Learn By Doing! Hands-On Learning at Singapore’s Tuition Centres

Kids are learning the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy as the toy car moves down the ramps. Another group of kids is dissecting a cow’s heart to learn about the circulatory system.

Well, this scenario doesn’t belong to any science park or a school lab.

Instead, these hands-on experiments and activities are being held at some tuition centres in Singapore. Yes, this is true. These tuition centres are adopting new “practical” methods to make sure learning is as fun and meaningful as possible. Fun fact is that, some of these centres have been teaching using  the hands-on activities as one of their primary tools for over thirty years.

Such innovative teaching approach enables kids to learn through experiences, rather than just through books and within four walls of a classroom. For example, they may use material (ex. cubes, sticks, etc.) to learn mathematical concepts practically.

Stressing the importance of practical learning, NG Chee Meng, Education Minister opinesStudents learn by applying and by doing, and they learn beyond the classroom. They see for themselves how they can apply what they have learnt to the real world,” he said during the debate on his ministry’s budget. “From all the interactions I have had with the students, they enjoy learning and are self-motivated. These are powerful learning experiences, and they stick for life.

Here we have outlined how kinaesthetic learning is taking place at some tuition centres in Singapore.

  • Salt Map and Tray of Sand to Learn Social Study:
To introduce students to the history, geography and maps in an engaging way, some tuition centres have used this method. They ask students to create their own salt map. Tray of sand and models are also introduced to the play.

Sand
Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/279997301810612848/?lp=true

  • A Fun Way to Learn Language Arts!

There are many hands-on activities to teach students language arts, especially when they are elementary students. Some tuition centres give them magnetic letters, sand, shaving cream or clay to make letters or form sentences. Plastic Easter Eggs are used teach compound words, antonym and rhyming words. Older students are asked to create scenes from a novel they are reading. The parts of speech are taught by having them write words on cards to be arranged in a line to create a sentence.
    Easter Eggs
                        Image Source: http://www.lessonplandiva.com/2011/11/freebie-and-lots-of-pinterest-ideas.html
  • This is how Mathematics is Being Made Interesting!
Kids are given counting cubes and sorting objects so that they can understand mathematical concepts. To learn about coins and their value, students at these tuition centres use a magnifying class to observe each coin and then sort them into jars. They are given a yard stick to measure the items across the tuition centre.
    colored-unifix-cubes                  Image Source: https://www.pre-kpages.com/sort-it-out-color-sorting-game/ 
  • Science Experiments are So Cool! 
There are endless hands on experiments to make science engaging for the kids. For example, one popular tuition centre in Singapore offer two hour lessons via experiments, such as dissecting flowers to learn about their reproductive system, as well as examining brine shrimps through a microscope. They are using circuit diagram and magnets to understand the flow of current. Mirror maze is also used to learn how light travels. One tuition centre has kids assemble a solar powered toy to introduce them to the sources of energy. Outdoor learning is encouraged to support children’s emotional, cognitive, social and psychological development.Image Source: http://aven.amritalearning.com/index.php?sub=100&brch=295&sim=1480&cnt=3408

With practical approach towards learning, students will become great independent learners and the knowledge they acquire will be edged in their minds forever. Interactive teaching methods promises children with a conflation of endless learning, loads of fun thorough engagement.

What is your favourite hands-on activity? Do you have such activities to share? Please share with us by commenting below.