my email address:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jump over the candlestick.

This is one of the last ryhmes which we did for the holiday programme. The children enjoyed reciting the ryhme as well as watching the experiments involving the candlesticks. Too bad, we did not have time to let them jump over the candlestick ... perhaps another time.

I used some candles and different jars to show the children what a candle needs in order to burn. I was surprised that the 5 and 6 year olds remembered this experiment from our Junior Scientist programme. They remembered that a candle needs a wick, wax and oxygen to burn. One boy knew that the bigger a jar, the longer a candle burns.

When I put the candle on a shallow tray of water, and then placed a jar over it, another boy commented that water will seep into the jar. I was surprised because obviously these children learnt these basics before. I could not recall when, but they told me that one of the teachers showed them this experiment.

I was pleasantly surprised as this again reinforced that children learn best through hands-on activities. They grasp a better understanding of the concepts, they appreciate the experiment better because they see, hear and do things themselves. They are not being spoon-fed or forced to learn by rote.

That should be the way that children learn - unfortunately we are constantly pressed for time to cover the Malaysian education syllabus. Isn't it time we slow down and enjoy the process of learning, rather than the end results??? Is getting the best results more important than knowing more about the wonders of nature, the interpersonal & intrapersonal skills as well as being "street smart" - vital traits for survival in this world? I don't think so!

No comments:

Post a Comment