Our Mandarin Teacher at Woodland Montessori Repulse Bay, Ms Fay, explains how to set up the home environment and activities to better support your child’s learning during school closures.
At Woodland, we incorporate the philosophy ‘Environment is the 3rd teacher’. Children learn not only from adults’ direct teaching activity, but absorb just as much from their surrounding environment. This, during the COVID school suspension time, means your home environment.
For example, our Pre-School class has now started a new unit 'Are we there yet?'. To facilitate their learning through their environment, the classrooms and playroom are usually set up with traffic lights, traffic police role-play costumes, cars and bikes, car parks, train tracks, and more. But how can you do this at home? With some simple adaptations, you can set up similar activities just the same.
Example 1: car park 停车场
Simply use a carton, a shoe box or any cardboard and write on the numbers. This also serves as a good storage option for their toy cars.
This project helps with reviewing numbers. You can encourage them to be creative and design their own multi-layer car parks. You can try different layout and various sizes, so the children are able to think critically. A great opportunity to review size comparison (big vs. small) or size ordering, from biggest to smallest.
Example 2: Traffic signs 交通标志
Traffic sign images are available on the internet. You can glue signs on toilet paper rolls so they can be propped up. Go through what these signs mean. You can use some black paper and toy cars and create road tracks together. Tracks can be made by using chalk on black paper or electrical tape. Alternatively, this is available on the internet to print too; simply search 'printable road'. Extend this further by adding traffic lights or even foot bridges!
Another easy activity to try at home is to take the traffic signs outdoors. When they are on their scooters, balance bikes or big bikes, pull out a sign they must follow. For older children, count to 10 while waiting (traffic sign is blinking).
Example 3: Origami boats and planes 纸船和纸飞机
Origami boats or planes. The instuctions to folding them can be easily found on the internet; simply search 'origami boats/origami planes'. You can extend this further with a “sink or float” experiment with your paper boat 船 or play catch with your paper planes 飞机.