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learninglabnotes

Reflections on education and what it means to prepare kids for their world

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play

Fun with Art

Art is a favourite lesson at the Learning Lab.

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We used to have it in the middle of our week. It was a great way to break up our week.   We have moved it to the end of the week just before the kids attend squash training.

Art sessions have become less driven by me and less messier. My innovative 10 year old recently created a game for our Art lesson.  We had to take turns drawing an item – a line, a shape, etc.;on a piece of paper. No verbal communication about what it is although this rule gets broken often due to excitement by the younger participants.  Each player takes turns to add to the drawing until a scene is created!

Here are some of our materpieces….

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We had loads of fun and laughter. Have a go today!

Problem Solving Skills

Complex Probem Solving is said to be a skill which was in demand by prospective employers in 2015 and will comtinue to be in 2020. Check out The Future of Jobs.

The challenge is for educators and parents is to provide children with opportunities to practice their problem solving skills; using the knowledge they possess.
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I have watched my children progress in this area through the years. From shape sorting blocks, to wooden bricks to Duplo, Lego and games by THINK FUN and  GAMEWRIGHT.

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Formally, we worked through Singapore Maths  Primary books. The scaffolding in the curriculum and problem solving type of questions exposed them to an array of perspectives in approaching a given problem.

I was delighted to find the following riddle to solve in
http://ed.ted.com/lessons/can-you-solve-the-locker-riddle-lisa-winer#review

I think the creativity in the presentation of the problem to solve is engaging. The solution to the problem involves applying fundamental Mathematical principles. It gives a sense a greater purpose to learning these principles rather than knowing it as it might be asked in an exam.

Making Time for Play

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Lego is very much of the Learning Lab.  As we homeschool, free time in between lessons are really that FREE TIME and it is usually on building a lego scene like the one above.

A child’s imagination is such a precious gift, shaped by his/her personality and experience.  Time, space and opportunity are some of the key conditions for it to thrive.  

Sadly, many education establishments inhibit this as children are made to restrict their imaginative impulse.  I am glad the LEGO Foundation and Cambridge University are collaborating to promote play in early childhood.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/15/children-learn-play-age-eight-lego?

Why Play?

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Childhood is such a precious period in a person’s life. We know so much more about early childhood education now than ever before.  Yet at the same time we are being made increasingly aware of the state of children’s eroding mental health in various developed nations.

If  meeting prescribed standards and fulfilling society’s expectations are taking pleasure out of what it means to be a child; then I say “let’s make sure we do more playful learning!” If you still need convincing check this out.

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