Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy New Year- Chinese New Year, that is!

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I'm a first grade teacher in New York, but am currently on maternity leave with my first child until April. I THOUGHT I would have time to set up my own blog since I've been home since last June, but what was I thinking??! I have less time now than when I am working! Sooo, I am really grateful for the opportunity to be part of a blog group (thanks, Hilary!).

I LOVE staying home with my daughter, but I do miss being in school right about now because it’s almost time for one of my favorite events of the year- Chinese New Year!

In our school, each first grade class makes a gigantic dragon and we parade around our building while everyone sits outside their classrooms cheering us on, many of them waving mini-dragons or paper lanterns. We also borrow the music teacher’s instruments to bang, beat, shake and cause a lot of ruckus on our journey.

Unfortunately, since I am on maternity leave, I don’t have my school files to access all my pictures, but I managed to find this one in my home archives. We reuse the head each year and each child makes a section of the dragon using a brown paper bag and construction paper ‘scales.’ We staple them all together (we parade around with staplers for on-the-go fixing, as you can see here!). You can also see a fellow classroom’s dragon behind us. We have about 7-8 first grade classes a year so it’s a long parade!

After the parade, I usually ask the class moms to join us for a fun celebration in the classroom, which I decorate with a big sign and paper lanterns. We make our own paper lanterns and play the chopsticks game:


Finally, we have a little Chinese food (egg rolls, fried rice [no pork], and fortune cookies) and I give the kids red envelopes with plastic golden coins inside (from Party City). From their reactions, though, you’d think it was real money!

Of course, before this fun day, we learn about Chinese New Year- important beliefs and traditions. We read many books, visit websites, (you could see real lion dances on YouTube- the kids LOVE it!) and even had a student go to China and tell us all about it!  Here is one of my favorite books. I love it because the last half of the book slowly unfolds into a beautiful long dragon and the kids are always amazed by it!

Just for you, I made this freebie from my new Chinese New Year pack. Great for a writing center! Hope you and your students enjoy! 



Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear what you do for Chinese New Year in your classroom!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Brenda-Tejeda



6 comments:

  1. Love it! I have three students who celebrate Chinese New Year and I always do a little something each year. This year a little more! I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, I'm glad you like the ideas! It's always great to learn a bit about different cultures. The students love discovering how things are different in other places. Have fun! =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know FIRST hand how AWESOME this parade is because I am lucky enough to be a kindergarten teacher in the same school. The first graders do an AMAZING job and I love seeing them 'peek' from under the dragon to wave! Great post Brenda- you always have the most creative ideas! LOVE the chopstick game!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jenn! Thank you so much! From Queen Creative, that's a huge compliment :). I'll miss it this year! Have fun!

      Delete
  4. Oh we're going to have to try the chopsticks game this year! Thanks you for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Hope your students love it!

      Delete