(LATIMES) — Twenty-four first-graders scrambled from their seats and plopped onto a rainbow-colored rug in “Wong laoshi’s” classroom. In a minute, they would begin a lesson on food groups. But first a quick exercise on water.

“Zhengfa!” teacher Kennis Wong said, using the Mandarin word for “evaporation,” and the students jumped to their feet.

“Ningjie!” Wong said next, giving the word for “condensation.” And like a forming raindrop, students hugged in small groups.

“Jiangyu!” she said finally, and the raindrops splashed to the floor, giggling the whole way down.

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