Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mrs De Silva awarded Life Member of Royal Academy of Dance (England)

Congratulations to our beloved Mrs De Silva for being awarded the Life Membership of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), England. RAD is one of the world's most influential dance education and training organisations. Its classical ballet examintion syllabus is regarded as the best.

We are always proud of her being a dedicated and honourable Teacher for more than half of her life. As we all know, it is a big honour to pass the examinations of the Royal Academy of Dance (England). She did it decades ago and had also become a Teaching Member of the RAD more than 20 years!

Being a talented lady since young, she excels in ballet, creative Modern Dance, European Folk Dancing and Artistic & Rhythmic Gymnastics. She is also a Physical Education specialist who specialises in Labau Movement Training and Coaching Swimming and Life Saving skills.

Her vast talents and teaching experience have brought her students to different heights during their training with her.

She is now teaching at our Clover Learning Centre, focusing in teaching Ballet (4 years old to adults) during weekends, training the students to qualify for cerification in the Royal Academy of Dance (England). She is also teaching Fun Dancing to boys and girls of age 3.5 to 6 years old on every Monday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

As an annual lesson plan, we told the story about the origin of Chinese New Year (CNY). It all began with the Monster "Nian" (年). It seemed that the children are never tired of this story even though we tell it every year.

We had very busy weeks before the CNY this year. We did the History of the Earth, and we also needed to cover the story and talkabouts of CNY. The Aunties were exhausted but as excited as ever.
Story-telling about the Origin of the Chinese New Year.

We did Food Tasting as usual. The children were all eager to try the various types of food. Some even attempted the spicy crackers.

We also borrowed the mini Lion Dance prop and drum from Zhi Hui and Zhi Jean. Auntie Margaret did a very fun demonstration on how to dance the Lion (we now see her talent in Kung Fu). Auntie Liew played the Chinese Drum. The children then had their turn to dance the Lion. Everyone had a good laugh. They were so funny and cute!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The History of the Earth (Part 1) - The Big Bang Theory & Black Timeline

The Big Bang Theory

"It all started as small as a pin-head and it expanded --- getting bigger, bigger, bigger, and...pop! Then the stars started to appear and wind came about."

The children listened and watched the balloon which Auntie Latifah blew up, while enduring the darkness and heat in the room. We tried to simulate the condition before the Big Bang, only switching on the fan when it started to have wind after the Big Bang (well, after the Balloon burst), which was the start of the Universe. Meanwhile, Auntie Shirin also played the mp3 sound of what was supposed to be heard right after the Big Bang.

Wow, what a great effort all Aunties had put in, ensuring the kids get all the right stimulation to learn about the Big Bang Theory (Visual, Auditory, Thermic senses are all covered here).

We did the Big Bang craft the following week (see collage below), didn't expect the children found it hard to break an egg.
Picture below: Children throwing eggshells filled with various colours on black paper to create a burst effect (The Big Bang theory)

The Black Timeline

Well, lots of things happened after the Big Bang. To give the children an overview, we used the Black ribbon to represent the Eras before human appeared on Earth. With the short little red ribbon at the end of the timeline (represents the time Human Beings exist) as compared to the long black ribbon -- It was a very good visual representation of how little time we as Human Beings have existed.

In order to let the children get the idea of the various Eras (from the Azoic "Black" era, to the Mesozoic "Dinosaurs" era, to the Cenozoic "Ice Age" era), the story needed to be told well. The narrator role fell on Auntie Chaz Yee, the Drama Queen. The children listened so attentively that, one of the 4-year-olds (Bong Yi) even shivered when A. Chaz Yee talked about the Ice Age. He looked cold despite us not even switching on the air-conditioner!

Pictures below: Children holding the black ribbon, which represents the Black Timeline after Big Bang and before the Human Beings exist. The Black ribbon was unrolled as the story was told.

We repeated this exercise the next day, and to our surprise a 2.5-year-old (Ze Ming) responded with the most accurate answer "Jellyfish started to appear" for the era when ocean was formed!

WOW, this is so amazing. Once again, we take our hats off Dr. Maria Montessori. She really knows the children so well that the children still benefit greatly from her learning plan after more than 100 years!