Using Free Chinese Math Workbooks to Practice zhuyin

math book

Our homeschool has been going really really well the last two weeks with my revamp of the kids’ work plan.  (Well, we’ll pretend that Astroboy didn’t cry big fat tears about not wanting to go to school the other day.)   One of the new items on their work plan is working with the free Chinese math workbooks put out by the National Academy of Educational Research.

I really like these books because from the quick flip throughs up to 6th grade, they seem a bit Montessori-esque.  Or maybe if I say Singapore Math-esque, that sounds better (even though Singapore Math also took it from Montessori).  For example, in Book 1, they introduce place values with very Montessori like materials (thousand cube, hundred squares, ten bars, and unit beads).  They’re just not in Montessori colors and it’s on paper.

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Sagebook Companion Resources

Finally, after months of feeling uninspired to prep (I know, so bad!), I spent some time this past weekend finishing my Chutes and Ladders set for Sagebooks.  It’s about time because Astroboy is now on Set 4 of Sagebooks and he really needs to work with the characters in some other ways to spice things up.

For awhile I was worried that he was forgetting characters left and right, because he couldn’t remember them when I reviewed with Anki.  However, this week I put all of Set 1, 2, 3’s treasure boxes in the car and he read them while we ran around time.  I was very surprised he really had no problem with set 1 or set 2, even though he couldn’t remember many characters in set 2 with Anki.

In any case, below are some free, and not so free, items I’ve created as companions to Sagebook.

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Sagebooks Character Writing Practice Sheets

sage practice sheetsI’m sure you’ve come across New Taipei City Educational Dept’s 生字簿 user-generated character practice sheets website.

Well, that website doesn’t work on Macs.

Threw a wrench into my plan to finish generating these writing practice worksheets for Astroboy.  The Great O had posted a work around before of using Lumin PDF, but that doesn’t work now for some reason.

I was very stubborn last night and figured out all the ins and outs of how they generate those practice sheets.  But it didn’t really help me until I got Mandarin Mama to open Sets 3-5 on her Windows machine and just send it back to me in PDF.

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Chinese Bridging Books 橋樑書

Bridging Books
This is Part 6 of my Building a Chinese Library for the Kids series.  In Parts 1-5, I gave some background on children’s books and how we pick them, and did a survey of local libraries and publishers and Taiwanese authors and started describing my Board Book and Picture Book Collection.  

This post is split into two, the next part on Bridging books is actually Books for Lower Elementary, Part 1.

Some Background

In this research paper on Reading 123 閱讀123 (p. 23), they say that an Eslite magazine started the term 橋樑書 by borrowing the English term Bridging Books, which is used to describe Early Readers (also known as Easy Readers, Leveled Readers) and Chapter books.  Even more interesting to me, chapter books, which is the bridge between early readers and children’s fiction (3rd+ grade level) was introduced in the 1980’s!

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Book Review: Reading 123 閱讀123

Age:8
Grade Level: 5-6 yrs old (read to), mostly 1st-2nd, some 3rd-4th
Publisher: 天下雜誌/親子天下

Reading 123Last September, when Thumper started reading, I told her that if she read 100 books, I’d buy her a telescope.  I made up a reading log for her.

She was busy updating this log tonight and telling me about how many 閱讀123 Reading 123 books she’s read in the last few weeks.   So I decided to actually take a look at what she’s read so far.  She binge reads and it’s taking her about 30 minutes to go through one of the Reading 123 books.  At this rate, I really need to find more 3rd-4th grade books ASAP.

Reading 123 is a series put out by CWBooks.  It was designed specifically as bridge books (e.g. chapter books).  There are currently 60 books in the series, though I only have 48.  Most of the books are considered 中低 (1st-3rd), with a few, especially the later ones, in the 中高 (3rd-6th).  I think it’s more 1st-2nd and 3rd-4th.

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Skritter Sagebook Lists

skritter
Two months ago, while I was researching Anki, I re-tried Skritter and Chinese Writer for the writing characters part.  Unfortunately Skritter required a subscription.  So I dropped it till this week, when I subscribed through a group order (so much cheaper!)

My first impression of Skritter, 2 months ago, was that it was very powerful, and that it was more suited for Thumper (8) than Astroboy (5).  Playing with it again today, my second impression is that the more English you know, the better suited it is for you.  It also doesn’t have zhuyin support on iOS, which is our primary OS at home.

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Chinese Board Books 翻翻書 : Our Collection and Recommendations

Board Books
This is Part 4 of my Building a Chinese Library for the Kids series.  In Parts 1-3, I gave some background on children’s books and how we pick them, and did a survey of local libraries and publishers and Taiwanese authors.

If you look at the photo of our Chinese library (as of Aug 2015), you will see that board books takes up a very, very, very, small section of our library.  It basically takes up right 1/4 space on shelf #4.

In my faulty memory, I did not read to either kids too much, especially Astroboy, before they were 1 (or was it 2?).   By the end of the day, I just wanted to go to bed.  They only seem to have 5 minute attention spans when it comes to reading.  Plus it was so easy to rip the precious Chinese picture books that traveled 3000 miles to get here.

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