Wacky Wednesday

We had a wacky day at school 🙂 We started with saying Goodbyes as Hellos, flipping our names backwards, and before Will left he helped us set up the classroom so some things looked wacky, then we ended with Hellos as Goodbyes! We had a somewhat combination of normal and wacky day, including reviewing framework, science, PE and Library, reading, watching short clips, writing and enjoying being wacky and “different” throughout the day! We also wrapped up March is Reading Month as we discover the books that different teachers like in the library as well as Reading in another place (In this case outside!) Thank you for sending them in wacky for the day 😀 We have one more day tomorrow and then it’s Spring Break.

Enjoy the pictures!


Garden Crossings Field Trip

We had a great time learning about plants, flowers, greenhouses at the Garden Crossings this morning. We read a book, plant our plants, and got to see and learn about some really fun plants and what they need/how they grow! It was such a great field trip kicking off our new Science Unit: Is it Living! And it certainly is wonderful to enjoy the Spring weather and the signs of Springs outside 🙂

Special Thank you for all the chaperones who make this field trip possible!


100th DAY and Valentines Celebration!

It’s so exciting to celebrate 100th Day of School ? We had a great time practicing counting and fine motor with qtips gumdrops counting, 100 years old art, different 100 related movements, as well as counting and enjoying our 100th Day snack! We also did a picture clue, a dot-to-dot page, as well as a coloring page! It amazes me how fast time has flown by this year, and just how much the children have grown over the last 100 day I see them.

We also had a meaningful conversation talking about how we can show our love to the people around us. We had the valentine boxes going and the children went through the process of looking at the names/numbers written on their valentines, and delivering it to their friends’ boxes. We also talked about how we can continue to learn to love others and our opportunity to help Wayne with what we are doing at home!

The children had such a great time opening and checking out valentine gifts, as well as making notes and cards to their families 🙂 I felt so LOVED as a teacher today, and I hoped the valentine notes the children have made for you would warm your hearts too!



Jingle Jog 2016!

Sharing pictures from Jingle Jog today!

It’s a busy and exciting day – and I am especially proud of the children for giving their best and running so well for 12 minutes of Jingle Jog!! We continue to talk about our friend in Philippines as well as talking about how we can help people that are less fortunate, and they are really encouraged to run and help our sister school and their building project. We will raise money specifically for our friend Wayne in February.

ENJOY THE PICTURES! Some are a little shaky as they were in action – but I think it’s absolutely worth sharing 🙂

We had fun just relaxing and enjoying calm christmas melodies while doing some christmas related colors and patterning afterwards – the children did great considering how Jingle Jog was the first thing in the morning!


感恩节快乐!Happy Thanksgiving :)

Sharing some pictures that we took over our mini thanksgiving celebration in class! We had a great time sharing snacks together and talk about celebrating differences and friendship, as well as learning trading with our pictures. The children were really excited to have snacks together as well as trading their pictures and getting their friend’s pictures! We also got to share what we are doing over thanksgiving break or whose house are we going to go to if we are enjoying Thanksgiving Feast with our families and friends 🙂 Thinking of your families this thanksgiving and especially thankful for each and every one of the Kindergarteners! Have a blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

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Newsletter #7

Newsletter #7

We are constantly learning new words and phrases in Mandarin and producing the ones we already know. What I have learned is that with higher expectations, the children learn to rise to the occasion! It might seem hard the next couple of weeks as we continue to lay foundation on Mandarin, <and especially when we make the BIG switch> but I assure you, it is worth it :) I am already starting to see more connections made here and there – which is why I am positive that we are where we need to be and the children are ready for more challenges!

Next week is a shorter week with only 3 days of school – We are not going to dive into a new week of framework because there isn’t enough time for children to learn the new words and get familiar with them at the end of the week like we usually do. Instead, we are going to review on the things we have been learning so far. Please make sure you read the homework information below to know our plans for homework next week. This newsletter is also for 2 weeks – so there will be no newsletter this coming week.

What did we learn and What will we learn?

Mandarin/Language Arts: We are being really intentional in looking at words, saying them out loud, understanding what they are, and attempt to use them at the right time. Our Incentive Jar has also shifted from getting fill over phrases that I now expect children to say – instead, it is when they say or recognize word wall words in their reading/in talking, or when they say the weekly phrase or say something that I tell them is our goal for the week!

Did you know? Mandarin characters evolved from drawings. This week I showed the children this video that shows them some very basic characters that evolve from drawing! I thought I’ll show you as well.

This coming week, we will work on reviewing our framework u.1-3 that we have learned so far, and also review words we often use such as colors, shapes, animals, things in our class through “word hunt activities. I will also introduce the “circumlocution game” – which is a game that we play in purpose to help children discover how can they tell me something they do not know in Mandarin through drawing, describing, showing motions. After we come back from our 3 days week, we will continue learning framework.

Bible: We talked Jacob’s stories this week, and also talk about Jacob, Laban and Rachel. As we discussed how Jacob had a dream, Jesus told him – I will be with you, which is our October bible memory verse! Next week we will start telling the story of Joseph.

Memory Verse/Fruit of the Spirit:  We have started discussing our fruit of spirit – JOY, and continue to practice the song 耶稣爱我 Jesus Loves Me (in Mandarin). We also practiced the Fruit of the Spirit Song that hopefully will help the children remember what are the fruits of the spirit better (It can be found on our Bible Memory Page). Also, we have started learning and practicing each day our October bible memory verse – Genesis 28:15. 我也与你同在、你无论 往那里去、我必保佑你、 领你归回这地、总不离 弃你、直到我成全了向 你所应许的。 (创世纪 28:15)

We talked about how the song “Jesus Loves Me” and our bible memory verse this month reminded us of how God loves us and He is always with us – which gives us a lot of JOY 🙂 It is different than happiness or feeling happy because of getting or doing something. We are joyful because God love us!

Just a suggestion: The fruit of the Spirit and Memory Verse can be a part of your daily devotion with your child.

Math: We continue to explore numbers and practice writing/counting and working with numbers. This week, we started practicing writing numbers (specifically 1,2 and 3 so far) If you notice your child writing numbers the wrong way, try asking them, does that number look okay? Now that we are very familiar with our 1-10 in Mandarin, we started diving more into looking at and exploring 11-20 in Mandarin. We continue to practice counting with our fingers, through visuals and drawings. We will be practicing numbers 4-6 the next following week after the 3 days week.

Exploring God’s World (Sci/SocStud): This week we continue our conversation of map and learn bird eye view specifically. We also learn different directions and went out on a class tour to draw different places at ZCS. We will explore more about maps, directions and regions this coming week, and then we will take one final tour with the map that all Kindergarteners have put together in preparation to bringing our grands around during Grandparents Day!

Writing: We continue to share small stories and explore the role of speaker and listener. 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 talked about how we will be writing/drawing a book about what we have in our classroom to share with our parents and friends. When we come back from the break, we will start writing our classroom book together.

Play: I am planning to start our Play Time with mini lessons in the coming weeks that will include common phrases we use during play, what toys are called (even including the different colors, food, shapes, etc.) and as the year move further along it will be like a scenarios act out – for example, who would we have when we are “opening a restaurant”? What would they say? (if you are a water, cook, manager, people visiting restaurant,etc.)

Things to Note:

Immersion Education Discussion:

  • Are you new to immersion education?
  • Have you watched your older children advance through the immersion program but have questions about this approach to education?
  • Are you wondering what is expected of you as an immersion parent?

You are invited to learn more about immersion education and meet the coordinator of the language immersion programs. This will be an informal round table discussion time for parents to learn and ask questions about immersion education. Please consider reserving one of the following times to attend: October 24 at 9:00am, October 24 at 7:00 pm We will meet in the media center classroom (the back corner of the library). 

Grandparents Day: Grandparents Day is coming sooner than we thought it is! It’s such an exciting event of the year, and I am sure we will be blessed by the presence of the grandparents. I will be sending home a sheet with detailed information of the event this coming Tuesday, please read it and make sure you pass on the important information to the grands! It will also come home with 4 sheets of papers (2 grandpas, 2 grandmas) for the grandparents to fill in – we will keep this in the children’s spiritual journal until they are in 8th grade 🙂

Working at Home with your children: Please continue to work with your children at home too – Especially with their Mandarin word practice and recognition. Word recognition is going to help them as we continue to move towards reading, and recognizing words that the teacher is writing while teaching contents. Mandarin is a complex language with characters <that are totally different from English> and I know personally how much practice it takes – 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. What they are learning now are foundations that they will take in and build upon as they learn more words that are harder and more complex. 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.

Have your children teach you what the different word wall words/high frequency characters/words that they learn. What are the week’s phrases? What are new words they learn? 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.

Busy Bees at School/Home: At the start of the year some of you have signed up to be Busy Bees at School and/or at Home to help preparing different things we need in the classroom! Please know that I really appreciate it a lot. Let me know if you would like to get on the list to help our class 🙂

Mandarin Homework: Our Mandarin homework this coming week will be a stroke booklet and your child’s name! I am starting to notice that some of our friends really want to start writing Mandarin names – which is exciting!! I have also uploaded the pdf version of their names – you may download and print them as you need. Please help me keep your child accountable on following the stroke order and the “proportion” of the characters in the box. NOTE: This week’s Mandarin homework is optional, you do not need to hand them back, but you are welcome to do so – we continue to practice strokes at school, and soon enough will spend some morning work time to practice writing our Mandarin names.

The homework for the following week will resume to normal as the children practice the word wall words for framework u1w4.

Flashcard: Our flashcard consist of words that are frequently used in Mandarin. This coming week, your child will be getting the flashcard that consist the shapes! Please practice flashcard really intentionally with the children as I am realizing that many times, the children are able to identify what things are through drawings, but not so much through the characters.

The framework for the following week will resume to normal as well – high frequency characters for u1w4 along with some animals.

Gift Wrap Sale: You may shop from the catalog that came home with your student last week or shop online at http:// gaschoolstore.com/landing.aspx?SID=2504850. All money raised will go to offset the cost of tuition at ZCS. Email jschafer@zcs.org if you have any questions. Thanks for your support! Orders are due on Monday, October 17.

What’s Coming Up?

Specials: Monday – Spanish, Art, Tuesday – Music, Spanish, Wednesday – Library.

NO School (CEA Convention for Teachers): October 20-21.

Reformation Day Chapel: October 31, Monday, 10AM.

Grandparent’s Day: November 4, Friday.

Picture Retake Day: November 11, Friday.

NO PM Busing or Hot Lunch: November 9 and 10.

NO AM/PM Busing or Hot Lunch: November 11.

Parent Teacher Conferences: November 21st and 22nd. I am sending home a sheet for you to fill in so that our conversations coming up can be relevant and meaningful. Please send in the things by Tuesday, November 1st. You will get information soon on how to sign up for parent teacher conferences.

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 3 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!

 Prayer Request:

I can hardly believe that we are almost at the end of October! 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 strength and perseverance as we dive more and more into Mandarin, your children will come home tired but I assure you it’s all worth it!

Please also pray for health – you might have heard that the teacher (as well as some friends) are a little sick right now, which they did such great job listening to the teacher even when her voice is softer 🙂 As the weather and temperature changes, please send your child to school with layers so they are ready for the weather as well! I’ve learned over my years of staying here that Michigan’s weather is really unpredictable 😀


- 黎老师


Welcome to Mandarin Kindergarten!

Hello Parents, Welcome to our classroom blog!

You will find weekly newsletter, classroom tidbits, and resources on this blog. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our class blog!

ZCS Theme this year – Selfless (无私)IMG_0103       “无论做什么,或说话,或行事,都要奉主耶稣的名,藉着祂感谢父神。“  歌罗西书 3:17

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

Please pray with us so that all of us will hold this verse and theme close to our hearts, and pray that we will continue to get to know God more and grow to be more like Him.

Things to Note:

  • There is NO Bussing and Hot Lunch for the first week of school.
  • Here is the Parking and Drop Off Information:

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What’s Coming Up?

Sunday, August 28

  • Retirement Celebration for Mr Bill Van Dyk from 1-3 PM, ZCS lobby.

Mon, Aug 29

  • ZCS Open House, from 1-2 PM (Your children are welcome to visit their new classroom and drop off their supplies)
  • Bus Night/Parent Information Meetings, from 7-7:45 PM Having at least a parent attend the Parent Information Night (7:00-7:30PM) will be really helpful since we will discuss many of the important things in regards of Kindergarten this year.  If your child is not riding the bus, they are welcome to come as well. There are things they will do with other teachers while we have the meeting, and then they will meet with me in class for 15 minutes (7:30-7:45PM).

 Tues, August 30

  • First day of school (full day; NO buses or hot lunch all week)

Wed, August 31

  • Hilltop Prayer Dedication service from 6.00-8.00 PM

Sept 2-5         No school – Labor Day Vacation

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns.

I look forward to learning and growing together with the Kindergarteners this year 😀 And I look forward to partnering with you 🙂

Have a good weekend and see you soon!