The second day of AFCC today, was focusing on parent’s interest. Again, lots of sharing and inputs were gathered along the way.
The day started at 10am and ended at 5.pm. I was prepared with a list of talks chosen for the day. Somehow, I was glad that I always be seated in the right room with the right people around me.
One thing for sure, my aim to learn and view things as parents, a mother, a teacher and life as a mission is accomplished.
5 topics of talks which I have attended today were:
1. Nurturing Early Literacy at Home
Dr Ng Sok Seok Moi went through some points on how parents can contribute in the children’s early literacy development at home.
Understanding the needs of early literacy for children and the supportive factors at home are among the emphasis.
2. Choosing Books for Different Ages
Madam Kiran Shah, a well known storyteller has shared her experience and views on how parents can choose good and age appropriate books to maximise the benefit of READ aloud the books to the children.
Among the important part in choosing good books for children are content and illustration of the book other than the physical presentation of the book.
Tips on choosing a book:
– Do you like it?
– Does it read aloud well?
– Is the language suitable?
– Is the theme clear?
– Is the content balance?
– Does it aesthetically appealing?
– Are the characters well illustrated?
– Are the illustrations reflect actions and move with the story? Does it allow any predictions to be made?
– Is it consistent with the text?
3. Age suitability
– Size of the books
– Colour and other factor which you might find it important for your child…
3. Making stories come alive
Ms Sheila Wee brought the audience of the day to experience storytelling in her way of presenting her talk of the day.
The whole session was a ‘storytelling’ by itself!
The strength of Sheila’s character in describing events and situation has made the session lively. Each content of her topic was easily imagined in each and everyone in the room.
Sheila has shared on the main 6 elements of VOCAL EXPRESSION which really able to make any story comes alive!
1. Pith changes
4. Adult-Child Interaction Strategies
Asking open-ended question is the strategy focused by John Gunnarson during his session on this topic. He has brought audience to experience how mind is stimulated by asking open-ended questions.
We have learnt that to change our nature asking closed questions become a challenge to apply this strategy to promote children’s thinking and creativity through reading and language exercise.
Open-ended questions include:
1. Information questions : Children obtain information on the topic at hand.
What is…? What are…? How are the same? How are they different?
2. Explanation questions: Children are asked to respond.
3. Philosophical questions: Children ask or respond to questions that relate the child’s personal experience to a larger context.
What do you think of…? What does … mean? What does… have to do with me?
4. Discussion questions: Children learn about and discuss different perspectives and responses to problems or issues.
How could…? What do others think of…? Is this…or …? Why?
5. Speculation questions: Children ask and respond to questions to develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
What if…? What would happen if…?
5. Nurturing Literacy Through Art
The last session I attended was really a personalised experience. Each participants has experienced how art could develop early literacy among young children.
Parents can have lost of fun and interesting activities at home with very minimal cost. However, the skills and support to encourage children’s creativity will need some skills which can be learnt by anyone.
I guess, I am not able to elaborate all 5 topics thoroughly as much as how they did when I sat and listen to the speakers.
In summary, parents can always be in charge of what type of learning to happen at home. In the event that any of us not able to do so, the child must be exposed to a same content with someone else. However, we as parents still need to be in control and be the most active party in the children’s life.
Result? You might not be able to see it now, or within the next 10 years. Have faith and believe that what we have done as parents during our children early childhood life will leave a mark in their life.
It will be the ‘turning point’ in their life which no one knows…
Let us move on with faith!