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A Celebration of Chinese Culture and Traditions

All about Lunar New Year

If you ask the staff members at Ya Ya what they miss the most about the experience they had back home, Lunar New Year celebration with family and friends would be on the top of the list. Personally, the last time I spent Lunar New Year with my family in Shanghai was 2015 so I was over the moon when I heard that it’s our team’s tradition to go above and beyond to make this most important Chinese festival extra memorable for our children at school. We were all grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate Lunar New Year as a big family.

The month-long celebration began with unfolding an original Lunar New Year story about a rabbit family written by our founding director. Throughout the entire topic study, children learned about the decorations, foods, and traditions related to the festival. They worked diligently on projects that encompass language, art, math, science, social studies and more to dive deep into the topic in a hands-on manner. As a result, our school was filled with meaningful work products created by the children which caught much attention during our final Lunar New Year Festival event with all enrolled families.

Join me on a stroll down memory lane to see everything the children have done during the past month through the slideshow below. CLICK the right arrow to enjoy the photos!

Activity Highlight

Process driven art activities are more than just creating a piece of artwork. They are opportunities for children to use materials and tools to present their original creative ideas while learning skills in different developmental areas. During the Lunar New Year topic study, the children in our Yellow Class learned about why people eat fish during the new year. As a follow up topic learning station activity, the children used Tangram pieces to create their own fish. Let’s dive into the details.

Tangram Fish Art Activity

Skills Children Learned:

  • Fine Motor: Working with glue sticks

  • Math: Developing the understanding of shapes by organizing the tangram pieces

  • Cognitive: Learning how to be persistent and expanding their attention span

  • Language: Building Mandarin vocabulary related to fish

The Process:

  1. First, children were shown a variety of real photos of fish

  2. Then, they expressed their own ideas of fish by putting together paper tangram pieces

  3. At last, the teacher asked each child to talk about their fish individually and documented their description in Chinese

The Creation:

Teacher Spotlight

Meet Olivia Laoshi, our Assistant Director and Head Teacher. Olivia believes that every child is a unique individual who can reach their full potential through a loving, engaging, and nurturing learning environment. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Olivia received her bachelor’s degree in Language and Creative Writing from National Taipei University of Education. She also holds an M.S. in Educational Psychology from SUNY at Albany. Olivia is a reader, a world traveler who enjoys exploring different places and cultures. After finding her true passion in teaching children, Olivia is currently pursuing another Master's degree in Early Childhood Education.

Olivia Laoshi in Action - Reading the story of the 12 Zodiac animals


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