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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Budding Artiste

Javen and Teacher Leroy performing during one of our circle time ... details will be posted later!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've implemented a new reward system in Little Beans. Basically, the mechanic is simple. Based on a set of criteria such as:
  1. following the 5 golden rules
  2. doing schoolwork or homework on time
  3. respecting friends and teachers in school,

the children will be given ink stamps in his/her Good Behaviour Chart card. Upon accumulation of stamps, they can redeem for many interesting things from the school. The minimum stamps are 10, can can be as high as 100. Number of stamps depends on the value of the gift. This redemption happens once a month.

The main objective is to reward good behaviour and positive traits. This forms as a strong motivation for the children to remember, especially the 5 golden rules which are:

  • eyes on teacher
  • hands to self
  • walking feet
  • indoor voice
  • care for materials

So far, it has worked well for the majority of the children. The stamps or even lack of them helped teachers to remind the children of their responsibilities in school. But, it can be demotivating for those who somehow cannot collect enough stamps.

There must be a fine balance as it can be subjective at times. How do you define good behaviour? What about the child who tried very hard, and yet did not get full marks in her spelling? I would still give her the stamp if she has done her very best!

As teachers, we must always look for positive reinforcement, and try to reward the children whenever possible. Let them feel good about themselves, then they will be motivated to do even better.

The first round of redemption happened on April 1, and only a handful of children had the chance to redeem because the programme was only 2 weeks old then. They were excited about their gifts, but at the same time, it was rather heart-wrenching to see some trying to control their tears when they couldn't get anything. But the redemption on May 2 should be better- after all it will be based on a period of one month, which gives the children more time to collect the stamps ... teachers too are more lenient with the stamps plus the fact that the minimum requirement is just 10 stamps!

I hope to see more happy faces in May ... and eventually, I hope that I can do away with this system so that the children are intrinsically motivated, and not because of the gifts, no matter how exciting!


We are now doing the theme on My Community. Below is our theme board. Here, we depicted a normal neighbourhood scene with shops, people as well as the mode of transportation.

This is a very interesting theme because most of the children are familiar with the buildings. We talked about the buildings around Bandar Sri Damansara (where Little Beans is) and of course MacDonald's, Grand Union, Berry's Bakery and even Klinik Kanak-Kanak London are familiar landmarks to them.

Of course, we talked about 7-11, and some are puzzled that it can be open for 24 hours. A five-year old boy wondered why the people working inside 7-11 need not sleep. Teacher explained that they worked in shifts, and they take turns to sleep.

I would also like to take this opportunity to talk to them about traffic rules, road safety as well as paying for parking. Parents, are you guilty of not feeding the meter when you park your car? I know many are ... the children told me that "My daddy never put coins into the parking meter", or "Mummy says not need to pay...." Aha....children are observant, aren't they?

The theme board is a very useful tool to convey positive messages. Looking at the theme board, we see many people in the midst of daily activities. There are people of different races to reflect the diversity of Malaysia. Also, good habits such as recycling or helping the elderly are incorporated into the board as a gentle reminder to the children.

Buildings in and around my neighbourhood.

Reuse, reduce and recycle
Helping grandma as she walks.

Little boy playing outside his school.

Policeman helping to control the traffic.

Man running after a taxi.

The fire station.

The bakery - incidentally, we will be taking the children to a bakery soon to have a hands-on experience of baking and decorating their own cupcakes and pastry.