Saturday, 21 February 2015

Teaching Nouns: A game to start the ball rolling...

(credit: google images)

I revised nouns last week with my Form 4's. Yes, parts of speech first because judging by their PT3 results, I had to do something about their basics this year before they go to Form 5. We started with a simple board game with minimal preparations on my part.

1. Think of categories e.g.s food, animals, places, countries. Start with one category first, say animals
2. Call one SS to the board to write an animal he/she knows e.g.


3. The next student must think of another animal that begins with the last letter 'e' e.g.


4. Continue until you end with Z. Start the game with another category.
5. This is a sort of warmer too before you launch into teaching nouns. This will get the SS interested in the lesson.

Happy teaching!

Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH

Writing Stories

So much to share and so little time to blog :) Thank God for this CNY break I can sit down and blog. One way to instill thinking skills in writing is not to be so tied with conventional writing practices. What I mean by this is for teachers not to be too preoccupied by the end product (a letter, a report etc.). What we want to do is to improve sentence building, coherence and infuse thinking skills at the same time. Here's a lesson I carried out with 4 Khawarizmi recently.

Time: Double-period
Topic: Paragraph-writing
Materials: marker pens, mah jong papers, masking tape


1. Get SS to fill up the whiteboard with verbs that they are familiar with in any form (e.g. walking, read, driven, started) withing 2 minutes.

2. Put SS in groups of 4 and get leaders to get a mah jong paper and some marker pens.
3. Tell groups to select 6-8 verbs and start building a story from those verbs (higher-order thinking skills) in two paragraphs/150 words
4. They can change the form of the verb (from experience it is rather difficult for SS to use the verbs in the same exact form although that would be more challenging)
5. SS present their stories to their classmates.
6. Teacher and SS correct language errors together.
7. SS copy paragraphs in exercise book.

 * SS tried their best to write an interesting story in two paragraphs. Language mistakes? Plenty but everyone learns through mistakes. Besides if they don't make mistakes, then I don't have a job!

Happy teaching!

my say...


Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH

D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) Programme and Public-speaking

Date: Tuesdays (English Day)
Time: 7.00-7.25 a.m.
And so...the English Panel finally decided to run D.E.A.R this year in alternately months. We will be alternating it with public-speaking. It's the 3rd year of our public-speaking programme and we should be proud of it. Last year alone, my three classes had nine performances which included public-speaking and sketches and a song thrown in by 4 Abu Hanifah. We were flexible last year as to the type of performance as long it encouraged the use of English. This year, the panel had decided to stick to two: D.E.A.R and public-speaking. To me it does not matter if it is not a new programme. What's important is to do something for the children and to give the programme a new lease of life. To those who have never done this before ought to give it a try.

All you need to prepare is a story or any other suitable texts to be read silently for about 10 minutes. Invite teachers who come to the hall to also participate. Silence really mean silence. How frequently does a student read in English in your school? Not much I would say hence the need for D.E.A.R. Reading is an almost forgotten habit noawadays. Students read their textbooks or reference books more than a good story for example. I really hope the students will gain something from this programme and will support the English teachers.


Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH

Johor International Student Leaders Conference 2015

Something exciting is brewing in Johor! I'm thinking of bringing my students to participate in this programme to expose them to experiences beyond the classroom. I'll be begging the PIBG to fork out the expenses :) However there are only 18 tracts so...if we're lucky my student will be presenting her paper. 

Way to go Johor and Fazleen! (the anchor who has been working hard to run this big programme).

 Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Spice Up Your English Classroom! (2)

Are you creative? Do you spend time planning creative activities for your lessons? Here's an activity I carried out in my classes recently. It's called 'A Sheet on Everyone's Back'. I learned this from this wonderful book which I bought from a conference (see pict. below) You can find great ESL books in conferences teachers. That is why we must make it a point to attend conferences like MELTA, MICELT, etc.

Here's how to:

1. Bring plenty post-it notes (mine didn't stick very well so think of something that sticks well)
2. Give each SS one post-it notes.
3. Tell SS to stick the notes on their friend's back.
4. Tell them to write at least 3 questions they would like to ask that friend.
5. Let them mingle for about 3 minutes. (Raise your hand to signify end of activity- once SS get used to your style, they will follow your instructions)
6. Now, as SS to take of the sheet behind their back and read the questions aloud and answer them.

Fun? Well, we had fun in class.
When to carry this out? I carried it out at the beginning of class to get them excited and anticipate the lesson. 

* If some SS are more popular than others, write some questions on those that are not so popular so they don't feel left out o.k.? 

Try it out and see how it goes!

Happy teaching!

Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH

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