Monday, August 28, 2006

Mr Li and his Teapots

Date: 27 August 2006 Sunday

We changed our older class of kidsREAD to Sunday as the Jurong Student Service Centre (SSC) was celebrating its tenth year anniversary Mr. Lim Boon Heng, Minister (PMO) and MP for Jurong GRC was the Guest-of-Honour for this event.

As some of the children could not make it for the Sunday class, we had a combined class of both IIA and IIB. I was fortunate that YJ and K were also present to help with the class. We had selected a few of Judy Ling's large picture books on "Mr Li and His Teapots" as well as a couple of others. As the Minister would be dropping by, we timed our session for the children about the time he went on his tour of the Jurong SSC activities and classrooms. He popped in when I was about two-thirds into the book with the children. I think he "stayed" for a total of 1 minute :-)

Before that, to prevent boredom from settling into the children, we played games like Simon says, hunter/squirrel/tree to get them warmed up. The children enjoyed it immensely and I believe they were more than warmed up.... Hyper is the word I would use. :-)

Here are some shots of the cute children of kidsREAD.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Group Activities

Date: 12 August 2006
Class Attendance: 9/9
Volunteers: 2/2 (K and me)

We took a break from the usual format of reading a story to the entire class and instead split the class up into two groups (LM, Z, J, YZ, R) which was led by K while I handled (YX, WR, S, C). The first part was getting the children to read in turn as well as reading together. Following that, we gave the children some simple English worksheets that required them to match signs to the phrases e.g. sign of skulls and crossbones matched to "Poison!" etc.

Reading wise, I believe there is some improvement as we have been teaching them for the past year or so (from September 2005 to August 2006). The children's interest to books is getting better as I get less ugly looks and whining from them when we do group reading. The kidsREAD activity book is very popular with the children as they love to do the puzzles and games there. Children like to learn through having fun and that is an important element I need to remember.

For next week, we will read to the entire class again but also work on one or two of the children to perhaps showcase their reading skills during the open house on 26 August. Unfortunately, I would not be able to make it as there is a toastmasters contest happening on the same day and time.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Went Shopping

Date: 5 August 2006

After a one-week break from my class, it was quite refreshing to see all the cute faces again this Saturday! :-)

We had full attendance of 9 children and I was again fortunate to have K help me for this session.

HM had bought some large print picture books written and illustrated by local Singaporean writers/illustrators and I took the opportunity to use one of them titled, "I Went Shopping" to read to the children this time.

The fun part about large picture books is that engaging the children with the relatively simple sentences as well as colourful pictures was easy. Children tend to be visual and large colourful pictures help them to focus on the storyline without being over-challenged by the print. This book was about a girl going to shop for toys, clothes etc and lent itself easily to asking the childrem about the toys, hats, clothes that they have or like. I asked the children a question on what they would do if they were given $50 and the responses varied from buying cakes, to bracelets to keeping the money to the standard "I don't know" answer.

After the book, the class clamoured to do their activity book which is the one that is mapped to the kidsREAD reading plan. K was a wee bit concerned that we were not following the sequence, i.e. we should read the recommended book, and then get the children to do the associated activity. However, I was more inclined to let the children be engaged in the word and puzzles in the book. But K has a point. I will be searching for Frederick the mice book to see if I can at least get this book for the children. There will also be an open house at Jurong SSC on 27 August and I should start thinking about getting my class to do some reading plus some "solo" performances by the advanced readers.

I tried something different too today, recorded with my Creative Zen the children reading the same passage to get an unscientific benchmark of their reading ability. Still transcribing the results into an individual scoresheet for the children for my own reference.

The results will not be posted here for obvious confidentiality issues. :-)

More next week!