I’ve been asked to share what happens in class at TweedleWink and Heguru by a mother who lives in a country where there aren’t any right brain classes. I know we’re very privileged to have not one but three right brain schools to choose from so this post is for those parents who don’t have access to right brain schools and would like to know so they can practice some of these activities at home with their children.
What Happens in a Heguru Class: (Some of the activities may be out of order because I cannot remember the exact order they are shown in)
- Class begins with a greeting – “Good morning children”, “Good morning sensei”.
- Sensei says the date, weather and time. Then introduces the clock showing the children how the hands on the clock move and how to read the time. Then she shows the class a thermometer and tells the children the temperature in the room.
- Four elements from the Periodic Table are introduced (each week there is a new element and an old element is retired) – e.g. Week 1 – Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium; week 2 – Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron; Week 3 – Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon; etc.
- Four pictorial signs are shown and explained – e.g. railroad crossing
- The children are then invited out to the front to introduce themselves to the rest of the class. When they come out, they are shown one of the cards they have just seen (an element or a sign) and asked what it is. The children who can speak are given a chance to answer. If they cannot, the sensei will say the answer.
- Sensei tells the children that their parents love them very much and that they will be learning a lot in class. The purpose is for them to contribute towards the betterment of the world.
- Sensei swings an image on the end of a string and the children are supposed to follow it with their eyes and try to figure out what it is. She starts off swinging it very fast and gradually slowing down until a child correctly identifies the image.
- Sensei then shows two cards with the same image that was on the end of the string. E.g. if the image shown was a shoe, she will show a red shoe and a yellow shoe. She will shuffle the cards and hold them face down. Then she will ask the children to point to the card with the yellow shoe.
- Linking Memory – Sensei will tell a story as she opens out cards onto the floor (about 10-15 cards), then she will assign three cards to each child and have them make up a story to remember those three cards. She will cover the cards and then the class is supposed to recall the story as she uncovers each card. When it comes to the cards assigned to the children, each child will try to remember the three cards he/she was assigned.
This is where I struggle to recall what happens so I’ll just list out the activities I remember doing although the order may be incorrect.
- World Heritage cards – Sensei will show pictures and play an audio recording which describes one of the world heritage sites (cards at Heguru are usually shown a total of 4 times before they are retired).
- Mandala activity
- Visualisation – children close their eyes and listen to a recording as they imagine themselves in the story.
- Speed listening – Sensei reads a moral story. The story is then repeated with a recording in highspeed.
- Iroita or Tangram – the children are given a Tangram or Iroita puzzle to complete. On the worksheet is a picture of an object created using the Tangram or Iroita pieces. The children are supposed to recreate the pictures with the puzzle pieces.
- Super flash – Sensei runs through a series of flashcards at high speed (includes antonyms, reading time, numbers, Chinese, phonics, abacus, and various other subjects)
- Sayings – Sensei will go through a list of idioms and explain what they mean.
- Math with an abacus
- Math with blue dots on a grid
- Addition song, e.g. 5+1, 5+2, 5+3, 5+4, 5+5, 5+6, 5+7, 5+8, 5+9
- Multiplication cards with music, two sets – e.g. x5 and x6
- Peg Memory
- ESP: Sensei shuffles four cards, the children are supposed to touch the top card and point to one of four pictures to show which one they think it is.
- Changing every few weeks, Sensei will show cards that teach new ideas with music, e.g. a song that teaches about the different types of clouds, vegetables in a different language, more/less, etc.
- Music movement – the children move to music following the actions that sensei demonstrates.
- There are lots of little activities played in between which vary from week to week, e.g. the children may be required to identify objects that go together, such as letters and a post office.
- Memory Grid
- Physical activity outside the room for about 5 minutes which changes every week. It might be kicking a ball, throwing a ball, jumping through hoops, etc.
- Sing the Hiragana song.
- Trace a Hiragana character with a finger on a textured card.
- Practice writing out the Hiragana character. Say the character and learn a word comprising of that Hiragana character.
- Practice writing out the new element symbol for the day.
- Number memory – three numbers are shown with 3, 5, 7 digits. The children are supposed to try to recall the numbers.
- A song is played (usually in a foreign language).
- A story book is read.
- “Goodbye children”, “Goodbye Sensei”.
That’s about all I can remember…
There are a lot of activities done in each class and it is difficult to replicate all these activities at home given the amount of materials and time invested in producing the materials. I have highlighted some of the more significant ones in the series of blog posts about Right Brain Activities for Home Practice.
Next post: What happens in a TweedleWink class…