This past week, we played the circumlocution game as I prepare the children towards the “switch”. We are moving towards making the switch, which means having the children started saying Mandarin to the teacher, and to their peers as well. I have been talking about it and preparing the children towards the switch – I have introduced the individual incentives on top of the jar incentives we have as a class. It is my hope that the transition will go smoothly and your children will learn that they will be in a fully Mandarin Immersed experience – and all the times at school are opportunities to learn and practice Mandarin (snack, lunch, and play time<hopefully in January> included as well!)
I did tell the children that as we step into November, we are stepping towards the BIG switch – that means that soon, the children will be expected to communicate using Mandarin (with the teacher AND with their peers). We are starting small with merely vocabularies if they would like to say something, then slowly transitions to short sentences, and then expanding their sentences.
Please talk to the children about this at home – I tell the children that if they do not know a word/sentence in Mandarin – they can try to do motions, try to describe it (with colors, shapes, words that they already know), try to draw it. We are going to start slow and steady – we will practice asking questions in English (and what the teacher would say if the question is in English) and if we speak in English, what our friends would say to remind us to speak in Mandarin. Then, we practice how we can ask/say something with the limited Mandarin we have so far – and how the teacher will guide us to say the sentence in Mandarin, before giving us the answer in Mandarin.
Here are the tools that can help them communicate:
1) Words that we already know (describe it, tell me colors/shape/place/etc.) 2) Motions (use your hand: point at it, show it to me 3) Draw it out 4) Try anything BUT NOT speak in English. We have a Mandarin line at our doorway, and the children know – when they cross the line, it means Mandarin is what we should say/hear. Please also help me keep the Mandarin only environment – if you need to speak to me and/or the children in English, the hallway is a good place to go.
What did we learn and What will we learn?
Mandarin/Language Arts: This week, we started working intentionally on trying to speak in Mandarin (with/without the teacher’s help) as much as we can. We are also going to focus on looking at words and recognizing characters, especially on things that we encounter almost everyday (which includes numbers, colors, word wall words/high frequency characters). We are working really hard on making sure we are writing characters while saying the stroke, and saying what the character is after we finish writing. We are working to figure out the meaning of words and characters, thinking about them before assuming what they mean right away.
Bible: We have been learning the story of Joseph trough pictures as well as the Bible for Kids (ipad app). We talked about how even in midst of difficult things God is with Joseph and what Joseph is going through is a part of God’s plan. We continue to practice our October Bible Memory Verse as well, and talk about Joy as the fruit of spirit this month. At the end of this week/the beginning of the following week, I will be assessing their October Bible Memory Verse before Introducing November’s Bible Memory Verse, feel free to practice it at home with your children through the recording 🙂 It is intentionally recorded slower.
Math: We focused on practice number 4 and 5 this week, and we also practice different shapes and counting with dice. We constantly practice counting up at school, continue to review and explore shapes, and continue to discover numbers and math around us! We will learn more numbers next week and practice addition and subtraction.
Exploring God’s World (Sci/SocStu): We continue to review directions and navigating around a space. The K team has put together a map with all the K classes and the special classes. We went around school and highlight some different places on our map to practice map reading and legend. We continue talking about maps and learning that we are in several places at one time (I am in my house, which it is part of my community, my city, my state, my country, my world). We are also learning directions through small practices while we transition from one activity to the next.
Writing: We continue to learn about the use of period, as well as practicing the sentence form “I see a/a few/some ….. in my classroom.” We started working on our book – My Classroom. We chose a couple of things to include in our book, and construct it (write it) in the correct sentence form and with period. The children also shared about their 4 day break and draw their story down, we will practice telling them through our picture, and then will slowly transition into writing stories.
Play: I am planning to teach children common phrases we often use in play, and have them say it in Mandarin. These phrases would include: Can I play with this/you, Let’s share our toys, Look at what I made, etc. The children are constantly learning to share and problem solve the different problems that they encounter during play time. We are learning to use gentle hands and gentle words especially when we really want to play something or when it’s harder to share 🙂
Things to Note:
Towel and Water Bottle: They were sent home on Friday, please clean them and return them to school tomorrow!
Parent Teacher Conferences: Please check your email for the note about signing up for conferences. Sign up starts on November 4th through an online signup system. Our time will be limited to 15 minutes on the appointment but please know that you can always email and/or talk to me if there is any questions/concerns 🙂 Parent Teacher Conference Questionnaire is due this Tuesday, Nov 1st.
As you are signing up for conferences, please be aware that various administrative and support staff are also available during conferences. If you have questions regarding the immersion program, you are able to sign up for a time to meet with our program coordinator, Jodi Pierce. You will see her name on the list of teachers and can sign up for a time with her in the same way you would sign up for a time with a teacher.
Framework: As we step further into the framework, I wanted you to be aware that soon enough I am going to assess their producing and recognizing of the Word Wall Words and High Frequency Characters at the end of the week, and if they are not able to do it then we would need extra practices that will potentially take some recess time.
Wishlist Page: Please visit this page throughout the year for more ideas/suggestions. There are two things on the list now. The children are really into building and legos so if you have some that you can donate it will be great (they really don’t have to be new or in a set)! If you happen to have old baking pans (that are deeper) that you can donate, we will take them as well – we will learn that we can practice characters through writing in sand and/or corn starch.
Mandarin Homework&Flashcard: Homework this week consists the word wall words for U1W5, and flashcard is on high frequency words as well as some animals. Please continue to keep your children accountable following stroke order and writing as close as possible following the characters proportion. Continue to practice flashcards with them as well – and just getting them more used to the idea that each Mandarin words they say have characters that goes along with it, giving them more exposure to explore the language as the demand rises!
Grandparents Day: Grandparents Day is coming sooner than we thought it is! I have sent home the letter of explanation, and also an explanation of our map PBL and maps for grandparents this past weeks. Please help me pass the information to the grands! You can also send in Gifts of Being Grand as soon as the grands are done with them – we will keep this in the children’s spiritual journal until they are in 8th grade 🙂 Please let me know how many grandparents I should be planning on if you haven’t already! On Friday we will also have quick snack as a class together before welcoming our Grandparents, so you do NOT need to pack the children snack for Friday!
Book It: It is absolutely optional – but If your child has been doing Book It, I will take the return of the sheet latest tomorrow. Please know that if you do not turn in a sheet at the end of the month, it doesn’t rollover. I sent home November book it sheet this past Thursday!
What’s Coming Up?
Specials: Monday – Spanish, Art, Tuesday – Music, Spanish, Wednesday – Library, PE, Thursday – Spanish.
Reformation Day Chapel: October 31, Monday, 10AM.
Grandparent’s Day: November 4, Friday.
Picture Retake Day: November 10, Thursday.
NO PM Busing or Hot Lunch: November 9 and 10.
NO AM/PM Busing or Hot Lunch: November 11.
Parent Teacher Conferences: November 21 and 22.
Thanksgiving Plan: It’s early but I wanted to keep you in the loop since this requires a little more planning – In honor of Thanksgiving we will be trading (like the Pilgrims and Indians did) pictures on November 22nd. Please send in 10 individual pictures of your child to trade with their friends. This can be a 4X6 or a wallet photo.
Featured Friend: We are starting our Featured Friends in less than 2 weeks! Please read the page under “Featured Friend” learn more about how it works. Our first featured friend is 程浩宇 easton, and he will be featured on the week of November 7th!
I can hardly believe we are heading into November! The children are getting used to routines and getting much more comfortable with their friends – please continue to pray for relationships that are developing and the learning that is constantly happening in the class. Please also pray for preparation as we start heading closer to the BIG switch! Please pray that the children will be brave and continue to try out the language, to not be discouraged when things seem very tough, and strength get through some days that seems harder 🙂