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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hands-On Learning

The three-year olds were learning shapes and I like the way Teacher Vicky presented the lesson. Earlier, she introduced the basic shapes to them. This exercise is a reinforcement of the shapes - circle, square, triangle and rectangle.

Instead of letting the children sort on the floor mat, she let them paste them up on the white board instead - indeed an interesting twist from the norm.

Teacher Vicky made this activity into a game and the children had to queue up and wait for their turn - very good social and emotional development is taking place.

The children were playing and learning at the same time!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Feelings ... Are You Happy or Sad?

The overall theme board on FEELINGS.

Silly hats, silly hats, they make us look soooooo silly!!!

Part of the board.

Up close of the different feelings in the letter F - thanks to Tan's meticulous drawing and coloring.


This theme centres around feelings; joy, sadness, anger, disappointment, even pride or frustration and how to deal with these feelings. Guess for children, they are more familiar with the main feelings of being happy (smile or laugh) or sad (cry), or perhaps angry (sulk). They did not really understand what is disappointment, frustration or pride. However, they know when they are feeling hungry (not a feeling though) or silly (by making silly faces or wearing silly hats).
Most important, we want to teach the children how to deal with anger. Do not hit, cry or scream. Tell a teacher, mummy or daddy that "I am angry". Older children are encouraged to be calm, walk away or count to 10 to contain the anger. Then, talk to their friends about what angered them. In most instances, this is easier said than done and supportive adults are important to help them deal with this feelling. After all, don't we sometimes feel so angry that we ourselves don't know what to do?

Their Smiling Faces - The Wonders of Music and Movement

Yeah! Yeah We are full of energy!!!

I couldn't help capturing these beautiful pictures during one of the music and movement sessions. You see, some of the children who came to Little Beans early this year are rather shy. Maybe they are not familiar with the new environment, or perhaps they are just reserved by nature.

Well, in Little Beans, we encourage all children to be expressive, to enjoy themselves and to be creative in all activities. Young children should learn through play, hands-on activities as well as creative expressions. Don't get me wrong- all these are not done at the expense of having no discipline!!! There is a time for play as well as serious work, especially for the older children. On the contrary, when we give them time to play, they can concentrate better during lesson times. They learn when is the right time to listen and when they can speak. Sorry for the digression....
Anyway, if you look at the children's smiling faces, you will not know that perhaps only a month ago, some of them were still very quiet, not confident or simply reluctant to join in some of these dances. Over time, they are slowing coming out of their cocoon and are joining in the activities. In fact, they are all enjoying themselves so much that they totally forgot that once (not too long ago), they were so scared to even wave a hand in rhythm to the music! Now, they are butterflies showing off their beautiful colours. Incidentally, they were dancing to the tune of CLEANLINESS and part of the lyrics is "Yeah! Yeah! We are full of energy!"

It was such a delight to see this development. Music and movement indeed can draw out the shyest child - perhaps it takes longer for some children but eventually most, if not all, will enjoy it. Make a date with us this October 31 and see for yourself, how your child has blossomed into a confident, expressive and persistent charmer! That's when our year-end concert will be. See you there!

Our Theme for July - TRANSPORTATION

We went around the world with different modes of transportation - in our imagination, of course!

Our theme for July is transportation, and we discussed transportation by land, water and air. Most, if not all the children, know about transportation very well and in fact, many have been on a plane before. They can also tell us about dump trucks, submarine, cement mixer, digger, etc.

Anywhere, the theme board features all the vehicles, and we decided to put up the children's photo on the board. This created excitement amongst the children as they love to see their own photos.

We ended the theme with reading "The Foot Book" by Dr Seuss. After all, what can be a better vehicle than our very own feet???


We went on a field trip to Taman Pertanian Warisan on July 5, 2010. Taman Warisan is situated in PutraJaya and is a place where many different types of fruit trees and herbs are planted.

The objective is to inform the public and tourists on the variety of fruits and herbs in Malaysia and serves as an eye opener to many who have never seen the trees before. The highlight was to see the rubber trees, how the trees are tapped as well as the processing of the rubber into sheets.

It was a learning experience for the children, teachers and parents. The downside to this trip - some of us were victims of ants and mozzy bites!

The trip started from the bus journey. As usual, the children were eager to board the bus. We had breakfast, then the tour guide invited the children to come to the front of the bus to sing. I was surprised the YZ, one of the quietest boy in Little Beans, immediately came forward and sang a song!

YZ singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Usually quiet, he was not shy in fromt of the mike at all!

Group singing by the other children - guess they are never shy to show off their talents, or is it the stickers offered by Edmond????

On arrival - see the parade of headwear?

Misai Kucing - a herb to cure many ailments

Looking at the humble pandan leaves. We have these in Little Beans but
the children never really smelled or seen them up close!

Durians! Durians! Durians!

And rambutans!!!

Hello - we are the Navy Beans. Can you see the durian tree behind us?

The rubber tree - see the latex flowing down into the cup.

The dried latex is soo0000 stretchy!

This is the way we tap the tree, we tap the tree, we tap the tree!

Here, feel the latex. Gooey, soft and stretchy.

The hardened latex, waiting to be rolled into sheets.

Put it through the roller, and roll the latex out like pan mee.
This process takes out the water from the latex.

The sheet is to be rolled three times. The final machine will roll the sheets into patterns.

The final product, with the patterns on the sheets. This roller with pattern ensured that the maximum amount of water is squeezed out from the rubber sheet. Now the sheet will be put in a smoke-house for smoking and the final sheet will be blackish and a little transparent. According to the guide, this is the best quality of rubber sheet.

In fact, our rubber is of the highest quality in the world and are being used to make wheels of aeroplanes. Certainly MALAYSIA BOLEH!