The shortest month of the year has just concluded, but despite the fact that it was the shortest month, so much went on in our classroom! We started February off with our celebration of the Chinese New Year, and ended it with fun visits by class parents to teach us a little more about their respective home countries. It was definitely a fun-filled month!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
We welcomed the year of the pig with a bang, as we had a whole day full of fun and exciting activities prepared by the Mandarin department to ring in the New Year. Children from Early Years and Elementary also held a program of various Chinese dances and demonstrations.
The first activity of the day was the Lion Dance, which is a yearly tradition at CISM. The entire school community gathers by the driveway to watch as the Lion Dancers perform. After this, the children all go back to their rooms, and wait for the Lions to come and “eat” the ang pao that was left for them on our door frame.
The rest of the day was spent in workshops learning about the different provinces of China. The children were able to do some arts and crafts, as well as taste the different food offered in the various provinces they learned about.
As part of our Science lessons, the children have been learning about Food Chains and how the food chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Should one link from the food chain be weakened or disappear, there is a great effect to those particularly that rely on it for food.
We explored the concept of food chains in various ways, such as role playing, drawing out food chains, and creating food chain crafts.
Happy Hearts Day
It is traditional in my class to celebrate Valentine’s Day by talking about kindness and showing love not just to those we hold dear, but to everyone we meet. We usually start of by talking about compliments, particularly what a compliment is and what it is not.
After that discussion, we have what is called the “compli-mat” activity, in which each child is given a “compli-mat” where they write their names in the heart, place the mat on their table, and then the children spend time going around to each other’s mats, writing compliments for their friends. It’s definitely a reaffirming activity, and one that helps them see the good in others, and see the good that others see in them too.
As a culminating activity for our lessons on India — which is still a part of our home countries study — some parents came in to teach us a traditional game, as well as show us and help us make a traditional Indian dish.
The children had a lot of fun playing the game, and in fact were disappointed that we didn’t have more time to play it.
It was fun to watch the children make and try the Indian snack as they were quite excited about making it, but were also a little wary about trying new food. They were good sports though and most of them tried it, as we talked about not knowing if we like something or not if we don’t at least try it. A number of them enjoyed the dish, and asked for seconds