Marshall Cavendish’s Mini Science Encyclopedia (7th edition) – perfect for introducing science to young readers

I remembered when I was young , my parents brought me a whole set of Britannica encyclopedia. It look really lovely on my  book shelf however, it is also very intimidating, full of small font text, no colour…so I hardly ever browse them and the 30-year-plus set still sits in my parents’ home till this very day.

Even the word “encyclopedia” itself is an intimidating word for any young kids. Thus far I have not gotten the older kids any encyclopedia to accompany their learning journey.

I was most happy when Marshall Cavendish approached me to review their very own version of Mini Science Encyclopedia. I have not known of this mini encyclopedia before but being one focusing on science, this definitely a welcome addition to my kids’ library . The book is SO different from my pre-conception of an encyclopedia, big font sizes, colour pictures and illustrations…..definitely not intimidating at all. Targeted at primary school children, I reckon you can even start your K2s on some of the simpler science concepts as well.

These are the reasons I give this mini encyclopedia a big thumbs up!

  1. Well-rounded content

As this mini encyclopedia focuses on science, this book covers a variety of topics from our body,animals plants, ecology, environment, space, magnets, heat, electricity, energy, life sciences and many more.

Being a primary school kid’s parents, I did a quick look if I would rely on this book for primary science revision. Do note that this book does not follow the PSLE science syllable strictly, hence for revision purposes you would still need to use the textbook and accompany assessment books. However, this is a very good base to introduce new topics and science concepts!

2. Written in a local context

The book is written by a local author. Being in its 7th edition, it was first publised in 1998 and have been constantly updated.Many of the facts in foreign published encyclopedia are very general and do not mentioned on things we see in this part of the world ie Singapore.

This books covered the topics from a very local context perspective such as introduction to saga seed, rambutan, durian, chiku, duku and even the Semakau landfill which makes the book relatable to kids in Singapore.

3. Big fonts and colour pictures/illustration

One of the best ways to attract young readers is using big fonts and also colourful pictures and illustrations. This book is the less intimidating as my p1 girl took an interest in reading the book and having a introduction to science concepts around her. I have taken some shots of the simpler concepts and the beautiful illustration for the lower primary school kids. This book will also appeal for readers who prepare non fiction materials – animals, solar systems, dinosaurs!

 

4. Peppered with simple science experiments you can try at home

One of the best ways to encourage to love for science is to dabble in them. The book has included simple science experiments you can try at home with your child.

This is a very suitable mini encyclopedia for your lower primary school kids for leisure reading and brief intro to new science concepts. As mentioned previously,  this is not a primary school science text book (does not followed school syllable( but a mini encyclopedia to accompany the young minds …I am very sure this is more useful that having a full set of Britanica Encyclopedia.

You can purchase this mini encyclopedia priced at $20.50 (before GST) available in major bookshops such as Popular, Times and Kinokuniya or from online .

Giveaway

Marshall Cavendish has kindly sponsored a copy to a lucky reader. The winner will be required to pick up the copy from their office during office hours.

1. Liked FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Marshall Cavendish Education

2. Followed mypreciouzkids  and  Marshall Cavendish Education on Instagram

3. Liked and share this FB post and repost this IG post using #mypreciouzkidsgiveaway and tag 3 friends in the same IG post (1 tag per comment) on the same IG post.

Please keep your Facebook shared post and IG shared post public (as indicated in step 3)  in order to qualify so that I can locate your entry.

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner . The giveaway closes on 29th April April (Sun) 11.59pm.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own


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Review – Marshall Cavendish Parents Science Workshop – Coping with primary science (lower block)

After a month hiatus (and having a term of primary  school science), I am happy to be back for another parents science workshop organised by Marshall Cavendish. It was conducted by Kelvin Chia, who was also the same trainer for my first ever science workshop. You can read more about him and my review of my parents science workshop conducted by him here.

In fact, for today’s workshop for the benefit for new attendees, he also touched on the same information covered in the prior workshop. So given that I had attended his prior workshop, the first 30 minutes was more of a repetition for me. From covering the new PSLE exam formats to science being a spiral curriculum , this was covered in the 1.5 hour session previously. You can read all about this in my earlier review. He also emphasis on the 5-step in answering OEQ (open ended question). The trick is not to use these steps for all questions but only for question whereby the student is stumped and have difficult in answering the question.

He also touched on some strategies to strengthen the knowledge and love for science though story tellings, virtual labs (for eg. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/new) and flash files (https://www.edumedia-sciences.com/en/media/122-digestive-tract). Besides that, parents can expand the science knowledge by hands-on activities and also through documentaries.

Thereafter, he went through the PSLE science syllable from the MOE websites in specific the lower block syllable. He emphasized which are the simpler concepts and the harder one where students will often have trouble relating and understanding. For eg the concept of cycles in matter in particular the state of gas as it is not easily observable.

Another concepts which are not so easy for p3 and p4 to grasp is heat and light. In general, life sciences like life cycle of plants and animal or the human systems would be easier concepts to understand than physical science whereby there are many ways of application (which is the 60% of the exam paper). Life sciences are more knowledge in nature and less in application in nature (PSLE Science is 40% knowledge and 60% application of knowledge and process skill.)

It is more important for the student to be able to identify the topic and concept that is tested in the question to be able to answer the question correctly. It is also important to answer the question in context and than to give many irrevelant facts.

Even after going through the syllable in Term 1 – Living and Non-Living things (which is the simplest concept being the first topic in primary school science), I often has difficulty answering the question correctly even for such simple concept. Hence, it is imperative to identify the concept that the question is testing to be able to answer to the point. It is a steep learning curve for me as a parent, but I am confident which more understanding of how the science papers are set, I can guide my son to score better in paper 2 which is the OEQs.

For the complete list of parents science workshops in Term 2 (priced at SGD 20 or SGD35) , click here.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Monitoring with D-Link’s Full HD 180 Degree Outdoor Wi-fi Camera DCS-2670

This is my second review of a D-Link product. My first review was for D-Link wi-fi extender which has proved to be a godsend as I have connections throughout my home which translated to savings $$ for me for the past month. Since the installation of the wi-fi extenders, I have not burst my monthly data package. There was no blind spot at all as I have been surfing at different parts of my home. You can read all about it here.

When I was approached to do a review of D-Link latest full HD outdoor wi-fi camera, I was quite skeptical of its usage in Singapore. I didn’t quite know if I would need such a product in my home especially so that it is meant for outdoor use. Well, to me I think Singapore is one of the safest countries to live in and I often have little security concern living in Singapore. Unlike my relatives living in Malaysia, security is the major concern, besides having video camera , they will also have gates even in the home itself not just outside.

I have many friends who have invested in wi-fi camera but it was mainly for monitoring of domestic helper. To date, I didn’t quite need a wi-fi camera at home as I do not have a domestic helper . Recently, it did cross my mind that my household would need such a wi-fi camera ever since my kids started school (big J used to attend student care) and came home straight from school. I didn’t quite know what they are up to after school and the tiger mum in me wants to know if they are following  the time table that we have jointly agreed on. I don’t like the idea that they are idling away after school (yes, I know they need play time too but to me , they will get play time when they have finish their work and revision).

And this being an outdoor wi-fi camera, I actually ask what would be a major selling point for this product in the Singapore context, they told me that it will be very useful for  monitoring of home during vacation. I was sold as we often travel as a family for holidays  so I will have a peace of mind  whenever the whole family is away.

Some other reasons for installing such an indoor wi-fi camera it to monitor kids, help, elderly, pets when they are outdoors or even for strangers looking for your helper at home. Given that I do not have a helper or a pet, I do not have such concerns but yes, I would like to monitor my kids for sure.

It comes with outdoor mounting kit. However, for my usage, I didn’t want it to be fixed to a location, hence i didn’t have it mounted. I want to get the best of both, ie indoor and outdoor usage.

This is the latest Full HD 180 Degree Outdoor Wi-fi Camera DCS-2670 from D-Link.

As this is my first wi-fi camera, I do not really have a point of comparison, however I will let you know how useful it has been to me as I have been using it for the past month. It is such novelty to me now as I can easily “peek” into my kids , yes they do know there is a camera on their desk, however, I wont be so free to peek at them all the time too.

  1. It has a super wide angle view – perfect for outdoor monitoring

Low crime in Singapore does not mean there is no crime. The more complacents are the residents, it will invite more crime. Hence, the presence of such outdoor wi-fi camera will definitely deter any possible crime especially for long periods of absence.

This is the location where I left my outdoor wi-fi camera when my family was out of town. As I didn’t want to have it mounted, it will be easier if i just place it at ground level so long i can a 18 degree view of my front porch. I do not think it is necessary to monitor when we are out for a few hours ( I still do think its very safe in Singapore) but it will definitely be good to have it switched on when we are away for days.

It also works beautifully at night due to the built-in IR LEDs and Full HD capabilities. There are 3 modes in the camera – in normal light, night vision and also auto. The auto mode will automatically toggle to get the most suitable mode. Here are some shots of my home’s outdoor area at night.

Given that it is meant for outdoor usage, the camera is also weather proof (IP65 casing which is able to withstand dust and rain) and comes with mounting kit, cable water proofing connector and an extra long cable. Its three-axis adjustment makes ceiling installations easy.

2. Built-in IR LEDs to capture video in up to 16 feet of complete darkness

I am not sure how well other indoor wi-fi cameras capture in darkness, but since this product was meant for outdoor use, it has to be able to capture picture and video in low light or even darkness as mentioned above. This is a photo taken indoors when my kids are asleep – the room was in total darkness. It is perfectly clear even in such darkness and I can see both of my kids cuddled up in 1 bed leaving the other bed empty. In fact, you can also use this as a baby monitor as it is so clear in complete darkness.

photo as taken using the mydlink Lite app and saved into my phone

3. Capturing of picture and video in full HD quality 

As I mentioned, I was toying with an idea of getting a wi-fi camera early this year to monitor my kids after school. Now, I am able to have quick glances of my kids when they are back from school while I am at work. Besides just viewing on your smart phone, you can easily capture images and videos using the mydlink Lite app. However, if you need a playback of the video, then you would need to slot a micro SD card and configure in the web GUI to have it recorded and saved in the micro sd card. It has record up to 235 hours on a 128GB micro SD.

this is a screengrab from the mydlink Lite app to show you the functions and view you can get from your smart phone

Recently, there was a day (the above screengrab was taken on that day) that the older kids had to be home alone as the grandparents were away and both myself and my husband couldn’t take off from work. So, the wi-fi camera was a godsend. We could constantly monitor through the app in addition to calling them at home to make sure that all in well. They were home alone for a good 3 hours and I am glad that we had this wi-fi camera which gave us an extra piece of mind.

4. Sound and motion detection 

I will get a notification  on my smart phone whether there is motion detected via the same mydlink Lite app  – like when someone enters the room, or most importantly if there is an intruder into my front porch etc.

D-Link DCS-2670L retails at SGD 289 at all Challenger outlets.

For my daily usage, I hope to be seeing such a view every time I take a peek 🙂 and on an occasional basis, to give me a peace of mind when I am overseas.

D-Link

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus from 18 April 2018 onwards

My family are big fans of the circus, we have watched it all from Cavalia , two recent Cirque du Soleils -Totem and Kooza and Base Entertainment’s Cirque Adrenaline. Coming out fresh watching the life story of PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman myself, I think it is best to enjoy circus live on stage and at its very best . We are so lucky to be in Singapore and to be able to catch of the latest act in town – CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus.

Brought to us by Base Entertainment Asia, CIRCUS 1903 hope to bring back the decadence, granduer and romance of an authentic , vintage circus (just like the days of PT Barnum). Featuring death-defying high-wire acts, bicycle wheel of death, knife-throwers and more, this is one circus act not to be missed especially if you have loved the movie, The Greatest Showman. As the Circus 1903 is unable to bring real-life animals to the stage, they have created the largest ever life-size African elephants puppets.

The backgrounds are set to recreate the grand days of circus complete with trucks, props, tent, flagpoles and riggings and costumes are inspired the era during the turn-of- the-century.

This is one Circus that is coming to town and especially for big fan of The Greatest Showman, I am so excited to bring my family to catch this!

CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus

From 18 April 2018, tickets start from SGD65 onwards (excludes the  booking fee of SGD 4 per ticket)Comprise 2 Acts of 40 minutes and 35 minutes with an intermission of 15 minutes

All photos/videos are credited to Base Entertainment Asia.


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ACT3 International’s March 2018 holiday workshops inspired by E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web

Media Invite

The school started and before long it’s a break for both parents and kids! As it is an extremely short break, typically we don’t travel out of country but staying home everyday of the school holidays seems to be unproductive according to me, the “tiger mum”.

So, I am more than happy to enrol big J for a drama workshop with ACT3. As you would have already known, I am full time working mum so enrolling for a week-long camp require a lot of commitment from me. However, 1 half day camp, I am more than happy to indulge my kids.

This upcoming March school holidays, Act3 International is organizing holiday drama workshop from 12 to 25 March 2018 centering around E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. There have workshops for all ages from as young as 7 months old all the way to 12 years old. The holiday workshops have one-session and also five-day workshops incorporating storytelling and drama actities.

These are the lists of workshop and the age group

A Web of Shapes (45-minute session)

7 to 17 mths, parent accompanied

Interactive and tactile workshop with “spiders”of all shapes and sizes.

Let’s Build a Story (1-hour session)

18- 36 months, parent accompanied

Using hand puppets, all children are invited to build a giant spider’s web with combination of dance, song and movements.

Discover Charlotte (five-day session)

3-4 years old

Mix of music, creative movement and choral speaking from the eyes of Charlotte as she interacts with her friends.

A Barnyard family (five-day session)

5 – 7 years old

Choral and individual speaking , creative movement and role playing of families in the a farm.

Spin Your Own Tales (3-hour session)

8-12 years old

Writing workshop using themes from original to recreate a new story.

An Entanglement of Songs (3-hour session)

8-12 years old

A musical workshop by singing familiar tunes and recreating the story of Charlotte’s Web.

You can register for the workshops at this link. The last I heard big J’s class has limited vacancies, so do plan ahead and book soon! Alternatively, you can call at 65 67359986 , email at act3int@act3international.com.sg and head down to their premises at 126 Cairnhill Road.

ACT 3 International

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Celebrating Lunar New Year at Universal Studio Singapore and SEA Aquarium (9 to 28 February 2018)

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I can’t recall when was the last time I visited the SEA Aquarium or Universal Studio Singapore (“USS”) but like every local, when we have a local attraction we hardly visit or only visits when relatives from abroad visit. I guess the last time we visited, we were in as a family of 5. So, this will mark as our very first time entering the park as a family of 6 , 2 adults vs 4 kids 0f different heights…lets see if we manage to enjoy all the rides and attractions especially the new ones for this month only!

This is also our very first time enjoying the lunar new year festivities with Resort World Sentosa and seeing how they have incorporated  the biggest festival of the year (IMHO – some may say its the Christmas celebrations) in their 2 of the most popular attractions – SEA Aquarium and USS. I think the biggest highlight would be the iconic dragon dance at the SEA aquarium.  I have always taken a fascination to dragon and lion  dance but an underwater dragon dance will truly be an unique performance not to be missed!

From 9 to 28 February, especially for locals and families who are not travelling abroad and have the whole long weekend in Singapore ( and the weather seems to be holding up and cooling too), this makes it the best time to pay a visit to either the SEA aquarium or USS or both. If you have young kids like me, perhaps taking one attraction on separate days will be more advisable to fully enjoy instead of rushing through it.

Both attractions have slot in new items as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations so that there is always something new to enjoy even if you are a regular park-goer.

Universal Studios Singapore (9 to 25 Feb)

  • Majestic Dragon Trail – new!

No Lunar New Year is complete with dragon dance and traditional costumes! Incorporating the traditional dragon dance with all the favourite USS characters like Minions, Sesame Street friend and Puss in Boots (all decked in Chinese traditional costumes)

The 20 minute trail happens at 1pm and 5.30pm daily , from New York passing to all the zones ending at New York with different characters appearing at all the different zone. For eg, at New York will be the characters from Sesame Street and at Far Far Away will be Shrek and Fiona. So if you are up for it, you could follow up throughout the trail. There is also meet and greet after the dragon dance performance too!


  • East- Meets-West Street Performance by the Rockafellas and Mel’s Dim Sum Dinettes  – New! 

Incorporating eastern elements and tunes, the crowd’s favourite Rockefellas will serve a brand new show – Fu Fighter at the New York Public Library while the Mel’s Dim Sum Dinettes from Mel Diner’s will entertain all theme park guest to lunar new year tunes in cheongsam! They were even belting out tunes in Chinese, all in conjunction with Lunar celebrations!

As the timing are varied to check at the park entrance for  timing.

Hello Kitty Studio 

This was launched last year but this is definitely new to me. We had  plenty of photo ops as I am a big fan of Hello Kitty myself! I was so glad that I managed to enjoy this part of the park while the boys wait out for us girls to finish our little tour!

All this are included in the paid park admission and the parks are open till 8pm or 9pm on selected night. Singapore resident enjoy a special rate of S$72 along with a complimentary S$5 meal voucher.

At the end of the day,  we made it through many rides, (adults taking turns if one of the kids was unable to ride due to height requirements), even small C did his first Madagascar – A Crate Adventure, but he was too late for nap so he had to miss King Julien’s Beach Party- Go- Round . Small J had his first even roller coaster ride at the Enchanted Airways and enjoyed himself thoroughly at Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey – the most popular kids’ ride!

We even caught the brand new Elmo TV’s Time.

photo credit:RWS

Over at the SEA aquarium, not to be outdone by USS, they are also hosting new exhibits and items just for the lunar new year celebration from 9 to 28 February.

S.E.A. Aquarium (9 to 28 Feb)

  • Singapore’s only underwater dragon dance -New! 

A crowd’s favourite from previous years, divers will all  be decked in festive costumes performing dragon dance with the backdrop of all the sea animals in the SEA aquariums – from manta rays to zebra sharks. This year, we also caught the Sea Goddess as an addition to the dragon dance ensemble.

This happens at 1.30pm and 3.30pm daily (11.30am on Sat, Sun and PH) at the open ocean habitat and shipwreck habitat. Thereafter , you can proceed to the Ocean Dome for a story telling session by the Sea Goddess at 12 and 2pm daily (4.30pm on Sat, Sun and PH). I was in awe with the effort that RWS even to details of the costume of the Sea Goddesses –  truly all attention to make sure all park-goers have a wonderful time and creating wonderful memories!

photo credit: RWS

photo credit: RWS

story telling by the very beautiful sea goddess which happens after the underwater dragon dance , all about sustainable seafood and conservation

  • Trail of Fortunes -New! 

Highlighting auspicious sea creatures, SEA aquarium has create a new perspective to their guest to discover fun fact and also weaving conservation theme as part of the learning as part of the Lunar New Year programmes.

photo credit: RWS

Singapore residents enjoy discounts on admission at S$34 and S$22 for a child.

I am so glad that we have managed to soak in some Lunar New Year festivities and celebrations before the real celebration begins later part of this week.

If you have some time from the visiting  and wish to soak into more lunar new year mood and festivities, both attractions offer their own unique interpretation of our biggest festival of the year! I wouldn’t favour one over the other, but it depends very much if you want a more leisurely and comfortable day out or a more adventurous one!

Taking this opportunity to wish all my readers , family and friends a very paw-perous new year and enjoy this festivities with your family and friends!


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Review – Marshall Cavendish Parents Science Workshop – An introduction to Science Process Skills

After attending my first ever primary science workshop last Saturday, (see review here) I am back for another 1.5 hours session which focuses on science process skills. Conducted by assessment books author Miss Low Wai Cheng, she outlined the framework of the primary school science and in particular the process skills needed to excel in this subject – SCIENCE.

There are 3 important dimensions of Science which are the content (which is primary what is taught in the textbooks) the processes of doing science (which is the science process skills) and scientific attitudes (being curious and imaginative, enthusiastic etc)

This is the Singapore Science curriculum framework outlining the 3 important dimensions in the 3 triangles. In a nutshell, the science curriculum seek to nurture the student as the inquirer.

This workshop outlines the 11 skills and 3 processes in the framework

Skills

1.Observing (lower block)  – uses five sense to make good observation, and most important as it is the foundation to all the other science process skillls

2. Comparing (lower block) – identifying similarities and differences

3. Classifying (lower block) – sort objects into group based on their observations

4. Using apparatus and equipment (not tested for psle)

5. Communicating

6. Inferring (upper block) – explanation and interpretation from observations

7. Predicting (upper block) – guessing the outcome based on observations

8. Analysing

9. Generating possibilities

10. Evaluating

11. Formulating hypothesis (upper block)

Some skills set like classification tends to be used across all levels.  As the workshop was a short session, the trainer did not go into details process skills 8-11 which are of higher order thinking.

This is the difference between observation, inferring and predicting from the same picture.

Processes

  1. Creative problem-solving

  2. Planning investigation

  3. Decision-making

The trainer also went through a few model questions (not to get the answers) but to identify the science process skills that is required to answer the question.In school, teachers are not only teaching the contents but also strengthening their process skills in order to excel in science. We as parents also can weave such process skills in our daily lives by asking questions based on our daily experiences ie when taking out an apple, where did the water droplets on the apple come from? We are also plan regular trips to science centre, zoo, parks or botanical garden to observe, explore and discuss natural phenomena.

This workshop only serve as an introduction to all the 11 science process skills for primary school science. For more in-depth workshop on science process skills, there are 2 other workshops – one for upper block process skills and one for lower block process skills.

For the complete list of parents science workshops in Term 1 (priced at SGD 20 or SGD35 for 1.5 hrs or 3 hrs workshop respectively) , click here. For the other subjects, click here

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Review – Marshall Cavendish Parents Science Workshop – Understanding Science Concepts

This is not my first parent workshop with Marshall Cavendish, you can read about my first session here. I truly benefited the previous workshop that I attended as I had better understanding of the requirement of a particular subject or sub-section of the subject. So as my eldest enters primary 3 and science is being introduced, I do personally feel a lack of confidence in myself to be able to guide and support  him in excelling in science. I was a science student all the way to Junior College even doing Physics and Chemistry but the themes in the current primary school science syllable perturbed me. To me, science is divided into Physics, Science and Biology. To my surprise, I see themes like Diversity, Cycles, Systems , Interactions and Energy. It sounded so foreign to me that I can’t visualised how science is being taught in primary school now. So these workshops organised by Marshall Cavendish couldn’t come at a better timing – start of the academic term.

In fact, this workshop is the first of this year’s series of science workshops that is organised by Marshall Cavendish enlisting their authors, subject experts and passionate teachers to guide parents like myself who wish to be more involved in the teaching process , and in the known of the curriculum and  syllable.

Today’s trainer was Kelvin Chia is who is also an author of several of Marshall Cavendish’s primary school assessment books and with 14 years of experience in teaching science behind him, he shared his knowledge in teaching, marking and parents’ expectations.

This workshop is pitched to parents of p3 onwards and especially useful for clueless parents like me who are “learning” this subject for the first time. The current science syllable is based on the 2014 science syllable which you can see from the MOE website. I bet my money that many parents would not have read through this 78 pages pdf documents outlining the current syllable. However, Kelvin mentioned that it is imperative to have an idea of the syllable in order to guide your child into understanding the learning outcomes that are tested in the PSLE, ie no need to go beyond the syllable and learning outcomes as prescribed by MOE.

As today’s workshop was more introductory in nature, I have listed down the key take-aways.

1. Science is less of a spiral curriculum that Mathematics

One of the biggest key differences between Science and Mathematics, is that Math is more of  spiral curriculum whereby you need to know p2 Math before you can do p3 maths etc. However for Science , there is no need for you to know P3 science before you can do P4 science, for eg, you do not need to know the lifecycle of a plant before doing reproduction. Primary School Science is divided into lower (P3 & P4)  and upper block (P5 & P6), which means that the school is free to doing any of the themes within the two year period unlike the other subject.

2. PSLE exam format

The PSLE science paper consist of 2 booklets of MCQ and OEQ (open-ended questions) and to be completed in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

3. KEEP ALL YOUR SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS!

As mentioned in point 1, Science is not a spiral curriculum, the student may have learn a topic in p3 and the same topic not revisited in p6 and yet it could be tested during PSLE. So PSLE science test all themes in both lower and upper block. So for PSLE the student need to revise and know all topics covered from P3 to P6.

4.PSLE Science is 40% knowledge and 60% application of knowledge and process skill. 

This mean a student who has memorised all the science facts in the themes would be able to get 40 marks but if he is unable to apply it, he wouldnt be able to score well.  Application of knowledge and process skills is the ability of the students to interpret information using of one or more of the following process skills – inferring, predicting, analysing, evaluating, generating possibilities, formulating hypothesis and communicating.

Kelvin also brief in the 5 step in answering OEQ by going through 2 PSLE questions.

Step 1  – looking for clues,  Step 2 -identifying Task Words (classify, compare, describe, explain, differentiate, identify, infer, list explanation, Step 3 – identifying topic that is being tested, Step 4 – identifying key words from the topic tested and Step 5 – phrasing the answer using CER (Claim, Evidence and Reasoning). As the workshop was only 1.5 hours, Kelvin could not deep dive into each of the steps in greater details. I am sure there are workshops specifically for answering such OEQ.

As this year’s Marshall Cavendish workshops have been reformatted to shorter durations – 1.5 hours and 3 hours (as compared to prior years’ workshops which were 6 hours long) , today’s workshop of 1.5 hours I felt was a tad too short to fully reap the benefits. That said, the amount of information that I have receive in that short 1.5 hours has been very beneficial to me personally as I embarked on learning primary school science with my child. In fact, I have enrolled for next week’s science workshop!

For the complete list of parents science workshops in Term 1 (priced at SGD 20 or SGD35) , click here.  In fact. the science workshops are on every Saturday till the March schools holidays!

For the other subjects, click here

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own


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Giveaway & Review : Big Ideaz Education Online Writing Academy

With the exception of Chinese language which I didn’t study in school, I am fairly confident in tutoring my child in the other subjects myself especially Mathematics. However, there is one component of a subject (even when I in school it was the paper that I struggled a fair bit even though I read widely) that I have little confident in teaching and guiding my primary 3 child -English composition.

I am often lost for words when I needed to guide  big J in his school writing. Even if I had written the composition myself and pass it for scoring, I am sure the marks awarded would not be satisfactory too. I did try to buy some composition and creative writing assessment books but I don’t think it is useful in my “cause”. Save for the some model composition writing books, I have since stop buying assessment books which aim to teach kids to write. As my kids schedule are quite packed, I am not inclined to start another enrichment class. Most of the English classes also teaches the other aspect of English ie comprehension, vocabulary , grammar, synthesis etc but at this juncture, I think big J needed more guidance is in composition specifically.]

So the Tiger mum in me started big J on an online writing academy by Big Ideaz Education during the December holidays. As we didn’t have a long holiday and big J was “loitering” at home , I thought it will be best to prep him for p3 composition writing.

What I really like about  Big Ideaz Education online writing academy is that it is done at the home and at any time the child chooses. There are 4 lessons in 1 month, of course it is best to do it on a weekly basis. The best part (and this part you can’t really get out from the regular classes), I can go through the video with my child so that I am well versed with the format and expectation of primary school composition.

To sum it shortly after going though the course with big J for 1 month plus, big J and myself as a parent  now have a fairly good idea the structure of a good composition. I love that the online writing course teaches big J each component of a composition per lesson (and not overwhelming him). Even as a parent going through the online video, I must say that the lessonshas been done in a systematic way.

The online course started with introduction for lesson 1 and slowly introduces the other parts – events leading to the problem, the problem, the resolution and the conclusion.

I may not be able to guide him but I am more aware of how marks are awarded for each component of the composition and what kind of content that the teachers are looking for.

For example, it is often encouraged to put a speech in the introduction to make it make the composition more interesting and appealing to the reader. And how to introduce the problem and its resolution with more depth and content than merely resolving a problem abruptly. After each lesson, parent will download and print the written homework. I will print 1 month’s homework at 1 go so that I have the homework ready after each lesson. Then I will scan big J’s written assignment and submit online for marking and returned within 5 working days with the comment and improvement points. The child is sometimes  require to do draft 2 so that he can incorporate the improvement points and make it a better composition.

That said, when it come to home-based learning, as there is no fixed schedule and timing, the child must have some discipline to go through a weekly lesson which consist of less than a 10 minute video followed by a written work. Online course may not work for every child but if your child (and the parent too) have the discipline, this may be the best arrangement without attending a proper writing class at this juncture. I will definitely let J go through few more months and see if this helps him in his composition writing and if both myself and big J have the discipline to do this on a weekly basis. It is too early to tell if this online writing course is helping big J but he is more aware of what he require to write for each component of a composition such as incorporating speech in the introduction, to describe more feeling that merely just telling etc.

You can also read more about the founder and the teacher behind this online portal here . Do check out her blog as well as she give insights into English subject and composition.

Big Ideaz Education 

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Giveaway

Big Ideaz Education has kindly sponsored 1 reader for 2 month access to the Writing Academy (8 weeks of lesson worth S$188) for kids p3 and above.

1. Liked FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Big Ideaz Education

2. Followed mypreciouzkids on Instagram

3. Liked and share this FB post and tag 3 friends who will be interested in this.

Please keep your Facebook shared post  (as indicated in step 3)  in order to qualify so that I can locate your entry. Bonus: repost the IG post with #mypreciouzkidsgiveaway and tag 3 friends (1 tag per comment)

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner. The giveaway closes on 4 February 2018 2359pm (Sun)

Winner: Teo Muan Hua

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Painting with a heart at Heart Studio

I have always known of the holiday art classes at Heart Studio from many years back and they have the most awesome themes that ALL kids love – My Little Ponies, Cars, Star Wars, Shopkin – you name a cartoon theme that your kids love they probably have it especially during the holiday programs. When I had only 2 kids, I do indulge them with weekly art and craft sessions with them at home but since the addition of the younger 2 boys, I didn’t had time to do that at all. It is very tough doing art and craft sessions for 4 kids and to clear the mess thereafter.

On a normal schooling days my kids have their regular enrichment classes and school, art classes would be an after thought. I do believe in the benefit of art classes as in my younger days I did dabble in it as well and even won some art competitions during my primary school days. I even had art classes but it was more pure practise than talent, so I can’t really draw and paint like a real artist. I don’t think my kids have much artistic streak or talent but my kids do love to doodle, paint , colour and draw. When I told them I sign them for a session of art with Heart Studio during the school holiday, they were over the moon. They have been asking me incessantly since the school hols started when is their painting session.

I only had a small happy problem – it is not possible to find a similar slot for all 3 kids based on their theme they like (qualms of a FTWM as i cant be possibly bringing each kid at a different session) but Heart Studio will be happy to do a swap during the same session. Big J had unicorn as his theme for his age gropu, which he isn’t too keen but big C is, so they did a swap. Big J was even happier painting snowman than unicorn for sure. And small J has the theme of his dream – Cars !

All 3 kids were in different classes due to the age group and complexity of the art theme. Before starting, they get to choose the picture they would like to paint as a guide.

I can tell the teachers at Heart Studio are patient and fantastic with kids. Small J is usually very apprehensive with new classes, he even asked if I will be with him throughout the art class initially but he warmed up to his teacher immediately! In fact, in small J’s class there was a boy 1 year younger than him and he could follow the class and listen to the teacher too!

You may wonder how is it possible for kids as young as 3 or 4 to paint such beautiful paintings – I was there thoroughout the session (not in the class per say but I check on their progress now and then). Firstly, they do have a picture to give them an idea how their final artwork will look like. They are guided step by step, stroke by stroke, detail by detail (big C unicorn had a tiara instead of a flower garland) and choose any colour details so make their art work truly their own (and only 1 in the world!)

first step is to sketch the object

painting the background and the main objects

drying before applying another layer of colour

There is definitely more help and guidance for the younger kids as the motor skills are still developing especially for fine lines and smaller details but i would like 90% are done by the kids themselves throughout step by step guidance from the very patient teachers (it was 2 hours 4 5min long!) and hence you wouldn’t believe how good the final product looks!

In fact, if you are looking to buy or commission paintings to decorate your kids room, may I suggest that you send your child for a session and you can have a respectable art piece by your own child  at the end of your session for their own room!

In fact, as we were making out way home with their masterpieces, they asked when they can be back to paint again as they enjoyed it so much. The teachers at Heart Studio have been so wonderful and patience throughout that they had such a wonderful experience painting to their hearts’ contents and having a piece of their own framed in their rooms! I may not be able to slot it into their weekly schedule, but I will definitely slot it into their holiday schedule. This half day art camp definitely works for FTWM during the holiday seasons!

I think there are several more sessions for the December school holiday program , you can check out at this link

Heart Studio

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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