QD Learning

2016 March Newsletter

March Updates

Time flies. It feels like minutes ago that I was still typing my February updates on my laptop. Now March has passed. But it really does not matter much because we were having fun!

For all awesome QD students, I am super grateful of the time and the learnings we have shared together. For all awesome parents, I want to thank you for your trust and your continued support.

As we continue to march on this exciting journey (what I'd like to call out-of-school learning 2.0), I guarantee we will see more "scenery" together, experience more width and depth along the way, and more importantly have a lot of fun. Just hang on tight, our ride is just getting started.

- Director & Co-founder, Wei

After-School Program

Eureka!! Let there be life!

Certainly, those excited words of triumph and discovery could have been voiced (and there may just have been a few who did!) as well as Dr. Frankenstein’s “It’s Alive!” as all the students participated and performed marvelously with March’s running theme of Creativity with Creation! It’s Spring… even though the weather jumped from Summer back to Fall, the students sprung into creativity with themed topics regarding life!

Our first week turned our students into world creators – a storybook world that is as they penned and illustrated their very own poetry book in the celebrated theme of Dr. Seuss, in honor of his birthday. The students took to creating ridiculous worlds and words, rhyming them together to build fantastical works of poetic, preposterous prose – Say What!? Up and coming author Anika went above and beyond with several pages of detailed illustrations and won the coveted QD Inventive Word Award and took home some special gifts – but everybody who wrote works to be placed on silly shelves received awards! I’d venture The Cat in The Hat, The Lorax and I, and by all means, the Sneech will find themselves reading these creative worlds of wonder to one day inspire and teach! (See… It’s catchy!)

From penned pages to bringing life from clay, our students were requested to design QD’s very own mascot! Stemming from Seuss’ imaginations and filtering in their own – life was released from clay by first describing the attributes of what a QD mascot represents and what it should look like. From lions to ferocious bears, and one very detailed cute set of turtles by Isabella Lopez, the students used their creative character building skills and artistic flair to mold their mascots from imagination to icon. Bella’s cleverness and talent won the challenge as her turtles represented, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Not to mention how incredibly adorable they were! Indeed, patience is a virtue and those that take their time, follow directions, will stand strong and always win the race in education!

From physical creations, the students then delved into the imaginary as we celebrated the genius of Einstein with Thought Experiment Week! Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the woods if no one is there to hear it? It was a week of debate and thought and just how imagination is the life seed of knowledge. Einstein created Thought Experiments that led to the Theory of Relativity – and for QD, we learned a little about the famous physicist and created our own debates with thought experiments with a wee bit of an Irish Holiday mixed in. We even learned about Einstein’s Force and Motion, which is also a thought experiment in itself and created Leprechaun Traps based upon it. Those tiny little green beings never knew what they were up against here at QD as piles of gold and goodies were left for the budding scientists. Those Irish imps may not be real, but certainly those gleaming, rainbow smiles upon the students certainly were! From what would life be like if we were like gravity and invisible, to what must it be like to live as a dog – imagination became yet another building block of exploring the nature of life.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring and Easter – students got their hands dirty, literally, planting seeds of various types that they will nurture to specifically to feed butterflies. Students created a log book to record the growth of their flowers and watch life grow before their very eyes. To emulate that, the students then created simple, paper kites they designed themselves and wrote their wish and dreams upon them. The students then sailed them high into the sky in a kite race, reaching those dreams aloft in the air, allowing themselves to be as the root, the steering of, and the very life and branch of those dreams that they must nurture themselves. For all their hard work, the children had some Easter fun presented to them with a visit from live bunnies and baby chicks that they could play with and hold, courtesy of Hippity Hop Bunnies and learn about these gorgeous creatures. And like all holidays filled with tradition, the Easter Egg hunt was on all day at QD as those jelly bean filled treats were hid throughout and found their way into their baskets and their happiness into our hearts!

Our final week is indeed a life changing experience! What better way to learn about life than to experience itself as a young entrepreneur! Students guided by mentors will be creating a small business and seek an offer from buyers – a Shark Tank experience indeed! Students will learn about business plans, marketing, logo’s, and who and what their product is for. Students will learn about the value of money in the fast paced world of business and finance. Not only will they pitch their products to potential investors, but they as well will set up a trade show where parents will have the chance to visit and see their child’s business first hand. Imagination spawns ideas – the seeds of life. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” —Scott Belsky, Behance co-founder.

- Lead Program Instructor, Gerald Hapeman a.k.a. Mr Jerry

Updates from Miss Daisy

This month at QD learning we experienced a lot of growth and improvement, both from our students and our faculty. One of our main goals is to be able to help students set goals for themselves and provide all the homework assistance they need. To do so we have implemented a few changes to make sure we are providing quality assistance to your child. From having each student log their daily homework on agendas to communicating to you on a daily basis exactly what your child worked on and tracking their progress.

Here at QD learning we the instructors are doing our best to continue providing great services. With a few changes and a lot of new goals in mind we had a great month, the children enjoyed each week of cross curriculum, they got to work on their own poems, do their own experiment, created leprechaun traps and even had small, furry visitors come visit. Overall we had another successful month, and we are excited to keep moving forward with our goals.

- Program Instructor, Daisy Cisneros

Public Speaking Class

It has been almost one year since April 17, 2015 when we launched the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) at QD Learning in Anaheim that led to the weekly youth leadership and public speaking classes. We now have three weekly classes in Anaheim and two in Irvine. On March 17, 2016 Ted Triplett (see picture below), an award winning Toastmasters member joined QD Learning as the second youth leadership and public speaking instructor and is currently teaching two of the classes in Anaheim.

In May 2016, the Irvine classes will be moving to a more permanent location across the street from the Irvine Chinese School at 10 Truman. We are working on plans for expanding the leadership and public speaking classes as well as adding many more new enrichment classes at this new QD Learning Irvine venue.

Many of our current and new students are close to earning their Competent Communicator Bronze, Silver and Gold awards and will be publicly recognized at the QD Learning Variety Show scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2016 in Anaheim. A number of students will also be showcasing their public speaking skills at the Variety Show.

- Public Speaking Instructor, Harry Yan, DTM, PDG

Note: Mr. Harry constantly posts updates on our facebook page. Follow us.

Art Class

March is the month of expectation. The sun, the rain, the wild flowers and of course our favorite is the Easter bunny. We did our first acrylic painting about the Easter bunny. I talk most about blending the paint and layers to the kids. That is the basic skill of acrylic painting. Not like watercolor we did before, the texture of acrylic allows us to painting over and over until get the best result we want. Isn’t acrylic the perfect medium for the lovely Easter bunny?

- Fine Art Instructor, Phoebe Teng

Please check out the gallery here for more artwork from our art class students.

Chinese Class

IQ 100

Our Chinese IQ100 students had a very busy and rewarding month. Springtime is the land awakening. It is nature's way of saying - "let's study!" - LOL, I know I know, the original quote is "let's party!"

Together we have completed lesson 7 to lesson 9. The topics that we mastered include "how much is it?"; "what time is it?", and "who is calling" in Chinese. Besides the traditional ways of learning foreign languages, IQ100 students enjoy "learning by playing". The famous Chinese game - "grey wolf, grey wolf, what time is it?" - 老狼老狼几点钟? - let our students memorize how to ask and tell time in Chinese while having lots of fun!

Students are also working with IQ200 students on a small Chinese play. This is to get ourselves ready for the upcoming QD's variety show in May.

We are happy to see everyone improving in our class! Let's keep it up!

- IQ 100 Chinese Instructor, Nancy Huang 黄老师

IQ 200

In March, Chinese IQ200 classroom was filled with games while we were working on the lesson “Playing Games”. There were three stages of learning for our February story: designing gestures/body languages for the new words; acting out the story containing the new words; complete the story with missing words (CLOZE exercise). This time, our students took a new challenge: bringing it to the stage. Students from IQ200 and IQ100 will present a playful skit, “Playing Games” to the variety show.

- IQ 200 Chinese Instructor, Min Tang

Kung Fu Class

It's been a dynamic month in Kung Fu Class. Students are currently working on Fundamental Body Mechanics. This includes flexibility, fast kicks, powerful strikes, and coordination. Students are also learning Wu Bu Quan, also know as Five Stance Form. This series of movements teach how to use flexibility and exert power. Our current goal is to prepare for the May Student Showcase. All students will demonstrate basic kicks, stirkes,combinations, and Wu Bu Quan. It promises to be a great show.

- Kung Fu instructor, Sebastian Castellanos

Piano Class

Piano students are slowly getting ready with their May recital pieces and will mainly focus on note reading and memorizing couple measures every week. Students are constantly being challenged with new techniques and have been doing very well with in home practices all month long!

- Music Instructor, Christy Lee

Violin Class

In the process of learning violin or viola, students may ask themselves over and over: how come I have been learning the violin or viola for months, I am still working on playing long notes, but he/she can already play a song. The truth is that every student learns any instrument step by step, starting from how to hold the instrument and the bow, then play the long notes, make beautiful tone quality. As an instructor, my job is to teach students how to play the instrument an hour every week. The rest heavily relies on students' own practices.

Parents often ask what the right strategy is if their kids lose their interests in learning violin or viola. I respond by saying "Congratulations, your child has chosen the most difficult musical instrument in the world, especially for beginners". Just to draw a basic example, other instrument, such as piano, for the most part has been setup and all you have to do is to press the button. Learning the viola family instruments, however, is very different. It requires a lot of efforts being spent initially on how to hold the instrument and make good sound. So the first part of the learning journey is not as exciting. In turn, it requires that student has a strong will power to keep up. While they slowly make progress and step in the second part, everything will become easier.

- Music Instructor, Dan Liu

Other Updates

QD Learning - Irvine Site

We are super excited to announce we are launching our second site in Irvine this summer, in partnership with Crown Culture & Arts Academy. We will run an Anaheim-like summer camp then start the after-school program in the new school year.

What does this mean?

It means we will have a larger instructor pool we will tap into, more ideas will be shared and more management power we will access to.

Any there any changes to the Anaheim site?

Absolutely not. Anaheim will continue to be our flagship center onto which we will put the most resources and eyeballs.

ICP Program

In February, we launched a beta program called ICP. We would like to see students set their goals and accomplish them. Since last trimester was not long enough, we'd like to continue letting students working on the goals they set a month ago. If you have any updates, let us know. Or if you haven't submitted one, it is better late than never. Here is the form again.

Please share with us the 2nd trimester report when you get a chance. That will help us calibrate some goals we are working with each student.

Between now and the end of the school year, this beta program will provide valuable input for us to optimize this process, which will eventually become a critical component in our overall QD incentive framework.

QD Jobs

At the end of March, we launched another exciting initiative. We created 10 different jobs for students to apply. They will be helping out on supplies, food, computer and so on. Each job will be compensated with a monthly salary.

We have seen overwhelming responses on how eager they want those jobs. This is the last week we are running our hiring process. Towards the end of the week, we will conduct interviews (could be panel interviews), select candidates and extend offers.

Here is a detailed document that defines our QD Jobs.

For most jobs, the first day will be 4/18 which gives each "employee" 2 solid months to be at the job!

Upcoming Stuff

Important Dates

April 4 - 8 - OUSD Spring Break

April 11-15 - QD Jobs open application

April 18 (Monday) - First day at QD Job

April 30 (Saturday) - Last day of our Spring Special for Summer Camps

Spring Variety Show

May 21 Saturday early evening - hold the date please

It will be a fun family night and we are planning to include:

· Piano Recital

· Art Showcase

· Speech-a-Thon

· Chinese play

· Kung Fu demonstration and more

Note: Due to the reconfiguration of our multi-purpose area, we will have limited spaces. All families will require RSVPs which will be sent in few days.

April Snack & Lunch Menu

Please click here to access our menu in April.

If you have ideas/suggestions for improving our snacks and lunch menu, let us know.

April Cross-Curricular Projects

Apr 4 - Apr 8, Startup Week, Create business plan, develop products & services and learn the importance of entrepreneurship.

Apr 11 - Apr 15, QD News Week, summarize experience at QD Learning and get ready to showcase at our variety show

Apr 18 - Apr 22, William Shakespeare Week, write personal play and explore who is William Shakespeare as a writer

Apr 25 - Apr 29, John Audubon Week, get ready for the Birds adventure!

Summer Camp (Anaheim) 6/20 - 8/26

Themed summer camps include (7:30am - 6pm daily):
  • Musical Theatre
  • Creative Writing and Film-making
  • Startup
  • Science
  • Youth Leadership

For more information, check out our Summer Camp page.

Academic Camp, Art Camp, Robotics and Chinese Immersion Camp (Anaheim)

Academic Camps include:

  • Math, Reading, Writing
  • 3-hour session each day for 5 days
  • Small Class (up to 12 students)
  • Curriculum designed and led by credentialed teachers

Chinese Immersion Camps:

Our six highly engaging camps are based on real-life projects. They are suitable for beginner Mandarin learners to intermediate Mandarin learners. Campers will learn everyday classroom language and project-related words and sentence structures. There are plenty of opportunities for campers to practice their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills while following our well-designed projects. Our Mandarin Immersion are developed and taught by credentialed teachers.

To learn more, check out our Speciality Summer Camp page.

Summer Camp (Irvine) 6/13 - 8/19

Themed summer camps include (7:30am - 6pm daily):

  • Creative Writing and Film-Making
  • Youth Leadership
  • Musical Theatre
  • Science
  • Start-Up

To learn more, check out our Irvine Summer Camp page.


Homework Issues

We are continuing making tweaks to our homework process to hopefully make it stress-free to all parties involved.

  • We have added daily recap - a process to go through the homework planner with parents every day.
  • Each instructor works with a fixed set of students. He/she is responsible for guiding and checking each student's homework. For those who have Chinese homework, we have dedicated instructors who will guide/check the Chinese homework separately.
  • We recommend you check your child's homework every day. If any issues being discovered, we don't recommend you ask your child to correct it on the spot (unless the teacher requires homework to be corrected in all cases). Just take a picture of the homework and send it to homework@qdlearning.net. We will re-teach it the second day.

Book Donation

We constantly hear from students that they want to read more books. The current expectation is for student to bring a book from home and complete the required reading time at QD. Our QD Library is always ready to serve those who forget to bring books or those who just want to read more. If you have any unused books at home, feel free to donate them to our QD Library. Thank you for your generosity.

Online Reviews

We have started putting more energy in building out our online profiles on Yelp, Google+ and Facebook. If you have not done reviews for us before, please consider creating a review for us. Our google+ page has no reviews so far. :(

A single review will make a huge difference for us (in short, it will make us more discoverable).

Your effort will be tracked and rewarded. In addition, we will thank you in person.

About QD Learning

We provide an integrated learning environment to inspire you to shine. Any questions or comments? Please email or call us any time.