Construct and Deconstruct in preschool education

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No, I am not going to build and demolish a building, though the title of this blog post does sounds like it right?

Don’t worry. Today I am going to take a break from talking about crafts. I am going to talk about another pet peeve of mine. Preschool education. I think I am interested in this mainly because my LA is of this age now. And through observing her and LL(few years ago), I learn a lot. Hmmm.. not sure whether I will stay interested or will my interest slowly wane as they grow older?

These 2 adorable kids taught me a lot through the years.Teaching me to laugh and to cry. And feeling their little arms around me, giving me a hug made my day. Through preschool, they taught me how to let go. In the beginning, I took matters into my hands, going for courses to gain more knowledge especially on Phonics so that I am able to guide them. Turns out, they are pretty independent and need minimal or no guidance at all. Instead, they are the ones who taught me what is what.

And I realise that their understanding of a certain subject comes when they are able to construct and deconstruct. And this “theory” of mine proves itself time and again. And I find that this ability(construct and deconstruct) forms the base of learning in little ones, or maybe in my 2 little ones. Once things start to make sense to them through the construct and deconstruct process, they improve in leaps and bounds. I am not sure that I am able to explain it sufficiently but I will try.

It is a little difficult to explain but I will try to with the examples below:

Phonics (Language)
Ability to sound each alphabet helps them to construct words and to be able to read.
Ability to deconstruct each word to single sounds helps them to learn how to spell.

 Mathematics
Ability to recognise and construct the numbers in addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
Ability to deconstruct an equation to “digestible” parts.

Science
Ability to understand and construct an experiment.
Ability to analyse and deconstruct each element in an experiment or a process.

Music
Ability to construct and create music from instruments/voice.
Ability to deconstruct a piece of music into different parts so that you are able to reconstruct it in your own style.

Arts and Crafts
Ability to construct an art/craft piece from different materials.
Ability to deconstruct an art/craft project and reconstruct it in your own style.

Still does not makes sense? I don’t blame you :)

It is probably quite difficult to grasp the concept. Let me use a project from Arts and Crafts as an example.

Let’s take this project as an example: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=563267177046119&set=a.506949032677934.105916.497313873641450&type=1&relevant_count=1

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To do this project, one must be able to first deconstruct it down the the most basic materials and steps and thereafter reconstruct it again.

One must be able to discern that you need to make the sky and the grass first because that is the background and everything else will be on top of it. One must also be able to discern that the rainbow is made out from strips. The flower is made out from round discs. Roses are made from roll-up strips. The butterfly’s wings are made from spheres and its designs to be layered on top.

Then comes the construction of it. Once you are able to deconstruct each individual part, you need to know how to shape each part and recreate the craft. To help, I drew up a draft with LA while planning to do this. A draft does not need to be complicated. It does not need to be precise. It is meant as a guide and reference during the construction process. Here is an example.

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After the draft is is done, different techniques is taught on how to achieve each shape and to apply them. But the basic of all learning, I find is still the ability to construct and deconstruct. And I continue to try to do my best for my 2 little ones through creative crafts and activities. Same goes for my other pseudo sons and daughters, the kids that I teach. :)