I never could figure out how a rubix cube works. Apparently, Justin Bieber is good at it (I just saw a video of him solving a rubix cube puzzle. Problem solving in Math (like solving a rubix cube puzzle) is a necessary skill we all need every day. Apart from rubix cubes, there are tons of mathematical problems we encounter on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, most kids hate math, and most adults, too. Mathematics and I never had a great relationship until I was 26 years old. When I was younger, I hated Math. Later in life, I realized that I needed it.

From horror teachers to bad test scores, Mathematics has somewhat become a measurement of intelligence. Let’s admit it. When someone says they’re good in Math, we automatically think that he/she is a smart! This perception by many may have caused to lower some kids’ self-esteem, which they may have brought into their adulthood.

Early on, I want to teach Zeeka that  Mathematics and problem-solving is fun! In order to do that, I went on to look for common reasons why people dislike Math. Here are the things that I found.

Solving problems can be frustrating for them.

Schools follow a curriculum that doesn’t follow everyone’s timeline. This means teachers teach Mathematics, give tests and reviews, and grade students according to their lesson plan schedule and not according to the kid’s current skills.

Every kid has a different speed and level of understanding. Most kids today have minimal mastery of arithmetics, especially multiplication and division. So it’s expected that they will also have a hard time when they reach higher levels of mathematics.

This lack of mastery can be frustrating. And so, they end up disliking the subject all the more.

Incomplete and incompetent instructions

Sometimes the challenge also lies in the way Mathematics is instructed to students. Most Math teachers also have a stigma that doesn’t help much.

The traditional way of teaching Maths is through blackboard and chalk, with teachers scribbling formulas on the board. I remember staring on the board trying to understand the equations only to find out I needed to copy it before it was erased. And it sucked not having the time to really get to understand what was being discussed.

There are also times when teachers don’t give full instructions. Some even expect students to know how to do the equation based on what the books say. This expectation can cause some kids to struggle.

The subject causes personal anxiety and embarrassment to some students

Most kids dread being called in front of the class to solve equations on the board. It’s embarrassing and nerve-wracking for some, especially when you don’t get the answer right.

And most of the time, the teachers are not as encouraging either. Most teachers get easily frustrated when kids don’t get the answer right away. This results in more anxiety for the students and creates a negative impact on the subject.

Students rarely see the value of Mathematics in their daily lives

For students, Mathematics only represent numbers and symbols. What they fail to realize and what we often forget to tell them is that Math is present in our daily lives.

The patience and the mental requirements needed in Mathematics make them better problem solvers and also increases their critical thinking skills. It helps them process real-life situations and challenges pragmatically and objectively.

Attitudes in Math greatly depend on how kids experience it for the first time, so I make sure Zeeka gets to maximize hers.

 

So here are some tips on how to make Math enjoyable for kids.

  1. Play puzzles and games

 

 

The best way for kids to enjoy Math is through play.

Puzzles are a good way to exercise a child’s logic. It introduces them to shapes, sizes, and correlation. It also helps kids improve their fine and gross motor skills and spatial abilities.

Make it fun by playing counting games or putting numbers on puzzles to help them learn about sequences and one-on-one counting.

You can check out this website for cool Math puzzles and games ideas to try with your little one.

   

  1. Never say you weren’t good in Math

Remember how mindset plays a strong role in how your kids will respond to Math. So don’t let them hear you say that you’re not good at it or if you dislike the subject.

It’s important to make them feel at ease when they’re solving problems. And it’s also vital for them to give it a try first and acquire a “never give up” attitude.

Also, be careful with how you talk about correcting mistakes.

The key to kids enjoying Math is to let them realize that they can have a do-over. Kids need to know that mistakes are normal and they can always correct them. Make sure to choose the words you use when giving instructions about corrections and always be patient.        

 

  1. Show them how to apply it in real life

Kids need to understand that Math is an inevitable part of life. And the best way to do it is to show them how it applies to everyday things.     

One of the best ways to show the value of Mathematics is by cooking or baking.

The actual process of baking can help kids understand the need to follow a step-by-step guide to get the desired outcome. Adding an ingredient too much, too little, or too soon can affect the end result.

Check out our baking session at Nobu Hotel! Zeeka and I definitely had fun while we had our cooking class.

https://mommyginger.com/staycation-at-nobu-hotel-and-family-bonding-at-dreamplay.html

Make it fun for them, especially for young kids. Count the cups and spoons you use or ask them to read out the recipe to you aloud. Teach them about halves and wholes while cutting. The best part of it is you get to have your cake and eat it too.

 

  1. Enroll them in Math enrichment centers

Math enrichment centers can help kids enjoy the subject with the help of the right level and well-trained supervision.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Children get to experience Mathematics to the fullest because they learn it according to their own pace. Teachers are also expertly trained to assess and recommend the right levels that will enhance their skills.

One of the best ways to experience Math is through Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM Singapore Math. I wrote about it here: https://mommyginger.com/seriously-addictive-mathematics-or-sam-singapore-math-what-you-need-to-know.html

SAM Singapore Math makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math.

Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts. With this approach, no memorization in Math is needed. Students learn through discussions with trained and certified teachers and also improves their conceptual understanding skills through play. Unlike traditional math lessons from school, S.A.M. Singapore Math helps kids learn math through logic and understanding the ‘why’s’ before doing the ‘how’s’.

Problem solving in Math need not be difficult for kids. But with the right tools, certified trainers, and motivation, Math enrichment programs like S.A.M. Singapore Math can definitely be a good investment.

To learn more about SAM Singapore Math, visit their website here. You can also visit their Facebook Page to see what other moms and dads are saying about them.

Do you have any tips on how problem solving in Math fun for kids? Share them with us below.

Travelling to Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

The last time we had our family adventure out of the country was May last year. We went to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea! We obviously had a great time, so this year, we scheduled a trip to go to Hong Kong. The last time I went to Hong Kong was decades ago. I think I was ten! I don’t even think that Disneyland existed in Hong Kong.

Well, we had a wonderful time in Hong Kong. But this article is really for the parents who want to bring their kids to Hong Kong Disneyland. And my point of view and the experience that I will share in this post is really for mothers with kids from 4-6 years old. I’ll probably write one again when Zeeka’s a little bit older and taller (measuring her height here at home has become a “thing” after going to different theme parks).

Okay, so let’s get started. I hope you’re ready for one long article, packed with tips and tricks! haha!

Plane and Accommodations

I actually went ahead because I had to attend a conference for a few days. The conference was at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which was at near Wan Chai (where I stayed for a couple of nights). The plan was to meet EJ and Zeeka at our Hotel in Hong Kong Disneyland. So to get to Disneyland, you have to take the MTR to Sunny Bay from Central (orange line), then transfer to the Disney Resort line.  I left the hotel at around 8:45 am and arrived at the hotel probably around 9:45 am. Taking the MTR in Hong Kong is actually quite easy. You can purchase tickets via the machines or via the customer service booth.

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

Okay, so when you get to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, you need to go straight and turn right to go to the Bus Station (buses that take you to the three hotels in the resort). Their are buses that come and go every 10-15 minutes. These buses are free. Do not try to walk with luggages and toddlers by your side! haha! Although it’s walkable, your kids may get tired. Ride the bus! Also, when we were there (month of July), it was hot! So be sure to use sunscreen.

So for our our accommodations, we booked directly from this link: https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/offers-discounts/ We stayed there for 3 days and two nights. We got the package with no meals but with park tickets. We figured out that we would eat in the park anyway, because Zeeka would be so excited to leave (which actually happened). EJ and Zeeka arrived at the hotel around 10 am plus. Zeeka wanted to leave to go to the park as soon as she got to the hotel room so we were all rushing to get to park that EJ forgot his phone in the hotel room the first day! haha!

So we got on the bus to go to the park as EJ shared stories of his stressful morning that involved Zeeka asking him that she wanted to pee the minute they arrived at the airport, waiting in long lines then realizing they forgot to pay TIEZA or the travel tax so they had to go back, waiting in long lines again then realizing again that Zeeka left her small backpack at the TIEZA counter, running while carrying a 5 year old girl so that they won’t miss the flight, and finally boarding last just in time before the gates closed. Haha! You could see that energy was zapped out from him, so him forgetting his phone was just “normal” (at least for that morning).

Anyway, when we got to the park, we realized that the tickets were in Ej’s phone, but it was a good thing that he saved it on Google Drive and had sent me the link to the tickets the night before. I used the FREE wifi at the park, which was convenient by the way, and I saved it on my phone. Whew!

So just a few tips…

  • When you’re inside the park, if you come around this time of the year, bring an umbrella, or better yet, buy a cute umbrella (like what we did!) I bought a foldable one with Mickey Mouse on it.
  • For your kids, just buy them a cap. We ended up bringing Zeeka’s umbrella. Oh, but buy water for your kids!
  • Wear sunscreen!

Inside the park

I highly recommend that you download the Hong Kong Disneyland Mobile Application. You can download it from this link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1077550649 Also, once you get inside, head for one of the following rides to get a Fast Pass. Note that you can get a Fast Pass again only after the time indicated in the Fast Pass that you got. These are the rides that I remember that have Fast Pass machines: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Mystic Manor, Hyperspace Mountain, Iron Man Experience, etc. (I forgot the rest! Please let me know if I missed anything).

Once you have your Fast Pass, you can start checking out the show schedules, too, in the app. For preschoolers like Zeeka, they will love Mickey and the Wondrous Book (I super loved this, too!), Moana: A Homecoming Celebration, and Mickey’s Philharmagic! They also have parades that you can watch (sad though that we didn’t get to catch the Pixar Water Play Street Party! because we were busy going through the rides and we didn’t get to see the Disney Paint the Night Parade because it rained and they cancelled it.. huhu!). But then again, we had fun riding all the rides.

Zeeka’s top three favorite rides were:

1) It’s a Small World in Fantasyland, which we rode three times

2) Slinky Dog Spin in Toy Story land and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasy land, which we both rode twice (tied in second place!)

3) Iron Man Experience in Tomorrowland, which we rode twice, too.

Daddy and Mommy’s favorite rides were:

1) Hyperspace Mountain in Tomorrowland, which I rode thrice (BTW, Zeeka rode this, too!)

2) Mystic Manor, which was cool

3)The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasy land and Iron Man Experience in Tomorrowland (Tied in 3rd Place)

*We didn’t get to ride Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars since we couldn’t leave Zeeka with anyone, but I know we would have loved this. We rode a “sort of similar” ride in Tokyo Disneyland and we loved that, so I think this would have been great, too. Zeeka didn’t make the height requirement.

Meet and Greets

Zeeka loved the meet and greets with the different characters. She lined up for Jessie, Duffy and Cookie. We also saw Mickey and Minnie, Moana, Tinkerbell, and other characters. You do have to check out the schedules though because they only come out at certain times of the day, so you have to fall in line.  They close the line after a while.

What I love about Hong Kong Disneyland is that everything is done in an orderly manner. In some rides, they give you numbers, just to be sure that you have seats. The rides’ instructions are in both in English and Chinese. You wont have a hard time communicating with the staff if you have questions.

Dining

For breakfast, we would by at Hollywood & Dine, one of the restaurants in our hotel. Have a budget of around 100 to 200 HKD. They also serve coffee here from Starbucks (just the basic Starbucks variants though). Then for lunch, we would eat in the restaurants inside the park. We ate at the Starliner Diner, which Zeeka loved. We also tried the Main Street Corner Cafe Hosted by Coca Cola. Food there was a little bit pricier but the servings were huge! We should have just split the burger with fries. Food was yummy, too!

We had a lot of snacks from popcorn (which we loved and bought to take to the hotel, too! — that’s how good it was!), to ice cream, etc. And for dinner, we would order one whole pizza from Studio Lounge at our hotel to take to our room while watching Disney cartoons on our TV.

Other tips…

  • Make sure that you bring chewy candy for your toddler on board a plane. It relieves pressure in her ears.
  • Don’t forget ballpens while inside the plane so you can write on the Immigration departure and arrival cards.
  • Slow is fast when it comes to kids. Just relax!
  • Zeeka’s tip is to “breathe in and breathe out” when you’re stressed! haha!
  • Don’t give your toddlers anything that they need to hold or remember, because they won’t 🙂
  • In the airport, the internet is fast. Download shows that you can watch during the flight. Since we went with a budget airline, we knew that we needed to entertain her another way.

And last, but not the least, Zeeka says, “DON’T LEAVE YOUR KIDS!” hahaha!

PS: Watch our videos here!

 

Hope you have a great time at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort!

I’ve heard good things about SAM Singapore Math from mommy friends in the past. And now that Zeeka is in school, I’ve also been thinking about how I can help her enjoy mathematics.

But before I make any decision, I make sure to do my research first. So I decided to get to know more about Seriously Addictive Mathematics or SAM is a Mathematics Learning Program from Singapore.

Seriously Addictive Mathematics or S.A.M. Singapore Math was founded in Singapore by Samuel Chia and Lau Chin Loong in 2010. It is a multi-awarded enrichment program catering kids from four to 12 years old.

The program is based on a syllabus created by Singapore’s Ministry of Education. It was designed to develop students’ higher-order thinking such as problem-solving, metacognition, critical thinking, and logical reasoning through mathematics.

When I visited Seriously Addictive Mathematics in Greenhills, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I just know that Singapore is a country that is known to have a world-class education system based on a combination of leading psychological, educational, and socio-economic studies of the day. This resulted in students getting access to the best ways to learn, retain and comprehend information.

A few years later, the change in curriculum led to Singapore students consistently topping the mathematics literacy rankings in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study (TISS).

Check out the rankings below:

S.A.M. Singapore Math is modeled after the world-renowned Singapore Math curriculum and developed by experienced Ministry of Education (MOE) teachers. S.A.M’s award-winning curriculum and pedagogy is the most relevant and most comprehensive Math enrichment program today.

What makes S.A.M. Singapore Math Unique

I’m sure most of you would agree when I say that we all hated Mathematics at one point. But I’m also pretty sure that we had that one teacher who made Maths easier because they took the time to explain the why’s and how’s of the problem.

That’s one of the biggest problems with traditional Mathematics taught in schools.Traditional Math is too focused on memorization and mathematical procedures and formulas. And because of that, Mathematics usually hold no meaning to us.

There are several reasons why memorization is not as good as we think. For one, memorization does not equate understanding. You can memorize the whole formula but without understanding how it works, it will still not help you solve the problem.

Traditional math teachers are also trained to proceed immediately on abstract ideas and teach the how to’s of the subject. And most of the time, teachers usually talk in a totally different language that makes it more difficult for students to understand.

Most of the time, students also need to keep up with the teacher’s pace. Once the lesson plan is done and you don’t understand it, you are also done for. This can also lead to self-esteem issues for kids later in life.

S.A.M. Singapore Math aims to give children a fun and fantastic experience with Math.

Here, students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts. SAM Singapore Math calls this process as a holistic approach to learning.

At S.A.M. Singapore Math, there is no memorization.

They use different equations that kids learn to analyze and asses. Children also learn through guided questions so they could get to answer the problems on their own. By using this process, the kids get to learn by themselves and develop critical thinking skills and conceptual understanding.

Teachers under the S.A.M. Singapore Math program also undergo intensive training with S.A.M.

This helps them get to know how to adjust to every kids’ needs and adapt to the approaches that would help them learn Math better and faster.

Once they’re done, the trainers get certified and proceed to teach in different centers around the metro.

S.A.M. Singapore Math also offers students a classroom experience. Students and certified S.A.M. trainers engage in dialogue, probing questions, tools, and resources to make learning more memorable. Through visualization and a healthy dose of encouragement from trainers, children get to grasp the concepts easier.

This also helps increase the child’s self-confidence and level of independence. Once the child realizes what he can do by himself, he becomes more explorative and more open to learning.

But what really sets SAM Singapore Math apart is its CPA approach.

The program uses concrete items like props like toys and manipulatives, then move on to pictures that help explain the concepts. Once the child understands the images, he then moves on to the abstract part of the problem, which is represented by the numbers.

What Parents Are Saying About SAM Singapore Math

At the onset, Singapore Math sounds like it’s a pretty good deal. But if you’re a sigurista mom like me, you wouldn’t really take anything seriously unless you hear it directly from parents who’s experienced it first hand.

So I checked out their website, and here’s what Singapore Math parents had to say.

More than a subject, I think Mathematics is an important skill that children should be learning early on. And it’s awesome that SAM Singapore Math is removing the stigma about Math being boring or too difficult for children to do.

Is SAM Singapore Math worth the investment? Judging from the faces of these happy kids and the delighted feedback of the parents, I would say it’s a resounding yes.

So if you want to introduce your kids to a fun way to strengthen their foundation in Mathematics, schedule a meeting with the nearest SAM Singapore Math in Manila today.

Visit the SAM Singapore Math website here for more information.

The world of Disney has shaped our childhood for the longest time.

As a child, I remember twirling around in my long skirts, pretending to be a princess in a ballgown. I admired Mulan’s bravery and wit and cried my eyes out when Mufasa fell into his death in the stampede. I also loved playing with my pots and pans, pretending I was Belle and they were Chip and Mrs. Pots.

I was so excited when I found out that I was having a baby girl. I looked forward to reliving my childhood with Zeeka and watching my favorite Disney movies with her.

But did you know that Disney fans like us can now enjoy their favorite Disney movies anywhere we go?

Globe Telecoms has partnered with The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia to bring us DisneyLife: The World of Disney in One App.

 

Now Disney fans can enjoy over 350 movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars all in one place. The app also gets you access to more than 5,000 kids’ TV episodes and over 6,000 music tracks at the palm of your hands.

The DisneyLife app offers fan-favorite stories, characters, and music from iconic Disney movies and television shows over the years. Fans can take a look back and reminisce the heart-warming moments from movies like The Lion King and Up.

Check out DisneyLife app’s launch with Mickey and Minnie Mouse together with Head of Media Distribution and OTT, The Walt Disney Company South Asia Amitra Pandey, EVP & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company South Asia Mahesh Samat, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu and Globe Chief Commercial Officer Albert De Larrazabal.

Enjoy the awesome animation from Pixar like The Incredibles. Love Star Wars? Watch your favorite stories any time of the day. And since we’re fans of the Marvel Universe, Zeeka and I especially enjoy Marvel movies in the app like Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Iron Man 3.

Kids of all ages also get access to new episodes of their favorite shows first on DisneyLife. Your favorite series can also be streamed from Disney Kids’ TV’s biggest library. This includes Disney Channel’s Big Hero 6, Tangled, Disney Junior’s Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and Disney XD’s Spiderman and Star Wars Rebels.

If you love Disney’s iconic soundtracks like me, you’d be happy to know that DisneyLife also gives its users access to a super extensive library. Have fun singing along to your beloved hits from Disney’s TV series and movies.

I remember when Coco came out. I wanted to watch the movie with my family because like everyone else, I got curious about the trailer. But what surprised me the most was Zeeka’s reaction to the movie.

I was surprised with how emotional she became while watching. I mean, who won’t be emotional with Miguel’s song? And who wasn’t surprised to know that Coco wasn’t the name of the boy?

It’s the magic of discovery that I love the most about Disney, and the lesson that good will always win if you persevere. That’s what makes Disney movies so appealing to everyone.

With DisneyLife, I could relive the same magic with Zeeka whenever we want. We could wander through the vast ocean with Moana and Maui. We could sing along with Ana and Elsa and their breakout hits from Frozen. And we could definitely dance to the catchy tunes of Coco all in the palm of our hands.

The good news is, Globe customers will get awesome perks with the app.

All existing Globe Postpaid customers and new or re-contracting customers on ThePLAN or ThePLAN PLUS 999 and above get a free 6-month subscription to DisneyLife.

New and existing Globe At Home Postpaid customers subscribed to or upgrading to Plan 1299 and up will also get a free 6-month subscription. You also get an additional 3-month subscription for free when you buy Globe Streamwatch Roku Powered. 

For prepaid users,  watch out for awesome surprises from Disney and Globe soon! You can check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements shortly.

You can now download the DisneyLife app, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Just go to the App Store or Google Playstore to get yours.

Get to know more about DisneyLife! Visit www.disneylife.ph or www.globe.com/content/disneylife for promos and other cool stuff you might want to know.

And don’t forget to share with us your experience with DisneyLife below!

Love,

There are so many things to love about pizza. From the crunchy crust to its flavorful toppings, every bite is sure to be a hit at every party.

While we all know that pizza originated in Italy, there are many variations of bread and toppings all around the globe.

Turkey has pide, which comes with minced lamb or beef topped with herbs and cheese. Lebanon has manakish, a thin, flatbread covered with spices like thyme, sumac, oregano and sesame seeds.

Mexico has tostada, which is a tortilla crisped in an oven topped with a variety of meats and vegetables. It can range from ground beef, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and even shrimp. Its flavors can also vary depending on the location.

On the other hand, China has cong you bing, which is a dough folded with scallions, chilies, eggs, and other flavors. It is then baked to its crispy, flaky goodness or fried in a hot pan or skillet.

But what makes an awesome pizza experience? Is it the crust, the sauce or the toppings you use? Or is it the technique you use in kneading the dough or the temperature when you bake it?

There are four key elements you need to focus on in making great pizza. That’s the dough, the sauce, the toppings, and of course, the diner.

Big Guys Pizza has always been a party staple for oversized and affordable pizzas for almost a decade already. In that time they’ve listened to feedback and suggestions from their customers to improve their quality and service.

For three years, they’ve been checking out online comments and did some random taste tests from all over the city. And today, they’re sharing with us their best flavors yet.

So what’s new?

Big Guys Pizza has upped the ante with familiar flavors, high-quality ingredients, and improved recipes guaranteed to make us want more.

Their new dough is made with seven quality ingredients and is now delivered fresh every day to all their branches. Their new signature tomato sauce has a blend of secret herbs and spices that suit the Filipino palate perfectly.

Big Guys Pizza also changed their previous topping menu and upgraded it to more authentic, superior quality meats blended with premium spices. All of their pizza toppings are made from real pork and beef without any fillers or extenders, making it more delicious to every bite.

Are you a pepperoni lover? Want pineapples on your pizza? Keeping it simple with just cheese? Big Guys Pizza has the right blend for every Filipino pizza lover out there.

Best of all, Big Guys Pizza is just one call away!

Now you can order, give feedback, and share your suggestions in Big Guys Pizza’s new one number system. All you need to do is call 231-1212 and get hot and fresh pizza delivered to your door.

Order now and get an awesome deal with your pizza!

From June 4 till July 4th (Hurry! You have a few days left to avail of this!), Big Guys Pizza will be giving away 10% discounts when you order through the hotline today. So hurry up and order yours!

Get ready for the #bigguyspizzainvasion from #bigguyspizzaPh!

For more information, check out their website here. And don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @bigguyspizzaph.