Setting up your classroom for the new school year

Teachers are not only teachers. They are interior designers, too. They plan and organize how their classroom would look like before welcoming a new batch of children. You might ask “How do teachers set up their classroom?”

Well, teachers setup their classroom based on what the school asked, what is appropriate to children, and of course, done according to the teacher’s personality.

As for me, I like a classroom that evokes positivity. So, I would put positive quotes around my classroom.

Take a look at the pictures below of how I designed my classroom in 2012, my first year in Singapore:

The section I handled from 2012 to 2015… šŸ™‚
A positive note to welcome my children and parents
Our Meeting Area…
Library Centre
Discovery Centre
Construction Centre
Table Toys Centre
Computer Area
Music Centre
Art and Craft Centre
Dramatic Play Centre
Our door…
A closer look on what was written on the door…

Children, parents and teachers who enter my classroom are greeted with positive notes, and they also leave with positive thoughts in mind, because I, myself, is full of optimism in life!

Have fun designing your classroom!



Active Health Fund Run 2017: A culminating activity of K1 Class at Learning Vision NCS

To mark the end of the term on the topic “Be healthy, exercise daily”, the K1 Class of Learning Vision NCS planned a Fund Run activity in collaboration with the Yio Chu Kang ActiveSG. The said activity was held last August 25 at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium. It was co-organized by YCK ActiveSG led by Parry Low and Stuart Low and by the K1 teachers of LV NCS – Teacher Sherilyn, Teacher Lin and Xia Laoshi with the support of the Centre Principal, Teacher Anisah.

Active Health is an initiative launched by the Sports Singapore with an aim to use sport to live a better and healthier life. This will form the basis of all future plans and programmes of the nation to achieve the objective of Vision2030 – a healthier population.

The K1 parents registered for this Active Health Fund Run, and the proceeds from this event went to our beneficiary, which is the Singapore Disability Sports Council. SDSC is an organization that provides sports training and development programmes for persons with disability. They are fielding the biggest away contingent of over 90 athletes to the ASEAN Para Games 2017 this September.

On this day, amidst the scorching heat of the sun, parents and children still had a great day as they were able to spend time with each other by doing various forms of exercises. The children ran 100m while the parents ran 800m. After the run, parents and children enjoyed playing active games like Bear Crawl, Tug of War, Maria Went to Town and Three-Legged Race.

Truly indeed that “it takes a village to raise a child”! The school, home and community have come together for this activity to support children’s development. We thank our K1 parents for participating in this event. We also thank the organizations we work with, the Yio Chu Kang ActiveSG and Singapore Sports Disability Council. Without you, this Ā event will not be a success! Our sincere gratitude to all of you!


Jurong Frog Farm


Our school visited Jurong Frog Farm to know more information about frogs in real life context. Activities conducted by the staff of Jurong Frog Farm were age-appropriate.

The first activity was introducing the American Bullfrog to the children. The kids were able to touch and feel the frog.


At the next station, the kids were given the opportunity to feed an army of frogs.


Then, the children were able toĀ see the life cycle of a frog in real life.

At the fourth station, the children had the chance to catch tadpoles.


Finally, the children eagerly listened to the story “The Frog Prince”.


Overall, the trip was informative, and at the same time, fun and engaging for the children! The programme offered was carefully and meaningfully designed for children. It’s definitely worth a visit!


Choice Theory: How and why people behave that way

We often hear Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which states that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When the first level of needs is satisfied then the person will move up to satisfy the next level. There is another theory in human needs related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and that is the Choice Theory.

Choice Theory is developed by William Glasser. This explains that human’s behavior and choices are influenced by their desire to fulfill their needs. The needs in Choice Theory is somewhat similar to the Hierarchy of Needs. Below are the five basic needs in Choice Theory:

  • Survival. This need directs us to behave or choose something in order for us to have food, shelter and others. Examples of Survival Needs are air, food, water, shelter, health and exercise.
  • Love and Belonging. This need requires us to be connected, accepted and appreciated by others. Examples of Love and Belonging Needs are friendship, cooperation, involvement, relationships, connectedness, companionship, intimacy and collaboration.
  • Power. This need is satisfied by achieving and accomplishing and being recognized and respected. Examples of Power Needs are importance, competition, recognition, achievement, competence, attention, respect, skills, being heard, impact, pride and significance.
  • Freedom. This need drives us to make choices and have the control of our life:Ā to set goals, to create plans, to make choices, to evaluate results and to determineĀ the next step. Examples of Freedom Needs are choices, independence, options, liberty, autonomy and moving around.
  • Fun. This need demands us to have joy and satisfaction in our lives. It is the result of accomplishment, recreation and entertainment. Examples of Fun Needs are enjoyment, pleasure, learning, relaxation and laughter.

When a person’s need is satisfied, he will feel the pleasure. Otherwise, he will feel frustrated; he will feel the pain. Whatever the person feels, it will affect his behavior or choices. How a person behaves then is internally motivated, and is not affected by external factors. We can only say what we want to say, but the decision to do it is not ours, but his!

I said a lot in this post, but the only thing I can give is information. Further decision or action is yours to make!

What to do during the field trip

During the field trip, here are the things you should do:

  1. Prepare the things that you need to bring before the children arrive. You must have a checklist of the things you need to bring and/or the activities you will do. Refer to the checklist and see whether you have brought everything with you. Do not forget fundamental items when going for a trip with the children like tissue, hand sanitizer, first aid kit and plastic bag and extra clothes (just in case someone feels like vomitting).
  2. Check children’s attendance.Ā Count the number of children when you leave the school, when in the bus, when in the venue, when leaving the venue and when back to the school.
  3. Make sure the children go to the toilet before leaving the school. Buses cannot stop somewhere just for one child or two to go to the toilet. If the bus stops, it will delay your time. So, let the children go to the toilet before you depart.
  4. If there are more adults accompanying the field trip, strategize how you will maximize them. Give them a role. For example, when you are walking in line with the children, assign 1 adult in front, 1 adult in the middle and 1 adult in the end of the line. You may also discuss who will gather the children around in one place while another adult is attending to one activity. As much as possible, discuss the role of each adult before reaching the venue.
  5. Pay the bus, admission fee and other expenses you have to pay for the field trip. There are companies which require no advance payment; you have to pay them on the day of the trip. So, in this case, do not forget your cash. It is better if you put per payment in an envelope and write for which company it is and how much money is inside the envelope.

These are some of the basic things you need to do during the field trip. Good luck in your next trip!


Steps to take before your field trip


A successful field trip takes careful planning and a lot of liaising. To prevent chaos during the trip, it is better to anticipate what can possibly happened and act on it before worse thing occurs.

Here are the steps to do when planning for your field trip:

1. Define the objectives of your field trip. Field trip is done to allow children to break away from their normal class routine. It also provides children some hands on learning experiences. It is good if your objective is related to your current theme so that the children can apply and connect the knowledge and skills they learned from the classroom in the real world context.

2. Find a place that meets your objective. Search for places where you can have your field trip, and at the same time, a place that will meet your objective. If you have many choices, narrow it down until you find one that is best suited for the attainment of your objective.

3. Contact the place of interest. Call or email the place you have chosen. Inform them that you will have your field trip in their place. Let them know your objective. They might have additional workshops or programmes they can offer to you to strengthen childrenā€™s knowledge on the current topic you have. Also, ask them the starting time they can accommodate you and for how long.

4. Plan your itinerary. After knowing the start time and end time of your field trip, calculate how long will it take from going to the place to your school and back. It is also good if you will reconnoiter the place so that you will know if the bus stop is near the place you will visit or you still have to walk a long way to reach your destination. In addition to toilet time, travel time and field trip time, you also have to consider if the children need to have snacks or lunch at the venue. You need to have time for this and have to include it in your schedule.

5. Arrange for transport. Since you know already where you are going and what time is the start of your trip, call a bus company and ask whether they have available bus and how much it costs.

6. Calculate the field trip fee. How much is the bus fare? How much is the admission fee in the place you will visit? How much will the lunch or snack cost? Calculate the total amount and this will be the field trip fee.

7. Send an email to the parents about your upcoming field trip. Let them know the objective of your field trip and other details such as where and when is the field trip and how much does it cost. Let the parents know what their children will wear on the day of the trip. Do the children need to wear jacket? Do they need to wear a hat?

If the parents want their child to join the trip, state in your email that they can sign the consent form and pay for the field trip fee.

8. Collect all the consent forms and identify who are the children attending and not attending. Identify how many adults should accompany the children to the trip. If there are children not attending the trip, identify who should supervise them in case they come to school.

That’s all folks! Look out for my next post, which will be about “What should you do during your field trip?”


Decoupage: An art technique perfect for developing your child’s fine motor skills

Decoupage is an art technique used to decorate an object using paper cut outs and glue. This is a great activity to develop your child’s fine motor skills. Older preschool children can use scissors to cut magazines, newspapers or colored papers while younger preschool children can use their fingers to tear paper (instead of cutting).

Here are the materials needed for decoupage:

  • glue
  • brush
  • magazines, newspaper or colored paper

It is easy to do it. Let your child cut or tear paper. Next, allow them to use brush to spread glue on the object they are decorating. Then, let them stick the paper on the object.

Below is an example of how decoupage looks like. The children decorated the tissue roll using colored paper and magazine.


Happy making!


Make your own rainstick using recycled materials

Our topic for this term is “Rain”. One of our activities include making a rainstick using recycled materials.

The materials needed are the following:

  • tissue roll
  • clear plastic bag
  • rubber band
  • paper cut outs (coloured paper, magazines, newspaper, etc)
  • glue
  • aluminum foil
  • rice, macaroni and/or beans

Here is how to create your DIY rainstick:

  • Decorate the outside part of the tissue roll. My K1 children used decoupage as an art technique to beautify their rainstick. 20170407_160805
  • Roll and twirl the aluminom foil and put it inside the tissue roll to make the beans/rice/macaroni twirl slowly.Ā 20170407_161402
  • Cover tissue role’s one hole with clear plastic and rubber band.Ā 20170407_161810
  • Put the sound source or sound maker inside. Do you want rice? Beans? Macaroni? Or combination?Ā 20170407_161938
  • Cover the other hole… and there you have it! Your very own rainstick!Ā 20170407_162206

Creating a rainstick is a good activity for Music lesson or when your topic is about rain or saving the earth.


Have fun! šŸ˜‰

Rain Cloud Experiment

Why does it rain? Conduct a simple experiment to show your preschoolers a visual representation of the rain concept.

1. Pour water in a tall, transparent container or jar.


2. Squeeze shaving foam.


3. Add food colour.


Observe as the streaks of food colour drops to the bottom of the container. Let the children know that the shaving cream is the cloud and the food colour is the rain… when the cloud turns dark or grey, it will rain!



Ten cooperative learning strategies for preschool children


Cooperative learning strategy (also known as collaborative learning strategy) is based on the Social Constructivist theory whereby learning happens with the guidance of or through collaboration with others. Cooperative learning strategy is done in pair or small groups after presenting a topic to discuss solutions to a problem or to brainstorm for ideas. Below are some of the cooperative learning strategies which you can employ in your preschool classroom:

  1. Round Robin – Each child will take turn answering a question. For example, if the class activity is to give words that begin with /s/, the first child will give one word, then the second child will give another word and so on until everyone has contributed a word.
  2. Roundtable – Rountable is similar with Round Robin. However, the main difference is the children write their ideas.
  3. Jigsaw – In Jigsaw, children are assigned with a number. Each number is given a part to tackle. For example, Child 1 will think of an action for stanza 1 of a poem, Child 2 will do stanza 2, an so on. Then, all of them will come together and share the actions to their group to have all the actions for that one poem.
  4. Give One, Get One – Children will go around and ask one idea from a friend. In exchange for that, he/she should also give one idea to his/her friend.
  5. Think-Pair-Share – The teacher will pose a question for the children to think. Then, they will find a pair and share their answers to their partner.
  6. Numbered Heads Together – In a group, each child will have a number. The teacher will call out a number, and all children in each group with that number will come together to answer a problem. After their discussion, they will go back to their own group and share the answers to their own group.
  7. Tea Party – Children will be in two circles or two lines. The teacher will pose a question. Those children who are facing each other will discuss the answers. After that, the outside circle or the one line will move so that they will have a new partner to discuss with.
  8. Writearound – This is good for creative writing. The teacher will give the beginning of the story (For example, “Once upon a time, the bear went to the forest and he…”). Each child will write something to continue the story.
  9. Gallery Walk – Children’s work will be placed on the wall or on the table for display. Children will then walk around and each child will explain their work. Other children may give comments on their friend’s work.
  10. Quiz-Quiz-Trade – Each child will have a partner. One child will ask a question and the other one will answer. Then, they switch roles.

There are a lot of cooperative learning strategies, but you can start using these ten strategies to jumpstart a collaborative work in your classroom.