A compilation of Teacher’s Day 2016 messages from my kids

Teachers always receive heart-warming messages from colleagues, parents and children on this day.

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Allow me to share with you some messages my children wrote for me.

The girls in my class quietly huddled together and started writing a group letter as a surprise. This was what they wrote for me:

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After that, letters from other children came pouring in. Let me highlight one letter. This letter was written by Fred. I am very proud of him because at the beginning of the school year, he was having difficulty in reading. But now, he is an independent reader and he always tells me that he loves to read. Not only that, he can also compose a paragraph and can spell most of the words on his own.

Here’s Fred’s letter, which he gave me two days before Teacher’s Day:

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On the day of Teacher’s Day, he gave me again another letter:

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 It’s good to receive Teacher’s Day messages like this, but what is more beautiful than this is when you see how much your child has progressed in terms of writing.

Of equal importance, here are what my other children have written for me:

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Parents also surprised us with a scrapbook. And these, what my class wrote on that scrapbook:

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Dear kids,

Thank you for these letters! I love reading your messages!

I will always be proud of you!

From,

Teacher Sherilyn (with love!)

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Two Qualities of an Inspiring Teacher

Teaching is the greatest profession of all! Teachers are heroes because they enrich the life of each student under their care. To me, there are two qualities that an inspiring teacher possesses:

  • Committed to make the students learn. An inspiring teacher comes to school everyday putting in mind the welfare of her students. She gives her very best so that the children will love and value learning. An inspiring teacher does not only teach how to write or how to read, but more so, how to deal with life. She equips her students with dispositions that will make them withstand against any challenges.
  • Helpful to her colleagues. An inspiring teacher is always ready to lend a helping hand to her colleagues. She serves as a role model to them and inspire them to be better in their job. She shares her knowledge with them because she wants other teachers to be the best teacher they can be. And, when there are more better teachers, the more children will benefit.

With these two qualities, the Most Inspiring Teacher to me is my former colleague, Mdm Tan. She is inspiring because she is always ready to extend help and support. She gives unsolicited advices to her colleagues how they  can better improve their processes or output. Furthermore, she is very inspiring because she teaches children up to her very best. She assists children to reach their potential by providing challenging tasks and activities that are appropriate to their level. These qualities of Mdm Tan are an inspiration to me. Being a teacher is not only serving your students, but also helping out colleagues so that we all can deliver the best possible education to more children.

thanksteach!

So, who is the Most Inspiring Teacher to you? What qualities does she possess that inspires you?

What you don’t know about preschool teachers

CAMPING WALKTHROUGHS NO. 6(1)

National Teacher’s Day in Singapore is on 2nd of September. This is the time that students thank their teachers for all the untiring efforts they have done for them. As a preschool teacher, I would like to applause my fellow preschool teachers for all the guidance, love and care they shower to the young learners for them to acquire the foundational skills, knowledge and dispositions they need as they move to a more challenging level. I salute preschool teachers because their job to serve 6-year old children and below is the most critical period of a human life; it is the stage wherein the child is starting to develop and/or is developing rapidly.

So, what are preschool teachers to me? You know that preschool teachers are…

1. Interior designers. Beginning of the school year, they are busy how they want their classroom to look like. They set up the learning environment and make sure that everything is meaningful and purposeful for the children to learn.

2. Architects. They plan children’s learning experiences and supervise how they interact with them. Teachers think of another option when they see that the activity is too easy or too difficult for the children. Likewise, they are always there to guide and monitor the children all throughout the activity.

3. Artists. Even though some of them are not born with great talents, they have developed themselves to have the knowledge and skill to draw, to paint, to sing and to dance. When there are school functions, they have to train their children for presentation (which either can be a song or a dance). Of course, teachers have to show how it is done before children can do it by themselves. That’s where preschool teachers’ hidden talent can come into play.

4. Personal coaches and trainers. The teachers provide continuous training for the children and then examine their strengths and weaknesses. They provide more activities that will challenge children’s interest. Also, they provide activities that will help children overcome their difficulties.

5. Counselors. They talk to children when there are problems and help them to arrive with a solution. Sometimes, parents will also confide to the teachers and ask them for some advices. Teachers are always there to give some advices, tips or strategies when it is needed.

6. Cheerleaders. They cheer for the children. When there are performances or competitions, the teacher is always there at the side boosting their confidence. For every step that the children make, the teacher is always on the watch to see if she has been successful imparting her knowledge to these children.

Preschool teachers are jack of all trades! If you were to add on this list, what would you add? What are preschool teachers to you?

How to teach your child to read

real estate in the city

Are you worried because your child is unable to identify or read words yet?

Here are the five reading strategies that will help your child improve:

  1. Introduce your child to the world of Phonics. Phonics is a method of teaching reading, which focuses on the letter sounds of each alphabet. Knowing the sounds of the alphabets are great foundation towards learning how to read or decode words.
  2. Teach segmentation and blending. Segmentation is the breaking down of a word into individual sounds. For example, when you present the word “cat” to your child, he/she should be able to break it into its individual sounds like /c/, /a/, /t/. After breaking it into sounds, he/she may blend the sounds like /c/… /at/… /cat/.
  3. Teach high frequency words. High frequency words are those words that are often present in reading text such as he, she, me, we, the, a, an, etc.
  4. Introduce storybooks with simple sentences. Let your child read a simple storybook with one or two sentences. Alternatively, you may create your own sentence combining simple words and high frequency words (e.g. The cat is on the mat). You have to observe how the child is reading it. If he/she is trying to blend the sounds in “cat” and “mat”, that means that he/she has acquired the skill in decoding words. That is a success to you since surely he/she will become an independent reader soon!
  5. Challenge your child’s reading ability. So now, you think your child is able to decode words? Challenge your child by allowing him/her to read books with different level of difficulty.

If you want to know teaching strategies on improving your child’s spelling skills, you may read my previous post.

All about what we learned on “Food”

 

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The United Nations launched its 17 Sustainable Development Goals this year to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. One of the 17 SDGs is “Zero Hunger”. This goal has five visions: (1) sustainable food systems from production to consumption; (2) end rural poverty by doubling small scale producer incomes and productivity; (3) adapt all food systems to eliminate loss or waste of food; (4) access adequate food and healthy diets for all people all year round; and, (5) end malnutrition in all its forms.

This term, our theme ties in with one of the Sustainable Development Goals which is “Zero Hunger” with focus on one of its vision: to end malnutrition in all its forms.

Below are what six-year old children learned on our topic about food:

I learned about healthy food. We also learned about balanced meal. A balanced meal got vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and protein. I must eat the right kind of food. I love healthy food and it is good for you. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable. Egg is my favorite food. I love mushroom most because it will make you strong. -Kayla

I learned about food. I must eat healthy food. Eating healthy food will make me healthy because  it is good. I did an activity on how to make my own healthy plate.I also make my own healthy plate using clay. It was very fun. Junk food is not good. -Trixie

I learned to eat healthy food like vegetable. I do not like to eat junk food. -Chl0e

I learned about food. We need to eat healthy food because it will make you strong. Everybody must eat healthy food. -Terrence

I learned about food.I must eat healthy food.Eating healthy food is good.Every body should eat healthy food.-Ellen

I learned about food. Food is healthy. You can not eat too much of junk food. It will  make your body unhealthy. If your body is unhealthy, you will become sick. -Zoe

I learned about food. I eat fruit and vegetables and I eat fish and bread.Every day I eat a
balanced diet.-taeden

I learned about food. Healthy food is good. Junk  food is not good. Fruits and vegetables are good for you. They have vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates can give you energy so you can play. -Fred

I learned about healthy food. Vegetables and beans are good. Don’t eat junk food. -Jadon

I learned about healthy food. Healthy foods are chicken, banana, apple, durian, mango, grapes, orange, fish, celery, eggs and beans. -Brent

I learned about food. Healthy food is good. Junk food is not good. Fruits and vegetables like cabbage and grapes are good. Meat, beans, peas and bean curd are  rich in protein. You also need energy. Rice gives you energy also wholemeal chapati. You must also drink more milk and eat more fruits. -Jolynn

I learned about food. Food is healthy and good. I must not eat junk food because junk food is not good.-Teanie

I learned about fruits. I also learned about vegetables. Fruits and vegetables give us vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals will make us not sick and no diseases. -Jayden

I learned about food. Food is healthy for you.I learned about vegetables and fruit. It will protect your body from illnesses.-Qin Yu

I learned  about vegetables. -Ming Rui

I learned about healthy food. Vitamins and minerals will protect your body from bad bacteria. -Li Ze

I learned about food like veggie, chicken and fish. They make our body healthy. -Travis

Having the knowledge on the right food to eat is one of the ways to end malnutrition. Knowing the proper food to eat as young as they are will make them go a long way!

I believe that education plays an important role in realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We can achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by educating or sharing our knowledge to those people within our sphere of influence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five strategies to help your children improve their spelling skills

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Thinking of how to improve your children’s spelling skills?

Here are the five strategies that will help them improve:

  1. Introduce the letter sounds. Teaching your child the sounds of each letter (popularly known as Phonics) is the foundation in reading as well as in spelling. When they know the letter sounds, they will know how to read and decode the spelling of a word.
  2. Teach phoneme segmentation. Break down the word into individual sounds. For example, if you want your child to spell “can”, break it into its component sounds – /c/, /a/, /n/.
  3. Teach word syllabication. Break down long words into syllables. If your child wants to spell “garden”, let him break it into syllables: “gar” and “den”. Spell the first syllable first (“gar”), then the second syllable (“den”) and join together.
  4. Introduce word families and let your child be aware of its spelling patterns. These include words with common endings. These have spelling patterns like vowel-consonant (VC), consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC), or consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant (CVCC). Examples of word families are cat, bat, mat, sat, pat, punk, skunk, dunk, funk, hunk, etc.
  5. Introduce tricky words and let your child memorize the way they should be spelled. Obviously, there are those words that are pronounced differently from their spelling. The word “friend” is pronounced as “frend” and so usually, children have the tendency to spell “friend” as “frend”. That is because it is how it is being pronounced. You have to explain to the children that there are words that are pronounced differently from their spelling. Examples of these are “friend”, “have”, “said”, “were”, etc.

Do not be frustrated when your children spell “mother” as “mader”. That is an invented spelling and they spell it according to what they hear. With that spelling, they have shown that they have the knowledge of letter sounds and the skill in decoding words. Praise your children for that! Remember that, it is always the “process” that we focus on when we are teaching young children rather than the “product”. They just need practice and more practice because “practice makes perfect”. It sounds cliche, but that is true!

Let me know whether these strategies have helped you. All the best!