Sunday, 4 October 2015

"Program Kecemerlangan 4 Penjuru", Kluang District

Am I itching to blog? Yes, you can say that because it's been a loooong break. Now where do I begin...let's start with today. We had a "Program Kecemerlangan 4 Penjuru" today involving SASEM, SMK Kahang Timur and SMK Seri Sembrong. However, SMK Datuk Ibrahim Majid did not come today. Gosh! Three weeks before the SPM and a workshop? Despite the hectic end-of-year schedule and work especially for the exam classes, I managed to conduct a three and half hour session with them. To be honest, it was a tiring legs were really painful and my throat too. The haze did not help either. 

The week before was given to preparing a suitable module and I decided to deal with three targeted poem in the SPM namely He had such quiet eyes, Are your still playing your flute and Nature. Lunch was good though but all I wanted was to rest my legs! My prayers are that these students excel in the English paper. I still have another four-hour long session with the orang asli students soon (a directive by the JPN Johor). Yours truly has no other choice but to carry it out.

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 4 September 2015

Lesson Study in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2

Tomorrow I will be sharing lesson study with a group of teachers in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2. The principal is collaborating with a PHD student on the programme and I'm glad to be of assistance. We will have theory and practical for half a day and hope that everything will go well. 

PLC (Professional learning community) is the buzzword now and lesson study (LS) is undoubtedly an important programme/tool to produce quality teachers. How can you improve teaching without LS? This was one question popped at me during a course/meeting I attended some time back. It got me thinking....a lot...and thinking is what we teachers need to do more.......seriously :) How can we even dream of thinking classrooms if teachers are not doing enough thinking about what happens in the four walls of the classroom? How do we sharpen the saw as teachers? Are we faking it?

If a teacher doesn't sit down and plan quality lessons then we are going no where. You can shove down their throats all sorts of programmes and ideas but the teacher has got to do his or her basic responsibility which is to prepare lessons and teach well. Of course, it takes time to become skillful at your trade but it has to start from thinking about the lesson and planning to teach it well. It sounds like hardwork doesn't it but that is what teaching is! HARDWORK. Of course we get sidetracked by many things- co curricular activities, meetings, deadlines, courses  and what not but at the end of the day, we are paid to teach.

One way to instill professionalism in teachers is through LS i.e teachers talk about what they do best in the classroom- TEACHING. Not many take LS up because they say it's time-consuming, frightening etc. Yes I realise it takes time for a professional culture to be instilled in our teachers. Time and space (plus recognition) must be accorded to teachers. We have many programmes in place but some are just touch and go. My take is that we don't need so many programmes- the MOE does not have to jump at every single new idea and launch it. Instead take a few and develop and sustain them. LS could be such a programme. Many a lab to brainstorm ideas is good but does the idea reach the masses, the teachers?

Schools can be more creative in the running of its daily affairs and braver to change things. Do away with maintenance culture and switch to developmental culture. Instead of having endless meetings in the afternoons, conduct LS where teachers learn and collaborate. Why not? And if principals are brave enough, start the culture by using some of the morning classes for LS. Instructional time is not wasted but enhanced. The impact I believe, will be far-reaching. LS will ultimately shape the kind of professionalism we dream of in teachers. Let me leave you with this quote to ponder upon. It got me thinking a lot!

If they aren't learning 
you aren't teaching.


(credit: google images)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Directed writing

It's been a while...hope everyone is fine. In this post I'm sharing a lesson which I just conducted last Wednesday in 5 Razi. The recently concluded SBP trial results were disappointing! Both my classes did not perform as expected. The formal letter was a stumbling block for them to score in directed writing. They got all their format wrong. After all my nagging (poor kids), I prepared a lesson and walked to class energetically last Wednesday with that spring in my steps! We went back to basics...real basics. Using a my word processor and a graphic organiser, we dealt with the following:

  • how to write the content points in a grammatically correct sentence (some were not able to do this)
  • how to elaborate the content points relevantly
I realised that you have to do the basics, even for SBP students. As they say better late than never. My students found the lesson helpful. They asked many questions in between even though some asked in BM. No more nagging Rahmah! Just pray for them a lot that within the next two months or so I can do a lot more. But what's more important is them never giving up on themselves!

It's been two months since I taught the class and each time I discover they have not learned this or that, I feel something inside. It did not help either when a student related how they had so much fun in Form 4 (games and videos) and now she is struggling with her essays. Sometimes it weighs down on me and it is pretty demotivating but I must not show it to them. my nagging may not help but I want them to know I always have them foremost in my prayers.

Here are the materials used:

***The yellow highlights are part of our revision which you can remove easily. Click here for the files.

Happy teaching peeps!


Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 3 August 2015

Ace Your Literature Modules: Thanks to all!

Another module? Well, you can never tire yourself from modules if you're teachers and who knows it may just help that teacher in the classroom somewhere. There are two modules altogether: Form 1 and Form 4. We have infused i-think and HOTS wherever possible and answer keys are provided. Plus....there is the power point to consolidate teaching the poem too!

My thanks to all of you for your contribution in our Ace Your Literature project! Not forgetting Madam Lew Mui Lan (Chairperson, District English Language Committee/Principal of SMK Canossian Convent, Kluang) and Tn Hj Musa Muhammad (Language Officer for English, PPD Kluang) May Allah bless our efforts.

                      Panel of ACE YOUR LITERATURE Module

Form 1
1.       Pn. Norashikin bt. Abu Bakar  (SMK Seri Intan) (LEADER)
2.       En. Mohd Aizat bin Omar (SMK Layang-Layang)
3.       Cik Moganadevi A/P Perumal (SMK Jalan Mengkibol)
4.       En. Muhammad Fikri bin Normi (SMK Seri Kota Paloh)
5.       En. Mohd Najib bin Abdul Ghofur (SMK Dato Abdul Rahman Andak)
6.       Cik Shiknesvary Karuppaiah (SMK Canossian Convent)
7.       Pn Norini bt. Masri (SMK Dato Hj Hassan Yunos)

Form 4
1.        Cik Sharon Sharmini Francis (SMK Jalan Kota) (LEADER)
2.        Pn. Radhika A/P Nallasamy (SM Sains Sembrong)
3.        En. Mustafa Kamal bin Yahya (SMK Belitong)
4.        Pn. Kartika  Sari bt. Idris (SMK Dato Ibrahim Majid)
5.        Cik Nur Ezza Aini bt. Zainudin (SMK Tinggi Kluang)
6.        Pn. Nursyahida bt. Mazalan (SMK Tuanku Abdul Jalil)
7.        Cik Maisaarah bt. Muhammad Sairi (SMK Tengku Aris Bendahara)

 Good job peeps!


Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak all!
Maaf Zahir Batin

(credit: google images)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Descriptive Writing in 5 Razi: My Ideal Home

I was very pleased with this lesson in 5 Razi. Despite having taught them for a mere two weeks and the many negative comments I've heard about this class, they showed me that they were more than capable of learning. They were willing to learn. It was amazing how the introduction of the composition we were working on somehow 'fitted' with the ending although the groups were working independently! Here's the lesson plan:

Topic: My Ideal Home
Time: Double-period
Skills: Descriptive Writing (Place)
Materials: 1. How to start your essay (click here) 
                 2. Essay scaffolding (photo below)

1. Introduce descriptive writing briefly. (as opossed to factual and argumentative for example)
2. Put SS in groups of four (Four is the ideal number as they can collaborate with their shoulder partner too)
3. Distribute mahjong papers and marker pens to groups.
4. Distribute the scaffolding (structure to help SS write...imagine no safety net, no scaffolding, no parachute..just blowing in the wind peeps! SS need a lot help trust me! Sorry my files are so messy I can't seem to locate the scanned file)
5. Before dealing with the essay plan, teach how to start and essay that grabs the examiner's attention. (For this I have Annuar Tahar to thank for sharing his material with me many many moons ago. You can also dig or google or pin..there are thousands of resources in the net. However I've decided to be kind today haha - here's the worksheet to save you time :) By the way the Razians were all's like they had never heard of this before so the they took it like fish to water.)
6. Then assign each group with the one of content points in the scaffolding: introduction, location, facilities, size, decor and conclusion. (I had six groups of four)
7. Let each group write 1-2 paragraphs on the points given and the T assists them with vocabulary and sentences. (Some groups may need more than one piece of mah jong and make sure they write big enough to be seen on the wall)
8. Always give a time frame. (They needed a double period for everything to be completed. The next single period was for editing and feedback)
9. In the single period, put up the mahjong papers around the classroom (not just the front) As you move from one product to another, SS will change sitting directions too. (We used up all the boards and walls..I wish we had whiteboards all around the classroom but the typical Malaysian classroom doesn't have that so improvise!)
10. Get SS to point out the mistakes in the writing and then underline and correct them. (You can focus on tense and SVA if you like or else the masterpieces will be bloody :) Get SS to evaluate out of 10.
10. Finally, SS copy the essay. (Pleased to see minimal mistakes in their work and praised them for their effort. Alhamdulillah for giving me the strength to conduct my lessons as usual this holy month of Ramadhan for I usually tire a little)

The scaffolding taken from "Diagrammatic Compositions"

Groups expanding the notes...

Drafting first...

I forgot to capture photos of the walls though..sigh. On a final note teachers, I think what is most important is teacher guidance in the process of writing. We can have all the materials in the world but there is no substitute for teacher presence and guidance. No sitting allowed.

By the way, the group used the "Question" technique in the opening paragraph.
 Hope the scratchy plan helps :)
 Happy teaching!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

A change of Skin

Time for a skin change :) I'm actually really busy with this research am presenting in September. Hoping to publish it in the proceedings. But as usual I get easily distracted and hooked on blogging! I think I've wasted a good two hours on this and I should be back working on that research!

Ramadhan Kareem

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

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