Shin nen kwai le - Gong hay phat choy
Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 Today we celebrated Chinese New Year with Goh who came to cook with us and teach us some words and songs in Chinese. She told us that there are many ways to say “happy new year” in Chinese as there are many dialects. In Cantonese you say “Gong hay phat choy” and in Mandarin you say “Shin nen kwai le”. To get our preparations going as we wanted to eat our cooking at snack time, we chopped up Chinese cabbage and ‘nira’ which is a long green vegetable that has a sort of onion smell. Goh san chopped with us and cut all of the vegetables into tiny pieces. She added minced chicken and some bacon and we helped mix everything together in
a large bowl. You may be wondering what we were making…….we think you know….yes, we made gyoza; and so many of us were really excited as we love gyoza. In Chinese they are called “jyozu”. When all of the ingredients were mixed together, we spooned a small amount onto a circular shape that looked like a really thin pancake. Then we learnt how to fold it over the filling and pinch the ends so that it was closed completely. We used a small container with water in it and dipped our fingers in the water before we pinched the gyoza closed. The water helped make the wrap glue together. Then Goh san steamed them rather than fry them as this makes them a lot healthier. Our classroom smelled like a Chinese restaurant. Yesterday it smelled like a Ukrainian restaurant…..we are grateful to the rainy weather as we could continue working and playing without too much interruption.
During music time, we played with musical instruments and listened to the tunes on a CD, shaking and tapping our instruments in time to the music. We moved our bodies to some of the tunes as well. When we hear music it is not so easy for us to keep our bodies still; we naturally like to move them. We learnt how to move our bodies fast and slow; we ran; we jumped; we hopped and then we swopped the instruments so that we could use something different for some of the songs.
teachers were a little disappointed because they were not included in the counting. Shelley asked us which category they belonged in. When Goh san was in our class, there were actually seven girls too. So there was an equal number of girls and boys in our class, at that time. During this circle time, things had changed because Goh san had left so Hisami took an orange piece of paper for the boys and a pink piece of paper for the girls. Yesterday we had blue for boys and red for girls. We looked for our names and told our friends and teachers whether we were a boy or girl. Then we placed our names on the appropriate colour. We sang “There are seven days” to work out what today’s name is; then we looked outside to see the weather and we looked at the date and added one more number to change it. Every day we look at a few pages in our “Wacky Wednesday” book to see what things are ‘wacky’. Today we found all six wacky things in the book viz. a tiger in a stroller, a tree coming out of a chimney, steps leading up to a yellow house but no door, a window on the grass, steps leading up to a pink house but no door and a man driving a car from the back seat.
Today our teachers jumped on the ‘teachable moment’ and introduced us to something that is hard for us to understand in abstract terms. They used the moment when we were playing with Lego and Shelley called Manuel, Luka and Koh to come and work with her at one of the activity tables. They were really busy constructing things and were worried about leaving their constructions behind. So Shelley showed us our cards with our names and faces on them. She said that if we want to leave our toys and are worried that someone will break them or use them, we can place our name card on the toy. This means that if someone wants to use our specific toy, they need to consult and negotiate with us. This brought a sigh of relief in particular to Koh chan as he had spent a long time, creating an amazing boat. Luka and Manuel decided that they too wanted to reserve their toys so they also took the cards and placed them on theirs. When they returned from the table, everything was just as they had left it. Phew! We learnt how to respect our friends and the choices that they make and we trust that they will do the same for us.
We really enjoy challenging games and today we had a fantastic numeracy game. We had an abacus and our ice blocks with numbers on them. We each chose a number and took the ice block with the same number on it. Then Shelley called us one by one and we counted the matching number of beads on the abacus. When we had all counted our beads out, she mixed up the covers of our ice blocks and we all had different ones. We took the covers off our ice blocks and counted the dots to see which one we were looking for. We looked at all of our friends’ and swopped the correct one and gave them the one that we had. We went all around the room until everyone had the correct covers on their ice blocks. Each activity took a long time today and we were full in our tummies, hearts and minds.
Thank you Goh san for a wonderful time cooking and learning about Chinese New Year.
Love always Shelley, Hisami and Liezel