The first annual Early Childhood Chinese Immersion Forum took place at CAIS on March 17. The forum was held for educators in Chinese immersion preschool programs to network and learn from each other. Our ECE teachers Queena Laoshi, Chien Laoshi, and Que Laoshi were honored to represent the school to present the language acquisition in a Chinese immersion setting at the forum. Queena Laoshi shared how to expose Chinese to toddlers through different types of activities in their daily school life. Chien Laoshi introduced the concept of the inquiry cycle, while Que Laoshi shared how she used the inquiry cycle to support students’ inquiry based learning in an IB setting.
It was a great opportunity to gather early childhood educators, discuss topics and share the best practices in Chinese immersion in these critical, formative years for students.
Students participated in a ceremony with local kindergartners.
A visit to the Old City Fortress first built in the Song Dynasty.
Sightseeing in the Crouching Dragon Village (卧龙农庄), which is up in the mountains for summer retreat.
BBQ with buddy students - last activity of the trip!
Students in grades 5, 6, and MYP embarked on a trip to China last week. During this two-week field trip, students will practice Chinese speaking skills; observe and recognize regional differences among areas in China; explore opportunities for services in local schools and communities; and to learn traveling skills. Through visits to historical site, students will have the opportunity to make real-life to classroom connections: Ancient Civilizations (Where we are in place and time) for Grade 5/6 and Revolutions (Individuals and societies) for MYP3.
During this trip, students will visit International schools in Guangzhou (Guangdong province) as well as Zhuzhou and Chaling (Hunan province). Students will commit to services for the local community, including teaching English to lower elementary students, visiting elderly homes and homes in impoverished communities. Students will also enjoy sightseeing, experience local culture, and partake in home-stays.
Action is one of the five essential elements of the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) along with the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, and demonstration of positive attitudes. Students engaged in successful inquiry, learn about themselves and the world, leading to greater empowerment and connectedness. Student initiated action may be observed as implementation of learning in a student’s own life or it may have a wider social impact.
At Shu Ren, we have been working hard to recognize students (and staff members!) who have demonstrated such action. As part of this celebration, we have created an “Action Wall” at our K-8 Campus. On it, people have been recognized for such things as tidying the school, taking initiative to apply their learning at home, as well as raising money for victims of the Mexican earthquake. At PreK, teachers have been working hard to recognize action in each of their classrooms by facilitating parental feedback through forms on their Weebly websites.
Given the nature of action and how it often extends a students learning and interests beyond school, we really need the support of people at home to recognize and communicate examples of action to your child’s teacher. Remember, action does not need to be grandiose. It begins with the most immediate and basic level: with the self and within the family. Effective action can demonstrate a sense of responsibility and respect for self, others and the environment.
Chinese New Year
As we prepare for Lunar New Year, we thought it would be fun to share some of our families favorite traditions!
Getting ready for Chinese New Year
To get ready to welcome in the new year and bring luck, we like to:
- Get a haircut (even a little trim counts!)
- Get new clothes and shoes (wear your new Red Qipao 旗袍 or Changsan 长衫 to LNY festival! )
- Clean up and clean out your house - sweep away any bad luck along with that dust.
Chasing away the new year demon!
This is the most fun for our children! The story goes that in olden days the demon Nian 年, would come out from his cave on New Year’s Day to eat all the food stores and any children outdoors. People learned that they could scare Nian away by hanging red banners, disguising themselves with masks, making loud noises (with firecrackers (a.k.a. jumping on bubble wrap in the ‘firecracker dance’) and drums), and carrying special lanterns.
Lunar New Year is definitely about spending time with family and friends sharing a good meal. Foods we particularly love to eat include:
1) Rice (米饭; mǐfàn) - Fertility, luck, wealth, link between Heaven (Gods) and Earth (Men)
2) Noodles ( 面条; miàntiáo) Uncut - Long life
3) Three Winter Plate
To Include: 1. Snowpeas ( 荷兰豆; hélándòu) - Unity 2. Bamboo shoots ( 竹笋尖; zhú sǔn jiān) - New start 3. Shitake (冬菇; dōnggū) -longevity, sizing opportunities
4) Fish (whole) - ( 鱼 yú) - Surplus of prosperity
5) Fish ball ( 鱼蛋; yúdàn) - Reunion (Round)
6) Prawn ( 大虾; dàxiā) - Liveliness
7) Chicken (whole) (鸡肉; jīròu) - Completeness & joy
8) Dumplings (饺子； jiǎozi) - Wealth
9) Turnip Cake (no pork) ( 萝卜糕; luó bo gāo) - Good omen
10) Sweet Sticky Cake (年糕; nián'gāo)年年高升) - Advancemet & prosperity
11) Red Bean Soup ( 红豆汤；Hong dou tang) - Sweet union
12) Gluten Balls ( 汤圆；tāng yuán) Togetherness, reunion
13) Custard Egg(蛋挞 ； dàn tǎ) - fertility
14) Fruit Platter:
Tangerine (橘; jú) - luck
Grapes (葡萄； pútaó) - fertility
Pineapple (凤梨; fènglí) - wealth
Peach (桃; táo) - immortality
Pomelo (柚子; yòuzi) - abundance
Apples (苹果; píngguǒ) - wisdom, peace
恭喜恭喜 （gong xi gong xi; Congratulations)
Nice translation and pinyin at https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=3697
新年好 （Xin Nian hao; Happy New Year)
Nice translation and pinyin at https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=5382
Dragon Dance by Joan Holub
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
Celebrating the Chinese New Year by Sanmu Tang
As always, Shu Ren is committed to providing a high quality Chinese curriculum. With that in mind, we are very excited to share the online program, Level Chinese which is designed to help Chinese learners become proficient readers. The program offers twenty leveled books with equivalent objectives and mastery-based assessment with detailed analytics. With the help of this program, teachers can identify student’s reading level, assign appropriate reading material, and thus provide effective instruction and support.
We recently subscribed to the program and are currently piloting it in G2 and G5/6. The students have already started taking online assessments, which will help us determine each student’s placement level for reading. After this stage, the teachers will meet monthly with a consultant from Level Chinese. The consultant will assist teachers in implementing focused lesson plans and reading strategies, which will help students become strong independent Mandarin readers.
To learn more about this exceptional program, visit the Level Chinese website at http://www.levelchinese.com/
On November 9, two students from Shu Ren International School led by Ms. Jie Moore and Mr. Renjie Yan competed in the semi-annual Noetic Learning Math Contest.
Noetic Learning Math Contest is a national mathematics contest for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students' interest in math, to develop their problem solving skills, and to inspire them to excel in math.
More than 23,000 students representing 526 schools across the country took part in this fall’s contest.
The following Shu Ren students are our team winners!
Kali [Grade 4]
Alia [Grade 3]
The following Shu Ren students received National Honorable Mention. This title is awarded to approximately the top 50% of participating mathletes.
Kali [Grade 4]
Congratulations to all the winners! The contest results demonstrate our students’ great problem solving skills and math talents. They also show that our students can rise to the occasion and can meet the challenge.
More About Shu Ren Math Club
After talking to some teachers and parents we realize there is an interest in providing more opportunities for our students to explore challenging math. In Math Club, we aim to help students develop an understanding of the process involved in solving math problems. Although students are differentiated by grade levels, they learn to work collaboratively with one another to solve problems. During our time together we work on writing, analyzing, and solving math problems. As students develop stronger problem solving skills, we encourage them to participate in math competitions in Fall and Spring organized by Noetic Learning.
1. Ideal Club Members
G2-6 students, a max of 10 students
Students who have strong math skills for their grade level, love math and problem solving, and want to go to a higher level. This is not a remedial math class.
Students nominated by teachers or parents to be a member of the team
- The next session will begin February 14 to June 6 on Tuesdays, 3:10-4:00pm
- We may provide an initial assessment of students who sign up to ensure a good fit
- Students will build math skills by utilizing the Noetic learning resources (http://www.noetic-learning.com/gifted/index.jsp)
- The club will participate in math contests twice a year (November and April, http://www.noetic-learning.com/mathcontest/index.jsp). This spring's test is on April 6.
- The math problems will be primary in English from Noetic Learning but there would be Chinese materials as well. We will be using both English and Chinese in our meeting.
- We hope to make this a long-term part of our after-school program for Shu Ren.
3. Team leader and advisors
- Jie is the current Team Leader and our Grade 3/4 Chinese teacher Mr. Jerry will be another advisor.
- Advisors are teachers, administrators or parents who love math themselves and are willing to volunteer to develop our students' love and passion for math.
- The role of advisors is to work with students in small groups to solve problems in their weekly assignments provided by Challenge Math Online at Noetic Learning.
- We want to see a strong commitment from the students and from advisors to meet weekly.
- The best way to learn math is by solving problems. Lots and lots of problems and so we want club members mentally prepared to be challenged. They should not be afraid of not knowing the answer or making mistakes.
- The goals are to learn skills & strategies to solve math problems; develop passion and love for math and demonstrate commitment to challenge himself/herself. The focus is not on comparing test scores or compares how many problems one can solve.
Chinese New Year is right around the corner, and our Pre-K children have been exploring this traditional Chinese celebration through a variety of learning activities! All Pre-K classrooms began inquiring into the Chinese New Year by listening to traditional Chinese New Year story books《斗年兽》,《过年啦》,《团圆. By exploring these stories, they learned how people celebrate Chinese New Year, what kind of traditional food people eat, how people celebrate Chinese New Year, and what kind of lucky phrases people say to each other during Chinese New Year.
The Pre-K2 children inquired the Chinese zodiac animals. They had great fun picking their favorite animal and playing the animal game while wearing their favorite animal costume. They enjoyed acting as different animals by roaring like a tiger; hopping like a bunny, barking like a dog, etc. Through the game they learned the Chinese name of the twelve Chinese zodiacs. while developing their creativity, self-confidence, and gross motor skills.
2018 is the year of the dog and to celebrate this special animal the Pre-K3 children engaged in an art project that utilized their sense of touch. To get started the students chose a picture of a dog they liked from a collection of images. They then used cubes to cover the picture, creating a an interesting 3-D effect. Finally, the children discussed the color choices for their dog before they painted their 3-D artwork. The activity sparked curiousity and prompted students to inquire more deeply about the year of the dog. One child wondered: “为什么是狗, 不是猫? ” (Why it’s a dog but not a cat?) They will continue to find out more about the other signs of the zodiac in the coming weeks!
The Pre-K3 children worked with their teacher to make Chinese New Year greeting phrases by gluing red and gold ribbons on the strokes of the Chinese characters.
The Pre-K4 students have shown a great interest in watching the traditional dragon and lion dance performances. Driven by their curiosity, the children worked together with their teachers to make a Chinese dragon with recycled materials and a long piece of red fabric. The children enjoyed using crepe paper to decorate the Chinese dragon and were very excited to parade with their dragon across the University Campus!
After listening to an traditional Chinese New Year story “年与夕Nian and Xi”, the children in Pre-K4 decided to write their own Chinese New Year couplets for decorating the classroom!
Imagine that you have been asked to make a list of goals for the president. What would those goals be?
That is the prompt that our primary school students received just yesterday! Students dug deep and wrote some moving messages to the President that truly reflected their hopes, fears, and engagement with the world around them!
Students focused on a number of issues such as immigration, healthcare, housing, and animal rights:
"Currently there are approximately one million immigrants are in the US. Of those one million, ninety thousand of them have either no housing or healthcare." (Grade 5)
"Please help animals" (Grade 1)
Some students asked the President to think critically: "Think about all the ideas you have, is it good for our world? Really think about it." (Grade 2)
Others wanted to hear his thoughts on current topics: "I wish you the best of luck. Please tell me your thought on climate change" (Grade 4)
A growth mindset is a phrase that was coined by Dr Carol Dweck and her research colleagues at Stanford University. Put simply, a growth mindset is the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed. Dweck and her team of researchers observed how thousands of children responding to failure, noticing that some students rebounded while others seemed devastated by the simplest setback giving rise to the terms growth and fixed mindset. Research has shown that students with a growth mindset recognize that it is time and effort that leads to improvement and achievement. To find out more about Dr Carol Dweck’s research, please visit https://www.mindsetworks.com/.
At the Jefferson campus, the idea of a growth mindset was explored through a series of assemblies. The students learned that success is like an iceberg, in that people only tend to see the successful finished product and not the larger part that is under the surface, including the mistakes, failure, dedication and commitment. The students then went on to write on a large, shared piece of paper about something they have not learned yet, before their peers went on to write words of encouragement for them. Literature was used to support the younger students by reading Todd Parr’s book, It’s Okay to Make Mistakes. In it, students learned that it is okay to get upset and that it is okay to get mixed up as we have friends to cheer us up and help us. At the end of the assembly the students took a gallery walk around the auditorium to read different phrases and sentences related to mistakes and mistake making. The clear favorite was a quote from Albert Einstein, who said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” The students are excited about trying lots of new things over the course of the 2017 - 2018 school year.