Monday, July 30, 2012


The Chair 

This is our Seat of Honour.... One grand enough for our VIP to sit on and one that shouts out the characteristics of our school. 

Peacock feathers:
Jieminites are proud of the school. 

Leaf shape chair back:
Jieminites are true (not hypocrites), humble and down to earth. It is painted in orange and yellow with a green base because the true colours of leaves are actually yellow and orange due to the carotenoid (pigment) present in leaves. However, these two colours are covered by chlorophyll which are produced during summer time. 

Veins of the leaf:
Created with twines pleated together to show the bond between the school, teachers and pupils. 

Star padding & cushion:
Star represents 'extraordinary'. Jieminites are extraordinary in their unique ways. 

Leopard spots:

Leopard is one of the fastest animals in the world hence it symbolise that JPS is fast catching up with other 'better' schools in terms of academic results and achievements. 

The base colour is gold to represent all the gold awards which the school received in this year's SYF competition. It represents the school excellent achievement in performing arts. It also depicts the team's desire to achieve a gold award for A is for Art. 

The colours (beige, brown and black) of the spots also represented the 3 main races in our school. 

Morning glory flowers were drawn to signify 'welcome', welcoming guest into our school and onto the seat. Mandy got this inspiration as the flowers blossom in the morning to welcome the sunshine. 

Plastic crystal studs:
Jiemin Primary pupils are known as Jieminites and our school's reward system is in the form of awarding weekly JEM stamps hence plastic crystal studs (gems) were used to decorate the flap. 

The heart shape blue stud represents the pupils who are surrounded by the 4 pink tear drop shape pink studs which represented the 4 school values; caring, respect, commitment and integrity. 

Twine of ribbons around the legs:

The many colours of the ribbons represent vibrancy which is 1/3 our JPS's vision; A vibrant and caring community of life-long learners. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A is for Art 2012 - Making the Chair (Part 4)

A is for Art 2012 - Making the Chair (Part4)
(27 July 2012)

Finally it was the last day to complete the Chair. The last day of  hands-on 'lesson' for the kids on this artastic journey ... ='(

Bao Ping and Susan were in-charge of creating and designing the flap with plastic crystal studs

Farhana and Celena arranging the peacock feathers on the back of the chair.  

Li Qi and Wen Yin painting the morning glories which Mandy had drew on the armrest after she went for her Math Olympiad lesson. 

adding sparkles to the 'star' padding  

Maleha adding the final touch to the star cushion 

Wen Yin and Li Qi having fun acting as 宫女 fanning the 'emperor' with the peacock feathers.  

Here we have our principal, Mrs Mano, inspecting the chair. She is pleased with the pupils' effort and her first comment was, "It looks like a throne."

Ain and I were super thrilled to hear that cos we did not tell her that the theme of the chair was a seat of honour and she hit the jackpot just like that.... =) 

Now that the chair has been completed.... It's time for the admin stuff... =P.... filling in of forms, write-ups, finance claims etc etc.... =S 

A is for Art 2012 - Making the Chair (Part 3) + Interview

A is for Art 2012 - 
Making the Chair (Part 3) + The Interview

It was the day of the filming and school visit by the organising committee.... 
the photographer taking pics of the kids' work 

We started the day with making ribbons for the legs of the chair using pipe cleaners. 

Celena and Farhana making the ribbons 

Bao Ping attaching the colourful ribbons to the twine 

the challengers doing a good job at multi-tasking... answering Ira's questions and still continuing with their tasks... 

the completed twine of ribbons  

Bao Ping and Li Qi attaching the completed twine of ribbons around the legs of the chair 

We finally started on the back of the chair
Maleha trying to get the perfect shade

The photographer taking a snapshot of Maleha and Susan working hard at blending the colours

The completed work going through a touch-up by Susan and Wen Yin which resulted in our very first and only mediation process in this whole A is for Art journey .. =S

Maleha and Susan volunteered to paint the back of the chair which was in the shape of a 'leaf'. The team had previously agreed to paint it in green, yellow and orange to depict an autumn leaf but somehow the version which Maleha created was not to some of the challengers' expectation. They were also unhappy that Maleha was in-charge of the 'main' part of the chair. 

And the case of 'too many cooks spoil the broth' snowballed. Up to 4 other challengers decided to pick up the paintbrush to 'touch-up' on Maleha's work which resulted in the 'leaf' looking like 4 pieces of separate artwork. I kept questioning their intentions and the reasons for their choice but none knew what they were doing. They started pushing the blame to one another till the teacher in me had to ask them to stop. 

I spent a good 10 minutes talking to them about respecting each others' contribution and having the few of them to come to a consensus on the remaining task to be completed. And when I asked how were they going to rectify the 'unique' artwork they had created, I was glad Maleha volunteered to fix it. 

Susan and Wen Yin making a second padding and cushion with bubble wrap. The sealed edges of those made in teh previous lesson opened up and the cotton wool stuffing got stuck to the uhu glue... thinking on the bright side, they made bigger cushions... =) 

Farhana being intereviewed

Susan's turn at the interviewing corner

and finally my turn..... =S

Anyway, these were what i really wanted to say but only said 20% during the interview... ='(  

1. Why did you decide to participate in A is for Art?

I went for the A is for Art Preview thinking that it was a workshop on the teaching of art through museum artefacts. I have always welcome interesting art projects where art teachers and pupils can challenge themselves. I shared information of the project with my my art teachers and we decided to just give it a try and see where it could lead us to.

2. What were some challenges you faced when you started on the project?

The first challenge was that we do not know how big or small scale the project should be carried out so every now and then, we will have doubt if we were on the right track. That’s why we are very thankful for the mid-point sharing. It sort of assured us that yes, we are sort of doing it right.

The second was finding a suitable time to conduct the lesson so that all those who signed up for the program could attend the lessons. Both the teachers involved and the pupils have very tight schedule. Due to supplementary classes, math Olympiad training, ICT baseline lessons, CCA and modular CCA before curriculum time, we have to ‘beg’ some teachers to excuse some of the pupils from the other programs.

3. How did the programme help you as an art teacher?

It opens my eyes to how student-centred art lesson can be taught and reinforces the fact that art is everywhere. Instead of telling the pupils what to do and how to do art in our usual art lessons, activities are planned and conducted to guide pupils to create their own learning. 

4. What do you think is the impact of this project on students and the school?

The pupils are definitely more confident and more positive about their talent. Art is no longer about creating something beautiful. The colours or patterns created now has meanings and values in them.

The opportunities given to pupils to talk about their artwork and listen to others talk about their artwork allow the pupils to see things in different perspectives and to understand that art can be very subjective and personal.

Museum artefacts are now no longer just items from the past. The pupils are more observant and are learning how to interpret artefacts and artwork with vocabulary picked up from the challenges.

After completing the ultimate challenge, the core team will be sharing their learning and experience with the afternoon cohort and we will invite the pupils to participate in some of the sketching and designing activities.

There is very positive result from this program and the art department is looking at how we can use some the challenges and the artcards for the teaching and learning of art next year. We are also in the talk have art learning journey to the various museums next year.

In fact, some of the aesthetic department teachers and P1 art teachers have already tried the blow wind blow a colour game with their art pupils.

5. What sort of support did you get?

We were given total freedom to experiment everything without constraint. And I feel that is the greatest support any art project can get. Ain and I were free to determine the scale at which the project is to be, the type of pupils we want and how do we go about getting the pupils, how to conduct the challenges etc.

We were even given platform to create awareness for the project. We were asked to share about the project and some of the activities during one of the aesthetic meetings which our principal sat in. Both our principal and teachers gave very positive feedback and contributed some suggestions which we included in our lessons.

We also managed to put this project up as a Professional Learning Team and 2 other teachers came on board to help in the facilitation of the trip to ACM and also the art wall. This allows Ain and me to focus solely on the conduct of the lesson which makes the project so much more manageable.  

6. Will you collaborate with ACM again and why?

A definite yes. The art department is always looking out for new areas of art to expose our pupils to and cultural art is definitely an area that we can explore. I really enjoy working on this program and also working with ACM and STAR who gives us so much guidance and support in how we can engage the pupils through the challenges.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peranakan Museum

Got to know of the Art Educator's learning journey through STAR-POST and immediately signed up for it... =) .... especially after learning that the NE department is planning for the P1 pupils to go to the Peranakan Museum for learning journey next year. Leeching in the planning....wahahaha.... 

nearest train station is Bras Brasah and City Hall
the map which i took with my camera from my computer screen to make sure i reach my destination.... 

but it's not sufficient lo... the moment i exit from the station ,i was lost... and that's like after staring at the local area map at the station for at least 5 minutes somemore.... even walked in the wrong direction (what's new though!!!) ... luckily gut feeling felt like walking , decide to u-turn when i saw chijmes

so happy to see familiar faces from the A is for Art program at this program too....

Art workshop, learning journey and courses are always fun due to the many many hands-on activities which we can easily duplicate for our art lessons.... 

The participants were divided into 4 groups to carry out the activities. 

Activity 1: Memory Drawing 

Our group was given one minute to scrutinise the items hidden under this piece of cloth  

and to sketch how the items look like based on that 1 minute of observation within the next one minute

then we were allowed to look at the items again for another one minute and to continue with our sketches in the next one minute and this is what i drew

there's one major item missing in my drawing which i din even realised until i saw sharon's and mages's drawing.... i din know that the blue flora 'cloth' was actually a kebaya top.... my observation skill fail big big time.... =S 

then based on these display items, the groups have to identify the theme for the Caption Challenge and ours was "NONYA"

This activity above is an activity that introduces object-based learning, one that trains the eyes and the brain and it offers a visual take on Peranakan's life and customs

This box of brooches is known as kerosang. It is used to fasten the front of a kebaya. The larger one is known as kerosang ibu (mother) while the two smaller ones are known as kerosang anak (child). Wealthy peranakan women usually had their kerosang set in diamonds oh. 

Activity 2: Ten Times Two 
A routine for observing and describing 

Step 1: We were given 30 seconds to observe the item below for 30 seconds. 

Step 2: List 10 words or phrases about any aspect of the item. 

Step 3: Repeat step 1 and 2

Not sharing my lists of words cos after looking though them, i once again conclude that I m a science teacher trying very hard to be an art teacher.... =S

anyway, an additional activity which I thought could complement this activity is to let the pupils draw the item based on the 20 words which was listed when they get home or in the next lesson ... but on second thoughts, this sounds more like an english lesson cos it stresses the important of descriptive words.... ('_'!!)

Activity 3 : Mind-map
as many questions we have about the item

i think this is a form of self-directed learning cos they never tell us any answers.... only found out about the container thingy is known as kamcheng when i went on my own tour after the course. The bigger versions were used as water containers, for serving rice, pickles, soup and other foods while the miniature versions were used by some Peranakan ladies to store cosmetics.

TEA TIME - Nonya Kueh .... Yum Yum.... 

and off to the galleries we explored.... before entering the galleries, Karen shared with us how we could introduce museum etiquette to the very young ones.... 

1) museum is a very small place where many breakable items are displayed hence only mice (gentle, soft and tiptop) are allowed into the museum... elephants (loud, rough and running around) are out of bounds... 

2) No food and drinks in the museum cos they would attracts creepy crawlies which nobody likes... 

Gallery 9 - Food & Feasting 
This dinning display is known as Tok Panjang. Tok (hokkien word for table) Panjang (malay word for long) refers to the feast laid out on long rectangle tables found in Peranakan Chinese homes. 

This kind of display is known as contextual display where items are displayed in authentic environment. 

We were also introduced to a modern Peranakan painting titled "Adoring the Phoenix" By Desmond Sim 2007, Singapore 

Karen, our facilitator scaffolded our discussion to lead us to the 'story' behind the painting

but somehow i just feel that there's another version....look at the painting closely once more

dun you think the male and female are like mirror image of each other??? except for the hair (wig)... why on earth would a man be smelling a flower??? and look at how he's holding the stalk of flower.... a phoenix represent feminine characteristics too...

but this is just my humble interpretation.... there's no right or wrong in art so  nobody can fault me to think this way ... .i shall not say too much liao.... ;P.... 

Gallery 4 - Wedding

This chamber bed has been used in at least 5 weddings over 3 generations, beginning from the early 20th century.  Plenty of auspicious symbols of fertility such as butterflies, phoenixes, peonies and the 8 Taoist immortals donned the curtains and bedding textiles. 

The following 2 exhibits brought back memories of our wedding  

i remember Mr Ang's aunt, who doubled as our '媒婆', giving my mum an uncooked leg of pork when he came for the gatecrashing too.... 

I received these as 过大礼 items too.... =D 

We were given 15 minutes to roam around to complete the following activity on our own 

and this is what i did.... =) 

why butterflies???? cos it represent fertility.... 

                       i want my 洪炸弹 and 洪苹果 soon!!!

freebie, another notebook, to end the tour... =D