Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Before I proceed, however, I must say that we do not adopt this method 100% as we need to cater to the needs of the Malaysian education system as well as the changing times. One thing for sure, we want the children in Lilbeans to enjoy learning in fun, engaging and purposeful ways! Wow, that's a mouthful. That's why we have incorporated the Thematic Approach as well as a new concept The Reggio Emilia way as well.
If you read the link on the Montessori method from wikipedia, there are a few principles that are important in a Montessori school.
(sorry, I'll leave my post now - urgent matter cropped up. Will continue after the Christmas holidays)
Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy 2010 to all!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I am not particularly fond of the computer, except for work, and often lament that they spend too much time in front of the computer. Until, I discovered Blogger and then Facebook.
I find that blogging is therapeutic and gives me an avenue to express myself. This activity helps me to focus, reflect as well as contemplate future plans. I begin to be more aware of the happenings around me, and took much opportunity to document the daily events in school through anecdotal observations and photography. This is also part of my coursework requirement - to be observant of the developmental progress of the children at work and to chart future actions to enhance the children's learning.
Facebook is simply amazing as it has enabled me to reconnect with some long lost friends. I would also like to use it as a platform to inform and update parents of Lilbeans on the activities at school. Hopefully, more parents will join this network. I promise to keep all information within the circle of our own community.
My second son has been persistently asking me to chat with him online. My reaction??? Don't be silly, we should have real face-to-face conversation. Talk me to me directly if you have something to tell me. Ha .... but this son never gives up. He kept on asking me to chat whenever I'm logged into Facebook. In the end, I responded to his messages.
It was quite funny. We chatted casually, with his answers mostly monosyllabic with "yes" or "no" or "perhaps. I encouraged him to give me longer answers by prompting him with many open-ended questions. Gradually, the answers became longer and I discovered that his English was quite bad ... Perhaps he was using SMS language, all shortened words, with wrong spellings, grammatically incorrect such as "Wat u 2?" I could not accept the atrocity, at the same time did not want to discourage him too much. So, I gently corrected his English online and I believe this is one good way of getting him to improve. At the very least, the next time we chatted online, he tried very much to use proper English. Hopefully, he will want to continue chatting with me and will not find it a bore because Mummy keeps correcting his English!
Technology is certainly playing a major role in our lives today. We have to expose our children to it, yet must be able to guide and control its usage. Otherwise, computers, TVs or video games will be the children's babysitters! This is definitely not healthy. One way to control its usage and to be 'in-the-know" of course is to join him and play his games as well! I did it not because I enjoyed it but to understand what he and his brothers are doing.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
To be honest, when the teacher proposed this game, I was quite apprehensive. I was quite apprehensive. I was afraid that parents woudl object to their chidlren getting wet and quickly bought some raincoats for them! What can I say now?
When I watched the children as they practiced, at one time, I was overwhelmed by their determination to go on despite the difficulty. Water was streaming into his eyes, and hair was dripping wet but I could see one of the boys moving forward with deep concentration and with only one aim in mind - to pour his portion of water into the pail. I see this in most of the children and I am certainly very proud of them.
This is a very good game to develop the children's determination and sustaining power. This is a skill that is lacking in many children - they give up too easily! We want our children to have a good, positive attitude, and to have that sustaining power. Just a little bit more effort, to move forward and brave the new challenges of life. Let us lay the foundation of determination and courage, especially for our Navy Beans who will be facing a whole new world next year as they embark into Primary One. Good luck to all of you!
Friday, December 11, 2009
One of my favourite games. In this game, each team will be given a special menu; in which they have to set a table for 4 guests. These 4 guests are quite hard to please, some prefer Western food, some prefer Chinese and they have to set the table according to their preferences. A Captain is in charge, assisted by 4 waiters or waitresses. She/He has to delegate the job function to the staff and they have to take the correct cutlery according to the designated style. Each setting requires 7 items in total.
- The Captain learns to delegate and the team members learn to listen to instructions.
- The team members learn about quantity and counting as they count the cutlery.
- This is a good exercise that is applicable to their daily lives. Joshua asked me why there was an extra (butter) knife when we went out for dinner the other day. The whole learning process has made him more aware of his environment.
- They learn about teamwork as each member has to work with the others, checking and helping each other out whenever necessary. A lot of discussion takes place during the game. I always beleived that this is one of the most important qualities that a child should have - to have consideration aand concern for each other.
- Lastly, after setting the table, we can admire the whole layout. The setting is very pretty and we are teaching the children aesthetic values. A beautiful setting encourages good appetite, don't you think so?
Why??? I want him to know the value of money and that we must earn and work hard for something we desire. It's true that we can easily afford his request and that in many parents' view, he rightly deserves this reward.
However, to me, getting good results is his responsibility as a student... I will not mind if his results are not as good although it will be a bonus. Don't get me wrong, I am actually very proud of him! After all, good results will be a good stepping stone for a brighter future - entry into a good school, building up his confidence as well as to spur him to work even harder and smarter. This eventually leads to a better career path, perhaps? That's the future and this can be pretty unpredictable!
Right now, I want to instill a sense of responsibility in him. Academic achievement is very important and he has done well as a responsible student. I never had to worry about his schoolwork and homework. Very dependable boy.
Besides academic excellence, one must also be responsible for self, his family as well as the society. I would just like him and his brothers to learn about self-responsiblity for now. One area, as I mentioned above, is to understand the value of money and hard work.
I remember when I was a child, many things are luxury items - a trip to KFC, a story book or even a new pencil case. My family was not well-off, but Dad and Mum made sure we have the basic necessities. My husband too came from a poor background and his mother brought him and his brother up single-handedly. I imagine life was much more harder for him.
My three boys are very fortunate. They are given many items which I would term as luxury or even unnecessary things. There are many toys and books in the house. They have a desktop computer, Playstation, MP3 players to indulge in. On top of that, they do not have to do any housework, although I made it a point that they to put their clothes into the laundry basket, clear up their utensils and cutlery after meal and other basic chores.
Back to Justin's request for a notebook. As I said, I vehemently refused to buy him one. Of course, he reasoned that many of his friends already have one, he needs one to do his research from the net, etc. I think he also needs one for his social networking via Facebook as well as playing games!
I explained that getting good marks is a great achievement, but that would be his personal triumph. While we celebrate this achievement, we must not forget the other areas of development - especially interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
One month has passed without the new notebook. He did not really bug me now, but is looking forward to receiving my old one instead! That's because I have upgraded to a better notebook and will hand over my old one to him, on one condition - he has to share with his two brothers.
Justin, Mummy may be harsh with you at times, but I know that you will appreciate all these when you face the working world later on and realise that things will not come easily for all.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The children's faces tell a story of joy, courage, determination, teamwork and preserverance - all positive traits we want to inculcate in them. Parents too had a great time bonding with their children.
We worked hard to make this event a success. Thank you to all teachers and my two kakaks.
There are more photos in my Facebook account and Lilbeans. In fact, over 800 photos were taken and you are free to view them.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
First, I showed them an actual lambskin and let them feel and touch the soft, soft wool. I read "Charlie Needs a Cloak" and discussed the process of making a cloak, starting from shearing the sheep.
Then the fun part ... making our own sheep. The younger group just pasted colourful yarn onto a template of a sheep. This activity helps them with hand-eye coordination, practise using glue as well to enhance their concentration and patience - a good preparation for reading and writing.