Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Simply Learning by Playing

Hi, my name is Farhanim and I am known as Ms Aniem here at Letzhop. I have been teaching Letzhop children for almost a year now and teaching the K1 children (3 to 4 years old) has been a fun working experience for me by far. Teaching in a K1 class is especially fun when I can play together with my students – to be one of them.

Learning and playing are two ways that I personally that can’t be separated. I prefer my K1 to move about in class instead of asking them to sit still and just listen to me or to look at the white board while I'm standing in front of the classroom. As for some teachers, that may be fine but not for me, not for my students – learning should be fun, in which they should move about, explore and imagine things.

I believe in learning by playing where the children can use their imaginations and creativity – touch and feel the object used as the topic of learning, sense with their fingers the rough or smooth surface of a triangle shape to recognize what is a ‘triangle’ and to even cut their own play dough so that they’ll learn the process of cutting.

Learning by playing deems the teacher’s creativity to prepare interesting activities so that the children can explore the topic learned in class and here, I would like to list and maybe suggest to all teachers out there, the activities that I have done so far with my K1 children.

Cutting Play Dough 

An activity that will help the children to practice on holding on to a pair of scissors correctly and cut better – a simple activity in which I will ask the students to cut their play dough (or associate it with a food item) so that I can eat it. They will be so eager to “feed” when I told them to do so.

It may be a simple activity but the role playing and imaginative play that they are associated with imposes a lot of learning possibilities. You might be surprised at what these children may learn from the activity – at a time, a child showed team work when he saw one of his friends were having a difficulty holding on to a pair of scissors – he showed to his friend and said, “this is how you hold the scissors” and you’ll be glad to have that simple cutting activity.

Build your own House Cake?

Initially, the activity was supposed to be on building their own big house with the play blocks but as they were building their “houses”, it ended up becoming a cake! They brought up the “cake” to me and asked me to blow the candle. I was so impressed with their imagination as later after that, they started to imagine on how to bake the cake in the “chair oven”.

The play they imagined showed how they have had been exposed to knowledge on cake and baking – they could replicate the oven found in the kitchen with a chair! That indicates how their brains and experience can relate objects using their critical and creative thinking skill that eventually leads to what I have always believed in – they learn by playing.

Clean-up Session 

A clean-up session after an activity may be seen as not important but this is when they show their team work – I get to see them cleaning up their toys, moving the toys containers and pass to everyone in the class and then I’ll see everyone moving and walking around the class to put the toys inside the box, until the class is clean. There will be times that they will fight with one another over the “moving boxes” out of making sure that the class is super clean, but what is important to me, they work together.

When the clean-up session is fun, I'm sure they will not have any problem to do it again and again. The activity may take time but as long as they are doing it together, that means that they are doing it okay.

There are so many other things in the world that we could do with them to teach or to impose well, positive values. I would suggest more in my next entry so that you could do with your children at home or even at your own school.

Until next time!

Authored by,
Teacher Aniem
LETZHOP Bandar Baru Bangi

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