Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chinese Composition 30/9/2015

Date:  Sep 30, 2015

It’s Chinese composition time.

Remember, the more you practice, the more you will command the language and composition.

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Perhaps it is the weakest subject for some P3 students.  So, these blogs is to help out some parents and share with them how I teach Jay to do his Chinese composition.

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This week, I picked this topic.  As I recalled the last topic is also some one looking for something, and the two kids help the old lady find something.  So, this is a continuation of that topic.

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This week, I adopt another new strategy.

1.  I now asked Jay to write 2 times.  First time is the draft he did without my help.  Second draft is the one I explained to him why he cannot write this and that, and ask him to review and write a second draft just below the first draft.

2.  I asked him not to erase the first draft so that when he do the second draft, he can easily refer back to the first draft and read it out to the dictation program in iPad.  I want him to learn how to think and how to correctly describe what on his mind.

3.  I added in timer.  For coming out with the first draft, he has 10 minutes to look at the picture, and write down some notes what he want to say.  Then, another 10 minutes for the dictation to “speak” out his composition.  In real life, they will need 20-30min to write the composition.  So, he has to be trained to think fast.  As you can see, he has not finished the last sentence and he has to go Taekwondo class already.  And you can see he also pronounce not so accurately in the last sentence.  So, it does not matter, the challenge for him to quickly conceptualise the story.  

I must say, he did pretty well.  Except of the last sentence.

===== Let’s look at the two compositions and point out the obvious mistakes =====

a.  I don’t like he write “他开开心心的走的时候…“ as it is like purposely write more things to lengthen the composition.  So, I taught him must always use “突然”, then, 小明 saw 小丽.

b.  Every one only got one butt.  So, the butt sit “on” the chair.  Why he has to say “坐在一个石椅上”.  There is no need to mention she sat on “one” chair and cried loudly.

c.  There is a different of saying 小丽 cannot find her watch Vs. 小丽 “lost” her watch.  When you say she lost her watch, you don’t know where she lost it.  When you say “she cannot find her watch” always imply that she actually know where is the watch, but she cannot find it.  In this picture context, using the word “lost” is more relevant here.

d.  In the original draft, 小明 saw 小丽 sat on one stone chair, and she is crying very loudly.  小明 "saw already” and he go and ask 小丽 what happen?  This sentence seems to long.  So, I teach him how to “summarise” it into 小明 saw 小丽 sat on the stone chair and cries loudly.  小明 ask 小丽 what had happen?  Which is much shorter and makes more sense.

e.  Don’t always use so many 突然.  Sometimes, you can add the time element in there, use 不一会儿.

f.  Cannot use “奶奶”.  Must use 老太太 or 老婆婆.  Usually 奶奶 is referring to your grandma.  

g.  小丽高兴的说... I told him, it was sad that she lost her watch.  But when the old lady found her watch, she should be “happy!” with the exclamation.  Very important, in every composition, you must have 1 or 2 times describing the 心情 expression.  Is she happy?  or sad.

h.  This story has no conclusion.  There is no right or wrong.  But there is happy or sad.  So, as long as you concluded the story with very happily go home, it will be enough.

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I am very happy about him this week coming up with this composition.  He is just learning how to write composition this year.  And he is only P3.  

Well done Jay.  I think another 1-2 weeks, he is ready for taking the MT Paper 1.

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There is a reason I covered the page beside.

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Now, let’s see what is the modal answer.

WOW… speechless.

Remember, P3 only need to write 80 words. 

You can see how many words in the first draft.  

写多错多 … write more wrong more.

Just write around 100-120 words will do.

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Well done Jay Jay!!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Our Kids Has Grown Up 孩子们都长大了 - Happy Mid Autumn Festival

Date:  Sep 27, 2015

We gave life to them 9 & 6 years ago, and look at them today, blink blink, they have all grown up.  

It has been an exciting journey so far, and it’s going to be another long and exciting journey ahead. 

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Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!


Look at the sky.  Do you see that big round round moon?

It was amazing.  Just two days ago, the country is in distress and have to cancel school and O-level exams for Primary School and Secondary School.

The west side of Singapore has hit a dangerous level of PSI > 350.

Then, on that day itself, blue sky started to appear.  And look at today, the sky is just perfect!

Don’t feel like having haze at all. 

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That is why all of us gear up and joining the carry lantern event from Ayer Rajah CC walking to the 城隍庙.

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We are going to park our car at Lukas and Ashlyn’s condo, and then, we walk from there across the AYE to the Chinese temple where there is a Getai & dinner set up already there,

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These kids has known each others back in Lorna Whiston Pre-School as young as 18 months.

The stay close by each other and have done a lot of activities together.

Look how much they have grown.

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This is probably the first time these two kids walking across AYE holding hands.  :)

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You can really tell how happy these kids are.  See, even dancing pattern came out.

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This is the Getai.  Later everyone will come here.

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We are at the CC now.  And it seems that we are the last one to arrive.

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But when the Lion Dance was leading, we instantly become leading the Lantern crows.  hahahahaha

This is probably the first time they carry lanterns with so many people they have not seen before..

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They just pop the popper, and both Kay and Colette pick up some shining paper from the ground...

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The Chinese opera… Learn the Chinese cultures...

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The Liew boys and the Smith girls.

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We are waiting for people who went to the toilet.

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Thanks to the weather and no haze.  

Boon Ching make a remark: “We don’t get this kid of clear sky where you can see the moon so clearly every year."

Someone: “But today is not Mid-Autumn Festival yet!"

Ya hor, come to think about it… what if tomorrow the sky rains?  what if the haze came back?  

So, today, we see the weather so nice, better do it today instead of tomorrow...

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Everyone must be thirsty.  Let’s drink some orange juice.  It says Orange juice on this big drink container.

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Fixing the lantern.  And let’s take a walk.

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The moon is so round and bright tonight.  (I didn’t bring my Super Zoom camera, this is the best I can shoot).

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It will be a waste if we didn’t take a photo with the moon as our background.  

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

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Some thing not right…. Yeah… their heights… Let’s rearrange them.  Better...

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Kay Kay is like singing here.

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The kid’s childhood does not come by chance.

It depends on the parents who “pakat” so to make things happen.

Both Jay & Kay has make friends with the Faber Crest families.  They playdate together.  They study together.  They went on holidays together.  And again and again, we the parents hope to give them the best friendships, childhood so that they can cherish and remember forever.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!  中秋节快乐!

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Lego Robotics - Bricks Grabber

Date:  Sep 26, 2015

The key objective of today’s project is to build a robotic car that can grab as many bricks out of the black square.

A simple task, but needs the kid to come up with their imaginations.

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This is what Mr. Jay comes up with.  His robots come with a square arm that can embrace almost entire brick stocks in the square box.

And he will keep improving the arm grabbing mechanism.

I am glad that he has come until this stage where he can design his own bots, and make the bots solve problem.

Good thinking Jay!  

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Here is his robot in action.  The arm is not strong enough to hold.  but it is good enough.

Here is another run.

No wonder there are a lot of Lego books in the Toilet.

He told me that he got an idea from the Lego books.

This kid is geared for engineering path.

And I think it is a very useful course for him, so to add the “thinking skill” and “design skill” into his skill sets.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Playdates - Bottled Garden

Date:  Sep 25, 2015

Tonight playdates is to make bottled garden for the two young ladies.

(Jay’s one has been submitted to the school for young botanist application)

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A bottled garden is planting the flowers into a big bottle.  And seal the bottle and place the bottled garden at a place that has a bit of sunlight (not direct sun).  The bottled garden will create its own eco-system inside the bottle.  You shouldn’t have to open it for many many years and the plants will grow in there.

It is also called a terrarium, vivarium … Here are some of the info that can be found on the web… (for kids readings).

A bottled garden since 1960:

Bottled garden education:

How to grow a garden in a bottle:

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Let’s get started.

First auntie Boon Ching must explained how the whole thing works!

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Bottle must have rocks and soil inside...

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Colette carefully places the plants into the bottle.

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It is not that hard.  Let the adult put in the rocks, sands and soil, and let the kid plants their own plants.

Why the kids want to do it? 

Well, they get very excited when they hear that this bottled garden will “grow together” with them, and will survive for 10-20-30 years… or even longer… 

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Inspired by the recent visit to the Lego show case at the National Library, Colette build a “watch tower” using Lego, and place it inside.

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Hahaha… Not bad looking… A tower inside the bottled garden.

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A job well done!

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Let’s take photo with her best buddy.

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Now it’s Ashlyn’s turn.

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What did Ashlyn just put inside the bottle?

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A small little Lego lodge/house.  Sweet!

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That is a 100% happy & satisfaction smile!

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Ashlyn & Jay, her playdates buddy.

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Wait!  What did Kay Kay put inside?

My mini Lego Aeroplane.

My blue Lego bicycle.

His Minecraft Lego Moo-Moo cow.

Jay build a yellow tall Lego Cranes.

Kay’s Minecraft Lego pig (red colour one)...

Well, as long as the kids enjoys it.  Let them put whatever they want.

(Oh my limited edition blue Lego bicycle).

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Oh ya… Don’t forget to water a lot of water into the bottled garden.  Otherwise you can make the Eco-Systems.

Finally, its time to seal it.

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Still very happy to have a bottle garden of her own.

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They girls are happy.

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Now, here comes the facts.

Suddenly, my son asked his mommy, “Why do you use Cork to seal the bottled garden?"

Then, he suddenly talk non-English… “A cork can flow on water… but after sometimes, cork will … "

(a lot of science theory)….

Then, mommy suddenly realise her mistake….

Wahahahahaha… The cork might dried up, or the cork might suck up the water inside the bottle and transfer it outside… Just like the wine bottle cork stopper...

etc etc… 

I also don’t exactly know what was the discussion….

So, it has 51% to survive….

If it does not, don’t worry, we can always make another one with proper bottles… those comes with real glass top… So you can completely 100% seal the eco-systems inside...

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Oh ya… Today’s playdate, the kids have this wonderful (actually a bit too sweet) agar-agar...

Mommy trying to make her own agar-agar birthday cake.  So, she still got 2 weeks to make it right.

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The colour looks nice!

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The kids seems to love it.

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Ya… mommy going to make this for you...

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We try to have a weekly playdates for the kids.

And some how the chemistry was quite OK for the Smith’s family to join us.

The kids need a routine playdates so that they know and they can remember how much they enjoy playing together.

A playdates is about playing Legos, playing hide and seek (hiding a small object not themselves), playing with the cats, having food such as Mac & Cheese or Chicken rice, Eating desserts such as Ice Cream, Agar-agar, special event such as making clays, drawings, or making bottled garden, watching “Battle Bots” together (to inspire young girls to build fighting robots), hiding my cats under my blankets, and many more.

The kids will remember these childhood, not a kampung one, but the one that they have so much fun of.

The kids are looking forward every week to meet up for playdates.

I am glad these kids are happy!