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:
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!
Singapore is very particular with teaching requirements before one becomes an eligible teacher or an educarer. A qualified teacher or an educarer should meet all professional and academic qualifications and language proficiency requirement. What does it mean?
For Singaporeans and PRs, qualified teachers should have:
Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (professional qualification)
5 ‘O’ level credits in 5 different subjects (academic qualification)
B4 in GCE ‘O’ Level English Language 1 (language proficiency)
When you meet the above requirements, you will be considered as L2 teacher. L2 teacher can teach all levels in preschool such as Kindergarten, Nursery, Pre-Nursery and Playgroup (18 months – 6 year old children).
Those who have Certificate in ECCE, 3 ‘O’ level credits in 3 different subjects and C6 in GCE ‘O’ Level English Language 1 will be considered as L1 teacher. L1 teacher can only teach Nursery, Pre-Nursery and Playgroup (18 months – 4 years old). For more information, click here.
For foreigner English teachers like those preschool teachers from the Philippines, Malaysia and other country, they should also meet the teacher certification requirements. This means that they need to have Diploma in ECCE and should get an IELTS band score of 6.5 or better in order to be categorized as L2 teacher. Those who were assessed at certificate level will be labeled as L1 teacher, and can only teach early years (up to 4 years old). To know more details on teacher certification with foreign Early Childhood qualifications, click here.
If the foreign English Teacher has degree in his/her home country, it will be assessed whether it covers the following topics:
Principles and Practices in Early Childhood Care and Education
Child Development and Learning
Curriculum Studies and Pedagogy
Personal Growth and Professional Development : The Reflective Teacher
Safety, Health, Hygiene and Nutrition
Partnership with Families and the Community
Supervised Teaching Practice
If it does and it qualifies as diploma or certificate in Singapore, then he/she does not need to study DECCE or CECCE.
Once you become a full-fledged preschool teacher, you are required to complete at least 20 hours of Continuous Professional Development per year. You have the option to attend CPD courses or participate in Professional Development (PD) programmes conducted by ECDA. You can also consider other modes of PD such as web-based learning, learning journeys and sharing sessions amongst peers.
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:
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.
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!
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:
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.
Roundtable – Rountable is similar with Round Robin. However, the main difference is the children write their ideas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The common type of house in Singapore is HDB flat. Creating your own playground is a challenge. To address this issue, the government has build public playgrounds for children to use. However, if you want another place for your children to develop their gross motor skills, where can you go? Try trampoline at Katapult in Yishun!
At first, I thought the place was just purely for jumping. But I was wrong! There are a variety of activities to do. Here are the five stations you will see at Katapult:
Jumping Station. I called this jumping station because each child will occupy one square and all they have to do is to jump up and down.
Shoot-that-Ball Station. In this station, the aim of the children is to shoot the ball in the basket.
Free Fall Station. The children can jump and fall on the cushioned ground hole. They can crawl or walk and climb up the elevated floor to start again.
Balancing Station. In this station, the children walk on a thin line while maintaining their balance. They can have a strong grip on the ball on top as they walk on the balancing line.
Group Jumping Station. The children can group themselves into three or four and jump together. It is fun for kids as they jump together with their friends!
So, there you go! Now that you know the activities that can be done at Katapult, you may want to bring your children there to have some fun while at the same time doing activities that will develop their gross motor skills! Good luck!
If you want your child to appreciate art through hands on experience, head to Playeum in Gillman Barracks!
When we visited the place, there were five stations set for the children to explore:
Creative Cave – The cave is made out of cardboard. The children can go inside the cave and have the option to build something using blocks while listening to the different animal sounds.
Dark Space – It has kinetic artwork and sound installation. The children will be able to see how shadows work, and at the same time, listen to the sound of the nature.
Make Believe Hideaway – In this station, the children will use clay to create any object of their interest.
Sound of the Earth – It has various natural materials that children can use to create their own musical instruments.
Knock, Knock, Who Lives There? – Here, the children can use the special surveillance screen to observe various insects. The children may draw the insect and “write a letter” for that insect before putting it in the “mailbox”.
Playeum also conducts various workshops for the kids. If you will have your trip here, don’t miss this!
Playeum is not only for school field trips. Anyone is welcome to come. Just bring your child. If you want a different art experience for your kid, this is the place!