TEACHING IN CHINA
Do you want to know what teaching supplies you need to bring from your home country to China to aid your students learning?
I’ve been in China for 11 years and every time I go back to the US I bring something useful back for my classes. Now, I’ve got an array of trusted games and exercises to use with my students.
My Favorite Teaching Tools for Chinese Students
Any phonics supplies or readers will do you well. If you have older students, I imagine you’ll be teaching writing at some stage. I worked at an International School and taught creative writing. The Silly Sentence Starters Grades 1 – 3 gave me tons of ideas for creative stories. Chinese kids tend to avoid making decisions so the Silly Sentence Starters can help your students get started a lot quicker.
Barrel Of Monkeys
Seems like a silly learning device right? Wrong. Barrel of Monkeys are great incentives for groups of children. When the whole class does well you give them a monkey. When they have 12 monkeys or so it’s a party!
You probably already know about the random questions, trivia, and stories, but what about the stories? These are so good because there are 56 stories with questions and answers. This means you can make sure your students are understanding what you’re reading.
Ninja tip: these are for third graders in the US. I would only use third-grade cards for fifth graders here in China. So if you’re going to be teaching second grade make sure you purchase the first grade or kindergarten material. Why? I will never hurt to use a super low grade for an older student. That way they don’t get hung up on comprehension.
Bananagrams are letter tiles. You can use these for spelling games, or you can say phonics and they can spell phonics. Also, these can be used for letter and sound awareness because Chinese kids don’t have to say the ends of words clearly in their native language so tools like Bananagrams can really help them focus on pronouncing the ends of words.
I have six different versions of Spot it! It’s a matching game, you play it with around six children. The trick is to have your students talking as they play the game with you. Chinese kids sit in class with their Chinese teachers and they listen and they write. They rarely participate by speaking and interacting with fellow students or teachers.
The Most Useful Teaching Tool: Uno!
Surprise! In my 11 years of teaching in China, this is by far the most useful teaching tool. When your students are playing Uno they have to say the color and the number that they put down. These aid fun, interactive speaking skills for your students. This might seem really simple but this is the level that a lot of your Chinese students will be at. And this tool helps them interact with not just you, but each other.
Non-school related supplies
Get a VPN
If you’re not in China yet make sure to download and install a VPN before you arrive. This is critical. Once you’ve entered the Great Firewall of China there won’t be an opportunity to purchase one because you guessed it, they are all blocked here. Want to know what else is blocked? Read this.
One way to get a VPN when in China is to find a friend or colleague who already has one and ask them to help you connect and download from there. Although I’d save myself the hassle and just tick this off my ‘what to prepare list’ pretty early on to curb anxieties.
If you don’t speak Chinese, which most of us don’t when moving to China, I’ve got you covered. Not only can I educate you on the best books to learn Chinese, but I also run a comprehensive online course that teaches you the basic Chinese you need to communicate in everyday situations.
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A quick and important disclosure:
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful.
The Great Firewall of China
Want to use the VPN I use for a stable, quick connection in China? I depend on it to upload more than six videos a week and live-stream on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And here’s my second choice for a VPN. Plus, when you download from either link, they share some of the cost with me, so I can keep creating the videos you love.