Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chinese New Year- February 3, 2011 + Technology Tips!

In our Scott Foresman Reading Series, we read "The Lady in the Moon". It's a Chinese story, and the students really struggle with understanding certain words and references throughout the story. Chinese New Year is a little earlier than we read the story, but the decorations are extra-festive so I don't mind having them up for a little while!

Super-easy Chinese Laterns
Easy-peasy steps:
1. Fold red construction paper in half (hot-dog style)
2. Starting at the center fold, use funky scissors to make cuts about 1 inch ap
art- stop cutting about 1 inch to the bottom of the paper.
3. Unfold the construction paper
4. Optional: Paint simple Chinese characters onto the lantern
5. Fold into lantern and staple
6. Embellish with goodies! We used sparkly pipe cleaners with beads. These were simply stapled to the bottom. Attach a ribbon across the top and you are finished!

The Chinese have a tradition of dying silk to form a picture called Batik. It normally uses hot wax and dye- you apply one color at a time. Disney (you know I'm a big fan of Disney, right?!) has fantastic craft section of their website. This is the link to the how-to student friendly batik making page. Here is a website with a video about Batik using glue that students can do! The Chinese lady (bottom picture) is an example of a Batik silk painting that I created.

Promethean Planet is a website for teachers with a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard. News Flash: You DON'T have to have a Promethean board to get the most out of this great website! Think of it as powerpoints on all your favorite stuff that teachers upload for free! You can download their FREE software, ActivInspire to open the files you can download off of Promethean Planet.

Bring in guest speakers as experts! Ask around and find a community member to come talk to your class.

Last year my class did a Skype session with my friend in Asia. The kids LOVED this- it was really cool. However, there is a slight time difference- he was talking to us at 11:30 pm his time! All I used for this was my computer with a webcamera.

Epals is a great way to connect with other classes from around the world. Think pen-pals gone high tech and global! Check out "The Way We Are" projects to align with social studies standards.
Why not visit China? Google Earth allows you to take amazing field trips and see read 360 degree street views! Talk about geography! We don't have a smart board, so we have to make do. Here, a student is up front "leading" the class with the pointer... but I'm actually controlling everything from a computer in the back of the room.

Videoconferencing is a new and exciting frontier! Check out what these schools in London did last year.
Don't forget to check out all the resources that you have access to. This super cool dragon was left over from a Scholastic Book Fair. He was sitting in a storage closet when I asked the librarian if he could live in our class for a month!

Most local libraries will let teachers go over the normal limits on books- my library lets me check out 25 at a time.

Be sure to read Lon Po Po, the Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. It's a Caldecott Medal Book!

Here is a great resource on Chinese New Year 2011

**New- create a painting with Chinese-themed colors! Using red construction paper as a base, swirl sparkly metallic gold paint and let the kids blow through a straw to spread the paint. Repeat with black paint. Next, I let them finish the sentence starter: "I think my painting looks like...". Mount onto black construction paper and display! :)

How do YOU celebrate multiculturalism in your class? -Or- What is your favorite technology to use? :)



What a great idea! Is "Treasures" your reading series?


Hey Abby! We use Scott Foresman's Reading Street. It has a lot of popular books included in it.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

Kristen @ All In My Twenties

being a teacher looks like so much fun!!!


It is a crazy fun, rewarding, exhausting, exhilarating career! I highly recommend it! :)

1st grade is the BEST because of all the cool stuff we get to do with our students.

Thanks for checking out the blog and leaving a comment! :D

Ms. A's Class

I love it! We use Reading Street too! This will be great to use when we get to that story.
Here is a link to an activity you can use next year with Reading Street.

Thanks for the great ideas!


Ms. A,
Thanks for dropping by! Great link I LOVE the tv screen- that had me cracking up! I will definitely be using your re-telling activity. Thanks for sharing! :)

Mrs. Pearce

What an engaging classroom you have! So happy to have found your blog!


Mrs. Pearce,
I'm glad you found my blog, too! :) Thanks for commenting!


I love this! I look forward to seeing your next post :)



Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I'll try to work on a new post soon. I've been distracted with reading this weekend. I read "Hunger Games" and then discovered a free way to read books online at So I read "Catching Fire" yesterday and finished it at about 2 am... Going back to school on Tuesday is going to be difficult to say the least! If I can get done with grading report cards and cleaning my house today, I may can squeeze in a new post soon! :)

Miss. Parten

I mentioned you in my Chinese New Year Unit post :)

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