Guided/Leveled Reading Note

Book Bags are officially coming home this coming Friday – Please read through the note and let me know if you have any questions!

Hello 🙂 It’s an exciting time of the year for the kindergarteners! We are starting to bring book bags home for the weekend 🙂 Book Bags will be going home every weekend (or end of the week) for the Kindergarteners to practice reading at their level, and will need to come back to school on Monday – please make sure they do come back on time!

Goals of guided/leveled reading:

  • Learning new and reviewing old characters
  • Practice different reading strategies
  • Reading fluently as time goes
  • Comprehending the reading material
  • Enjoy reading 🙂

I wanted you to be aware that when we first start reading, the leveled books consist of many characters/vocabulary that the children already know. As they move further along and get higher level books, there are new characters and words to recognize, and stories that requires more “thinking” to comprehend. This means that there are times when they will practice reading the same book for a longer amount of time – because some of the characters are new, or they need more fluency practice.

I also wanted you to be aware that the books are shorter when we start (and often have patterns), so the children might have memorized it <which seem to show that they are ready to move on to the next book because they can read all the characters in their book, But when I have them recognize some of the characters as I recheck their reading (without pictures clue/pattern) the following week, they might not be able to fully do so>. In that case I will have them practice reading the same book at school during daily 5, and possibly sending the same book(s) home for more practice.

At home, you can help by:

  • Reminding your child to point at each character as they read – have them look at the characters and not only brushing through even if they already know what the characters mean (from the picture clue).
  • Have them slow down especially if the characters seem harder for them, also read with punctuation.
  • When your child struggles at home, try to point them to the pictures and have them try recalling what the characters might be. After recalling characters, have them read the sentence again to see if it makes sense. (They usually will be able to tell if it makes sense or not.)
  • Ask them what the book is about. Have them teach you about the characters and who/what are in the book?

*Please know that our Mandarin library is limited so please help me make sure that the books do come back to school and in good condition :)*

Let me know if you have any questions! Thank you once again for supporting your children at home!


Mandarin Characters/Strokes!

Hi Parents, Here are some information regarding Mandarin basic stroke as well as stroke order 🙂 I thought it might be interesting and/or helpful for you to know, especially when it is such a big part of your child’s Mandarin learning experiences! It can also be a reference to you as you work alongside your child when they are practicing writing their characters at home 🙂

Basic Strokes: (I will send home a hardcopy of this tomorrow!)

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Website on basic Mandarin characters forms/directions of writing


Video on Characters stroke order/direction


Working with your child at home

First of all, I would like to say thank you so much for working at home with your children, and for your support towards our class 🙂 

I would like to clarify somethings with you in regards of “translating” – in general on activities/papers that are sent home, and in specific weekly homework and flashcards.

On our Mandarin homework and flashcard, you will find pinyin and the English meaning of those words. I want to let you know that the pinyin and English words are there for you as references (so that you have an idea of what we are learning). However, they do not serve as “translations” for the children.

– For Flashcard: Please focus on practicing with your child to recognize the words – don’t tell them what the word is in English. You can work on making meaning through drawing, motions, guessing game, etc – just don’t translate directly 🙂 Practice on recognizing, recognizing and recognizing – At school we work on understanding these words through drawings/motions, etc.

– For Homework: Please focus on making sure they are following the stroke and proportion of the characters. These words are so important as foundations building for their Mandarin learning!

PLEASE help me keep your children accountable of following the stroke orders of the characters as well as the proportions of the characters in the square (we constantly practice this at school too – but it can be so much more intentional when you are one on one). Mandarin has basic strokes and components of a word(character) that are in many different characters, and if they get the stroke/proportion wrong now, it will potentially create habits that will last a long time.

In an immersion approach to learning a language, the focus is acquiring the language through authentic and meaningful interactions with words. It is important that the students are not learning the language through English; we want the students to understand Mandarin as it is and not have to first process it through their English. We are working on not “translating” at school – and I ask that you do the same at home. If they get translations at home, there is possibility that they would then depend on getting translations at home instead of working to understand what words mean in Mandarin at school.

At such early stage of Mandarin learning, the students might be able to tell you what the characters are, but might not be able to tell you completely what it means – I want to reassure you that this is okay in an early stage, and the more they learn, the more understanding they will be able to build. You might find it interesting that translating is an advanced skill that is more developmentally appropriate when the students are above third grade.

If there are English on assignments (papers that I send home), they serve as a reference (for you) but not as translation (for the children).

What can I do to help my child understand words/phrases?

Draw it, do it in motions, *be creative with this* – just don’t tell them what it is in English 🙂

If you have any questions about this – let me know!

Thank you so much for your constant parental support! The children are working hard as they learn how to do school and all about Kindergarten in another language – and it won’t be possible without your support and encouragements as parents at home 🙂