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Monday, November 23, 2009

What to do with those old flash cards

The kids have outgrown their flashcards. They still look quite new. I don't think they used it very much as a learning tool. They probably used it more like a throwing tool. Throwing it all over the living room for me to pick.

Yesterday we took them out and devised our own flashcard/pictionary game. We took turns to pick a card. Then we had to act out the card and without a word spoken try to make the other persons guess what is on the card.

Its a great game. The kids love it. We had great laughs. It is also quite educational. It helps them to think a little bit.

For example, when my 7 year old girl got a card with vegetables on it, she thought about it a little while. Then she did an action to depict eating, followed by a "good" hand signal, then she pointed up and down her body, meaning a food that is good for your body. We guessed "eating" then "fruits" and finally "vegetables". It makes them think.

However, the 5 year old did not enjoy this game quite as much. When he gets his cards, he prefers to "draw out" in the air the item that he is holding, then he gets frustrated when we can't guess it. Poor lil fella. However, he did manage quite well when he got a "wolf" card, he pretended to roar and showed his claws but we still couldn't get it. "Is it a bird?" we asked and he shook his head. "Is it an animal?" and that made him get down on all fours to crawl about. We guessed "tiger", "lion" but we still couldn't get it.

Finally, I had to help him out. I took out the red towel, put it over my head like a hood and pretended to run away from him and the girl got it at once "Wolf" she said because she realised I was pretending to be "Little Red Riding Hood."

Its a fun game. So don't throw away those old flash cards. You can still use them even when the kids are older.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His Report Card

This is the season for concerts, exams and report cards. Yesterday I collected the boy's report card.

The teacher said that he did well for all his subjects, all accept for....... why... Mandarin Chinese of course. Oh dear. He scored full marks for most of his subjects but when it comes to Chinese, he had trouble with it, even when guided. That means even when teacher reads out to him the questions. He simply cannot recognise the chinese characters. Looks like I have to concentrate more on his Chinese next year since he will be attending Chinese school.

On his behaviour, teacher commented that he is "gentle and has formed good friendship with his classmates. He has build up more self confidence in order to bring out his best." Teacher said that everyone wants to "friend him" both boys and girls, though at the beggining of the year, his friends were mostly girls.

I am glad that he enjoyed this whole year of kindy. I can see that he is very happy at the kindy from his bright smile when I see him there.

Its funny that both the kids' teachers used the word "gentle" to describe them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of the Year Report Card

We collected the report card for my girl recently. I can't believe that she has almost completed her Standard 1. Time flies. She was 4th in class and 20th in the standard. Hmmm.... That means that even with an average score of 96.95 she will be around 20th in her future class? Thats a high standard to maintain.

Anyway, that isn't really important. We encourage our girl a lot in her studies but we will not push her beyond her own equilibrium. Just let her do what she can in a comfortable pace. That is good enough for us. At the end of the day, positions in class are just numbers. Its not going to help you in later working life.

Teacher wrote that "her character is gentle and kind, clever and cute. She is careful in doing work and has a sense of responsiblity." As for her chinese, I am glad to note that teacher has commented that "her chinese diction and pronounciation is good. She can follow the lesson and can use accurate words and terms to express herself and is fluent in the language." In the first term the teacher commented that her pronounciation was all wrong.

My girl was very happy to hear what teacher wrote. She also had a good laugh with us when she saw that her English teacher had written "keeps it up" instead of "keep it up".

I don't know how the streaming works in her school. If I am not mistaken, it works like this. There are 7 std 1 classes. There will be 2 top classes in std 2 and the rest of the 5 classes are equally rated. If that is true, I think that is a good system. This way, there won't be any "bad" classes. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Craft Ideas for the School Holidays

Here's another craft which we did some time ago. It is a picture made of paper crepe. You can try it during the school holidays.

The girl learned it at school and wanted to replicate it at home. So she taught us how to make this paper crepe craft.

This is how to make a paper crepe picture.

You will need:

1. Black Construction Paper
2. Paper Crepe 0f Various Colours
3. Glue
4. Scissors

Instructions on how to make a paper crepe picture:

1. Draw a picture on a piece of black construction paper
2. Cut the paper crepe into thin strips (6 inches long and 1/2 and inch wide)
3. Roll the crepe paper into small rolls
4. Glue the rolled up crepe paper onto your picture

Thats it! You're done.

Here's the paper crepe picture of a car done by my 5 year old boy.

Here's the crepe paper picture of a peacock done by my 7 year old girl. She is really meticulous about rolling the paper and making sure its glued perfectly. So meticulous that I am afraid she has not completed her picture yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Origami Fun with Rainbow Origami Paper

Recently we bought some Rainbow Origami paper from a stationary shop. The origami papers are double sided ie both sides have different colours.

We also bought some shiny and glossy Origami papers but they cheated on that one. The packet had shiny paper at the top and normal coloured paper hidden inside. They're not as nice as the rainbow coloured ones because its only one sided so you have to be careful which way you fold your origami projects. Hmm.... what you see is sometimes not what you get eh? We must always be careful buyers but its hard to check when its all nicely sealed up.

However, we won't complain that much since it comes with some folding instuctions as well. The papers cost us around RM1.50 - RM3.00 for sets of 15 - 20. It is another fun project we can do for under RM5.

We folded some birds following the instuctions. The rainbow ones turned out very nice indeed. My little boy folded some paper aeroplanes. (since he's mad about those and he can fold one from memory now.) He folded one shiny paper aeroplane for himself and one rainbow origami plane for his sister who was at school when we folded them.

Here's a pair of Origami Love Birds. Nice? You can try them out for the coming school holidays. You can probably find these papers in any bookshop or stationary shops.

Monday, November 09, 2009

How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars

At the moment, we're into the Make Origami Stars Craze in our house. It all started because my girl wanted to buy some origami stars at her school fun fair but she was disappointed because someone took the last batch.

So, mummy said, don't worry, we'll make our own origami stars.

We found this video on How to make Origami Stars very easy to follow.

We could fold our very own origami stars after just watching the video once through. Its really very simple to make mini origami stars.

Next, we went out and bought strips of origami stars papers. We bought them at Jusco stationary department. They cost us about RM3.90 each. I like the plain coloured ones. It has the words "love" and little hearts printed in gold at the end of the strip so when you fold your origami stars, the stars would glitter with little gold heart shapes plus have the words "love" in shiny gold letters on it.

Then we bought some more rolls of origami stars papers. We bought them at Popular Bookstore. They cost us RM3.30 per roll. The strips and rolls comes with instructions. I prefer to look at the video. Its much easier to follow.

And finally, we made our very own origami stars in various colours. They look like sweet candy or tiny chocolate nuggets. The Origami Stars papers comes in many designs and some of them glitter and shine. However, if you make plain ones, you can also get the kids to decorate them with their own stickers.
The stars are pictured in two separate batches here because they belong to two different kids who can't stop fighting over who gets how many stars and in what colour!

Now, I can reward the kids with "real stars" when they complete their lessons or the assignments I give them.
The kids love to collect stuff. They love collecting these origami stars. We can also put them in glass jars, decorate the jars with lace and ribbon and give them away as Christmas Presents. This makes a nice craft project for the coming school holidays and it doubles up as nice christmas gifts too so you don't have to go shopping for Christmas presents.

Read one of my top posts on this blog Seeing Stars and find out the meaning of these origami stars.

How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars
How To Make Origami Stars And Reward Your Kids With Real Stars

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Over Confident

I've always maintained that the level of English in my girl's Chinese school is pathetic. So for her year end exams, I didn't bother to help her with any English revision.

I had passed on my views about the English level to her inadvertently by making comments such as.... "You know all these. The English is too easy." etc etc.

As a result, she began to take the same view. When I asked her whether she had checked her English test paper, she said "No, Its too boring."

She checked her Science paper 5 times! She was happy to discover a mistake she made in the Malay paper when she checked. However, she did not bother to check her English paper.

Consequently, she did well in her Chinese and Malay papers and relatively poorer in her English paper.

Whoops! Looks like mummy better hold her tongue and teach her girl some proper English before her English level deteriorates. :P

However, quick to jump upon an opportunity to teach values, I reminded her that this is what can happen if someone becomes over confident and lazy. Even if we are very good at something, we must remain modest and not become over confident or boastful. That is the moral lesson for the day. ;)

There is a fine line to draw for everything. I try to teach her to be confident and proud of her own achievements but at the same time she must also me taught about the values of remaining humble and modest in her accomplishments.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fun Fair at School

Recently my girl had a fun fair day at school. She asked us for some money to buy coupons to be used for buying food and playing games on that day. Each coupon book cost RM10. Hubby was very reluctant to give her the RM10. I persuaded him otherwise because I said "Pity lah, all her friends would be playing and she would feel left out."

So eventually we gave her RM10 which is the minimum for one book of coupons. Some of her friends bought up to 10 books of coupons! Some 5, some 2 and some 1 like us but everyone bought a book at least. The fun fair was only for an hour at the start of the day before regular lessons. RM10 for only an hour? Hmmm..... Parents of the older kids had to contribute further in the form of providing food for sale as well as second hand books, stationaries and toys. Very smart way for the school to collect funds.

Since we had gotten her the coupons, I decided to give her a lesson in the value of money and economics. "Don't use it all at one place. Spread it out. And please, please take care of it!" Then remembering how she simply loves to keep things I had to remind her "Remember not to keep your coupons because they become worthless after today. They are just pieces of paper after today and you can't use them anymore ok?"

At the end of the day, I asked her how she spent her RM10.

And this was what she said......

"Oh mummy! So precious! I dropped my coupons in the fish water and I couldn't use it anymore!

Mummy, I saw one person buying a magic wand. I wanted very much to buy it too. I went all around searching for it but I couldn't find it! Then it was almost time! I saw some people fishing. So I went to fish too! (RM1). So wasted mummy! I accidentally dropped my coupons in the water. (RM5!) Then I bought 1 nugget (RM1) and 1 hotdog (RM1).

I didn't know what else to do. There were some older kids playing a basketball game and they were cheering loudly. I don't think the big kids would like me there, so I didn't play. I didn't know what else to do, so I bought a kit kat (RM1). But I didn't know how to open it. I pressed and pressed till it got all sticky and not very nice.

Then teacher said who has any coupons left can go and finish it. I wanted to buy some origami stars but my friend bought the last. They poured all for her and there was none left for me. She gave me one star. So I went to fish for another fish (RM1)..................."

And so .... thats how she ended up with two fishes swimming in a plastic bag which she carried home with an excited look on her face. (I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the fishes). Her little brother was very excited to see the fishes because he had been talking about a pet fish for a long time. She gave one fish to her brother and they named their fishes "Goldie" and "Barney". We placed the fish in a big plastic container and gave the fish some defrosted green peas to eat till we had time to go and buy some fish food. When I told hubby at work about it, he said "Hah????!!!! Are the fish alive?" Hahaha.

Unfortunately Goldie died the next day. We got 2 more little fishes to accompany the lonely one left behind and thats how we now have 3 pet fishes in the house!

As for my girl, she still kept on thinking about her lost RM5 coupons over the next few days. "I could have bought more fishes mummy!" she said.

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