How far we have come!
This week, I have been spending time with the teachers to discuss pupil progress and the response of pupils to life at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai during their first full month. As one would expect, the returning pupils settled in to life as if they had never been away for a summer break. The new children in EY2, 3 and 4 have, to their credit, modelled their behaviour on others and settled quickly, so much so that is has astonished the adults around them. Then there’s EY1 – what a journey they have travelled thus far! Our youngest and most dependent pupils have demonstrated a willingness and strength of character which has quickly resulted in them forging new friendships, developing increased independence, responsibility and an inquisitive mind. Jean Jin, EY1 teacher presented photos of the Dragonfly pupils which reflect the personal and group progress made:
Independence after snack time – the pupils need little help clearing away
Sharing, considering alternatives and working together to get the animals clean!
Taking on the role of the teacher to share knowledge to peers (bilingually, would you believe?)
Improvising when the rain started and inviting friends to shelter together whilst heading inside
Creating wonderful pieces of art work alongside friends and peers
A golden and musical week of National Day celebrations – PeiHua Wang and Sarah Peel, music and movement teachers
Music from across China was the highlight of music and movement activities this week. The sounds of traditional instruments and songs filled the room as we explored instrument play-along, singing and expressive movement. The children focused on 笛子 and 古筝 and learned a new song for National Day. Marching and parades were an exciting part of our learning this week. Today, our first ever EY4 National Day Parade took place through the setting, created and lead by the children.
Please note that we will welcome pupils and families back to Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai on Monday 9th October 2017. We wish all our Wellington families happy National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival
Encouraging children to develop narratives and explanations by connecting ideas and events in stories, William Green
Literacy acts in Early Years involve more than merely reciting a text, viewing pictures on the page or learning new vocabulary. Literacy is a dynamic process, which not only involves an individual and a text, but rather a phenomenon simultaneously involving ‘social, cultural, and linguistic acts’ (Cummins, 2005). With this understanding in mind, the purpose of this article will be to demonstrate how parents can develop children’s language abilities through exploring text and print resources (e.g. picture books) to develop and scaffold children’s language abilities.
Given the fact that ‘language and literacy development begins within the home and through family experiences’, many researchers have suggested that parents use stories to serve as a foundation for discussions, with evidence suggesting a positive correlation with gains in language and literacy development in early years (Jimenez, 2006 & Sehlaoul, 2008).
Researchers involved in the Jimenez study (2006) introduced parents to six shared reading strategies which parents may wish to try at home:
- Connecting with the text. (e.g. Are you like the main character or different?)
- Praising and encouraging child’s responses.
- Asking more elaborate and well-developed questions. (e.g. What do you think of the main character?)
- Scaffolding the child’s responses by adding new ideas and more details. (e.g. I wonder if Jack grows beans on the farm? What do you think Jack might grow?)
- Speculating about future events in the story (e.g. I wonder what will happen next?)
- Introducing new vocabulary amongst existing (e.g. He is very happy and excited)
The researchers found that, in line with previous research, children’s production of the target language increased as parents implemented the various learning strategies. In addition, the researchers found that parents were more likely to give their children time to speak during reading sessions as their competencies in the techniques and strategies increased. The most frequently used strategies by the parents were number (1) and number (3) listed above. The researchers conjecture that these two strategies were the most frequently used because they “were also the most rewarding” in terms of assisting children by further scaffolding the development of their linguistic skills. In short, by asking simple questions and affording children the opportunity to speak and be listened to, children’s language development is supported.
In conclusion, parents can benefit from having children talk about the stories that are read at home while extending their children’s ideas and understanding about key concepts that appear in stories. The secret to success in developing children’s language as they talk about their favourite stories lies in the following types of intervention:
- Allow children to be autonomous and decide which books would be read and what would be discussed in those books.
- Make ‘declarative statements’ and allow children the chance to respond to those statements.
- Ask both open-ended and closed questions and give children time to respond to those questions.
- Scaffold a child’s response to the text or question by using more ‘advanced language’ or demonstrating more ‘complex’ versions of the child’s utterances (Lim & Cole, 2002).
- Cummins, J. (2005). Teaching for cross-language transfer in dual language education:
- Jimenez, T. (2006). Shared reading within Latino families: an analysis of reading interactions and language use. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 431-452.
- Lim, Y. & Cole, K. (2002). Facilitating first language development in young Korean children through parent training in picture book interactions. Bilingual Research Journal, 26(2), 213-227.
- Sehlaoul, A. (2008). Language learning, heritage, and literacy in the USA: The case of Arabic. Language, Culture, and Curriculum. 21(3), 280-291.
Classroom News for week beginning Monday 9th October 2017
EY1 – Erica Ni writes about the theme Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
During the last week of theme Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, EY1 children will review the names of colours, animals and shapes through various activities. During circle time every morning, we will keep getting to know our friends and counting how many children are there today. We are going to make some colourful flowers with tissue paper. We are also going to make houses and feed food for the animals that we like. We will try to use our hand prints to make gold fishes. We will also continue exploring shapes by using blocks to create different structures.
We are reading: Brown bear brown bear what do you see, 山田家的气象报告、小手不是用来打人的
We are singing: If you are happy and you know it, Pat Your Head, Big and Small, Lions and Tigers, One Little Finger, Five Little Ducks, 两只老虎、小星星、找朋友、一根手指变变变
A note from the EY1 team: Parent practitioner conference will be held from 9th of October to 13th of October. Parents who come in the morning will meet teachers in the music room, parents who come in the afternoon will meet teachers in Dragonfly class. Please attend the meeting according to the schedule time and let teachers know in advance if you won’t be able to make it. We wish you have a great holiday and happy Mid-Autumn festival.
EY2 – Vivian He writes about the theme 10 little fingers, 10 little toes
This week, we will revise our numbers (1-8). Children will have the opportunity to engage in several activities about numbers. For example, children will be able to make their own number cards. We will also play a number game on the playground where children will be able to run to number when they hear it called out in English. In addition, we will also continue to learning about shapes. We will engage in such activities as making our own pictures by using different shapes. We will use shapes to make patterns in our pictures.
We are reading: 10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes, Ship Shapes, Counting at the Park, Counting in the Forest, 十个手指和十个脚趾、小玻会数数、快来数数吧、比尔熊和形状
We are singing: 手指歌、一、二、三、五只鸭子、5 Little Monkeys, 5 Little Ducks, One Little Finger, We will also review the songs that we learned in this theme.
EY3 – Nicole Liu writes about the theme All About Me
“Family is the most important thing in the world.”– Princess Diana
After the National Holiday, we will come back to look at family theme as part of All About Me topic. The children will talk about their mum and dad and what gift they’d like to give to their parents. They will learn about the similarity and the differences of houses and how to clean them. The children will be learning to compare height of family members and looking at a Chinese poem, “What’s a family?”
We will also be creating a collaborative piece of art work called Family Tree as well as planting their own tree. We will be asking the children to build a representation of their homes using construction materials and clay.
We are reading: 《我妈妈》、《身体的秘密》、《我的假期》、《一点点》、Who’s In My Family by Robie H. Harris
We are singing: 《家族歌》、《问早歌曲》、《星期歌》、This is Me
Special dates: Parent-Practitioner Consultations take place this week. Please sign up for a time using the sheet outside Flamingo Class.
A note from the EY3 team: Autumn is approaching. Feel free to collect some fallen leaves and bring back to class and we will talk about plants and the Autumn season.
EY4 – Emily Gu writes about the theme Me and My World
We will decorate our Role Play Area as a Birthday party.
Children will talk about their experiences of inviting people to a party or being a guest visiting others’ places. Children will try to make their own invitation and thank you card. We will also talk about families and how each family is unique. Also we will also explore the numbers in our real life e.g. numbers in address, telephone numbers…
We are reading: 《我要开派对》、《生日聚会》、One snail is ten frogs, Families, families, families by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang, Who is in my family? By Robie H. Harris
We are singing: 《打电话》、《我爱我的家》，Finger family, Range of counting songs (10 little Indians, 5 little ducks, 10 in the bed, etc)
Special dates: Practitioner and Parents Evening10/9-10/13
A note from the EY4 team: Please take your child to the playground next to Canteen before 8.30, if the weather and air is OK. And make sure your child is arrived on time by 8.30 every day.
Music and Movement – PeiHua and Sarah write about life in the music space
EY1 – This week our EY1 classes will be busy with a new colour song, a steady beat play along with Chinese traditional music, and playing with creative animal movements to music. We will also read Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle. This companion book to the classroom theme book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? is a wonderful way to explore vocal play and improve our listening skills.
EY2 – We’ll review our songs from September, adding more body percussion and movement to these now familiar songs. Music is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3 and we’ll begin new songs that highlight counting, sequencing, and other key math and logic concepts. Expressive movement with scarves will also be a highlight this week.
EY3 – Our EY3 children love to be independent and are learning to make healthy choices. This week we will sing new songs to support self-care and healthy eating, as well as review the songs we learned together in September. Traditional Chinese music will also be a highlight for movement and instrument play along as we prepare to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival.
EY4 – Our EY4 students have learned so much in a short time. This week we will review our favourite songs and continue to explore Chinese traditional music in preparation for Mid-Autumn Festival. A new English song celebrating the children of the world will also be introduced this week.
We are reading:
EY1 – Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle
EY4 – 玛丽的新家
We are singing:
EY1 – I See You, 颜色歌
EY2 – 数字歌, Numbers Rhumba
EY3 – Brush Your Teeth, 悯农, 我的身体部位律动
EY4 –玛丽的新家之《秋之歌》, Hello to All the Children of the World
Special dates: We are delighted that our year group choirs will begin October 10th! Every week we will join together to sing and share the songs we have been learning. Choir will be held in the Music Room. Please be sure your child arrives in time to participate in this very special year group activity.
EY1 – Tuesdays 8:30 – 9:00
EY2 – Wednesdays 8:30 – 9:00
EY3 – Thursdays 8:30 – 9:00
EY4 – Fridays 8:30 – 9:00
A note from music team: Are you a musician, dancer, or creative performer? WCCBS needs you! Our children are an enthusiastic and appreciative audience, and we would love to share your talents with them as we learn about music. Grandparents, family friends, and community members are welcome too! If you have a talent you would like to share, please e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we may be able to include you in our upcoming activities.