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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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2012-07-07


by Liao,Bonnie on 2012-07-07

Dear Parents,

We got up at 7:15 and started learning the last kong-fu move from Duan Laoshi at 7:40. We are working hard to get ready for next week's two performances - one at the Beijing Sheng Ji Art School and the other at a senior center.

After lunch, we watched the movie "Invisible Wings," which tells the story of a girl who lost both of her arms at the age of 16. She learned to be self-reliant again using her feet to eat, brush her teeth, cook, sewing, use scisors, write Chinese caligraphy, and swim competitively, etc., and became a college student.

Here's the theme song of the movie:
http://resources.echineselearning.com/teens/teens-chinese-452.html, which we have learned yesterday on the bus. [Here's the new English version for your child once they get home: http://ent.163.com/11/1125/15/7JNDIIK100031H0O.html .]

We then learned the Chinese sign language for the song "gan3 en1 de xin1" (Thanksful Heart) (http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/Nrah69Tn4SI/ or http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/MpS0bDtgBtI/). Check it out! I wasn't sure if the kids, espeically the older boys, would consider it to be too "weired" to follow along. I asked them to consider this as part of their cultural experience. They first watched the kids in Sichuan sang it after the earthquake in 2008 thanking the help and support they had received as well the kids at Beijing Guang Ai School singing it. To my nice surprise, they were very focused when it's time for them to follow the video. Very impressive!

Then we watched the MTV video for "Friends" and took a break.

At 4 p.m., we were going to start a new session of the Leadership workshop, but the kids had many questions about the movie and last night's show - being "inquisitive". So I tried my best to answer all of their questions.

The teachers had bought 100% orange juice for the kids. They emptied 25 (350 ml) bottles of spring water into the 5-gallon bottle for the cooler and poured the juice from the gallon jars into them so that each kid could have his/her own bottle of juice.

As one of the "rules," we rarely allow kids to buy soft drinks - only if they were willing to buy one instead of an ice-cream bar during field trips. Leo suggested that, with all my reasons for discouraging the kids to get "junky" drinks, I allow kids to buy pure juice. I've been encouraging kids to bring their ideas and suggestions to us even though that sometimes their ideas may result in feasible solutions that might not be exactly what they had in mind initially.

For instance, we have implemented Karen's two ideas - one is to let students participate in selecting the dishes for some meals and the other one is to buy fruit. We ended up buying peaches for all kids two days ago instead of letting them buy fruit individually for the ease of management.

After the "snack," we went over the 10 attibutes of the IB Learner's Profile and asked the kids to give themselves another assessment. Comparing with their self-assessment on the first day of the program, students have indicated that they have made progress in the following attributes:

Inquisitive
Risk-taking
Communitive
Reflective (most)
Caring
Balanced
Open-minded

Not much on:
knowledgable
principled
thinker

We got started with the topic "motivation and mindset for success," but by now, the juice has passed through their system and one after another, they needed a bio-break. :-) So we ended today's session at 5:20 and played Chinese yo-yo and attempted to learn "kicking feather" until 6:10 p.m.

Leo, Justin, Remy, and Kevin have been learning a few new tricks from the internet since the Chinese yo-yo teacher taught them a few to start. The other kids were practicing the basic moves in these boys' background - for their performances next week.

Reflection: (Rachel's off for two days visiting her family)

There have been more and more kids willing to offer sharing their written reflections. Therefore today I wanted to try letting kids "jump in" themselves instead of raising their hands. After all, in the "real world," one would just simply say, "I'll share" or "I'll go" and start sharing.

When I used to work in the corporate, at times I'd find it difficult for me to "jump in" psychologically. So I believe this would be a good practicing opportunity for most of the kids.

It worked REALLY well! They all shared in a rather orderly fashion - even little Ethan (9), who had been asking me to read his writing rather than reading it himself, would put his notebook in front of me and quickly ran away to signal that he wanted me to "jump in" for him. :-)

Kevin said that he was impressed by the movie as the main character (Zhi Hua) can do a lot of things that he cannot do. Pringgo and Frances felt grateful for having both arms. Pringgo also said that one has to try to know what's possible. Rebecca heard that the father told the mother that by helping their daughter too much would be hurting her in the future when they both died and she thought that it's true in raising healthy kids as well. Eileen found the movie "inspiring" as the Zhi Hua could do "all those things."

Sarah, Tatum, Karen, and Julia all talked about the hardship the ancient solidiers and builders must have suffered in defending the country and building the Great Wall as it's very tiring just to climb the short distance with the benefit of stone stairs! Julia realized that she must have been to the Great Wall five times, but this was the first time she'd ever thought about it.

Seehanah mentioned that, while walking up to the Great Wall, Zong Laoshi told her that many people died of exhaustion while building the Great Wall.

Evita enjoyed the dance show last night very much as she felt that the modern dance movements used in the show were easier for her to comprehend.

Leo was amazed by last night's show and wondered how much time the dancers must have put in to make it look good.

Naranndra was pleased to receive his teacher's comment on his significant progress in learning Chinese.

Natalie(10) was intriged by the rock-formation cave that we pass through at the beginning of our climb to the Great Wall. Surprised that the formation was all made by nature and thought we should take care of the Earth so its beauty would last!


Regards,
Bonnie

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