Thursday, 31 December 2009

Sad sad day...

Well, I have finally decided that I can't afford to have two blogs for the simple reason that I will not have the time!! Perhaps I was being over ambitious...Anyway, I messed up my blog this time round and lost a lot of data particularly the important links!! Waaaaaaaa (cry out loud) what have I done! However, I want to thank those who took part in the previous questionaires. Unfortunately the data is gone guys...vanished!! But please do answer the new questions. In time, this mess will be cleared and it will be business as usual!

Continuous Writing (1)

Introduction
Continuous writing is assessed in Paper 1 of the SPM English paper. It is a test of writing skills and carries a lot of weight in order to do well in the SPM. This section alone is worth 50 marks. Some preliminary information about continuous writing:

You will be given about 5-6 topics based on different genres such as narrative, descriptive, factual, one-word/open-topic, argumentative. It is therefore important that you get enough practice on all the genres or follow your strengths. I always focus on narrative in the classroom because you can never go wrong with a story! Even if your story ends with you falling off your bed as it was all a dream (sounds familiar?), you will never go wrong. Besides you can be imaginative too.

You will be given one hour to complete the essay- meaning you should do some planning at the beginning (say about five minutes) instead of jumping straight into writing your first paragraph. You should also spare the last five minutes to check your grammar, especially your tense! Do not let the other candidate who starts writing furiously affect you! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

You will be instructed to write in about 350 words- please do not count the number of words as this will waste precious time on your part. Writing between 350-600 words should be fine. I always tell my students to estimate in terms of the number of pages of your testpad and the size of their handwriting.

Choosing Your Essay

Before even attempting to write, the rist thign you should do is to read the entire question paper carefully. Which of the topics gives you the best oppotunity to write at the rewuired length? Sometimes, it may not be what you like but what is practical! You may like to write about "Homework" for example, but you do not have enough content and so you will not last the 350 words minimum. So, make a wise choice. The following will guide you as to which you are good at:

Consider the compositions you have been writing in the classrooms- which ones were the most successful?
Do you find it easier to write stories than say to construct arguments? My tip in the classroom will always be this- if your command of the language is strong, you may choose any of the topics. However, if you are average and below, my advice is to go for stories.

Are there any topics that really interest you? You may be lucky to find one that is close to something you are interested in BUT be careful- can you write up to 350 words on the topic? A short answer will not be able to convey the full extent of your ability to write. It will not give the examiner a complete impression on your ability to write using good sentences, vocabulary, punctuation, paragaraphing and interest value.

Coming up...The Planning Stage
SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY


’The light went out suddenly…”Continue the story.
Felicia Tang (5S1)

          The light went out suddenly. Aunt Marie’s villa was dark and quiet. I put my luggage at the sides and took out my torchlight. The electricity was cut off. The wind blew strongly outside and the rain was coming soon. “Aunt Marie, are you there?” I shouted as loud as I could so that even Aunt Marie was at the back garden could hear me. This huge villa looked dull and dirty. I should have called Aunt Marie before I came here for a short vacation. Now, I was alone here. The feeling of horror overwhelmed me.

          I was curious about this villa. “Something had happened in this villa,” my mind told me. Without wasting any times, I used my torchlight and checked out every corners in this house. This villa was so dirty. Spider webs filled up the corners of the wall and hence made it looked dusty. It seemed like no one lived here for a very long times. T he strong wind continued to blew outside the villa. It makes the wooden doors of each rooms opened and closed at intervals. Not only that, I noticed that every photographs that Aunt Marie took with her beloved son, David was tear into half. Immediately, I made a decision to call the police. There might be a robbery in this villa.

          Suddenly, I saw a man lying on the ground. He was motionless. With the aid of the torchlight, I saw clearly that there was blood all over his body. Oh my god! He was David! I felt terrified and scared. I took a deep breath and I noticed there were footprints all along David’s body until the staircase. Well, I was going up to the first floor to have a look.

           “Bang!” There was a sound coming from upstairs. I climbed up slowly so that I won’t made any noise. I checked out every single room and finally I stopped at the last room which was the master room. I held my breath and opened the door. Surprisingly, I saw Aunt Marie sitting on her rocking chair peacefully. I felt a sudden relieved because I was no longer alone here in this villa. Suddenly, Aunt Marie took out a knife with blood stripping down to the floor. “You will be the next one!” Aunt Marie shouted at me. My adrenaline level was high enough for me to hear my own heartbeat. I ran down quickly and hoping to ask for help. Now I suspected that Aunt Marie may be the one who killed her own son. Unfortunately, there was no reception in the area. Without wasting any time, I ran towards the public phone a mile away from the villa to call the police.

          After half an hour, the police arrived. I took them to the villa. Aunt Marie was still on her rocking chair mumbling to herself. She was sent to the hospital immediately. Some thing strange happened. David’s body was gone. There was no even a trace of blood there. All the footprints were gone. After several confirmation test, I was told that Aunt Marie was suffering from a disease called schizophrenia. She could not even remember that she had killed her own son. The villa was under police investigation.

          Where was David’s body? Why all the footprints disappeared in just a short period of time? Who wiped out all the blood stains on the floor? All these remained a mystery.
Hello teachers!

Happy new year! May the new year bring you happiness, health and prosperity!

Are you ready for the new school term? Some are probably shaking their heads, which is perfectly understandable :) I read somewhere that we teachers hardly read, which is a shame really. We must read our subject matter and of course anything else that interests you. Currently, I am reading on 'multiword expressions' as I'm doing something on it. Multitasking desribes what I'm doing perfectly at the moment- an action research for 2010, an innovation and an ICT program on multiwords. Sounds crazy isn't it? Well, I've got to admit that I have to be intelletually challenged (not that I am intelligent hehe) all the time. That's why the multitasking... And oh! the dreaded book which has been stalled for a while now. Thank God the editor has been very quiet ssshhh...) Well, writing can't be forced really and sometimes (most actually) am just plain laazzzy...

Well, to kickstart this new blog, I thought I will share some materials on classroom management since it seems appropriate to start with this topic as the new school term nears. These are links I find useful on classroom management. Happy reading teachers!

To understand your classroom management profile, why don't you take this online survey?
Your ClassroomManagement Profile

for 101 things you can do at the beginning of the new term, click
101 things you can do at the beginning of term

for classroom control measures, you can use the following tips:
classroom control measures

To understand how your students want to study English, click here:
How do my students want to learn English?

(Links are also provided in the left side bar)

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Back to the grrrindstone...

Salam and hi,
It's that time of the year again! The next school term is approaching and we teachers have to attend at least a few meetings this week I believe. Well, I had two today- teachers' meeting (8a.m.- 1p.m.)and then the PIBG meeting from 4-6p.m. Plenty was covered by Hajah Mahizan, the Senior Assistant, Dr Rekha (Student Affairs) and Mr Cheng (Co curricular). The PIBG meeting was to discuss the impending farewell do for Madam Tan. How time flies!! Back in 2007 when I first reported for duty, she was there to welcome me cheerfully in front of the office and made me feel really welcomed. And now she is leaving. I hope that we can organise a memorable farewell for her, something she will remember for a long long time. Well, we are without a principal at the moment, but I think Hajah Mahizan is more than ready to temporarily take the helm until the new principal arrives- everyone's probably curious as to who the next boss might be but if the pundits have got their bets right, it is someone from STK, a neighbouring school. Well, let's hope she will be as dynamic as Madam Tan!

2. It's also that time of the year to complete your scheme of work. I've done for two form 5 classes. Need to have a separate one this year as the classes are miles apart. One is good but the other rather weak. I'm concerned about this new girl who came in June from SSAJ, who can't write one correct sentence! The proficiency test I administered registered a score of 09! Good heavens..this is her TOV after nine years of studying English. She is a real challenge for me come next year. I am thinking of giving her a different set of materials altogether as she obviously will not be able to keep up with the rest. Anyway, I will think of something.

3. Why am I suddenly writing like Che Det (Dr Mahathir)? I suppose the numbers help you think clearly. Multi tasking doesn't help much eh -an action research, an innovation and the book (Yes! the dreaded book!)- a juggling act really. You know that writing can't be forced..and time is not always there and sometimes I'm just plain lazy..that's why it's taking me ages this time. Wish me luck on this one.

4. It was great chatting with Johan Arif @ Tapam tonight. He has definitely become a mature young man- brave to offer his views and not shy to argue. I hope he does well in his exams and the MUET exam he is worried about!

As you can decipher by now, my ramblings are somewhat disintegrated now. The signs of an exhausted mind-I better hit the sack. There's a meeting to catch tomorrow. Nite and salam!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Congrats Rasyad!



Well-done Rasyad for the 8A's in your PMR. May Allah shower you with more success in the future! Ayah and mama are very proud of you!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

All the best!


After two years of teaching this class, I have grown fond of them. I pray that they all do well in the SPM examinations and in their future too. I will miss them and their laughter. Hope they will remember Convent and will return even after their schooling years.

All the best to you girls: Thilaga (friendly lass), Qian Yi (I can hear you loud and clear hehe), Ivy (disciplined), Wan Fang (the professor), Pramila (adey! why your essays get shorter nearing the exam?), Jessica (good sense of humour), Yung Ling (the shy one), Sahidah ( the ELDSS secretary), Hafizah (blogger), Gayatiri (has a sweet smile), Roxzi (the cheerful one), Atikah (quiet at least in the English class), Sharon (smiles like Ashwarya Rai), Ling Sze Wei (attentive), Clara (always neat and disciplined with school work), Yee Ann @ fishball (big eyes!), Jia Yan (she made me proud during her public-speaking), Lih Ping (hardworking and likes to ask questions), Sea Wing (well-mannered), Xiao Ming (always cheerful), Sook Leaun (sometimes in another world hehe), Yuen Ting (attentive), Jia Qi (the tweety of the class!), Ng Zhi Wei (the philosopher), Sathiya (sometimes in her own world), Man Wah (the ' manja' one),  Shalini (very nice handwriting), Xin Lei (repectful towards teachers), Ker Wei (has many stories to tell), Wan Ying (hardworking gal), Leni (hmmm.. a business woman), Thiyva ( rather quiet), Adeline (my ever efficient monitor), Vicknewary (sometimes here, sometimes there), Vivian (Oh! those blue eyes!), She Yee (has a sweet smile), Shirley ( the funny one), Yung Lin (shy and mild-mannered), Fwee Ting (I love those journals!), Man Wah (the manja one!) and finally Xu Pei (the fashion-designer). I will miss you girls!

Friday, 4 December 2009

IMPROVE YOUR PRONUNCIATION

Now you can check how to say a word in English by visiting www.howjsay.com/  It is a free online dictionary that talks!


Gulp and Gasp in Action!!


Drama rehearsal "Gulp and Gasp"

Percy and Rose (hero and heroine)

On stage...

Rehearsal

Percy (Azri) and Rose (Shirley)

The backups
Roses are red my love, violets are blue huhu
Sugar is sweet my love, but not as sweet as you...

Date: 30th Nov-3rd Dec 2009
Venue: Holiday Villa Hotel, Subang Jaya

The Literature Component 2010 course kicked off in Holiday Villa where state JU's from all over the country were trained for four days. I was lucky to be chosen as one of Johor state trainers. The drama component was the best session as we had to perform the Form 4 drama 'Gulp and Gasp'. Every group had a role to play and in the end we had a continuous drama on stage. Congrats to the winners! Personally I was convinced that it can be done in the classrooms although I foresee a lot of preparation. Seven JUs for the state will train teachers some time in January 2010. We had a discussion with our KPP, Mr Shanmuganathan on how it will be carried out. It was great to meet old friends Tik (Azalina) and the module builders once again!! Long live literature!

Gunung Lambak retreat


I was up Gunung Lambak just the other day. I noticed a bigger turnout this time round and this grandmother who reached the same spot as I did! How fit she was and out of envy and plain stupidity, I climbed higher, only to pant more on the way down and suffered leg pains for four days!! I probably stretched myself too much that day. Well, the rainy season is here and it's rather slippery. On some days, I just stayed at home. But my breathing is so much better and my sleep deeper. Tommorow will be my next trip.
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