Friday, July 30, 2010

Nicholas's school update #10

The centre make it a Sport week last week in view of the coming Olympic Games.

They start the week with an outing to Kidz Amaze. Initially, I didn't sign Nicholas for it as I know he will be too timid to slide and play around like other kids without me around. But the school called just slightly after 9am saying that Nicholas was upset that he couldn't go and when I talked to him over the phone, he was sobbing. So after telling him what to expect, I told the teacher to let him go and I will reimburse them later.

As foreseen, he had fun rolling around and picking balls for the ball cannon but when the teachers gather them to go for the highest slide, he started to panic and shed a few drop of tears. Other then that little hiccups, he enjoyed himself at the SAFRA Jurong!

And on Friday, they had a fantastic "Preschool Olympic Games"! Although the weather was not on their side (it rained ALL day), the little ones still managed to have plenty of "sporting" fun!

The teachers set-up obstacle courses for the children using the tables, chairs, baskets of small balls, medium sized balls, hula hoops and other items that they found within the classroom. The children had a blast participating in the games and we had a special energy fueling snack of fruit and muesli.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nicholas's school update #9

This week, they expand the vehicles topic to construction equipment. Again, another topics which never failed to catch my boy's 100% attention.

They talked about the bulldozer, dump truck, excavator, forklift, cherry picker and crane and shared the following information with the children:
  • Bulldozers have a large blade that is used to push large quantities of soil, sand, etc
  • Dump trucks are used to transport loose materials for construction.
  • Excavators are used for digging holes and trenches and to scoop as well.
  • Forklift trucks can lift heavy things such as boxes and crates amongst other things.
  • Cherry picker trucks are used in mining, construction, exterior painting, etc.
  • Cranes are lifting machines. It can lift and lower materials and move them as well.

They also did an activity that focused on identifying and arranging items according to sizes (in ascending order), a matching game (matching logical pairs/uppercase and lowercase letters) and a string painting activity. The children created a variety of designs using lengths of twine that they dipped in several different colors of paint.

In addition to that, they have also been practicing their balancing skills on the wooden stumps and attempting to stand on one foot without falling over!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nicholas's school update #8

For this week, the children were introduced to emergency rescue vehicles such as ambulance, police car, fire truck, tow truck and aero medical helicopter also known as an air ambulance. Notice their topics are mostly surrounding transport/ vehicles? The school uses "interest-teaching" style. The kids in his group really into transportation and that explained why their topic is always surrounding this area.

They did a math activity involving missing numbers and the children tried their best to fill in the blanks in the number sequence. The children were given a number line and number cards to assist them with the activities.

They made laminated name sheets that includes faint grey outlines of the kids names and a blank box for them to write as well. The children were given the option to choose a picture of their favorite emergency vehicle that they could color in then it was cut into pieces to form a puzzle that they had to put together. It was a challenging task but we managed to do it! A handful of children needed some minimal assistance to complete the puzzle but most of them could do it independently.
Fixing the puzzle

The children had a surprise during the middle of week. The school had gotten a new trampoline! It's awesome and the kids love bouncing on it!

On the Chinese part, the teacher with the help of picture cards explained to the children the usage of the water-vehicles. Next she get the kids to come out explained to the class what they had understand about the vehicles. I personally loves this! This is a very good way to know if the kids really understand what had been taught and also, to speak up in front of their friends, it really takes lots of courage!

And to wrap up the high-energy week, the kids made peanut butter and banana sandwiches to supplement all the energy they dispensed!
Cutting up the banana

Enjoying their fruits of labour

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take Home Kit - by trainee teacher

Nicholas brought home a folder with a sticker that said "Take-Home Kit" on it. In there was a letter from the trainee teacher explaining that this is her project for the attachment in this school. It also had a instruction sheet on what to do.

Its supposed to be mommy and child play but I rope in Charmaine to play with him while I be the narrator. I will tell a story revolving the train captain and the kids are supposed to listen carefully for the number of passengers alighting/ boarding the train at each station. After 5 stations, we are to see if the kid got the correct the number of passengers left on each train.

The first attempt was a failure as he was so engrossed in the figurine and the train that I have trouble getting his full attention. But the 2nd attempt is good. he can focus and listen to the number and the instruction "alighted/ boarded". We went on to play a few more times with some changes made to the numbers.

Think its a very good idea and effort from the trainee teacher. A very good play and learn project.

Nicholas Goes for Swimming Lesson

During one of those days where hubby brought the kiddos out for their exercise, he saw a coach giving swimming lesson and went over to check out price. His price is around the market rate and locality is ok for me. The only draw-back was the timing. It crashes with Nicholas's school Chinese revision lesson but that was the only slot available for his standard and so, we make the decision of him skipping the revision class.

Anyway, I arranged a trial class for Nicholas and he was excited about the class when I told him in the morning before dropping him off at school.

When I picked him up from school, he was so excited that the first question he asked me when he saw me was "Mommy, are we going for swimming lesson now?!" And when I replied yes to him, he immediately told his teacher with excitement.

He, although still the timid boy, but had plucked up encourage to greet people if I gave him amble notice. So when he met the coach, he greeted him loud and clear "Hello, Uncle David!" which deserves my immediate praising for him for being a good and brave boy.

I had told the coach that my boy might look brave which in actual fact was not. The coach was very nice and patience in teaching him and he enjoys the lesson. Oh forgot to mention that the class size is small, only 3 boys including him. Nicholas had no problem making friends with them.

The coach started with getting him used to water...making friends with water. He asked him to blow bubbles and also taught him the 2 basic kicks - Flutter and Frog kick.

See, my boy dares not put his whole head into the water.

After half the lesson, my boy join the other 2 boys in their swimming to and fro the pool with the help of a swimming board.

I asked Nicholas if he likes the coach after the lesson and if he wants to continue to learn from him and he said "Yes!" And so, this marks the beginning of his swimming lesson.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nicholas's School Update #7

They started a new topic in class- Transportation.

After a week of "teaching", the children were able to classify them into three categories namely land, sea and air transportation.
Then, they went on to extend their learning by introducing other categories of transport such as emergency rescue vehicles, construction equipment, human powered vehicles, public transportation, etc.

The children were also asked to draw the mode of transport that they use to commute to school, their imagination took over and we had drawings of buses with ten wheels, flying horses and a plethora of cars in a multitude of colors!

To wrap up the week, they had a special messy art activity which they dipped the wheels of the skate-scooter in some paint and the children rode it down the length of three large sheets of paper. We had a blast making wheel tracks amidst a few slip-ups here and there! The children had so much fun and their beautiful piece of artwork is now proudly displayed on the walls leading up to their classroom.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"First" Zoo Trip for Ryan

The girls had no school today (Youth day) and we arranged to meet up with my sister's family to visit the zoo, a place we hadn't been for quite a while. The girls did their work in the morning while Ryan took his early nap and we left for the zoo (without daddy & Nicholas) after lunch.

I considered this trip Ryan's first as those previous zoo excursion was done when he was a baby, with no idea of what's going on around him. Its also our first time getting the "stroller" and he certainly ok sitting in it. In fact, he enjoys sitting in there! *phew* which is a good thing otherwise, I'll be so tired carrying him throughout if he doesn't co-operate.

See, he look so cute on the zoo's pram!

After some walking and exploring for the older kids, we took the complimentary tram ride to our main destination - The Rainforest Kidzworld. Ryan was curious to see the horses but at the same time, a little scared, which is understandable given the size of the animal compared to him.

He was great with the goat though, even trying to touch them, until....

the goat bleats, which gave him a shock! He cried a little but soon got over it and back to see more of them but, this time, holding Rachel's hand tightly, getting ready to hug her for protection.

Then we watch the show as usual. Its our first time watching the revamped performance.

After the show, Rachel brought him to touch the doggies, which he gamely did.

Then, its SPLASH time! Only then did I realised that I forgot to packed his swimwear, so he just had to make do with his pamper.

Enjoying the water. He wasn't afraid of the splashing sound from the "Big" bucket unlike Nicholas, who will run away whenever he hears the "ding ding" sound getting faster, which meant it's going to topple over soon.

Picture of him watching the bucket toppled over...

We stayed there till closing time and head back home. Ryan fell asleep almost immediately when we placed him in his car seat.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ryan @ 15 months old

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My little rascal turned 15 months old! From a little bean in my tummy to a tiny little baby to now, a cute terror! Look at the shots, he is not camera shy at all! In fact, he is so excited to be photograph and after every shot, he will ask me to show him the photograph taken.

He now weighs 10.09kgs and has a height of 78cm. This put him on the 50th percentile for everything. Basically, both the Paediatrician and I are happy with his development EXCEPT on his language development department. Yes, he is still not talking, not even the most basic word "mum mum" (eat), "bao bao" (Carry). His Paediatrician suggested for him to go for a hearing test if he is still not talking by 18 months. I was surprised as he had already passed his hearing screening when he was a newborn, so why hearing test again? He definitely can hear, I have no doubt in that as he can follow simple instructions and also able to point to the correct body parts (ear, eyes, nose, mouth and head). Shouldn't he sees a speech therapist if he is not "talking"? Anyway, I told the Paediatrician that Charmaine didn't utter her first word till she turned 18 months, so she said she will give him till 2 years old before sending him for the test.

His steps are more stable now and his teeth are out, 6 at a go! 4 on top and 2 at the bottom. Oh, I was complaining that he doesn't want to kiss me anymore last month, hee.. he started giving me his sweet kisses again! Sweet!!

He will "hug" me and kiss me with his open mouth....a wet kisser!

He is on formula milk and porridge during the day and breast milk for the night feeds.

He loves playing with Nicholas and their transportation toys, a typical boy. He will follow Nicholas around and pushing the cars/trains and making the "roaring" sound.

Even at this young age, he had expressed his interest for piano. He will stop whatever he is doing and listen to Rachel playing her exam piece. He is so sensitive to piano that even when Rachel is playing her piano very softly (even I didn't realised Rachel was playing), he can still sense it and it can get him dancing (moving his hands and body).

When in the car, he would always call us "er er" and point to the TV screen asking us to play his cartoon for him. If we played others, like Word World, he will be unhappy and kept making noises till we played him his favorite Thomas & Friends and he will start moving his hands whenever the theme song is playing. Really very cute!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nicholas's School Update #6

The children did a picture search activity to practice visual discrimination and spatial awareness.

Following direction from teacher to drive his car to the destination...

They also explored Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham and did a craft activity with an egg and ham cut out that the children pasted onto a paper plate. The children did a sequencing activity using picture cards from the story and to top if all off, made real green eggs and ham! It's essentially a green tinted ham and cheese omelet, but it turned out to be scrambled as the children mashed it up on the skillet as they attempted to mix the ingredients together. Nicholas loves it so much he asked if I can make that for his breakfast. I thought he had heard wrongly..."green eggs??" Only when I received the teacher's email did I realised he was right.

Unfortunately, the teacher is unable to send the photos to me as she had accidentally did an overwrite of the photo files when she transferred new data into the photos folder!

And I'm proud of his Chinese character recognition achievement too! Think he is so much better than the 2 girls when they were this age. Hope he can continue this zest for Mandarin.

Some of the Chinese character that he can read are:
狗 猫 牛 羊 猪 弟 妹 哥 姐 爸 妈 的 车 眼睛 鼻 口 头 手 脚 耳朵


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