23.05.2015

Lucky chinese bamboo numbers

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Some considerations for my lesson choices are attention level, daily mood, level of difficulty, cultural context, repetition technique, situational conversations, association with visual Pinyin, and time I have to spare at each sitting. The Chinese New Year holiday has come and gone (boohoo!), ending with the Lantern Festival on February 22nd. We participated in another successful and festive event at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. I think my friend from Chengdu was happy to have lively and friendly company on the new year. The Maine Chinese Conference was such a worthwhile event, spearheaded by a lovely dynamo of a lady named Jing Zhang.
The foliage is still splendid in Maine, and the apple trees are weighted down with the last weeks of their bounty.
But just a few weeks ago I was far from New England, in the San Francisco Bay Area taking a long overdue trip to visit several close friends.
The Newport Cultural Center near Bangor, Maine hosted a Chinese craft and culture activity time at their multi-purpose center and library. Then off to Hartford, CT for the Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival which I attended for the first time two years ago. I’m jumping in here with a brief post to announce the launch of my (first ever) crowdfunding campaign for craft kits with the Crowdtivate platform. Now is a good time to think about summer camps, teacher gifts, grandparent activities, end of school gifts, and all the ways Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts; Over 100 Projects & Ideas Celebrating Chinese Culture can be a part of the fun!
I also had a fun activity day early in the month volunteering with my daughter in a Portland after-school program (which we do twice a month). I hope no matter which calendar you follow, you have gotten as positive a fresh start to the year as I have, and find many ways to enjoy being creative with your family, friends and students. Now that we are back in gear after school break, I have some lesson plan suggestions for Chinese New Year in the classroom as you begin your planning. A good approach to keep students engaged is to include the following five pieces (I will not do four- it is an unlucky number- did you know that?). 1) History- Start with a brief historical overview about the meaning and significance of the holiday.
2) Food- Any teacher knows if you offer something edible, you get a captive crowd (actually that is true for many situations?).
5) Giveaway- Hong Bao (lucky money red envelopes) are inexpensive in solid packs and a nice gift (in the spirit of the holiday) for your students. For specific ideas, instructions and templates, I encourage you to add Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts to your resource library! I’m going to resort to a riff and ramble here, in the wedge between fall activities and starting to approach the holidays. Talking about Portland, Maine, it continues to grow in a good direction with a few new restaurants that serve up darn good dumplings and Asian fare.
Stay warm (or cool, depending on your locale) and enjoy the swiftly approaching leap into a time of holidays, friends, family, food, gratitude and peace… in other words everything the gifts of the season mean to you.
It has high decoration value indoor with good shape, can be planted in water, it is very beautiful and clean. But his lessons are done well with thoughtfully organized content, and as he writes on his whiteboard, you feel you are right in his garage(!) with him.
The girls did monkey papercuts (we always like to include this ritual), and we had Kung Pao Chicken on the menu, along with bowls overflowing with oranges and tangerines. It must be a hard time to be apart from her family in a place like Maine where so few celebrate the important occasion.
I hope to energize my craft activities this spring and summer and will (literally) keep you posted! I have a job I enjoy in project management, I’m raising a wonderful thirteen-year-old (yes, I even like her when she refuses to look up from her iPhone), and I have a cherished circle of friends that are anchors in my life. This time of year never gets routine for me, as I drive along and see the doorways dotted with bright orange pumpkins and the frosty mornings give way to golden, glowing afternoons.
A leisurely day in Chinatown was at the top of my list and my wonderful friends Andrea and Dan were ready to rally.


I look forward to being part of the synergy of foreign language educators, professionals from China, exchange program directors, and Chinese culture experts from around the globe.
The summer program kids and other local library visitors in that area do not get much exposure to other cultures outside Maine rural life so it was very satisfying to share what I could about China. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, and the Year of the Monkey (as much as I don’t want to think about February in New England) will be my focus for planning some events and designing some new crafts. I was very lucky to have support from my Singapore friends with putting it together and getting it live. In Maine I should add a few more exclamation points this year… whew we have had a long wait. I’m starting small, selecting a few specific craft designs and offering some materials and partial assembly so crafters can dive right in. This is a great teaching point for educators and many projects and activities can tie into the celebration.
My dear friends hosted me and my daughter (now almost thirteen) to an amazing week of great company, adventures, food and culture.
It was exciting to teach our young Somali friends about the celebration of the Lunar New Year. I point this out because for most districts, this will fall during February break so you will want to celebrate the week of the 9th, or hold off until the end with the Lantern Festival falling on March 5th.
If you have an easy projection method, any part of your lesson can be supported with images and videos. This could be as elaborate as dumpling making, or as simple as giving out almond cookies… but either way, discussing the traditional foods of a Chinese New Year banquet and their symbolism should be part of the plan. If you want a group activity, making a giant dragon dance head is a good activity to preface a parade around the school. Our weather is changing too but thankfully not with the vicious weather pattern around the country right now.
But I was able to spend an evening with our Commander-in-Chief as he offered up support for our gubernatorial candidate.
These spots are long overdue in my opinion, and although they have a bit of a fusion sensibility in menu and lack the hard-core Chinese cooking my family often craves… we’ll take it!
The Year of the Goat (or Ram, or Sheep?) will be a great opportunity to do crafts with kids and celebrate! We offer a top selection of lucky bamboo and other easy-care good luck plants that do well in any light conditions, ready to ship at a moment's notice from you. There are so many good ways to take on the study of a new language, and you’ve read about my foray into learning Mandarin.
Chung has a well-paced and articulate style and you can download free podcasts or subscribe. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep at it with the hope that you can teach an old dog (or middle-aged mom?) new tricks. Kuaile de chuntian! What made it extra special was the inclusion of a visiting kindergarten teacher from Chengdu that is a wonderful new friend. The conference area was packed with educators, language specialists and business leaders that had a common commitment to offering more language opportunities and cultural partnerships in Maine. Check out my Pinterest pages too… lots of food, craft and culture pins to help you plan your projects and events.
It’s the perfect time to get together with friends and family for crafts (which make great gifts), and to also make some goals to learn something new or explore a long-held passion more deeply.
We wandered for hours, and each shop, business and historical building was rich with culture and tradition and fueled my curiosity. I’ll be walking the crafty side of the aisle, and will contribute my experiences of bringing crafts into the Chinese language classroom.
My daughter doesn’t go back to school until after Labor Day, of course falling late this year.
And with my daughter by my side leading the origami table, this proud mama also got to interject a bit about adoption and being a multicultural, multi-race family.
Along with leading the craft tables, I made sure to spend some time watching the dragon boat races, enjoying the performances and eating delicious Asian fare. But I can now divert attention away from frigid weather and vitamin D deficiency and think crafts again.
As an educator, you are also probably web-savvy and can do research for your particular class.


Each one of these good luck plants has true fascination - the braided money plant for its intriguing trunk, the pony tail plant for its unusual umbrella of falling stems, the bonsai sago palm for being just what a palm should look like, and of course the lime tones and subtly changing shape of the lucky bamboo, which will thrive almost anywhere. Lucky bamboo is probably the star best known for good luck, and is as beloved by people as by China's panda bears, who demand bamboo as their primary diet. An event like this really helps me see where I belong- with these likeminded people sharing ideas, educational tools… and food!
I never tire of learning about the artifacts, artwork, symbols and products that are quintessentially Chinese. There will also be exhibitors offering everything from Mandarin tools to educational opportunities both here and in China. Maybe if I hang around with my thirteen-year-old more I can pick up some camera and editing skills. New England has NOT been the nicest place to live this winter, and the escape from the bitter cold and unrelenting series of blizzards made the trip all that more sweet.
With this event, I learned (again) that a single strong concept and very simple craft can be fun and engaging for all ages.
Include common ancient folklore such as the story of Nian the monster (great for younger kids) as well as the meaning behind the lunar zodiac, dances, parades and respectful time and rituals with family. I think the most important piece is framing how this holiday fits into a multicultural world, and how extremely significant it is to Chinese people, where ever they call home. This time of year also offers all sorts of crafty fairs from church lunches to uber-cool art college holiday markets…. Size varies, with the large money tree poised to grown up the 36" - it can become a floor plant.When selecting one of these plants, note the unique containers carefully chosen for each plant. Because bamboo is fast-growing and highly renewable, you need not worry about the environment being poached.
After a sumptuous dim sum lunch I gathered up my Chinatown purchases (research, right?) and headed back over the Bay Bridge with my friends. You will find that sharing the Lunar New Year with your students will tick many curriculum boxes and most of all, will be loads of fun!
Gold rings accent the bamboo plant and assure its upright growth.However, don't stop there when thinking about this group, all known as plants for good luck. I’m so impressed with the huge variety of great teachers and language lists that can be accessed so easily. We adapted it slightly (fewer cuts and a tracing paper liner) and gave away a tea light with the lantern.
Sleeves rolled up and relaxed, he did not disappoint and the energy in the room was charged.
Money tree obviously has a positive association, and its braided trunk never loses interest. I have not drilled down much with getting subscriptions because I simply can’t decide on one site I want to follow sequentially.
The ponytail plant is a most intriguing shape, similar to weeping willows, and the sago bonsai exults in lush, ferny lines. So enjoy choosing among our irresistible good luck plants, each further enhanced by just the right container for both growth and artistry.If there is a child in the household receiving the plant you will send, they love each and every one of the good luck plants.
As I advance, this may get frustrating and if so, I’ll get more structured with one or two complete courses in earnest.
For younger children we are a bit partial to the river rock lucky bamboo and bonsai sago because you can follow what the roots as well as the tops are doing. Way fun for kids and adults.These good luck plants originated in the Far East, where they have been revered for good fortune properties for centuries. Our lucky bamboo comes from original stock in Taiwan, and is an exceptionally long-lived plant requiring almost no care. Sago palm is celebrated as a no-fail plant, great for beginners, and our bonsai sago is special.



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