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
A few weeks ago, we were discussing transportation in our classes. The kids had a blast pretending to be traffic enforcers and learning all about stop lights. We made them little cardboard signs that we used to signal the drivers and they had so much fun doing that!
Other things we did (or can do for that matter) in discussing this topic includes:
- For the older kids, we made a stop light as an indicator of their “warnings” in class. Beside each color (red, yellow, green) is a little pocket where I put in their names if they are misbehaving in class.
- Cut and pasting art activity where the kids get to make their own stoplights
- In the juniors they did a “read” and color activity
- Car wash day!
- Invite resource speakers like a police officer or a roadside assistance club worker who can show them how to set up an early hazard device and talk about how to be safe on the road
Any other ideas?Read More
Often times in a preschool teachers life she will find that no matter how well in advance she has planned her lessons, things happen that change the course of this discussion. In my personal experience, this has happened countless times, both for the good and the bad. Sometimes these changes are due to faulty equipment or at times due to a more pressing interest in another topic or stimuli, whatever it is, the teachers job is to adjust to these changes and not get caught up with the “plan”.
When I was starting out, I occasionally struggled with that. It took some time for me to really embrace the idea that no matter what I do or say, if the children are intent on something else, I better just go with it. And what I realized from this is by going with the children’s flow, I would find they learned better and they remembered these lessons even years later.
One example of these sudden changes was when I ran into Mother Nature as I taught my kids about animals and bugs. As part of our Math lesson, I had them go through an investigative bug hunt. The task was for them to look for the plastic bugs and pictures of animals I had hidden around the playground and to count the number of legs these bugs had, then we were to chart this and compare which had more or less . Armed with a magnifying glass and a record sheet, we set out in search for these little critters.Read More
A few months ago, I came across this pack of candy that I thought was quite cute. It was a play on one of the popular cigarette brands that said “Sucking Does Not Kill”. I liked how, in it’s small way, it implies that smoking is dangerous to ones health while the candy, well, it’s a better alternative, right?
However, days later I came across this one in a local grocery store:
I was quite shocked and angered by what I had seen. This actually encourages young children to think smoking is cool Grrr.Read More
I used to be a very punctual person growing up. Now, I catch myself being late a lot. To be fair, I still am generally prompt when it comes to meetings and appointments. However, because of the notion of Filipino Time, sometimes I find myself dilly dallying instead of getting ready as early as I would have normally used to do.
The idea that it is okay to be late because the event (be it a meeting, party or what not) doesn’t start on time anyway seems to have been so ingrained into todays society that many have lost a sense of value for time. Perhaps this attitude prevails because it has become an accepted behavior among most of us, very much like Pavlov’s classical conditioning. I suppose we also make it acceptable by our response to these kinds of behaviors.
Just this term, the university I work for introduced a program to really emphasize the importance of being on time. Every now and then, we would receive emails reminding us about how we should be in the classrooms on time, even though our students tend to come in later. I guess part of the reason why the students come late too is because they know the teachers are aware they come late so they aren’t 100% prompt 100% of the time. Plus they get away with it anyway.
This coming term, I am going to try to rewrite Filipino time, at least for myself. Perhaps by being more self-aware about my being prompt and conscientious about this, I can affect change around me, after all, this is why I’m called teacher, right?Read More