What a great day! We learned and saw a great deal today. In the morning, by watching the news we discovered that over 9 million students are preparing for their college entrance exam, which takes place this weekend. It is such a big deal that construction is shut down and traffic control is out to keep the noise down for students who are studying. I found it interesting that there are hidden cameras to watch for students cheating during the test. This test will decide the future for many students! We were able to share this and all the other information we have absorbed with another class at USI through Skype this morning! 

It was bittersweet to have our last language class this morning but we had a fun day and were allowed to ask any questions we wanted. Many words we were curious about were discussed and we were able to acquire information about a lot of food here and share what our food is like at home. I also have my study guide for our upcoming test! 

A lot of gift exchanging went on today as it was our last day to see many of our new friends. Luckily, we were able able to go to dinner, get ice cream, and go to karaoke for a last hoorah. I will miss the friends I have made but it is nice to have the technology we do to keep in contact.

Mrs. Rietman, Jessica, and I visited our last Chinese school today. Administrators at Beibei Shiyan Kindergarten graciously welcomed us into their school. After a tour, of the 2000 square meters of school, we were amazed! The people in the school were very professional, and you could tell by their curriculum how hard working they are. This was definitely my favorite school thus far! Children are encouraged to express their creativity through many hands-on stations. The school focuses on language, social skills, arts, signs, and health. Children are in school from 8am- 12 pm then they have a nap/eat lunch from 12pm- 3pm. Following their nap they eat a small snack and participate in activities from 3pm- 6pm. There were approximately 30 children in a classroom and over 600 students in the entire school. Each classroom is run by two teachers and a nurse. Children are allowed to select their own activities and there definitely  isn't a shortage of things to do! I saw areas for role playing, arts (drawing/ coloring), reading corners, a water table, block area, science area, math area and others. Each location was supplied with sufficient, maybe even surplus, materials. Outside they had a garden, castle, fountain/water area, train, playground, paths, rope climbing, and other places for students to explore according to their teacher's plan. One activity I really liked is that every April students work with their parents to create their own book and show it to their class. Another thing that was awesome was their record keeping. Each child had a large scrap book detailing different parts of their development. It was neat to see a lot of similar practices to the United States, and this school is somewhere I know students are getting a great start to their education! 

When we left the school we gave them books for their classes and they gave us a stuffed animal with the name of the school on it. Children were immediately given the books and were jumping up and down for joy! It was a very well spent afternoon! 


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