Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I did not have cocoa in stock, so I decided to add bananas instead. The last time I made banana muffins was when I was in Amsterdam and it was quite good if I may say so :) So, in a way I felt more confident with my project by now.
But this is how it turned out :(
Not only it looked ugly, it also looked and tasted heavy and definitely did not rise properly. I blamed the oven naturally :D (never my fault he.he..) I realise that my attempt before this, to make icecream cupcakes also resulted in similar condition. Perhaps I should cover the cupcakes with icing so that the ugliness would be hidden. Unfortunately my icing also turned out funny because I used the wrong sugar !!! In the end, I brought the cupcakes as it was and the icing mixture is still sitting in my fridge waiting for me to do something about it ha..ha..
Luckily I already decided to make some sushi as well for the party. It was intended more for Ilham, because he couldn't eat anything except chips and cookies. At the ISA, there were always some Japanese and Korean children, so Ilham had no problem in eating because the mothers would always made sushi or rice balls. But here at the BSN, there is no Japanese/Koreans in his class or the other year 4 class for that matter.
Hmm.... not bad right :D
Made 2 layers of that and it was all gone during lunch time. According to Ilham, Ms Kilbane the class teacher said it was so yummy...
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Ilham joined the school in February 2009, so that gave him a few months in Grade 1 until the middle of June. Luckily he was able to follow the lessons otherwise he would not be going into Grade 2 in August. There was a Korean girl who joined the class in March 2009 but she couldn't go into Grade 2 because the class teacher thought that she was somehow not matured enough and might not be able to follow grade 2's lessons. Her parents met with the Lower School Head to protest but to no avail :(
Anyway, back to the school work, I'm not sure whether this work was covered under Unit Of Inquiry or not. It probably was, but I wasn't sure under which topic. I wasn't that aware of the school's curriculum then :) The students were given a poem/story of Mr Plumbly's House and then they were asked to draw their version of the house on the computer. It was simple enough, but it was interesting to see how each student interprete them.
Based on this poem :)
And these are the students works :)
I loved looking at the drawings, I wish I had taken a picture of each of the work, then we could see clearly how creative the students were.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
But this time, it's been snowing steadily since Thursday night until today. It was fun walking to school on Friday morning in the snow. We were late, but I was not worried because I expect a lot of students would be late as well :D
My 2 friends and I were planning to have breakfast in The Hague, but because of the heavy snow, we changed our plan, worried that we might not arrive back in time to collect our children. So we went to the nearby mega supermarket to shop and had breakfast there. When we got back to school at 12 o'clock, the children were having fun playing snow fight. Among them I could see some of the teachers as well.
We stayed for a little while to let Ilham snow sledding on the dunes in the school area. Unlike our previous place in Amsterdam, here we have to drive in order to get to sledding area, so its not very convenient. At our old place, the small "hill" was only 3 minutes walk away....
Let's see the children with their snow fight....
Ilham sure had a nice time :D
Thursday, December 16, 2010
For the second HL project, we thought of making a temple of ancient egyptian. As usual, I suggested it to Ilham because I thought it was one of the easiest thing to do and didn't require much time to complete :D Afterall my motto is "Don't complicate your life" :D So, we sat down together and browse through the internet looking at various designs of ancient egyptian temples. We tried to find common things that these temples had and any special features about them.
Some of the temples are truly interesting like the Abu Simple Temples. Looking at the photos of the two temples (great and small temples), I remember watching a TV documentary on how this temples were relocated in the 1960s, from its original location on the bank of River Nile. The relocation was necessary to avoid it from being submerged by the rising water of River Nile due to the building of Aswan Dam. The temple complex was originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharoah Ramesses II in the 1240s BC. During the relocation, the entire complex was carefully cut into large blocks, dismantled, lifted and reassembled at the current location.
It was believed that the axis of the temples was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on 21st October and 21st February, the ray of the sun would penetrate and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall except the statue of Ptah (the so called god of the underworld).
Ok, back to HL, Ilham was very excited about the project. He made a temple with LEGO pieces, complete with a pyramid, palm tree(I think it should be date tree right??) and river Nile. The temple was built and then kept being dismantled and reassembled for a few times. He was no architect mind you, so he made the temple without really thinking and without proper planning :D He started building from the back of the temple, eventhough I advised him to start from the front. So in the end I made the entrance (but he modified it) and we had to move it a few times trying to place it at the centre and the right size. We also had to keep dismantling parts of the temple so the colours would balance and mix nicely. He insisted to put hidden treasures inside the pyramid just like the real ones. That was a real pleasure for him, he had such fun showing the treasure to his classmates :D
Yeah... we had fun doing this. Even DH was also involved :) he placed the small yellow "statues" at the side of the temple and he added top part of the entrance, making it looked like a triangle. He even put a LEGO man on top of it (but we took it out before going to school he..he... Ilham didn't like it).
Saturday, December 11, 2010
First, he made a list of what he thought ancient Egypt was like :
Pyramid, river nile, temple, pharoah, the boy king Tut, egyptian boat, mummies, dessert.... hmm... what else??? These things could be mentioned in the story.
Then, the story needed a plot. So what's the plot about?? Ilham didn't understand what a plot was. I had to rephrase that "what is the story about?" After thinking about it for a little while, he said it's about how a boy saved King Tut's life. Hmmm.....that sounded like a good story....
Let's see what transpired between us in the making of the "story"
"Once upon a time in the golden sand of Egypt, there lived a boy named Ramses", then he stopped.
Me : That's a nice beginning. Explain a little about Ramses. Who is he?
"Ramses was poor boy", he stopped.
Me : What did Ramses do?
"Every day, he helped his father in the field. When he finished, he would go to the river Nile to fish and to enjoy the view."
Me : That's nice, write a little bit more.
"Sometimes he would play around the pyramid"
Me : Go on...
Ilham : No, that's enough, you only need a little introduction.
Me : Ok, let's write the main story then, remember your plot.
"One day, Ramses saved King Tut's life"
"One day, Ramses was lying on the river bank. Suddenly he saw King Tut fell into the river. Then Ramses saved him"
So the sentence was rewritten....
"Suddenly he saw a boy fell into the river from a boat. There was a crocodile in the river. The crocodile came towards him. Ramses killed the crocodile. He saved the boy."
"The boy tried to swim to the river bank, but then the crocodile came and grabbed his legs"
Me : Good, what did Ramses do then.
"Ramses took his spear and throw it at the crocodile, but it missed. Then Ramses jumped into the river. He took his knife and stabbed the crocodile until it died"
Me : Very good, then what happened?
"You saved my life" the boy said to Ramses,"come to the palace, I must reward you"
Ilham : I'm tired now, can we continue tomorrow?
That was the end of our writing on the first day. The following day, Ilham had another session of writing, with his father this time. It was easier the second day, he had more "ideas" of his own - the boy king and Ramses became friends, the Romans came, people died, Ramses defeated the Romans, they lived happily until King Tut died, Ramses became pharoah etc...
Conclusion : Writing is not easy :)
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
"Stripy.... died.... she was outside... her house....near the heater....I think...she was cold....that's why she went there.... I don't want her to die.... I don't want to have a pet anymore....they always die...." and on...and on...
This morning, Ilham went to school feeling sad and gloomy. But, during the walk home from school, Ilham was cheerful again. He said that Vyvyian, his classmate had five hamsters, they all died. Everytime a hamster died, his parents would buy him a new one. Ahhhh.... I'm glad the sad episode only lasted for one day :)
When we reached home, I showed him Stripy's final resting place. He went there and said....
"Goodbye Stripy, have a nice day in heaven"
Monday, December 6, 2010
On fine Saturday in early October, we picked Ilham up from his friend's birthday party. The weather was unusually sunny and hot and we decided to head to Scheveningen. As expected, there were a lot of people and looking for parking space was very hard indeed. But looking at Ilham's excited face, it was all worth it.
We walked along the esplanade first, before deciding to join the crowd on the beach... Ilham was inching towards the water line. Very much impatient to test the seawater...
And collecting sea shells..........
While he was buzy picking sea shells and getting his shoes and pants wet in the process, I took in the scenario around me.....
I quickly turned around, my hands reaching into the pocket for the camera....
Ahhhh.... two naked souls prancing around in their birthday suit...
Saturday, December 4, 2010
This entry is specially dedicated to my dear grandnephew Irfan and even though it might be a wee bit late in being posted, it is nonetheless no less insignificant.
Congratulations to you Irfan, for not only getting 5As in the UPSR recently, but most of all for your courage, redha and tawakkal. Yes dear, you are brave enough and strong enough to withstand the exam even under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Circumstances that no one would ever want to experience themselves, circumstances that no one would ever wish for it to happen to someone as young as you. Only Allah knows how you felt on that fateful day, only Allah knows.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
But look who has beaten him to it....
Hmmmm some alien creature it seems....
Maybe two alien creatures ???? Of the four legged variaties ???
What do you think???
Definitely not this adorable duckies !!!!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Or rather, what's left of it :)
He keeps losing them...
This one was bought in early October, for the coming winter.
Always kept his gloved hands in the pocket,
In case people noticed it :))
Bought this yesterday
Hope that it will last through the winter,
At least :)))
Thursday, November 25, 2010
When we were at ISA, Asian parents always complained that their children do not have enough homeworks especially Mathematics. We feel that our children are always "playing" in school. Initially, that's what I felt too. But, as time went on, I could see the benefits in my son. His reading and writings (Language Arts) had improved. Most importantly, he had more exposure of global issues like saving water, saving the planet, recycling, taking care of our health, respect for others, charity etc..etc.. When it comes to homework and Maths, yes I agree that the school needs to improve on that.
Then, we moved to Den Haag and to the British School(BSN). BSN is different from ISA, for one thing they have Home Learning. I will write about Mathematics on another day, insyaAllah :))
Home Learning is homeworks/activities that children have to do at home with the support of parents. This is a sure way to get parents involvement in their childrens' learning!!! Let's see what BSN has come out with on the suggested activities for Year 4 Term 1.
The Do's of the booklet
Do complete a minimum of 6 different activities for Term 1 (ie until Christmas holidays)
Do spend at least one hour each week (it's ok to take 2 hours- ie. 2 weeks)
Do discuss and give a little help and guidance
Do ensure that your child keep notes of what he is doing in the diary
Do sign the diary so that teachers know that children are completing an activity
Hmmm that sounds like a lot of work..... Now let's see the Dont's
Do not do the work for your child.
Do not make sentenses for the child. Children should write in their own words at their own level
Do not copy word to word from the internet
Now that sounds a bit stern right? But it's true, that's what is written in the booklet. Now let's see the suggested activities as laid down by the teacher.
If you look at some of the suggested acivities, I do believe that this is a little bit too much for 8/9 year olds. Bear in mind that they have to do research, write in their own words and then, they have to practice because they are expected to do excellent presentations in class !!! The time allocated is certainly not enough, believe me. Further, not copying from the internet is very difficult to do when you are dealing with facts (which most of the suggested activities are). For some children, to compose a sentence is certainly mind boggling.
Uhhuhhhhh... if I ever complained before, I regret it now :))))