2HE Class Blog

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -W.B. Yeats

Field Day Fun and Farewell!

Field Day was amazing fun! We ran, tagged, kicked, and got SOAKED!!

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After a pizza picnic lunch and a rest while watching a movie, we went to the pool and had a free swim!

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Thanks to everyone for making this year fantastic! I have truly loved every minute of 2HE, and I know these kiddos are ready for third grade. I appreciate all of your support this year and hope you and your families have a fun and restful summer!

May 27-June 3

We had a final 2HE celebration last Friday and had lots of fun together one last time as a group. Thank you so much for the amazing gift—I absolutely adore the xiaolong bao salt and pepper shakers and the spa gift cards will definitely come in handy next year when we move back to this neighborhood! I truly appreciate your kindness and generosity and am grateful to have had your student in my class this year.

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

Writing: We have continued working on own Fairy Tale and are working on writing one as a class, titled “The Prince and the Pizza.”

Reading: Each Readers Theatre group constructed a set and made characters to go along with their Fairy Tales puppet show, which they performed for the class.

Math: Our last few days have been filled with a preview of what the students will see in their first unit of grade 3! We’ve looked at analog clocks and telling time to the nearest 5 minutes, geometry, and fractions.

Social Studies: The students finished their business prep by creating advertisement posters, making signs for the businesses, and taping a commercial to show to potential customers. Market Day was a great success! Everyone has so much fun and the 2HE businesses did very well—I know grade 2 is so proud of the work they put into creating and running them! Thanks to all of the parents who came out to support the students!

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Upcoming Events:

  • Overdue library book slips were sent home on Thursday—please send these books back into school asap!
  • Field Day will be Monday, June 6 from 8:45-11:00. Parents are welcome to come and support their student out on the field! That afternoon each grade 2 class will be watching a movie and also swimming in the pool. That day your student will need the following things:
    • Field day outfit (class t-shirt!)
    • A dry set of clothes (to change into)
    • A bathing suit and towel
    • Sunscreen
    • 2 snacks (as usual)
    • pillow/blanket/stuffed animal for the movie (optional)

*All of grade 2 will be having a pizza lunch together that day*

  • Our final day of school this year will be Wednesday, June 8. Students will be dismissed 1/2 day, at 11:30 am.


May 16-27

I sent home a physical form on Thursday—this needs to be filled out for all students that will be returning to SAS. Please contact Nurse Cecilia Yu if you have questions regarding the form.

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

2HE got the opportunity to spend some time in 3MJ and get the know the classroom a little bit. It’s a big deal to be moving to the upper elementary—and I hope they feel a little more prepared and relaxed about the transition. We also got a visit from first grade, who was doing the same thing!

 We went to Ms. Smith’s 7th grade health class in the middle school and listened to presentations on healthy eating (based on Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules). The class got to eat some healthy snacks, answered questions, and played little games to help them learn about the food groups, healthy snacks, whole vs. processed food, and other interesting topics.

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Writing: After reading many examples of traditional and fractured fairy tales, the class finally is getting the opportunity to write their own. They are using a plan that ensures their story has good and evil, a problem and solution, and possibly some magic, royalty and poverty, and events that happen in 3’s or 7’s. So far the stories have been incredibly creative—I can’t wait until they are completed!
Reading: We looked more into Fairy Tales—specifically looking at the climax, most important part. This is the instance where the plot of the stories changes, and usually the problem is solved soon after (but not in all fairy tales!)

We began our final Readers Theatre scripts, and each student is assigned one or more parts in a traditional fairy tale. After several days of practice, each group has began construction of puppets and a set where they will be able to act out their play in a puppet show.

Mrs. Rohrbeck has compiled many suggestions for summer reading lists—check out this link to learn more! http://sites.saschina.org/eslibrarypx/2016-summer-reading-list/

Math: 2HE has continued to study US currency and counting money, including both coins and bills. The students are working on finding the change needed when paying with a larger bill and answering 2 step word problems involving coins.

We did a quick review of measurement of both the metric and US Standard form, and we used this information to make estimates on the height and width of objects in the classroom, as well as collect measurement data to make line plots. On Friday we will take the Unit 7 assessment, and IPPs will be sent home next week.

Science: We finished up our ecosystems and they look amazing! If you have the opportunity please come through the grade 2 hallway and check out how the students made each biome come alive, as well as all of the connections they made between the plants and animals in that region.

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Social Studies: We watched a few inspirational videos about students who’ve created their own business, and after analyzing the Zhudi Town data, each group of students decided on the business they would like to run for Market Day. After they created their business plan, each group named their business, devised a logo and wrote a slogan, and began their advertising plan by coming up with persuasive and spicy language to help sell their products. They also began a plan for their commercial, which will be aired to all grade 1 and 2 classes next week.


A note to parents about Market Day

These are completely child-created busineses and we’d like their products to be, too! The students are aware that they should not be “re-selling” things that their parents have bought from a store—there is absolutely no creativity or innovation in that. We ask that if your student needs supplies in order to create their products, they should be working to earn the money to purchase those products. We’d like to try to make this experience as authentic as possible. Thanks for your support!

Upcoming Events:

  • A note from the library: All student and parent book check-outs are due Friday, May 27. Please send in any books you have at home by the end of this week.
  • Market Day will be Friday, June 3 at 8:30. Please join us to support grade two’s small businesses!
  • Field Day will be Monday, June 6 from 8:45-11:00. Parents are welcome to come and support their student out on the field! That afternoon each grade 2 class will also be swimming in the pool. That day your student will need the following things:
    • Field day outfit (class t-shirt!)
    • A dry set of clothes (to change into)
    • A bathing suit and towel
    • Sunscreen
    • 2 snacks (as usual) -All of grade 2 will be having a pizza lunch together that day.
  • The last day of school will be Wednesday, June 8 at 11:30 am. Please note that this will only be a half day of school.

May 2-13

On Friday we got to cheer on our 5NV buddies during one of their Soccer Day matches!

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What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

 Writing: Students spent a week writing and typing up  essays on why their mom is the best! They had so many lovely reasons with details and were super excited to get these papers ready to give on Mother’s Day.
Reading: We talked more about author’s message—what is the universal lesson that the author wants the reader to learn from a particular story? Usually we can figure this out by thinking about what the main character learned, then broadening that to a message that everyone can benefit from. Students met with their book clubs to discuss their new, second series.

This week we began looking at Fairy Tales and the components that many of them have in common. So far we had looked at Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Three Little Pigs.


We also looked at FRACTURED fairy tales, which are stories that take a traditional fairy tale and change it in some way, usually for comedic effect. We read Cinderellaphant , which is about wild animals who have a similar plight to the Cinderella we know, and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, which is told from the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf and reverses the good and evil characters.


Math: We spent a few days looking at American money, then practiced identifying, counting, and spending it.

Our first few lessons of Module 7 involved collecting data and showing it in several table and graph forms. Students then had to answer and formulate questions about adding and comparing the information that was presented.

Science: We began our final unit, Ecosystems! Students spent time studying 6 different habitats—tropical savanna, arctic tundra, desert, rainforest, ocean, and wetlands. Each student was placed in a group to work with for the next few weeks. This past week and next week, students will be in other classrooms working to create a museum-style exhibit in the hallway to show the relationship between plants and animals in their ecosystem. Parents are invited to check out our completed project on Monday, May 23 from 1:45-2:45!

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Social Studies: Our Goods and Services unit is in full swing! We began with a walk around Zhudi Town to collect data to answer our question “What does Zhudi Town need in their community for kids in terms of goods and services?” After collecting information about what the neighborhood already has, we sorted all of the information into 20 categories, then students worked in pairs to create a bar graph to represent that data.

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We also began studying some key vocabulary such as needs and wants, save and spend, and supply and demand. Students will apply this knowledge to their small business plans.

Our culminating event for this unit is Market Day, which will take place at 8:30 on Friday, June 3. Parents are encouraged to attend and give students their business! More information regarding Market Day will be sent home this week.

Upcoming Events:

  • The combined Module 4 & 5 IPP will be sent home on Tuesday—please let me know if you have any questions!
  • The Ecosystem Exhibit will be open to parents on Monday, May 23 from 1:45-2:45.
  • Market Day will be Friday, June 3 at 8:30. Please join us to support grade two’s small businesses.


I apologize for the lack of blog posts–the third trimester definitely gets a little crazy!

A HUGE thanks for all of the amazing teacher appreciation gifts! I had been bombarded with cards, letters, food, and gifts this week, and I feel so grateful to work with such wonderful students and parents.

It’s been an exciting month! We started April with student-led conferences–a big thanks to everyone for coming in! I know each student was excited to give you a peek into a bit of what we do each day, and I hope you came away feeling proud of your child and their accomplishments this year!


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What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

Writing: Now that we’ve finished up our Expert Book masterpieces, we are moving on to writing about reading. We’ve studied Fact vs. Opinion, and students wrote opinion pieces on things they love, giving several reasons and specific examples on why they are the best! Students have began to incorporate specific persuasive language and are writing very powerful arguments, such as whether or not we have should homework and if the Shanghai Zoo should close down.

Then we began looking at our favorite books and writing letters to our classmates telling them which characters are the best, which parts are their favorite, and which illustrations they liked. We will continue this opinion writing during the next few weeks, getting students to write about what they are reading and share their own opinions with reasoning.


Reading: We started our Book Series and Book Clubs unit. Students chose one series to read for a week and then have been assigned two different series that they shared with their book clubs. We have working on growing conversations and what book club discussions look and sound like, as well as learning about various topics of discussion such as characters, inferences, problem and solution,

author’s craft, and the author’s message.

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As a class, we read all 8 books in the Mercy Watson series! We celebrated Mercy, one of our favorite characters, by having her favorite snack–hot toast with a great deal of butter on it!


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Math: We have been focusing on mental math—being able to add and solve 2 two-digit numbers problems in our head and not needing to write out a solution to solve. Then we have been extending our known math strategies to even bigger numbers and composing and decomposing numbers to 1,000. We’ve also had a few introductory lessons on American coins and the best strategies to add coins.

Both Module 4 and Module 5 assessments were given, and the combined IPP for those units will be sent home next week.

Science: We finished our study of landforms and bodies of water and have moved on to focusing on soil erosion. We learned about topsoil and how little of our planet is actually covered in usable soil, and we researched various ways to prevent soil erosion from happening.

The class even created an erosion demonstration involving cookies and milk!

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We walked to the river next to the school to look for signs of erosion and take note of what the land looks like when it meets the water.

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The class then watched a video from Farmer JP in New Zealand, who needed help to stop his soil from eroding while planting crops. After researching various erosion prevention methods, each student worked in a collaborative group to develop and test a model that stopped soil erosion on the plains, hills, or mountains. They then wrote him letters to explain their method, how it worked, and why it was best.


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During earth week the class planted flowers outside near the playground. Check out the new colorful garden next to the playground.

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We also walked in the Relay for Life with our grade 5 buddies! Our goal was 80 laps as a class, and we came really close!

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Upcoming Events:

  • The May/June calendar was sent home this week—please reference it for all important dates until the end of the school year!
  • Next week we will go on a walking field trip around Zhudi Town. Please sign the permission slip that was sent home today and return it on Monday.

March 18-25

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

 Here are a few pictures from our assembly performance last week. 2HE did such an amazing job and got loads of compliments from teachers and students in the ES! I promise to post the video as soon as possible.

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Todd Parr-ty! It’s been a big week in the elementary because one of our favorite authors, Todd Parr, has been in the building! 2HE got the chance to see him twice, once in the PAC and once in the library. He was very silly and gave us a wonderful message about accepting people for who they are and to always remember to BE YOURSELF.

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Literacy: EXPERT BOOKS! We have been working all morning, every morning this week on editing and publishing our final copies. The class has been working hard to organize many weeks worth of writing into book form. We hope to have these completed just after spring break!


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We worked on a few spelling rules to help with the editing of our drafts.

We learned about doubling –ss, -ll, -ff, and –zz at the end of words.


We also talked about a way to determine if the /k/ sound at the beginning of a word was spelled with a K or a C. Usually we can figure it out by the vowel sound that follows it.


Science: This week we planned our class landform and water model, and each group (river, lake, or ocean) began their construction.

Upcoming Events:

  • There will be no school March 28-April 4. Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 5.
  • Parent-Teacher student-led conferences will be the afternoon of Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8. Thanks to those of you who had the chance to sign up! Please take a minute and find a time that suits you in you haven’t!
  • Due to conferences, there will be no school on Friday, April 8.

The First Half of March

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

Literacy: We have been looking closely at the different ways to spell long vowel sounds—open syllables, silent magic e, and 2 vowels walking. We have had lots of practice with pounding out syllables and finger tapping sounds, and I’m already seeing growth in their spelling. We have reinforced these rules by using Beebots to help with our spelling and practice our coding.

Students continue to work on their Expert Books and have added insets, interesting leads, and Introduction & About the Author sections. Most students are in the editing phase and are planning the layout of their final book

We are getting ready for our visit with author Todd Parr next week! We had an introductory lesson with Mr. Steve in the library and created Parr-esque self-portrait art with Mrs. Maria in the iHub.


Math: We have been working on a variety of adding and subtracting strategies to 1,000, including partial sums, making a friendly ten, the arrow method, number lines, place value grids, and even the traditional algorithm. I’m putting together a parent cheat sheet to help explain the various strategies your student may be using; it will be available at the student-led conferences in two weeks.

We have began a new fluency program in 2HE called Rocket Math. Every day each student practices a set of math problems at their fluency and answers them verbally as quickly as they can. They then take a timed written test on those same problems. If they meet their personal goal, which is the number correct determined by a writing speed test, then they move on the the next level. If not, they should bring home their sheet and practice reading the equations out loud to help increase their fluency.

Below is an example of a completed test–on the bottom you’ll notice the Student’s Goal of 37 (this is constant and will not change) as well as the Number Correct. This student will then practice reading these problems out loud at home and will retake the same test the next day. These papers do not have to be returned to school.


Social Studies: We finished up our Cultures and Traditions unit by having each student or student pair present on the country they had been researching. The presentations were interesting, and each student put a lot of effort into their speaking presentation skills.

Science: We have been looking at the different types of landforms and bodies of water that can be found all over the Earth. We used Google Earth to explore actual spots where land and water meet, and students worked in groups to research either oceans, lakes, or rivers to plan out a collaborative model that we will construct as a class.

We also did a Leprechaun Trap collaborative building project in hopes of trapping a lucky leprechaun and stealing his pot of gold!


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The finished projects had some amazing design choices, like collapsing walls, a secret scissor trap that drops a plastic cage, a tiny city that folds up into a box, and signs written in the leprechaun’s native language of Gaelic.

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Sadly, no leprechauns were caught….Maybe next year.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tomorrow, March 18, 2HE will be performing in the EAGLE assembly starting at 8:30 am  in the PAC. Please join us! Students should wear their class t-shirt.
  • The library will be closed next week due to two author visits—Todd Parr and Kwame Alexander.
  • There will be no school March 28-April 4. Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 5.
  • Parent-Teacher student-led conferences will be the afternoon of Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8. Please choose one 45-minute time slot; sign up will be in Powerschool next week.
  • Due to conferences, there will be no school on Friday, April 8.


A huge thank you to the moms who came to Natural History museum and volunteered to chaperone a group! There was so much to see and so much of the content was relevant to our upcoming science units.

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

 Writing: The class has been writing the body of their non-fiction texts by adding informational sections about their topic, How To’s, Q and A interviews, timelines/sequences, featured topics, charts/ bulleted lists, and glossaries.


Reading: We continued our study of non-fiction text features by taking the headings each group created in their Penguin books  and using them to create a table of contents. Then the class looked at labels and diagrams of varying complexity—they labeled a diagram of a dog and then drew their own. We have also studied the choices an author makes when choosing types of print and the importance of captions with photographs and illustrations.

Math: 2HE wrapped up Module 6 by studying patterns with odd and even numbers, as well as creating repeating patterns of various shapes called tessellations. After several days of review we took the assessment. Module 6 completed IPPs and the new learning targets for Module 4 were sent home this week.

Our first few lessons in Module 4 have provided students with new strategies to solve double-digit addition and subtraction problems, such as the arrow method, which is similar to using a number line and adds the tens and ones separately, and adding on to make a ten when subtracting. We have also focused on adding and subtracting numbers near a friendly ten by first adding the tens, then adding on or taking away as necessary.

Below is a picture from a subtraction problem we solved on Thursday—each different color is a separate student’s thinking on how to solve the problem. We were up to 10 different strategies but ran out of room on the board!


Social Studies: Our final project for our cultures and traditions unit are our country presentations. Each student has chosen a country they knew very little about and has been researching all about it—the language, food, currency, landscape and weather, landmarks, and so on. This week they are finishing their posters, and during the next next week they will give a presentation to teach the class about all of their findings. I have sent out the schedule and oral presentation rubric in an email, please have your student practice at home so they feel comfortable and confident when standing in front of the class!

Science: We are beginning our second unit, Earth Science. We started by jotting down all of the things we already know about water and it’s relationship with the Earth and humans. Next week we will further explore where water is found on Earth.

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We also got to spend some time in the Innovation Hub working with the Spheros, which are rolling drones! 2HE got to add some yellow splashes to our community Jackson Pollock-inspired art piece.

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January 25-29

Thank you so much to all of you for your quick response to the water crisis on Wednesday! I was able to get ahold of every parent right away and quickly have arrangements made for everyone. I appreciate your adaptability in those emergency situations.

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

 Writing: We began work on our expert texts this week. First, students generated a list of topics they are “experts” in—things they can make, do, and be. We then looked at grade 2 examples of expert texts, and they determined which of those topics they have enough information on to fill an entire book. They chose 2 topics and made an exhaustive list of everything they know about it.

Then they created a web of their topic’s main ideas with all of the supporting details around it. This is the first step in organizing their thinking to begin their text. Each bubble will then represent a section of their book, and they are now able to start writing within that section. We will spend this next week sharing all of the information they know under each heading written out in sentence format.

Reading: 2HE has been discussing why we read non-fiction and what that looks like. We read several Scholastic magazines which are current event news sources for elementary, and the class answered written comprehension on those topics.

We also began our study of non-fiction text features, beginning with heading and sub-headings. Each student was given a copy of the book Penguins and had to determine appropriate headings for each section based on the main ideas in that portion of the text.

Math: We continued our work with arrays and began looking at strategies to use even and odd numbers when combining numbers. Since a doubled number is essentially 2 equal groups, the total is always going to be even (14 + 14= 28 or 36 + 36=72).

Social Studies: The class worked together to create a giant dragon for Chinese New Year to hang in the classroom—it’s very scary! We also began working on our country reports. Each student or pair has chosen a country they would like to learn more about. We will spend the next few weeks researching various aspects of this country, and then the students will orally present their information to the class.

Upcoming Events:

  • I will be out of the classroom for professional learning all this week. Dana Bearinger will be the sub. Both she and I can be reached through SAS email.
  • Tuesday is our class picture day! Please return the picture money that day if you are interested in purchasing a photo. Also please let me know asap if you would like your child to have an individual photo retake that day.
  • On Thursday we will have a CNY celebration in the afternoon. Students are encouraged to wear red or Chinese clothing. You are welcome to join the class that afternoon, starting at 1:00.
  • There will be no school from Friday, Feb 5 to Friday, February 12. Classes will resume on Monday, February 15.

January 18-22

What’s Been Happening in 2HE:

Writing: This week the students had the opportunity to write creatively with few boundries. The first half of the week was a free write, and 2HE got extremely creative writing realistic and fantasy fiction, non-fiction All Abouts, How-To guides, recipe books, and more poetry. On Thursday and Friday we focused on how to respond to a writing prompt and elaborate our ideas by making connections, adding personal anecdotes, and spicing up their pieces with similes and metaphors.

Reading: Non-fiction is our new unit, and 2HE has spent this week analyzing these types of books. After a book walk on Monday where the class jotted down their NF noticings, we completed a scavenger hunt on Tuesday to help familiarize the class with the specific text features. We then went through our entire class non-fiction library and sorted the books by subject area.

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We finished off the week by looking at the differences between fiction and non-fiction. Pairs of students compared the different text features and reading behaviors used in both fiction and non-fiction books about penguins.


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Math: We have continued our work with arrays, with each student creating an array building and sunflower to decorate the bulletin board outside our classroom. This week’s focus has been primarily on finding arrays and building them from information given in word problems, and the class worked diligently to figure out the multiple answers to their problems.

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Social Studies: We finished up our Cinderella unit by reading The Persian Cinderella and The Korean Cinderella. We will do more with these stories next week.



Classroom Food Guidelines

I wanted to add a reminder about the students snacks. We have two snack breaks every day, one in the morning and one after lunch. As a school we request that snacks by healthy and provide proper fuel for your child during their school day. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein are excellent choices and help to keep your student going all day long. Please try to eliminate the amount of refined sugar and overly processed snacks that are being sent in–a treat once in a while is okay, but overall we hope to see healthy choices in the snack boxes. I have also told the class that we are implementing a NO CANDY policy during the school day, unless it is a holiday or special occasion. We have been having some difficulty in the classroom due to candy consumption and trading, and I think it would be best if we just eliminated it altogether. Thank you for your support with this!

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, January 23 is Family Library Day.
  • Passport Recheck will be on Thursday, January 28.
  • I will be out of the classroom February 1-4 for teacher training in math and reading intervention. I will let you know who will be subbing as soon as I find out.
  • We will be taking our class photo on Tuesday, February 2. If you are interested in having your child’s individual photo retaken that day, please let me know.
  • We will be making dumplings and having a grade 2 Chinese New Year Celebration the afternoon of Thursday, February 4. We would love for parents to come, help us make dumplings, and share CNY treats! Please contact Judy Lu (Dylan’s mom) for more information.
  • There will be no school from Friday, February 5–Friday, February 12 in observance of the Chinese New Year Holiday. Classes resume on Monday, February 15.
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