Monday, August 31, 2009

Last day of August

We started working with our calendar today. We went over days of the week in Chinese, and looked at how a calendar works.

Days of the week in chinese begin with "xing qi__" and then add in the number for whichever day of the week it is.

Monday= xing qi yi (day one)
Tuesady= xing qi er  (day two )
Wednesday= xing qi san (day three etc..)
Thursady= xing qi si
Friday= xing qi wu
Saturday= xing qi liu
Sunday= xing qi ri

So because your children already know how to count, days of the week are pretty simple.

We also counted numbers and compared quantities (boys and girls etc).

Girl= nu sheng
Boy= nan sheng

You can help your child practice the sentence "wo shi_____"  (I am_____) and put in the correct term.

Finally, we are still working on rules and appropriate behavior. Keep encouraging your child to try their hardest to listen and pay attention so they and everyone else can be a good learner. Review with them what that might look like and sound like, and why they might want to be a good learner.

Friday, August 28, 2009


They've made it through the first week!! And I'm sure they're exhausted. But they made it.

Today we reinforced the names of family members (keep reviewing it with them at home) and learned a new song. 

These are the words:

Lai lai lai, pengyou men  (Come come come, friends)
Wo men da jia yi qi (all of us together)
lai chang ge (come and sing)

lai tiawu (come and dance)
zuo youxi (play games)
Wo men da jia yi qi (all of us together)
xue zhong wen (learn Chinese)

-remember the x is said like sh-

Some words you might hear them (or encourage them to) say

Peng you --friend
dui bu qi --sorry
zuo xia-- sit down
hen hao-- very good
hen bang!!--awesome
jia you--keep it up/way to go/you can do it

Ask your children to say it for you so you can hear the right tones.

 Also.....I haven't sent home a note yet about this blog, and I know I don't have everyone's email addresses, so feel free to spread the word, and I'll get a note home Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday (星期四)

Alrighty. Today we were working again on family members, numbers and colors.

In chinese, each member has a different title.
Mom= Mama
Older brother=Gege
Older sister=Jiejie
Younger brother= Didi
Younger sister=Meimei

You can ask them to tell you the names of each person in your family.

We shared about our own families, some using pictures, others words, as we counted how many of each member. We have a board in the classroom where these pictures will be hung, and should be back to you in two weeks. Your children were all so excited to talk about you. They love you very much :)

It has definitely been a challenge helping them to understand what behaviors are expected and appropriate in the Chinese classroom. I love all these kids and understand it must be very confusing and tiring for them especially right at first, but I know we can get it down so that I am not spending so much time quieting everyone down and getting attention back. It will require lots of practice and building of good habits.

Next week I would love to have a parent in the room for some time both morning and afternoon so each class can have an English speaker present making sure they understand what I'm asking them to do and we can work together to get these good habits down. 

A little p.s. One good website I've found for some useful things on both Chinese language and culture is 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It begins!!

It has begun. Excitement, anxiety, disbelief, brief glorious moments of understanding, overwhelmed. They've felt it all these past two days as they try to figure out what exactly is going on in this Chinese classroom they now spend half the day in.

For the most part, all are handling it incredibly well, and soaking up and then using bits of Chinese at an inspiring rate. The main issues have been maintaining focus and listening while I teach them in this foreign tongue. If you can talk with your child about how to listen in class, reviewing what is and isn't appropriate even when they can't understand it all, it might help get us into good habits more quickly and then on to better chinese learning.

Today we focused on how to say "I love____" attached to various members of the family. They should know names of all family members. We've been reviewing things learned at Starcamp (numbers, colors etc) as well as explaining and practicing procedures (lining up quietly, how to sit at the rug).

We also did some simple math in Chinese, combining groups of objects and counting out the result.

You can ask your child to sing you a song, they should know 3 or 4 by now. They are also starting to become more familiar with simple phrases such as "Thank you" and "I'm sorry." form the book we're reading together.