Earlier this month we were discussing plants in our class. In order to supplement the discussion, I decided to have the kids do an experiment. I had them bring several different kinds of seeds and then we went on to do our scientific inquiry.
Here’s what we did:
We started out with an inquiry (a.k.a. creating a hypothesis) in which the children were asked what they think will happen to the seeds if put in a pot with soil and given water and sunshine. To do this I had them chart it on a Manila paper. In this part I had them draw the pots and seeds (although our pots didn’t look like real pots, they were just like dark circles in the middle of the paper with little dots for seeds haha).
Then we did some observations on the seed, the soil and all other materials we used. I asked them to take note of the similarities and differences of the seeds, such as size, color and shape. Some of them even smelled the seeds (which almost gave me a heart attack because they’re so tiny, right???) and one even attempted to taste it. Thank God I saw it on time haha.
After this, we listed the procedures of the experiment (such as put soil in the pot, drop the seeds, etc.) and then actually carried out the procedure.
Of course after carrying out the experiment, we got ready to record our observations and what happens in the experiment
So…after two weeks, the kids found out that:
Teacher shouldn’t plan activities right before we go on a break. Haha. Yes…I had forgotten that the whole week of Feb. 14-18 was not a regular school week because of Paranaque Day, our school field trip, and parent-teacher conferences. Haha.
Seriously though, they did get a chance to see the plants growRead More
While discussing the theme transportation, I overheard my students talking about where they would like to go if they could ride an airplane. Since they were so caught up in their conversation, I decided to have them make an activity out of it. I asked our other teacher to prepare some paper airplanes (errr….I seem to suck at paper folding haha) then I had the kids design their planes and we did a show and tell activity.
It was fun to hear their opinions and ideas about what it would be like to ride in a plane, and I was able to have some of the kids who have been on planes talk about their experiences. They described how it feels to have their tummies feel all funny during turbulence, how the clouds look when it’s right outside their windows, and one even so perfectly imitated the sound of one of the toilet flushing in those cramped bathrooms in airplanes.
Before they ended their turns, I asked them where they would like to go if they were on an airplane. As expected, the typical answer I got was “Hong Kong Disneyland” but here were some cute responses:
- I will go to the province to visit my lola
- I want to go to Japan because it’s snow (errr…that’s how she said it!)
- We will ride the airplane and live in Canada in May (their family is relocating there soon)
- I wanna ride the airplane and go to Africa because I wanna go on a safari and see the elephants and the zebras and the dinosaurs. Then Basti can come with me.
- I will go to Daddy in Qatar (awwwww nice, right????)
but my biggest laugh came from this:
- I wanna ride the airplane so I can go to SM with Mommy and Daddy. (ay kalayo man ng SM!!!!)
Contrary to what would be assumed, given that I am a teacher who teaches preschoolers after all, learning to read did not come easy for me. For those who have been reading my blog for quite some time now, you probably are familiar with the fact that I was diagnosed with a mild form of dyslexia as a child. Yes, early on, I couldn’t read. Lucky for me, I had a teacher who noticed the red flags very, very early on and thus I was able to receive interventions very early on.
Back then, I couldn’t learn my letters very well, much less put them together to form words. As I understand (this is based on stories told to me by my mom and people around me, because I don’t really remember first hand anymore what it was like in the beginning), I would write my letters in mirror image and I couldn’t identify them properly. As I grew up, I loved reading but in hindsight, I realize I never was really good at it. I tended to skip words and make them up as I’d go along. It helped, however, that I had a good grasp of the English language and I enjoyed playing word games that allowed me to make up the right words as I went along.
Speaking of word games, this was really how I learned to read. In many ways, I would have to say I was really lucky that my mom is not a very traditional mom, so she really went out of her way to find ways to make learning more interesting and fun for someone like me. One way she taught me the alphabet was through the use of shells and corals in the beaches we often would frequent when I was a child. It helped a lot, I would like to say, because looking for these letters allowed me to work on my perceptual reasoning skills and helped me be able to see how letters really look like. To this day, whenever I am in a beach, I go and collect these shells to spell out stuff, just like these:
So today, I was inspired to start a new project. I want to take my alphabet project outside of just the beach and be able to find letters all around me and take photos of them. Here are a few examples:
Let’s see what I can find! Do feel free to take photos and send them to me via my Facebook Page so I can add them up
To keep tabs on the project, please check out my Alphabet Project Flickr SetRead More
In the last few months, I have been working on making little changes in my behavior that I would like to believe will make a big impact on my profession as a teacher. For a long time (perhaps because I have gotten so used to the daily grind of teaching), I take some things for granted and become too lax in planning ahead, mainly because I am able to rely on my past preparations and experiences anyway. However, I realized that I can do so much better if I just made little changes along the way. What changes might this be, one may wonder. Well, for one, I have made it a point to be more careful about the way I manage my time. I try to make it a point to be in class a few minutes before I’m supposed to so that I don’t have to feel rushed and all sweaty when I come in because I have enough time to do that beforehand. Secondly, I consciously make an effort to check attendance and recognize those who exert extra effort to get to know me (and allow me to get to know them better) by their names. Because I often have almost 120 students a trimester at the minimum, I find it almost impossible to memorize names, but now I am really trying. I think it makes an impact on the students as well. Lastly, I am working hard at no longer cramming and being lax about my students’ grades. I still have to work on a better document management system though, mainly because I tend to get too lazy to segregate my students’ work per class every meeting. I tend to just put them together in one pile, which often ends up with all of them getting mixed together. I think by being more cautious about this, grading will be easier. Also, this will definitely allow me to manage my time (whatever little time I have for this task!) better. These little steps will definitely make a big impact down the line. What about you, any other suggestions? Feel free to drop me a lineRead More
Should pets be allowed in the classroom? Pushing the question further, should kids be allowed to keep pets?
For me, I would say yes. However, this can become a controversial issue for many schools, what with the question of accountability in case of an accident with a pet in class. I cannot discount the fact that there have been incidences where pets lash out at an owner and in some cases, even maim, hurt, and worse, kill a child. I do not know the statistics of these cases, but they do exist. Further, in my school for example, I have had to deal with a number of parent requests to not have animals in class because their children are allergic or asthmatic. While I do honor and respect these requests, I try to find compromises that will allow me to introduce concepts with pets as the teachers.
Pets make wonderful teachers. Why?
Pets can definitely help teach basic math skills, such as counting, addition and subtraction. They can also teach children about the life cycle, digestion, and even death. But more than anything, pets teach kids very important life lessons that cannot really be taught by just hearing it. Taking care of a pet can teach a child three important R’s, and I’m not talking about “reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic” here. With our four- (sometimes more, some times less!!!) legged friends kids learn responsibility, respect and (g)ratitude.
Through caring for a pet, a child learns how to be responsible and to take responsibility for their actions. They become aware of the need to maintain a schedule, to participate in tasks and to understand that there are consequences to actions.
With pets, a child of any age can begin to learn the value of respect. They begin to realize that one has to be gentle and to honor one’s space. They are taught to be kind and to empathize with others. They also realize that one cannot just do what he or she wants because others have feelings, too, as they recognize how it could feel to be in someone else’s shoes . In the same manner, a child can also begin to understand how it is to interact and engage with others around him/her.
Another important and crucial life lesson children can learn from animals is gratitude. It doesn’t take much to please an animal, and they’re not afraid to show it. With the wag of their tail, snuggle on your side, or a lick on your hand, animals say thank you for kindness shown to them. When their pets show them some love, children can begin to understand that showing gratitude is a great thing to do.
These are among the few very important lessons a pet can teach a child.
For me, my personal pet pick is a dog. However, for class, especially since I teach toddlers, I would pick smaller and less hairy pets, such as turtles or fish. Does your child have a pet? Or are you considering getting him/her one? If so, what is it? Leave a comment and share your stories!