Stroke Orders

When you starting to learn Chinese, you will find out to pronounce it out is not difficult (many people can say:Ni Hao) but later you will find the Chinese writing system is complex. Some think as long as they can write the character, the stroke order is not important. People only read your words not read your writing procedure. That true but stroke orders are  very important too. It shows the evolvement of the character changes through years and it also can helps learners to understand the natural flow of characters. It will eventually helps you to form the right writing habits too.

I want to share some of the tips below:

1 Top to bottom 

2 Left to right 

3 Symmetry counts 

4 Horizontal first, vertical second

5Enclosures before content

6 Close frames last

7 Character spanning strokes last

Anyway ,if you form the correct stroke order writing habits all the characters you  learned you will find them easy. Practice makes prefect.

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Morning Meetings

As we all know students and teachers crave a certain amount of predictability and routine in the school day, especially at the start of the day. The format of morning meetings provides this predictability while allowing room for variations and change. Meetings reflect the style and flavor of individual teachers and groups. They also reflect the ebb and flow of a school year’s season-like right now is December’s pre-vacation excitement. I adjust the morning meetings from the design of my smart board to the context of the activity. That helps a lot to clam the students down while maintain the spirit of the holiday at the same time.

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Unforgettable Experience 

Hong Lei, the General Council of Chicago Embassy of China is coming to visit our Confucius Institute this week, and blizzard hits Saint Cloud at the same day.

Because of the bad weather, their visit to our school is cancelled. Both my students and me are very disappointed. But then I went to the Panel and received a lot of inspiration thoughts. After the lecture, we went to have dinner with the Council group. They are all very patient and treat me like family. We all felt welcome and belonging together. 

I will treasure this memory forever!

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Academic Choice

Since my students are all get the routines well, I begin thinking to challenge themselves. So the method of Academic Choice is just right.

When we build a safe and supportive community and then offer students guieded choices about their academic learning, they frequently choose work that’s neither too easy nor too difficult, but just challenging enough to be engaging and motivating. Academic Choice is a structured way of giving children these kinds of confidence and competence-building experiences. 

So next week I plan to provide them a lot of task that they can choose and finish by their own.

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Culture Experience 

As a Chinese teacher, introducing cultural customs is just as important as teaching literacy itself. But being in America I experienced cross culture more than just one way teaching.

Respect each other’s culture is the basic rule to teach. So this week I had a wonderful American Halloween experience. 

I can not explain Americans enthusiasm about Halloween and their fond of pumpkin but I am really enjoy the spirit of celebrating each holiday seriously and always treat children with joy. 

We learned the life cycle of a pumpkin in Chinese. And made paper pumpkins in the class. Once my students felt their holiday is welcomed by me. They will more accept to learn my culture too.

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Games

Last two weeks we have 8days in total. Because of the MEA conference. So we reviewed the pinyin and build new games to make the review not as boring as it used to be.

The purpose of the game is to remenber the Chinese characters. So I divide 5people in one group. Four of them are making characters by their body. And the other is guessing what is the character. All the students is very concentrate and creative. They love the game very much.

The other game is much easier. Using blocks to build the characters. I think the game can also played by the playdoo.

Anyway, as long as the game can help students to remember what they learned, it’s a good game. I am trying to be more creative.

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Routines

Time runs fast, and the first six weeks of school has already finished. When I begin to teaching as a leading teacher,I knew the first six weeks is very important for the whole school year. It present us with a wonderful opportunity to help students transaction smoothly back into school routines and start to connected with each other.

So I set up routines in Chinese for my students to follow. The routines exist everywhere. The routines come with word directions that we repeated everyday. For our classroom, in the carpet we have :”双腿双腿盘盘坐,眼睛眼睛看老师,嘴巴嘴巴不说话,举手举手答问题。”it means sit with cross legs, eyes on teachers, hands up to answer questions. As the routines set up well the classroom manage becomes much more easier and students are more focused because they feel safe and become more confident in the familiar environment.

In a word the first six weeks is a challenge but both my students and me did a great job. With the routines set up, I am sure we can be more creative in the future.

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