Awesome Playgroup News Spring 2014

 

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Awesome Playgroup News Spring 2014

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Our Jackets by Ashkin Lee A friend gave us the same jackets. They were made by an artist. He had some paper and he started squirting paint on the paper. Then he painted black lines. I think they are colorful. This is our second photo contest. The theme is cold. Thanks to all who entered and the judges. Prize money from newspaper earnings. Winning photos and Judges’ comments This is a very creative idea. Just looking at it makes me feel cold. Well done, you really got the idea of cold across to me, It looks like you spent a lot of time designing and arranging this. That is great to see. I really like the use of color. The shades of blue and white give a sense of cold, wintery weather. Your composition is good, placing the bear on the left third looking into the photograph. All in all, it's a great photo. -Craig Ferguson http://www.craigfergusonimages.com/ "I like how everything here is a little bit blue; it really suggests cold and winter. It is also very smart how you have found a picture of snowy trees as a background and cotton wadding to use as snow. Another very good thing is how you have the bear lined up, looking in the same direction as the angled lines of the background. I think you were very creative to take a photo like this in Taiwan.“ Darren Melrose http://www.darrenmelrose.com/blog/ By Nicole Hsu , age 11 This looks like a place that it would be a lot of fun to run around and play in. Cold but the blue in the sky suggests some sunshine to make things pleasant. I can just imagine running around with my friends among those trees. The blue sky, white snow and brown trees work well together in terms of color, and the strong vertical lines formed by the trees make for a good composition. Great work, keep it up. -Craig Ferguson http://www.craigfergusonimages.com/ Where was this taken? I am pretty sure not in Taiwan. All of the trees in parallel lines make this quite interesting and the snow and light blue sky makes it feel cold. I also like the light red color of the trees; it is nice that they aren't just a boring brown color. Be careful when you take your photos that the trees are going straight up and down, rather than at a slight angle. Nicely done. -Darren Melrose http://www.darrenmelrose.com/blog/ By Vincent Margo, age 8 By Kanoa Teng , age 6 By Laura Margo, age 8 By Jaylene Kuo, age 12 By Jayden Kuo, age 6 Other entries By Conrad Green, age 10 By Kanoa Teng, age 6 By Kanoa Teng, age 6 The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol. 8 Spring 2014 p. 1

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MOMS, HEROES! DADS, AND Awesome Playgroupers talk about people who make a difference in their lives! You are a Nice Mommy By Nikolas and Charlotte Levitski My hero is my Dad. I admire him because he is a brave and wise person. He takes his own responsibility. He is strong. By Kush Natani Awesome Playgroup News sponsors (for sponsorship enquiries, write to topia@tig.com.tw) http://www.kindermusik.com/ Call 0976301060 for more information “The human body and its voice are the most direct expressive tools that we as beings have in our lives.” Through play-acting in an intimate class setting (4-6 students), explorative activities teach children confidence in their verbal and physical expression. Openings available for Saturday and Sunday morning 10am sessions. 700 NTD per person, per session 2,800 for 4 sessions, pre paid near Loaction near Chungsaio Fuhsing MRT station (the Red Room). Please write to for information and registration. Come along Tuesday mornings 10am-12 noon for Free Play and to check out our warm and friendly community space. Englishlanguage environment, Chinese-languagefriendly. Ask about our programs: Prenatal & postpartum exercise 。Birth Classes 。Children's Dance Classes 。 Toddler Art 。Kindermusik。Early Literacy (3 to 6 years) 。Writer's Workshop (Elementary) 。 Breastfeeding Support。 Summer Camp (Elementary) 。Birthday Party Rental。Chinese Play Sessions for Kindergarteners Speaking Chinese as a Second Language Address: 2F, No. 315, Section 4, ChenGong Rd, Neihu District, Taipei 台北市內湖區成功路四段315號 2F, Taipei, Taiwan 114 Tel: 0987-576-771 (Angie) The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol.8 Spring 2014 p. 2

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This is the racket company that Djokovic uses so I designed a poster for it – Jaylene Kuo . The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol. 8 Spring 2014 p. 3

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My Hero: Andrew Green aka DAD by Conrad Green My hero is Dad, because he is the computer whizz of our family. He is superstrong, and is really nice and fair. I secretly admire and love him. Dad was born in England on the 7th of February, 1966. Right now, him, me and mum are living in Taipei. We are all very busy, working on our work, homework, and housework. My brothers live in England, and my grandparents are living in Spain. Dad got Minecraft for me! And a bunch of other things! He loves me and we love him. He is very kind. I plan to follow in his footsteps and become a computer master and hero like him. Martin Luther King by Risa Lee Azim My hero is Martin Luther King. I know that he made black and whites equal. He also made a speech he said that he wished that his 4 children could play with the whites. Martin Luther King J.r died because a white man shot him because the white man thinks that white and blacks cannot be equal. After he died his sister wrote a book about Martin Luther King( I have seen this book before). I learned about Martin Luther King at school. Martin Luther King has added a junior. Because Martin Luther King’s dads name is also Martin Luther King, so people don’t get confused. Because they fought for the Civial Rights and tried to make it equal for the blacks. What I learned from Martin Luther King is that you can play, sit and even become friends with the whites; and that means that blacks have freedom. By Alanna Chang My hero is Nick because even though he has no arms and legs he said his life is still fun. He can still walk and swim! Heroes, and mothers, continued… By Isabel Chang My Mother by Alanna Chang My mother Angie is a very exciting girl. She loves to travel. She tells me about her adventures. I like to hear her stories. My mother moved to Taiwan. She lived in an apartment with her friend and then she had fun playing with her friends and rode a scooter. When my mother was pregnant with my brother Joseph, she went to Indonesia. The doctor told her to sleep more. So, she had to stay in her bed. She didn't really see Indonesia. I love my mother. Photo of Nick Vujicic, a motivational speaker. MY MOMMY, MY LOVE by Jimmy Kang My mother is an artist. She knows how to make a gigantic heart sculpture. She knows how to work with metal. My mom knows how to make delicious food. She knows how to make steak. She knows how to make a salad. I think that my mom is a great artist and a great cook. That is really cool. And I love her! Interview with Jennifer Chau Did you every wonder how Taipei Cityplaygroup started? Staffer Nicole Hsu interviews stellar volunteer Jennifer Chau who explains where it all began… 1. Why did you start parentpages.net? Jennifer Chau. Photo courtesy Wesley Hsu A short time after I arrived in Taiwan, I found myself expecting my third child, who is now thirteen. There was very little information in English about having a baby or raising young children in Taipei, so a new friend and I gathered what we could and decided to compile it for sharing in printed form as "Taipei Baby". It later became www.parentpages.net so the information could be updated easily at little to no cost. 2. What is parentpages.net? Parent Pages started in 2001 as a site about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting young children in Taiwan. It started with articles like How to Write a Birth Plan, What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag, What to Ask Your Doctor, as well as a small directory of the more popular hospitals/clinics and family-friendly venues. A forum was added as a safe place for parents to share and discuss various issues without judgment. It became the heart of the site. In 2011 it was merged with Taiwanease.com which has many more services for newcomers and old timers to enjoy. 3. When and why did you start Taipei Cityplaygroup? There is quite a bit of overlap between Parent Pages and TCP which I started with two other expat moms I'd met at Kindermusik, which we all attended with our then one year olds. We started it in spring 2002 meeting in each other's homes once a weekly for a circle time. We soon outgrew our apartments and took to meeting at the park and other venues. 4. How many people are in Taipei Cityplaygroup? . We have 350-400 in our Facebook group and 400 on the mailing list. 5. Did it change the way you do stuff after you started the Taipei Cityplaygroup? It made it easier to meet other families, some of whom have become lifelong friends. It helped many new families to settle into Taiwan more easily (information, resources, community). It also gave us opportunities to do other things such as start the Children's & Maternity rummage sale (since 2004) as well as other offshoot projects. The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol. 8 Spring 2014 p. 4

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Blind Brother and Deaf Sister’s Adventures by Katherine Allison Gilbert S.I.L.L.Y. School Inside-Out Day by Jaylene Kuo I wake up when my alarm goes off for the fifth time, or maybe it’s the sixth time, but I’ve lost count. It’s still early for a Sunday morning, but for a Monday morning, I’m totally late. Too bad it’s Monday. I spring out of my bed, and jump into my shorts and T-shirt. I’m still putting my socks on when I hop into the kitchen. I jump to the table and take a big bite of my toast. “Mom, I’m going.” I swallow the rest of my milk and with my toast in my hand, I race for the door. “Wait!” My mom comes out from the living room, she is a cool mom, and she makes wonderful chocolate cupcakes. She has big blue eyes and long blond hair. I think she’s going to tell me to finish my breakfast before I leave for school, so I say “Jack’s waiting for me. I’m late meeting him!” “I’m sorry, but Jack will have to wait.” She opens the fridge to get herself a glass of milk. “Today is Inside-Out Day! You don’t want to be wearing your clothes the normal way, do you?” “Oh no, of course I don’t!” How could I have forgotten that today’s Inside- Out Day? InsideOut day is just one of the exciting things about my school. I know most kids don’t like going to school but I love it. Everyone loves my school. I run to my bedroom at full speed, change like lighting and shoot right out the door in less than a minute. I must be running too fast because I pass the place Jack and I usually meet, at the 1626 bus stop right in front of the school. Jack starts running after me, yelling “Max, why are you running so fast? School doesn’t start for fifteen more minutes!” I stop so suddenly, Jack bumps right into me. “Ouch!” Jack rubs his head. “Why are you in a rush?” “Sorry.” I say. “Um, well, I thought we were late. I guess I need to get a better alarm clock, I think mine is broken.” “Nah, we’re really fifteen minutes early.” He sits back down on the bench and asks, “So what should we do?” Then he sees the toast in my hand and adds, “I think you should eat your breakfast first. I guess I’ll read Tom Sawyer, I was supposed to read it for my book report.” “Oh, yeah, it’s due for English class, which is first class, right?” I take a big bite of my toast and mumble, “I haf wun mrr hafter to weed…” “Um, I can’t understand a word you’re saying!” Jack interrupts. I swallow and repeat, “I have one more chapter to read, I don’t think I can finish in time.” “Well, I still have two more chapters to go.” Jack stares at the book as if he stares at it long enough, the book report will jump out. Jack’s shirt has a ninja on it, but it was inside out. His jeans were inside-out too, and for the finishing touch, he was wearing inside-out underwear over his inside-out jeans. It’s the perfect outfit for Inside-Out Day at Smith’s Institute of Learning and Leadership for Youth. Or, as we call it, S.I.L.L.Y. School. But little did we know that today, a day which should be loads of fun, was about to be one of the worst days of our lives. Part 1: I love this Baby. Leo could not see since he was a baby. He did not like himself at all. Now, he is 11 and is a tall boy. Sophia, his big sister, who is 14, has been in the room for a long time. She has been playing I Pad for 1 whole day. Isabella, his little sister, who is only 6, is not a good girl. She goes in front of Leo, and he bumps into her and she fake cries. Mom always makes Leo say sorry to Isabella. Noah is Leo’s big brother. He is 16 and works at an internet cafe. Mom is not good to Leo. She does not like Leo because he can not do things for their family. Leo’s dad does not come home a lot. He works in Japan, and when he comes home he does nothing but play I Pad. Leo does not like his family. He wants to run away. But he hasn’t yet, because he is blind. He was never happy until Ava, his baby sister, was born. That day, mom came home with a groan. She put the baby outside as if she hated this baby. Then, mom and dad went into their room. “What do we want to do to this deaf baby?” dad groaned. “I put her outside” mom said. “Good! Let her stay out!” dad said “Leo is a bad boy. We don’t want a bad girl!” Leo was so angry that he wanted to go outside, but he bumped into a door. He went into the bathroom by accident. No one in the bathroom! He ran out. He went to another door. A baby is crying outside. “That is it!” he cried happily! He ran in and took some food and water. He put them into a bag. Then, he ran out as fast as he could run. He took a walking stick. He went outside and took the crying baby. “Your name is Ava!” Leo said to her. She stopped crying. She was too little to see. She was blind like Leo! Leo was happy to have a sister like her. But, he knew it was going to be a hard trip today. National Novel Writing Month Every November, writers everywhere challenge themselves to write a novel within a month. This is known as NaNoWriMo. Three Taipeicitygroupers, Jaylene Kuo, Katherine Gilbert, and Nicole Hsu give you tantalizing excerpts of what they wrote. If people are interested in reading more of their novels, they may contact the authors through The Awesome Playgroup News at topia@tig.com.tw. School Life by Nicole Hsu Fiona was the new girl in school. She was confident until she got to her classroom. That’s when Alice and her friends walked into their classroom with their iPhones next to their ears blabbing about their favorite things. Suddenly, they passed Fiona. “Are you that new kid in our school? You should find a better backpack before it offends my purse.” But Fiona didn’t really care. After she took a nap, she found out that the tryouts for the track team were that afternoon so she signed up. When Amanda went to sign up, she saw Fiona’s name on the top of the list. “Do you see that? Fiona actually wants to be on the track team. That is impossible!” The teacher took Fiona and Amanda to the tryouts. They were nervous. Fiona was in the first team. She kept running and running until she got to the finish line. She was the first one to get to the finish line, so she was definitely in the track team! The girl next to her would be in too. She came up to Fiona and said, “You really run fast! I really appreciate that!” “Thank you!” They because friends and met with each other every recess. They had fun and Fiona didn’t feel lonely anymore. My Raspberry Pi by Kyle Hsieh Dracula! By Ethan Liu Once, just for something fun, me, my family and some friends from Citiplaygroup went to the Red Room Redux to watch a readers theater performance named “Dracula”. At first when I entered the theater, I didn’t expect much, as it was a tiny stage about the size of my kitchen. Also, I didn’t see many props or cool visual effects. That was before the performance began. Just as the performance started, I could feel the tension in the room rise. They didn’t have a lot of acting or drama, but instead used music, sounds, and their voices to create a movie in your head. The feeling wasn’t much different than an actual movie. They played spooky, tense music to help us get the mood in the story, and found all sorts of creative ways to make interesting sound effects. For example, they simulated a bat breaking a window in a house by smashing glass jars in a cloth bag. One sound effect that I found especially interesting was when the people killed Dracula with a wooden stake, they made that sound by smashing a piece of cabbage with a piece of wood which made a “CCRRRSHHHHHPSSSSDDD” sound. They didn’t only make sounds using props, but one of the performers actually used his mouth to mimic the sound of an angry dog- it sounded very realistic. When the performance ended, my body relaxed and I un-tensed my muscles, as I didn’t realize that I had tensed all my muscles during the show. The performers did a great job to express the feelings and mood in the story using tense, spooky voices of the scared characters in Dracula, and made the audience really absorbed in the show. I would definitely recommend this performance, as the performers talented voices and sound effects will make you feel the chill of Dracula. The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol. 8 Spring 2014 p. 5 My favorite thing is my Raspberry Pi, because I can make little Scratch videos on it, play other people’s games on it. One time, I made a video like this: when you push the flag, the Scratch cat drives the car I chose for him after he says, “Watch me drive,” for ten seconds, and when you push space it switches from Background 1 to Background 2 and Scratch Cat and his car disappears. I think that all my friends should have a Raspberry Pi.

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The Awesome Playgroup News TAIPEI CITYPLAYGROUP Publisher JULIAN HSU, JAYLENE KUO Executive Co-Editors ALYSSA CHAU, JAYDE CHAU, NICOLE HSU, NICOLE GIFFORD, CONRAD GREEN, KYLE HSIEH, HANNAH HSIEH, JIMMY KANG, IAN WEBB, AIDAN WEBB Assistant Managing Editors KAYLEN HOU, ANYA McCULLOUGH, ETHAN LIU, JOSHUA LIU Foreign Correspondents CAROL YAO, KATRINA BROWN, SAM GIFFORD, SUNGHEE MIN, JULIE KOSOLOFSKI, JENNY GREEN, JULIE JOHNSON, BRIAN WEBB, CAROL WANG Advisors & Copyeditors Hackerspace :) By Nicole Hsu We went to the Hackerspace last time and saw pretty cool stuff that we don't usually see. And I saw something really funny: a person made out of wood sitting on a flying machine and a dragon trying to bite people! It was really cool. When we started the class, Julian started to talk about Minecraft and Mr. Greg said that he knows Minecraft and it's pretty fun. (Because it is really fun) We started with an old laptop and started taking it apart. I was really excited to see what it looks like inside of the computer; Julian couldn't take off some of the screws. I was fine and saw everything that's inside and I learned a lot. Then when I saw the screws on the computer screen, I wanted to open it up and see what it looks like, because I saw something under the keyboard and I knew that there will be something very cool inside. I opened it up then I saw something cool but I don't know how to explain. I was trying to open another thing, but I couldn't so I broke it, but at least I saw something that Mr. Greg doesn't know anything about!!!! :))) APP Making by Julian Hsu Apps were first made for phones and pads. But nowadays, it can be used by normal computers too! (Windows 8 + 8.1) App stands for mobile application which means "Moveable applications”. It was started in 2008 by the major mobile operating companies. For example Apple App Store, Google play........ After some time, some people knew how to make apps, and a few of them are now at Taipei Hacker Space teaching people how to make Apps. I went to their first App making group. Because they wanted some people of our age to join, on Facebook, this event was called "App making for babies". At first, I thought it was like making an app that sang "ABCD" to you, but it wasn't: we were going to make "Flabby Bird" (Flappy Bird II)!!! The first class was all of the basic stuff, like setting up the environment and the commands in the computer. There were ten steps, and when I was doing step nine it said ERROR 8 and I called the teacher for help. The teacher told me that I typed a command wrong and it took almost an hour to remove and redo it. :( (So I learned that every command matters and you should look carefully at the written commands, or use copy and paste instead! I didn't know until I was finished : ( ). After all of that fiasco, I started to make my first app. I connected my phone to the computer and ran the App! It wasn't awesome or anything, it was just a logo of the software and some words under it. But then, I started to change some codes and started to change it. I changed the picture and even the words on it!!! Then the teacher put his USB into my computer and gave me the Flabby Bird file and waited for the other people to finish. ​But, because some people have different OS's( Operating Systems) , or because there were some other issues, so we didn't get to make the Flabby Bird App before the workshop was finished. I hope that I could learn to make it next time though. :) . The Awesome Playgroup News, Vol. 8 Spring 2014 p. 6

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