Category Archives: My Classroom

Toran Making for Preschool Children

Toran is from the Hindu culture. It is a decorative element that they hang in their doors during festivals and weddings. They adorn their homes with it to attract Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Here are simple steps on how you can make a toran with your preschool children:

Materials

  • string
  • colored paper

Steps

  • Cut a semi-circle shape. 20181116_122555.jpg
  • Cut a “flame-like” shape. Screenshot_20181117-113415.jpg
  • Fold them into two equal parts. Stick two semi-circle shapes together, and put the string in the middle. Screenshot_20181117-113403.jpg
  • Use the third semi-circle to cover the string. Screenshot_20181117-113351.jpg
  • Repeat the same steps for the flame: Stick two “flame-like” shapes together and paste it closer to the semi-circle shape to create an image of a lamp with a light.
  • Paste the third “flame-like” shape to cover the string. Screenshot_20181117-113247.jpg
  • Do many of these “lamps” and stick them on a string. 20181116_123312.jpg
  • Now, you have your toran. Hang it on your wall and be ready to welcome the goddess of wealth! 20181117_113549.jpg

Easy steps to make a toran with your children! Have fun!

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String Art for Preschoolers

String art is a form of art that can be used to teach children about patterns and geometrical shapes. It is easy to make and invites children to focus.

Materials

  • paper plate
  • strings of different colors
  • one-hole puncher
  • markers

Procedure

1. Make holes using the one-hole puncher around the paper plate (with centre hole being cut out).

2. Decorate the edge of the paper plates with various patterns.

3. String the yarns through holes.

This is how the String Art will look after. You can hang it on your door as a decoration. Screenshot_20180806-192717

Racial Harmony Day

Singapore is a multi-cultural nation with four major races, namely Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian. Being a diverse society, Singapore annually celebrates Racial Harmony Day every 21st of July. Various activities showcasing the best from each race are being indulged in by pupils and students of all schools across the country.

To start off the celebration, my class listened to the song “Hello to all the children of the world”. Then, we started sharing ideas about the meaning of Racial Harmony and why we celebrate it.

After talking about Racial Harmony Day, we began to taste food from each race:

1. Pisang goreng. It is a Malay food, which means fried banana or banana fritters in the English language. “Pisang” is banana and “goreng” means fried.

2. Roti prata. It is a soft, yet crisp flatbread from the Indian culture.

3. Jasmine tea. It is the most famous scented tea from China. Obviously, Jasmine tea is an influence from the Chinese culture.

4. French fries. Clearly, this is food from the Eurasian culture.

Finally, we played a variety of games from different races:

1. Capteh. It is played by kicking a feathered shuttlecock. This traditional game originated from China.

2. Five stones. These five stones are five triangular cloth ‘bags’ filled with rice, sand or saga seeds. Players need to throw one stone up in the air at the beginning of the game and take one of the four stones from the ground.

3. Pick-up sticks. A bundle of sticks are dropped on a flat surface and each player in turn tries to remove a stick from the pile without disturbing any of the sticks.

Overall, it was a meaningful celebration for everyone!

Celery Experiment

Celery Experiment is an experiment you can conduct with young children to show the importance of water. Water is important because it carries nutrients to all parts of the plants or to all parts of the body (for humans).

Here is the process of conducting Celery Experiment:

Materials

  • celery stalk (cut at least one inch of the bottom part)
  • food colour
  • transparent glass
  • water

Process

  • Pour water in a transparent glass.
  • Add food colour.
  • Put celery stalk in.
  • Wait for at least 20 minutes to see the changes happens to the celery.

The end product of this experiment is you will see that the color of celery changes. This happens because the water aids in transporting the food colour to all parts of the plants.

Blood Experiment

Our lesson for the first term is on Blood. As a culminating activity, we had Parent-Child Experiment to determine if Blood Type A can donate to Blood Type B or vice versa.

I did the experiment before our final experiment, and my children were telling me, “Wow, teacher, you are a teacher and a scientist. You are a scientist teacher!”

20180306_163454.jpg

This simple experiment will make a child understand the concept.

Materials needed:

  • cups
  • test tube
  • dropper or pipette
  • food color (red and blue)
  • water
  • marker

Procedure:

  1. Label all cups (near the rim) with blood type names (A, B, AB, O).
  2. Pour water until half on all cups.
  3. Add a drop of red food color in Blood A cup.
  4. Add a drop of blue food color in Blood B cup.
  5. Add a drop of blue and red food color in Blood AB cup.
  6. Do not add any food coloring in Blood O.
  7. If the receiver is Blood A, then use a dropper to transfer the liquid in a test tube. Then, again use a dropper to add another Blood Type as the donor and see if there is a change in the color. If the color changes, it means that the blood types do not match.

Results:

  1. Blood O can donate to all blood types. In the experiment, it is colorless. Definitely, it won’t change the color of the receiver when it is mixed together.
  2. Blood AB can receive blood from all blood types.
  3. Blood A can receive from A and O.
  4. Blood B can receive from B and O.

After the Parent-Child experiment, the parents and children played Blood Game whereby we called someone who, for example, had Blood Type A, then those parents and children with matching blood types would huddle together.

It’s a fun way to make a child understand a challenging topic, and most of all, parents and children were able to spend time together doing a simple investigation!

Child’s first aid on how to stop bleeding: A talk by Mummy Christine

Do you think children should learn first aid? First aid is important because accident can happen anytime, and yes, children should learn the basic first aid because it is not at all times that adults are with them. When they know first aid, they will be able to help themselves in case of emergency.

Since we believe that first aid is a life skill that children should learn, we invited Mommy Christine to our school and share ways on how to stop bleeding. She taught our 5-6-year old children what to do when they have nose bleed and a cut.

What to do when there is nosebleeding:

Image from Google
  1. Sit down on a chair.
  2. Lean head forward.
  3. Pinch the soft part of nostrils below the bridge of the nose for at least ten minutes.
  4. Breath through mouth while applying pressure on the nostrils.
  5. Apply ice pack or cold cloth.

What to do when there is a cut:

Image from Google
  1. Take a clean cloth.
  2. Put it on the wound.
  3. Apply pressure to stop bleeding.

It had been a very informative and beneficial talk! Days and weeks after the talk, we have children sharing, “Teacher, I had nosebleed at home. I did what Mommy Christine said.”

Printmaking

Bored of doing painting, drawing, coloring or the usual arts you do with your children? Why not try printmaking?

Printmaking is an art technique of making prints. You can create print on a paper using any objects with various shapes and texture.

Here are the steps on how to do printmaking using string as a tool:

1. Prepare the materials that you need like paint, string, paper and magazines.

2. Soak the string in the water for half a minute or one.

3. Use two fingers to apply paint on a string.

4. Put the string on a paper in any design you want.

5. Cover it with another paper (magazine or newspaper) and press it as you gently shake and pull the string.

Remove the magazine, and there you will see your wonderful print design!

Heart Pump: A Science Project

Making a Heart Pump Model is a good way to make children visualize what happens when the heart pumps blood.

Here are easy steps on how to make a Heart Pump for your Science project:

1. Pour water in a jar until its almost full.

2. Cut the balloon’s neck.

3. Cover the top of a jar by stretching the balloon’s head.

4. Poke two small holes opposite with each other using a satay stick.

5. Insert a straw on each hole.

6. Tape the balloon’s neck on one of the straws.

You’re done! Now, press the centre of the balloon cover (heart) to see how water (blood) moves…

Blood Donation Drive

To investigate more about blood, our K2 children went to witness a Blood Donation Drive. Here they had the chance to witness how a blood donation drive was done, observe how blood was taken out from a person, see the tools and equipment needed to take blood and interview a person who was knowledgeable about blood.

The children themselves were empowered to do the activity. They did a great job with their roles. They were seen serious with the task they needed to do. They knew the structure of a formal interview and how to operate a camera and an audio-recorder.

In the future, when similar activity is to be done, the event can be structured in this way:

1. Have children go around the different processes before a person can donate blood such as registering their names and then screening.

2. Interview the Donor Manager. Do a formal interview. Ask prepared questions.

3. Let children observe the blood extraction focusing on what needs to be done before taking blood, what are the tools and equipment needed to take blood and how blood flows from the person’s body to the bag.

4. Do an informal interview. Ask questions to the person who donated blood and the nurses. This should be done after the donation, and not when the blood is being taken out as this might stress the person donating blood and the nurse who is performing his/her duty.

5. Group photo and giving of tokens. At the end of the activity, pass the token of appreciation to the host as a sign of gratitude and then take a picture.

Overall, it was a good opportunity for the children to interact with various people to get information about blood.

Thank you Red Cross Singapore and NCS for accommodating our curious learners!

Blood Model: The Four Components of Blood

Learning about blood can be unfathomable to 6-year old children. However, with diagrams and models, it is easy for kids to have a better understanding of topics as such that might be too abstract for them.

Here is how we made the Blood Model in class to make children visualize the four components of blood.

Materials needed

  • white styrofoam – white blood cells (fight germs)
  • red cloth – red blood cells (carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body)
  • red styrofoam – platelets (help in blood clotting to prevent bleeding)
  • water with yellow food colour – plasma (carry blood components to all parts of the body)
  • clear plastic water bottle

Procedure

  • Let the child put the white styrofoam, red cloth, red styrofoam and water in the bottle.
  • Add yellow food colour to make the plasma (water) appear yellow in colour.

As children put the materials in the bottle, the teacher or the adult may ask what each of the material represents. Also, the teacher or the adult can further ask the function of each blood component.