's Mandarin class, the elementary level classes are learning words of fruits, practicing how to say the food they like or dislike, and to describe the fruits combining color words they learned earlier. Middle school classes are learning countries around the world and major cities in China. They are practicing how to ask people from other cultures where they come from, what kind of food they eat, and major holidays they celebrate. Students are work in pairs to do research on population, language, currencies, major cities and attractions, food, and traditional clothes. Titles and main ideas are written and presented in Chinese.

All Mandarin class students learned the Chinese version of the popular Pen Pineapple Apple Pen song. If they wish, they can take a short video of their own version singing this song and share it with their classmates.

There will be a Music and Language Chinese and European vocal songs recital offered by University of Michigan this Saturday evening. All Mandarin class students and their families are invited.

1st and 2nd grade: Continue to review fruits and learn to describe the color of the fruit. Learn to say which fruit they like or dislike. We have read a Chinese book, Little mouse wants to eat apple, and started the book One Year in Beijing

3rd and 4th grade: We have learned and reviewed Pinyin: j, q, x, zh, ch, sh, r. All students are familiar with Google classroom announcements and assignments announced in this way. Every student participates and is making good progress practicing new vocabularies on Quizlet. They are required to be able to understand by listening, say and read the fruits in Chinese. Students can say, read, and write core words, such as "吃“ (eat) and "不” (no).

5th and 6th grade: We learned 12 countries in Chinese. Students learned to ask and answer questions of which country a person comes from. They related all these country names with national flags and celebrities. All students are familiar with Google classroom announcements and assignments announced in this way. Every student participates and is making good progress practicing new vocabularies on Quizlet. Later this week, students were divided into pairs to work on presentations of a country they chose.

7th and 8th grade: Students learned to understand and giving directions to a certain place by speaking, as well as by reading and writing direction words and phrases. We watched two short videos about Wechat, the most popular mobile phone application in China and a video about Street Foods in Xi'an. After watching the videos, we talked about facts observed in the video and things students were interested in. We will continue to explore different places in China by short videos.

October 6th
We looked at family members and Chinese Education Systems in this week's Chinese Language program. In lower elementary school, we made origami houses, and drew pictures of each students family. Conversations of asking "who is in the picture" were practiced. By instructing the steps of making an origami house in Chinese, colors and shapes were taught at the same time. The 3rd and 4th graders were also practicing describing a friend and sharing it with classmates by posting a message at Padlet. They learned how to type in Chinese with Pinyin provided.

Middle schoolers have more independent study time by working on new vocabularies through Quizlet according to their own learning pace. They were fascinated by the cultural differences on how to address kinship. On the topic of Chinese Education System, their first responses were not being able to get use to schools in China. It was too competitive, too many students in a class. I will facilitate them with more background information on why the college entrance exam in China is so competitive, and help them start thinking the reasons behind other country's policies and practices.