Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shaun the Sheep

As I mentioned in my earlier post "Pirates of The Caribbean", there was this wonderful display of farms and farm equipments and animals made by children of a particular year group at the school. The next day I checked again and found that they had finished arranging the whole thing complete with the title and all. It was a surprise to find that the wonderful works were actually done by Foundation 1 children. Now had it been done by Year 2 or maybe Year 1 group, I would not be so surprised. I'm of the opinion that Foundation 1 children are a bit too young to be creating this wonderful artworks. The works were much, much too neat !!! Could it be that I have underestimated these 3/4 year olds motoring skill? I know that in creating these works, teachers and volunteer mums do assist the children... but to what extend is the assistance given? I remember last year at the ISA, Grade 2 (7/8 year olds) were making and creating their own inventions. The quality of the works were lower, perhaps because they did it themselves. The teachers guided them through the process of course. Unfortunately I did not take many photographs on that day, but you may view some of the invention works including dear Ilham's by clicking at "Invention".

Anyway, regardless of how much assistance were given to complete the tasks, I still marvel at the ideas that they came up with. They were so creative!!! Now to be honest if it were left up to me, it would never occurred to me to do it that way !!! So let us see these wonderfully created farms, equipments and animals. If we look closely, the materials used were ordinary stuff like boxes, aluminium and paper cupcake cases, coloured papers, cotton, the hard paper inside the toilet rolls, shredded papers and others.

A pigsty

Chicken barn. Sticking pink papers on the roof makes it so lively...

Another pigsty

Sheep barn. Those sheep are so cute, reminds me of Shaun the Sheep :D

A tractor

I'm not sure what kind of barn this one is :D

Another sheep barn - the paint was definitely applied by the kid :D

I truly enjoyed taking the photos and uploading them here on the blog. Who knows it might come in handy in the future :D

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pirates of The Caribbean

I was picking Ilham up from his Large Art session yesterday when I realised that the school had placed new works made by the children at the common area. The bright colourful works definitely attracted my attention. There were various shapes of farms and farm equipments and animals from which year group I'm still uncertain. And there were also displays of pirate ships from Year 2 classes. The pirate ships were designed and created in the class with I believe, the help of some mothers. I'm not sure under which subject they learn this, but I know that they take quite a long time to finish, perhaps a full term. Recently the chidren dressed up as pirates as part of their school activities.

Let us see the various shapes and colours of these pirate ships of Leidschenveen !!!

Year 2 is equivalent to Tahun 1

Even though I really like and enjoy seeing the designs of the colourful pirate ships and wouldn't mind going off on one of them sailing the seven seas with the likes of Will Turner or even Jack Sparrow for that matter, but I couldn't help wondering on the practicality and rationality of the chosen activity. I for one would rather they design and create the latest rocket which would perhaps transport future astronauts to Mars or even Pluto.

But then, learning need not be so practical right???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Saturday Surprise

Saturday 12th February was such a good day. I woke up early and was in the mood for cooking. Made some "tahu sumbat ikan" to bring to a friend's house for lunch and also made "mee goreng" (fried noodle) for our breakfast. Then off we went to Zoetermeer for Ilham's swimming lesson. When we arrived at the pool we were given a letter, a surprise really....

Ilham's swimming exam for B Diploma is on the 5th of March !!! Hooray !!! Ilham is going to get B Diploma !!! That was a nice surprise and we did not expect that. For one thing, he had only undergone 4 lessons previously, Saturday 12th February was his 5th lesson, and yet he qualified to get B Diploma !!! When Ilham joined the lessons on 5th January, he joined halfway through a lesson block, most kids had joined much earlier. So, we did not really expect him to qualify for March exams. But he did so well on that first day during the testing by the trainers (trainers will see and judge where a kid's status is before they informed us whether he joins the correct group), and the lessons afterwards. His diving has improved (thanks to his mother he..he..) and he has more confident swimming underwater and go through the hole. This time, he will be tested with other Dutch kids who are most probably younger than him :D In fact, one of the kids in his group is only 5 years old !!!

Let's hope that he will be well and healthy for the next few weeks and on the exam day itself. Flu cases seem to be everywhere nowadays. In fact a few weeks ago, I read that H1N1 cases had suddenly increased. I really thought the cases had been dormant for quite sometime !!

Then after swimming, we went to Amsterdam to have lunch at a friend's house. We had been served by our gracious host with masak lemak ikan mackerel with rebung, ayam masak merah, sup tulang, sambal belacan hijau (Indon style), nasi impit, kuah kacang, bingka labu, pisang salai, jeruk buah2an and fruits and kopi Malaysia.....

Unbelievably, we sat at there the kitchen table from about 2 o'clock until 8 o'clock, stuffing and keep stuffing our stomachs with food and countless round of coffee, moving only to the bathroom and solat !!! Then we continued with dinner, with additional dishes of stir-fried flat bean and ikan terubuk masin digoreng cili & bawang (I loved this)!!! Since I forgot to take pictures of our sumptuous lunch and dinner, let us see my tahu sumbat ikan instead.

What a wonderful day....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Little Van Goghs

I love paintings, no I think it is more appropriate if I say I love looking at paintings especially if they are scenery, flowers and things of beauty, anything that I can understand or relate to. I do not appreciate abstract or some modern paintings because I do not understand what the artists are trying to convey... they are too complicated for me. But I sure love looking at children's artworks !!!

At the ISA, we have the opportunity to view children's artworks be it from kindergarten to upper school students. In Kindergarten, they learn the various technics of using acrylic paint on canvas/paper and such.... and they try to paint Van Gogh's inspired famous paintings such as The Sunflower etc. They would also visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as part of their art lessons. Going to the museum give them a chance to view the real paintings and also a chance for them to run around at the nearby park (Museumplein) afterwards !!!

Every year, an exhibition of the kinder kids artworks will be displayed for parents to see and each time I look forward to view their artworks !! It never fail to amaze me how these 5/6 year olds, can produce such beautiful and unique work of arts !!

The following are photos that I have taken from last year's exhibition displayed sometime in March 2010 :-

The children were asked to give appropriate names for their artworks, and the names that come to my mind are among others:- Happy Flower, Pinky Flower, Sunflower, Yellow Flower, Rosey, Amazing, Lulu, Summer, Greeny and Sad Flower. Such original names they are :D

A friend's son was in one the kindergarten class and the boy, according to his mother did not like painting and other artworks. He had given his artwork the name of Angry Flower. Obviously the name and the artwork reflected his angry mood. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember which one is his work. Maybe we can take a good guess :D

Monday, February 7, 2011

Klopt, Klopt, KA-DA-BOOM !!!

One not so lucky day....


Ilham's version of that fateful day......

Forever captured in the diary :D

Friday, February 4, 2011

Year 4 Presentation To Parents

Yesterday on 3rd February Year 4 had "presentation to parents" workshop. It was the first ever since Ilham joined the school in September. It required parents involvement in the games and workshops provided by the students. There were a few workshops runned based on what they have learned so far... The games were made by the students (some through home learning) and there were also dancing and drama performance by the students. One dance, a disco number involved parents involvement lead by two students.

It was interesting to see some of the games and the dance that the students come up with. One particular game was a copy cat from a monopoly - but represented in an ancient egyptian way. Wheres the "cold and hot" dance performed by the students was a simple choreograph of slow and fast moves.

I had similar vague ideas when it came to the board game and the dance. I was hoping that Ilham could try to do that for his home learning project. But I was not confident enough on how to make and present it, in the end we never did it. Presenting the project in a creative manner is very difficult for me and it makes me realise that I was not used to this kind of things. In other words, I'm not creative, it just never occur to me to present it in the way the studends did. Ilham has yet to present a project based on body - kinesthetic learning. The only thing I can think of is a dance...

Back to the presentations, Ilham was in charge of the workshop on "mythical creatures", based on their current study of mythical creatures and imaginary land. There was a display of all the creatures that the students had drawn.

Creatures drawn by L4CK students...

Ilham's creature...

Looking at his creature I understand why he was in charge of the workshop. His creature was easily the best among all (sorry... this is a proud mother talking he..he..). Now I recall him saying a few weeks ago that his friends really liked his creature, that it looked monstrous and had a lot of details. His teacher said a similar thing to me yesteday :D

In this workshop, parents were asked to draw our very own creatures and we were presented with blank papers and colours. Naturally as a parent I went to Ilham first, before I went to other kids and I became his first victim. While he chatted and showed me his and his friends creatures, I had to draw my monster. Now... I didn't expect this !! How to draw a monster? Having to draw on the spot like this was difficult and I did not have good idea..he..he..

So I ended up drawing this evil creature...

He..he..he.. I knew that it didn't look monstrous at all, so I added the fangs. Ilham said I should draw using a pencil first, but I was just trying to get it over with and ignored his advice. Now I couldn't amend the smiling mouth !!

Then, I went to the next workshop.

In this workshop, we were asked to draw a map/place to show the imaginary location of where our monster creatures live. And I ended up drawing this...

Then there was a short play based on the monstrous creature...

Students getting ready for the play....

Then, a disco number...

I recorded the "cold and hot" dance performed by two students, and wish to show it here but it took so long to be uploaded to you tube that I decide to forget it. But it was a simple but interesting dance move.

The presentation was not what I expected, somehow I thought I would be looking around seeing more of what they learned in class and perhaps reading one or two of their writings. I did not expect to spend my time drawing things !! But it was quite entertaining....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unit Of Inquiry - Materials

Back in early 2009 when he was in Grade 1, Ilham learned about different materials, how they were used and the different properties that each material had. It was covered under the Unit of Inquiry - How The World Works.

I remember Ilham was learning the same thing when he was in kindergarten back home. We used to read and look at the different materials in the books. I have to admit though... after leaving primary school for soooo many years ago, I found that describing some materials were difficult or rather I was confused !! Yes I did !! I'm ashamed to admit it. The fact that I was in science stream makes it even worse !! All these while I thought when you describe a material, you just need to find a single adjective to explain it such as "hard" or "soft" or "transparent" or "smooth" etc.... The books that I bought from the shop (meant for kindergarten or primary school) always explain the different property in a single way too!!! Sometimes, I came across a material that have conflicting properties such as it might be hard and yet it was smooth to the touch at the same time. I remember having to think real hard before I could decide on a final single adjective to explain to Ilham. How wrong I was !!! I wonder whether I was the only parent who was s****d enough not to understand it... he...he...he... Only when I came here and saw some of their works at school, that it occurred to me that there were many ways of explaining the materials. The materials could have two or more adjectives to explain them and they were all correct !!! When I think back, I think the books at home (and I think the school textbooks too - please correct me on this, I'd appreciate it :D) are misleading and they fail to convey the right messages/information. Some of the terms they use here are so unexpected to my mind like "bendy".

Back to the UOI, the students were looking at properties and uses of different materials. First of all they explored different materials. As they were exporing they asked themselves questions - such as what does it look like? What can I do with it? Then the students went around school to find objects with the properties they had listed and took photographs of them. They then looked at different way they could sort the materials into groups. The students also used proscopes, which allowed them to look in detail at the materials. Throughout this unit the students have put this work into a web blender project. This involved them making a web page, adding titles, pictures and typing in a sentence.

Let's see how they were busy in class doing the project....

Concentrating hard on studying the different materials.

Discussion and cooperation needed...

Sorted into groups...

The followings are the students work which was placed in the "web blender project" which I obtained from the school website. The teacher would choose a few students work to repreent the class. If parents want to see their child's work, they have to click on the child's name.

Page by Alice.

Page by Earl

Page by Ilham.

Page by Nandinee.

Page by Soma.

Page by Tamaki.

And these are the materials as seen through the proscopes...

Glass and plastic.

Metal and stone.

Cardboard paper and wood.

And this is what they meant by "bendy"...

Well... I'm glad that I learned something new even though it was rather late.



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