When I was invited for a trial lesson for Square Education, I immediately agreed as my curiosity had to be satisfied. By now you know Play is the way I approach education with my kids since birth. Here’s how it went.
1） 听 （Listen）
“玩 Lego 学华语？YEAH！” “原来乐高是LEGO！哈哈哈哈”
My kids’ reaction when I told them we’re going to play Lego and learn some chinese. Ms Chloe Lim, the Principal of Square Education began the lesson with a story about 2 kids who kept 2 pets. The story was short and succinct, with interesting description of the animals. What impressed me was the well crafted story and lesson development that took place in the class. Chloe cleverly led them through a classification of pets and encouraged the kids to guess what the actual animals were with added details of the size, colours and characteristics of them. They had an engaging time of infering the animals by elimination.
She used many non-examples like the zebras, bears and elephants from the wild to compare with the domestic animals. The kids responded with spontaneous giggles and goofy laughs to the incredulous idea of an elephant at home! The children were getting their dose of chinese vocabulary in this witty process!
2) 读 （Read）
After a thorough introduction of the story and theme of the day, the kids had a good period of learning the new vocabulary from her old school way of teaching each stroke patiently to the class. This reminded me of the times I had learnt my chinese! Nowadays teachers spend little time to practise the correct sequential strokes of each character due to the tight syllabus. I appreciated this short but important slot of drill and practice of 习字. Chloe monitored each child’s writing closely and encouraged them to read. However, it will be ideal if the teacher could make use of a chinese application on the computer to demonstrate the sequence of strokes to reduce the waiting time. She could also redirect that time on more personal coaching. Having said that, I feel the 1h 30mins duration was just right for quality learning.
Then the highlight of the class was introduced. She gave a few examples of the LEGO ‘dog’ 狗， she had built and sparked their interest to do their own pet dog. She also gave a variety of visual photo examples for the kids as references to trigger ideas. I applaud the use of realistic dog images to inspire creativity through real life observation as opposed to having cartoons or illustrations which are already second hand creation.
During the process of constructing their lego dog, the children were actively engaged in chinese conversations with the teacher and amongst themselves. J came up with a DUO DOG which he named (骨头狗) with the white Lego as the dogbone, and where both sides of the dogs were ‘heads and tails’ when placed in different direction! E was very engrossed in her Long Tail Dog (长尾巴） that she shared with the teachers receiving much appreciation. The other child in the class had done a ‘Dong dong chiang’, Dog-lion head pet and he expressed how much he adored J’s Duo Dog. This seemed to be a normal play session except that it was weaved with careful questioning techniques that drew out the voices of the kids.
More about BRICKZ (by Square Education) :
1. BRICKZ is the first of its kind in Singapore!
- Collaboration by former MOE Chinese HOD and Mr Mao Guangming, a former Lego Education curriculum specialist in Beijing
- Incorporated the skills designated in the MOE Chinese syllabus
- Learning through play using LEGO bricks and Robotics
2. BRICKZ develops a child holistically and builds the following skills in children
- Chinese Language and Literacy skills
- Ability to make connections between Mathematics and Science concepts
- Essential Life skills, e.g. collaboration, communication, logical thinking, problem solving, social-emotional skills, etc
After attending the lesson, it led to our playful learning of 乐高 ourselves! The kids even wished to return for more! 利用乐高来学华语是小孩们的梦成真，乐的很高呢!😉
How about experiencing this yourself? You can have a free trial for your kids too! Go to Square to know more about this unique programme and let your children experience the fun of learning Chinese with Lego bricks.
Here’s more information and to make an appointment for the free trial lesson.
- Tel: +65 68449003 | F: +65 68449013
- Online: Website | Facebook
- 1 Marine Parade Central #08-09 (Parkway Centre) Singapore 449408
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