Five good values that should be inculcated among preschool children

It is important to start instilling good values to children as early as preschool age because it will be a part of them later on as they grow and develop.

There are many good values out there, but here are five of them that should be emphasized among preschool children:

1. Autonomy – Sure children need our help and guidance! However, there are things that they can do on their own, and we should allow them to do those things. Not letting children to do things that they can do all by themselves will have effect on their confidence, which will subsequently affect their development. Let your child start doing the things that they can do such as carrying their bags, wearing their clothes and eating their own meal.

2. Respect. Respect is not only the way how you should treat adults or how you should treat the rights of your peers. Respect is also knowing how to use polite expressions like “thank you”, “sorry” and “excuse me”. Teach your child to automatically say “thank you” when someone did nice things to them and “sorry” when they hurt somebody accidentally or unintentionally. Also, teach children when to say “excuse me”. When two adults are talking, let your child say “Excuse me. Can I talk to you first?” Rather than just blurting out while adults’ conversation is going on.

3. Friendship. Friendship pertains to being kind, caring and loving to peers. Let your children understand the value of friendship so as not to hurt their friends whom they interact with most of the time.

4. Determination. There are some children who easily give up when facing a problem. Teach your children to persevere and not to give up. When they imbibed the value of determination, there will never be a problem that they cannot surpass!

5. Honesty. Honesty is not only to tell the truth, but also to do what is right. Teach your children to be honest, not just in words, but also in their actions.

Teaching children good values is the best thing that we can do for them so that they grow responsibly and soon become a good citizen of the society.

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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:

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The section I handled from 2012 to 2015… ūüôā
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A positive note to welcome my children and parents
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Our Meeting Area…
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Library Centre
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Discovery Centre
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Construction Centre
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Table Toys Centre
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Computer Area
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Music Centre
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Art and Craft Centre
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Dramatic Play Centre
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Our door…
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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!

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Jurong Frog Farm

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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!

 

Requirements for Preschool Teachers in Singapore

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: 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.

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Happy making!

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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.¬†20170407_161402
  • Cover tissue role’s one hole with clear plastic and rubber band.¬†20170407_161810
  • Put the sound source or sound maker inside. Do you want rice? Beans? Macaroni? Or combination?¬†20170407_161938
  • Cover the other hole… and there you have it! Your very own rainstick!¬†20170407_162206

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

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Have fun! ūüėČ

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.

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2. Squeeze shaving foam.

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3. Add food colour.

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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!

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Ten cooperative learning strategies for preschool children

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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.

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Christmas wreath art and craft for preschoolers

Christmas season is around the corner! If you are tired making Christmas tree for art and craft lesson with your preschoolers every Christmas, try Christmas wreath!

Here are the easy steps to make a Christmas wreath with your preschool children:

1. Paint the side of the paper plate with Christmas colors (red or green). screenshot_20161215-202146

2. While letting the paint dry, allow your children to trace their hands on a green paper. Cut them after. screenshot_20161215-202234

3. When the paint on the paper plate is dry, cut its centre (leaving only its outer corner). Paste the green hands around the paper plate. screenshot_20161215-202644

4. Add a ribbon of either gold or silver color. screenshot_20161215-202620

5. Add paper candle at the centre of the wreath. Voila! There it is, your Christmas wreath!img_20161215_200457

Now, you have a Christmas ornament to hang on your door! Merry Christmas!

Activities to Do at Katapult

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:

  1. 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. screenshot_20161118-085212
  2. Shoot-that-Ball Station. In this station, the aim of the children is to shoot the ball in the basket. screenshot_20161118-085103
  3. 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. screenshot_20161118-084802
  4. 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. screenshot_20161118-084647
  5. 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! screenshot_20161118-084401

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!