Saturday, December 17, 2011

Learning New Things

I feel guilty of not being able to post anything on my blog lately.... (as if I have been regularly posting) Well, I did, but I accidentally deleted it (Qatar National Day Activities), and was too busy to rewrite it.

I guess I was busy learning new things....

I volunteered in the Arab Games 2011 Doha Qatar....
I was assigned to the check-out counter in the Uniforms and Accreditation Center.
I learned how to swipe swing tags!

And our shifts begin after work from 4:00 to 8:30 pm.

With my co-workers at Pink and Blue Nursery Doha, Qatar
We went on a field trip to Qatar Airways Terminal A, and rode on one of their planes!

We were also busy preparing for the Qatar National Day celebration at the Nursery....

My best friend also arrived here from the Philippines to work and we have been bonding lately....

At Souq Waqif

We watched the opening ceremonies of the Arab Games 2011...

And plan to watch football, swimming, athletics and equestrian in the next few days...

To top it all, we have been busy with Christmas preparations -  and its not just the gifts and trimmings, but preparing our hearts as well.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

For The Love of Kids (Making Felt Food)

Three weeks ago, I searched through my blog reading list and Pinterest for felt food tutorials. 
Determined to make felt food for my Nursery class, I (together with Handsome Hubby), marched to the store to purchase all the necessary materials needed.
And very timely, Childhood 101 with Amanda at Not Just Cute had a list of felt food tutorials
Felt food I made with a little help from Handsome Hubby

Here are some more tutorials:

We played with them, sorted them by size or color, pretended to eat them (and got them a little wet), counted them, named them (English and Arabic), and who knows what else the kids did with them when I wasn't looking!

And best of all, we had fun.

Not bad for someone who does not know how to sew huh?

Have you made some felt food lately?

Friday, October 14, 2011

There Is No Other Job I'd Rather Do

than to teach young children.

I have had a very rough week.
It came to a point where I stepped out of the classroom 
(and left my poor, equally tired assistant with 13 three year olds, still adjusting to Nursery school)
to take a deep breath.
Then thoughts of finding another job came rushing through my mind.
Being a Preschool teacher isn't as easy as you think.
It's physical work -  It's hugging, comforting, carrying children when they need it. And, singing and dancing, jumping, crawling, skipping, running and playing.
It's also running across the playroom to be ready in case a child falls off a slide.
It's mental work - Planning activities that will facilitate learning in all aspects: physical, cognitive, socio-emotional, motor skills...
It's emotional work - Tuning in to the children's emotional needs and attending to them. Comforting new comers, creating rapport, adjusting to different personalities.

I closed my eyes tight, tears ran down my face....
and then I saw this, playing in my head.

And, there's nothing I'd rather be -
than to be Teacher Weena.

Would you do rather do something else?

Scoot over to Learning for Life for a list of reasons why preschool teachers think its the best job in the world.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Conquering The Slide

The children in the toddlers class seldom take on the 'big red slide' at the play area.
But once in a while someone would climb up and ask for assistance.
My assistant and I would ignore these requests and wait for what ever happens next.
They usually ask for help going back down the stairs again.
Today 'J' ( who is not quite 2 years yet) decided to climb up the stairs and sit at the top of the slide.
With her tongue stuck out, 'J'  carefully adjusted her position atop then called me, "Teacher!"
Then I said, "Go ahead and slide down, if you want to."
My assistant was watching the other children and occasionally glancing at 'J' on top of the slide.
I moved closer to the bottom of the slide and sat down.
"I can catch you, if you want."
Then she slid down.

And, she wanted to do it again. This time with me out of the way.
So she had a go with the slide again.
And again.
And again.
And again.
My assistant was describing how her face looked like while she slid down the first time.
I tried to describe it too but there were no words to articulate the way her face looked.
It was a mixture of reluctance with determination. fear with courage, doubt with triumph.
Her laughter was magic as she hugged me after I caught her when she slid the first time.
This is one of the reasons why the children need free play -  seriously.
Probably, if you asked these children what they want, it would be free play-the whole day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Learning The Letters Of Our Names

This week and the next, we are learning the letters of our name. We have lots of wooden letters in our classroom and the kids love playing with them. So...
 I showed them the letters of their name on white board.
  Then gave them a tray of wooden letters and asked them to look for the letters that looked like the ones on the board.
The older kids would say the names of the letters they knew while the younger ones found the letters of their name through matching. It was trial and error for them.

 Then they glued the letters onto a maroon colored cardboard.

We will use this for extended activities next week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pinterest Addiction

Okay. So i'm addicted.
I like Pinterest because its visual.
I'm a visual learner.

There's a Pinterest linky party going on:
Michelle at Math in the Middle is trying to link us Pinning Bloggers.

Join in!

(P.S. if you're not on Pinterest yet, comment with your email address below. 
I'd be happy to send you an invite.)

End of Spring: Aspire Park Field Trip

We went to Aspire Park before the end of Spring this year. 
We were a group of twelve three-year-old kids and a couple of two-year-olds; two teachers and an assistant. 
So how did we manage to keep them from running aimlessly in this awfully wide park?
This was how:
 Let them sit on the grass for a photograph. ;)

 Have Circle Time! They sung very loudly but the wind diffused their voices.

Use a tamborine.... no, they were distracted...

Walk hand in hand. They tend to step on the child in front of them or tickle them on the neck when walking in a line. (This trick I learned from Teacher Patty Silva)

Show them the ducks.

Promise them popcorn.

"Who wants popcorn?"

Still waiting for the popcorn.

Sing while still waiting for the popcorn.

Gone in five minutes.

Let them run.

Run with them, actually.

Let them chase you.

Let them catch you.

Ask: "Who wants a whirl?"

Give them a whirl, even the chubby ones.

Ask them to run back to 'our tree'

Ask your assistant to run after the wild ones 
(because you're feeling tired now).

Let them pick up stuff to put in their pockets. 

Let them watch the fountain....

Until they feel warm and want to go swimming... 
(actually it was me who wanted to go swimming)

 Walk back to the van
(and carry the youngest kid because she's flustered and too tired)

Thank you Ms. Chelle (our Nursery Nurse) for taking pictures. I seldom find myself in these.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Materials for Individualized Instruction

These are photos from my multiply page.
 A mix of Montessori and teacher made materials to teach the necessary executive, numeracy and literacy skills to 4 to 6 year olds.

And more photos from my Facebook page.

this too!

Encouraging Creativity

This is Marco. He loves to build. He uses anything he can get hold of to build his structures. Today he is using wooden blocks to build MOA. Marco is using his prior knowledge of what MOA looks like. It is big - long actually, it has a road infront and it is not so tall like other buildings. The idea of building MOA was not the end goal itself. As you can see he has a 'road map'mat too where he moves his toy cars on. The inspiration of MOA probably came from the round-a-bout/ rotunda on the mat. Again, it was Marco's prior knowledge which helped him come up with this idea. His goal probably was to create a 'world' where he can pretend to move his cars along the road and go to the different buildings. Well, that's what I can only assume, he probably has more wonderful thoughts and ideas going on in his mind. 

It takes a lot of courage and confidence actually to create something. More than skill and talent, I think it is one's disposition towards creating which makes a person or a child 'go ahead and do it.' 

In my classroom, there is a silent subtle persuasion for creating. Scratch papers (lots and lots of them) are readily available for the children. Also with the various drawing materials like crayons (do not just settle with crayons only!), pencils, colored pencils, oil pastels and their favorite - colored markers. Blocks and other building materials are also within reach. Old magazines, scissors and glue for the kids who want to make collages. I have still yet to prepare a box for 3D construction - recyclables like egg cartons, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, old newspapers, etc.  

So encourage creativity. We all know that those who 'think out of the box' are those who are able to find solutions. The next generations WILL find a cure for cancer, STOP species extinction, or SOLVE rapid climate change. Lets just hope that the schools they will enter will NOT kill their creativity. (This would be another topic to blog about

Today we are confronted by signs of turbulence, uncertainty and change on a global scale. The nation-state, the free market and traditional religions, which have proved adequate for so long, are showing unmistakable signs of strain as they struggle to deal with the new realities of a profoundly inter-connected world. All are suffering from a lack of vision. In fact, the crisis they face can only be described as spiritual, so far-reaching are its implications. Humanity is being called upon to mobilise its deepest resources of heart and mind, to respond to an era of growing integration and synthesis. Can we collectively learn to set aside, once and for all, the barriers in consciousness which have until now separated nationalities, religions, and social classes from one another, and learn to work for one humanity? On this question turns nothing less than the future of the world. - Lucis Trust

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