Every class in our school is a happy class but there is one class where you always hear laughter and joy and that is the pre-school class. This is our class that houses our three and four year olds. It is a full immersion English class with one class of Mandarin per day. They also have music and physical education.
The growth in these children since September has been incredible. Their English proficiency has increased. They understand classroom routines and they are learning to play together and solve problems when they occur. They are also learning very important social skills that will help them navigate through all the years of school ahead of them.
I observed a literacy lesson this week and it was amazing to see how much the children have learned. The teacher was reading a story called, “The Mitten”. This is a story about a lost mitten and how many animals crawl into the mitten to keep warm. Children learn vocabulary like fox, bear, rabbit, mole, porcupine etc. Each child had a mask and had to crawl into a large mitten. So not only did they hear the story and see the story, they experienced the story. This is an example of meaningful learning for students and a fun strategy for engaging the younger students.
Children acquire many skills from acting out stories. Their oral language skills, vocabulary and understanding are increased. They become part of the story by interacting with materials and this creates a deeper, more personal understanding of the story. Parents can encourage children to retell and act out stories. They can read or tell stories that are interesting and repetitive. Provide props, have fun and engage in the process. When children are young, it is important to change activities in order to keep their attention span. Acting out a story is just one way to do that.
Lorianne Tenove, Head of School