Archive for March, 2015

Sing in Chinese

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Lynn Tien, one of our PHS parents, recently created an amazing program that enables children to correctly learn Mandarin. Here are the details:
For the past few years, Lynn Tien, along with many other Chinese mothers, realized the difficulty of effectively teaching Mandarin to US-born children. While she and her husband speak to their children in Mandarin, and the children understand, the young ones usually respond in English. Thinking that music would be an ideal way to learn the language, Lynn was unsuccessful in her search for children’s music in Mandarin.
So Lynn began writing both words and music through which children can correctly learn the difficult Mandarin “tones.” (One word in Mandarin can have four different meanings, depending upon the “tone” that is used in pronunciation.) Lynn feels that if children learn the tones correctly when they are young, they will retain the proper pronunciation.
Lynn reached out to musicians, built a home recording studio, and at this point, has created ten colorful books with accompanying CD’s. She also launched the website “Sing in Chinese” where free activity sheets and apps for phones or iPads are now available. Children can now learn Mandarin in the nurturing environment of their home or while listening to CD’s in the car with their parents.
Congratulations to Lynn for all that she has accomplished in this important field of foreign language acquisition!

Genius Hour

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

This past Tuesday, we were again amazed by the Seventh Graders’ “Genius Hour”! Their teacher, Ms. Lomeli, shares the details of this wonderful project:
After attending the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), I incorporated into our Seventh Grade curriculum Google’s concept of “20% time” when employees can pursue projects of interest to themselves. With our schedule, I named ours “Genius Hour,” and for one hour each week the Seventh Graders work on a project of their choosing. They first brainstorm ideas and then present them to me. I give approval according to feasibility criteria including likelihood of completion within the 10-week trimester, and the availability of supplies.
Tuesday concluded our Second Trimester, and the Seventh Graders gathered with their families, the Sixth Graders, faculty, and staff in the School Library to present their projects. One student chose photography and began taking many photos here on campus. I asked her to research the different types or genres of photography, and she chose to concentrate on macro photography – a focus on close-ups and details, as seen here in this beautiful photograph of a baseball found outside the Seventh Grade classroom.
Two other students used “Duolingo”; one learned German and the other, Italian. They created a PowerPoint presentation with subtitles in front of which the German-speaking student tried to buy a car from an Italian-speaking car salesman portrayed by the other student! It was hilarious!
Additional projects included building miniatures, learning coding on Kahn Academy, and recreating a song using digital instruments.
The enthusiasm for research continues for the Seventh Graders as they begin a new project for the final trimester of this year. Our Sixth Graders can’t wait to start their “Genius Hour” next year and are already talking with me about their creative ideas!

“History Comes Alive!”

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

You may have seen “History Comes Alive!” in prior years, but we know that this Fifth Grade production never stays the same! Be sure and join us this year to experience all the marvelous and humorous changes that have so skillfully been woven into this year’s musical! Tickets are on sale in our School Office until 3:00 pm this Monday, March 9th. (For the following three days, up to curtain time at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 12, tickets will be available at the Norris Theatre Box Office.) We look forward to joining with you on Thursday evening to enjoy the marvelous talents of our Fifth Graders – and to pleasantly review some of our amazing American history!

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