02 May Easier Learning The Fun Way
Easier learning the fun way
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.” – O. Fred Donaldson, Pulitzer-nominated author, and renowned play researcher.
We often hear how play is a child’s work and this is something Global Oak Tree Scholars (GOTS) believes in – be it for its pre-primary, primary or secondary schools.
There is a ‘method to play’ as it is not just fun and games but a way of teaching young children and teens in a different and unique way.
GOTS co-founder Veronica Shepherdson says: “Everything we do is thought out and planned beforehand. From the time the class starts till it ends, we have mapped out the lesson.
“This gives the coaches more time to prepare and find ways to make a lesson exciting, either by having quizzes, games or adding other fun elements.
“Obviously for the older scholars, we have to find ways to make lessons vibrant and exciting as no one is interested in just reading or memorising a bunch of facts.
“Rote learning is old school. Now it is about being proactive and inclusive. We try to get the scholars involved in learning by ‘doing’ projects to better understand facts.”
She cites the recent English and Bahasa Melayu Weeks as examples of getting scholars involved in learning by having fun.
The activities included crossword puzzles, poem recitals, treasure hunts, spelling bee, presenting skits and research about the history of language.
Shepherdson adds this is on top of the usual ‘ice-breakers’ the coaches have before each lesson to break the monotony.
These ‘ice-breakers’ help the scholars remember the lessons as all ‘games’ are related to the subject at hand.
GOTS coach Pushpa Devi Subramaniam, an early childhood educator for more than 20 years, says play is important right from the earliest stage of childhood.
“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strengths,” says Pushpa, a registered trainer with the Malaysian Welfare Department in charge of young children’s education.
“It helps brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.”
Play which involves drawing, painting, dancing, singing and climbing helps build fine and large motor skills while games such as hide-and-seek promote counting, planning and strategy among others.
Even chasing each other teaches children about distance, balance and coordination. As a bonus, it boosts physical health.
As such, don’t discourage play regardless the age of the child.
To learn more about GOTS, visit www.gots.edu.my
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