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"Reuse, Reduce and Recycle + Return" Teachers Workshop

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Carpe Diem MI Schoolhouse and Carpe Diem MI Preschool invited Preschool Market to conduct Teachers' Workshop, as part of their participation in Start Small Dream Big and Kindred Garden. We are honored to invite Mrs Ang Chui Hwa (ECDA Fellow) to share with us on "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle + Return".

Let's look at some key sharing points that Mrs Ang has imparted on teachers during the Teachers' Workshop.

1. Identifying the Problem: It is important to identify the problem and predict the outcome of the product when creating/planning the activity. When doing a craft or project, look at the environment and think what can be done to add aesthetic to the space or to solve a solution.  Purpose                   - What's the purpose of the activity?                                  - Why do we want to do the activity? To beautify the space. Plan                          - How are we going to execute it?                                  - How are we going to do it and create Zero Waste Process & Product - Predict the outcome of the product and work backwards. Pay it Forward         - How can we pay in forward?   

2. How can we work with Zero Waste (or little waste)? It is important to remind ourselves that work and projects done by children should not be creating more waste but upcycle the recyclables and waste to give it a new life. Mrs Ang shared a problem she had encountered in school, she wanted to beautify the school gate as she felt it was too dull, therefore, she work with her teachers and brainstorm an idea to use recycled CDs to create an art piece. She engaged her school parents and the community to collect used CDs. In this way, Zero Waste was created.

During the workshop, Mrs Ang gave the teachers a challenge, to use four materials to create a sea creature. The 4 materials are plastic bottle, plastic bags, socks and newspaper. The teachers were given time to create with the given challenge. They were also invited to share why we need to save their created sea creature.

From the pictures, can you guess what did the teachers created with the four materials given? The teachers had to use their creative juice to think differently when creating their sea creatures. The teachers had a great time sharing their creations.

3. Involving Stakeholders Mrs Ang shared that in her Kindergarten, parents and community involvement is very important. There's a recycling bin and area for teachers to look for materials when needed. Parents are also engaged when needed.  Kindred Garden by Preschool Market is also another good resource channel for teachers to look for recycling materials for their classroom. 

4. Provide Open-ended Materials ​Recycling and upcycling habits and mindset has to start young. By providing open-ended materials, we allow preschoolers to explore the materials and to be creativity. These help preschoolers to develop critical thinking, creative thinking and problem solving skills. Just like the teachers, when they were given four materials to create a sea creatures, there were no instructions on how they can create. The teachers had to play with the given materials and through trial and error, the teachers created their masterpiece and no two were created the same. 

5. Using Recycled Materials in Classroom As an Early Childhood Educator, we are always looking for materials for our learning corners and ideas to engage our preschoolers. Most of the time, we will be shopping at various department stores to buy new toys or learning materials.

During the afternoon sessions, the teachers were challenge to create a learning activity using four chosen recycled materials. The learning activity has to integrate two learning areas, example, music and language. Through this activity, the teachers learnt about how to integrate learning objectives as we are conditioned to de-integrate learning objectives.

Learning Objectives: Numeracy and Language Materials: Toilet Rolls, Plastic Bottles, Bottle Caps and Paper Activity: ​ To match the number words to the numeral. 

Learning Objectives: English and Chinese Language Materials:  Toilet Rolls, Boxes, Egg Cartons and Papers Activity: ​ To look for the corresponding words to match the beginning letter shown on the dice.

Learning Objectives: Mathematics and Language Materials:  Pipe Cleaners, Boxes, Egg Cartons and Bottle Caps  Activity: ​ To use the bottle caps as counter for additional or subtraction and form the sum using numeral cards and number word cards.

Learning Objectives: Motor Skills and Manipulative Materials:  Boxes, Plastic Containers, Bottle Caps and Ropes/Strings Activity: ​ Panel 1: Match the bottle caps and place it in the right size circle.  Panel 2: Plastic bottles as balancing beam Panel 3: Threading bottle caps

Lastly, we thank Mrs Ang for spending her day with the teachers at Carpe Diem. It was an inspiring teachers' workshop. Remember to always pay it forward and think of how to create using Zero Waste. 

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