my email address: yvonnelau78@gmail.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yuks!!!!

What's this????

My first taste of bitter gourd.

Oh!!! Why does it taste so funny?  I don't like it!

Trying very hard to eat the bitter gourd.  Teacher says we cannot waste food.

Grape Fruit - really sour!

We like this.  It is sweet!

Perfume smells nice and sweet ...

... but certainly not this.  Take it away from me!

Yuks!!!

Really yuks!!!!!  What is it, anyway?

They are Mandarin orange, ikan bilis, shallots, lemon grass and belacan.
We did Our Five Senses again this year, and had the smell and taste test again.  Enjoy the pictures as they children taste or smell the 'goodies' we have for them!

SPIN & SPIN

It was fun, watching JK and WN playing with the 2 geometric solids.  They spun the ovoid and ellipsoid and discovered that both solids can spin and chase them.  There was much squeal of delights as they continued to spin the solids and watching the solids go round and round and round. 

video
Although both children were still young (not yet 3), they were engaged in cooperative play, where both were playing together and taking turns.  It helps them socially and emotionally. It was a good opportunity for them to learn about the two shapes - now they know for sure that these two solids together with a sphere can roll and spin.  Physically, the children had lots of exercise as they run and let the solids chase them!  They also refine their fine motor skills as they spin the solids with their fingers.   Cognitively, they figured out the best way to spin or roll the solids so that the solids chase could them.  Linguistically, both children did not talk much, but there was clearly lots of body language and laughter from this simple activity.  Don't you agree that young children learn best through play?  The play was so intense that both children concentrated and played for more than 20 minutes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE REGGIO EMILIA APPROACH (REA)

The Reggio Emilia Approach is a project-based, child-centred approach to learning.  It is widely acknowledged as one of the best methods of early childhood education in Italy.  The teachers or adults in the environment listen to the children and take the cue from them to embark on interesting projects for them to work on.

It is not widely known in Malaysia yet.  I would say that it takes a lot of love, patience and understanding to get this approach moving.  I am learning and trying to integrate this into my Montessori approach.  One of the important factors is a suitable environment for the children to work in.  According to the REA, the environment must be pleasing, open and aesthetically beautiful.  It is a place of joy, serenity and somewhere for children, teachers and parents to meet, talk and build friendships.  The children's learning processes are well-documented and displayed - making learning visible - for parents, teachers and children to ponder on, to enjoy.......it's actually what we have been practising all these years.

I've renovated and extended part of Little Beans to make the learning environment even more conducive.  I don't like the idea of having children cooped indoors all the time, not knowing how to work in a natural environment (without air-con).  Hence, I've built an open hall on purpose.  It is basically an extension of our garden, but with a fan and roof to shield from the direct sun.  However, there is plenty of natural light and space for children to roam and explore.  I admit that not all children favour this as compared to an air-con room.  But, the younger children love playing and working here.  The freedom of space appeal to their natural needs.  They, in fact, have been using this place too often, so much so that I have to ask them to use indoors.  The older children would like to have the 'privilege' of working there as well!

Below are some photos of the new extension.  Feel free to drop by for a visit.


The retiled hallway for the children to walk on bare-footed.

Part of the hall


The documentation panels

The whole hall

My two lovely sinks

The most important message of all - The Image of the Child
competent, responsible, expressive, creative, compassionate, independent.
We must keep this image in mind when we work with the children!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child
has a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marvelling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head and the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Loris Malaguzzi
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach