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EC 4 students have been learning about How We Express Ourselves in our unit about Celebrations.  When we started this unit, we discovered that it was Chinese New Year time, a perfect time to investigate the elements of the Chinese New Year celebration from different books in the library.  We also invited parents to be guest speakers to share how they celebrated Chinese New Year within their families. A lion dance performance in the gym supported this unit a lot. Students enthusiastically watched a live lion dance performance and connected it to the ones they saw in the books and from the videos. At last, the students decided to have a Chinese New Year celebration in the classroom. As thinkers, we applied the elements of Chinese New Year in our class celebration. We dressed up in red and cooked dumplings as one of special foods, and then finally enjoyed them together. Each student got to choose one Hang Pao from our lucky tree and instead of money, the students got fruit like bananas, apples, or oranges from the Hang Pao.

As we moved on to the learn about another celebration, the students inquired into one celebration that they were most excited for, a Birthday Celebration. As knowledgeable students, they discussed the elements of a birthday celebration and connected it with their own experience. By reading different birthday books, we developed more of an understanding about different items within a birthday celebration. Moreover, we worked cooperatively to make birthday decorations and to put those decorations around the classroom. We also expressed our creativity by making birthday cakes from recycled boxes. Students were reflective as they represented their birthday cakes by using different sizes of recycled boxes, and decorated them with various loose parts.  

As this unit is coming to an end, we would love to have a celebration of learning. Inspired by a book entitled Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, the students have an idea to have a class celebration to celebrate what they have learned. As communicators, we discussed what to prepare for the celebration during planning time. The students have shared some great ideas and have started making invitation cards for parents, the menu for dishes, decorations in the classroom and also games to add more fun. I am looking forward to having a fabulous celebration prepared by my wonderful students!

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