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)

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

’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


Now you can check how to say a word in English by visiting  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...


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.

Friday, 27 November 2009

7th National Conference for Excellent Teachers , 21-25 Nov 2009

Dato Dr Puad Zakarshi, Deputy Education Minister launching the conference
Jariah (GC from Kedah) and I
Presenting my paper to the audience
Rapt attention
The 300 participants from all over the country

A marvellous sharing session by Pn Hjh Serina Sauni- Sains Miri Principal

Tn Hj Mohd Noh Daipi sharing perspectives from Singapore

Tan Sri Muhyidin, closing speech and the launching of two MGCM books

A souvenir for the minister

Date: 21-25 Nov 2009
Venue: Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel, KL

A total of 300 excellent teachers from various subjects gathered at the 7th MGCM conference recently. Finally, the conference took off despite a few change of dates. The official opening ceremony was graced by Dato Dr Puad Zakarshi, Deputy Education Minister and the closing ceremony by Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin, the Education Minister himself. The paper presentation I enjoyed most was from Pn Hjh Serina Sauni, Sains Miri principal who showcased many programmes she carried out in all the five schools where whe was principal. Great ideas! And I thought she was very dynamic despite her height (4 ft 11)!!

In addition, 17 papers were presented by excellent teachers from different subjects during the parallel sessions. Mine was the first in Pacific Ballroom A. This was my third presentation at the national convention and I was happy to be able to share my action research. It was good to meet many friends, Hema, Vasantha, Gurdashan, Rohaida, Mala, Kak Aisyah, Jariah just to name a few. After my paper, I had a great conversation with the Singapore presenters, Tn Hj Mohd Noh Daipi (Assistant Director, MOE Singapore) and Pn Fadillah Isnin (Head of Languages, Moe Singapore) during the tea break. Tan Sri Muhyiddin launched two books - Selagi Masih Muda (a collection of short stories by GCs) and Strategi P & P Guru Cemerlang. Hope to upload the slides soon.


Salam and hi,
My handphone just woudn't start and I had to get a new one yesterday. Some software problem, so the vendor said. Poor me lost 300 numbers in the phone memory which includes yours!! I feel LOST!. So to all my friends out there, please contact me via e-mail and send me you numbers yaa.. :( Hope to hear from you.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Quality Awards, PPD Kluang

Tn Hj Mat Kassim  from JPNJ- oficial representative of the state director

Tn Hj Shaharudin- Kluang PPD (4th from left)

Me after the ceremony

Winners Group Photo

Date: 21 Nov 2009
Venue: Main Hall, SK Chong Hwa 2

Today I received the Anugerah Khas Program Inovasi (Guru) for the Tuesday's Date with PS Programme. When I first mooted the idea to the panel, I was quietly thinking that if it were to win anything, I'd like everyone in the English panel to go up the stage to receive it as a group innovation. However, this was considered for the individual category and so I was all alone on stage. Still, I would like to share this award with all the members of my panel- Puran, Dr Rekha, Sarojini and Anand. Hey! We won guys!!

This has been quite a year for me- a mix of good and bad really but winning seven awards in a year is beyond my imagination!! Alhamdulillah. I don't know if this lucky streak will continue but suffice to say, I am thankful to everyone, especially my principal  Madam Tan Tong Yar for her support and encouragement. Without the support, it wouldn't have materialised.

It's that time of the year to take stock of things and to move forward.- to soak in the good and to leave out the not so good. Sometimes we need to embrace change in life to bring out the best in you. Moving to my present school was that big change and I have no regrets. I have always believed "Rezeki ada di mana-mana." Winning awards is just a bonus  after the hard work is done. At the end of the day, it is not the awards that matter, it is taking action and doing something for your students that matter. This is my third year in SMK Canossian Convent, Kluang and two promotions and seven awards later, I still can't believe my luck!

GC- Kecemerlangan Berterusan!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Literature Component Forms 1-3

Finally, I got a copy of the book I co-wrote today. The cover certainly looks great! Hope it will help students and teachers alike. Happy teaching!

Holidays finally!

Getting rid of clutter and throwing what you don't need anymore can be very therapeutic! The satisfaction of chucking old notes, handouts etc was all mine and this was what happened on the last day of school. When your table is cleared of clutter and those drawers are clean, you feel really good. I'm so looking forward to this holidays although I have to be in KL twice- the first being this Sunday for the National Convention for Excellent Teachers and the second for the Literature course. Let's see what I've got planned:
  • mum's medication
  • reading all my books ( three by my beside so far)
  • climbing up Gunung Lambak in a bid to lose some (?) weight
  • completing that book that has been stalled for a while...
  • dad's tahlil on the 25th
  • reading the Quran and its translation
  • fasting every Mon and Thurs
  • scheme of work for my classes next year
  • module for the new iterature component
  • updating and filing
  • action research for 2010
  • spring cleaning
  • gardening (weeding rather :)
  • cookery course in jb
  • weddings
  • tea with some close friends
Hope I can do them all :)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

PPMP Meeting

Top: En Shan (our Principal Asst. Director English Language, JPNJ) wrapping up the year's work
Middle: Theva, Shirley and I
Bottom: Theva, Shirley and Rani

Date: 18 November 2009
Venue: PLGM Bandar Tenggara, Kulai

The PPMP meeting was held to prepare materials for the Spelling Competition in 2010 and to edit any incomplete modules for PMR, SPM and UPSR. Although this was my second meeting here, I still got lost (I have a habit of doing this hehe). To cut a long story short, a young woman who was selling kuih by the roadside showed me the right directions. Suffice to say our mission was accomplished!

Briefing for Johor State Excellent Teachers (ET)

Date: 17 Nov 2009
Venue: PKG Benut, Pontian

Top: PKG Benut
2nd from top: me in front of the entrance
3rd from top: from left- me, Jayanti and Tg Norashikin
Bottom row- Kalsum and partner from Kluang

All state English Excellent Teachers were called to this meeting and it was great to meet all the new ETs. There are more ETs now and this is a positive development. I overshot to Air Baloi, Pontian on my way here (talk about sense of direction!). On the way, I called dear friend Hood for directions and as usual Hood is always able to steer me to the right direction! Thanks Hood (No. Not Robin Hood). When I reached the PKG, I realised I had been here some 15 years ago. The amazing thing was the exterior remained the same (see first top pic), quaint and all, but the interior was very impressive- renovations were still being done while we were having our meeting. En Shanmugananthan (Principal Assistant Director JPNJ) chaired the meeting and outlined the state programmes for 2010. Also mentioned - the KPI for GCs. Anyway, the expectations are so high I'm not sure I can shoulder them all :(  I pray God gives me good health as I still have 11 years to go and who knows what other curriculum transformations will take place! In this meeting too, the Majlis GC Bahasa Inggeris Negeri Johor was formed and I was appointed the chairperson for the secondary level and Jayanthi for the primary level. Phew! Get ready for more work to come!

State Level JKD Meeting

Date: 16 Nov 2009
Time: 8.30a.m.-2.30 p.m.
PPD Kluang

Top: Chariperson or reps from district panels
Middle: Pn Noraini (PPD Kulai), En Kana (PPD Segamat), En Mahyudin (PPD Kluang)
Bottom: En Shan (Principal Asistant Director (English Language) JPNJ and En Rozlan (Senior Supervisor JPNJ)

Current developments in the teaching of English were discussed in this meeting and every district reported on the activities carried out by their respective District English Panels. Programmes and expectations for 2010 were also discussed. En Shanmuganathan chaired the meeting.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Date: 13th November 2009
Main Hall

The best part today was when my students from 5S2 all cheered and congratulated me outside the hall after I received the award and Elaine (whom I don't teach but who helped us a lot with debates-thanks Elaine, best wishes in your SPM) shook my hands and said "Congratulations teacher." That really made my day!

Sharing Day + Form 5 Farewell + Pn Tan's Farewell

Top pict: Mr Larry (Board of Governors) and Sister Mary (ex Principal)
2nd from top: Students waiting for the performances
3rd from top: Madam Tan (my boss) giving her speech
Bottom: Yours truly receiving the Anugerah Khas Guru

Date: 13th Nov 2009
Venue: School Hall, SMK Canossian Convent, Kluang

Today we witnessed three glorious celebrations in SMK Canossian Convent- Sharing Day, Form 5 farewell and the principal's retierment. I particularly enjoyed the rendition of the three songs (Bila Terasa Rindu, Naanbanai Partha Neram, a Chinese number, and We are One) by the Form 5 girls. It sounded melodious although their eyes were all up the back wall trying to read the lyrics :) Well-done girls! And the dances were so much better this year. The farewell for Madam Tan was a bit low key as there will be a proper one for her in January. I received the Anugerah Khas Guru for my paper presentations at the national and international levels. One final thought- I truly regret being late this morning -thought 8a.m. ..and to think that I actually woke up at 5am!! I should kick myself...
(More picts in the slide)

'Tautan Mesra' Dinner- MGC Kluang

En Mohd Said Daimon from Kluang PPD giving his speech

Ismail (MGC Kluang Chairperson)

From left: Kak Nor (MGC Johor chairperson), me and Pn Sapiah

(VIPs in serious discussion)

(The Zapin dance from SM Sains Johor students- you go girls!)


The Ghazal team from STK

Tokoh GC Kluang District 2009

Date: 11 November 2009
Time: 8-11 p.m
Venue: Prime City Hotel

It was raining cats and dogs as I drove to Prime City for the Kluang District Majlis Guru Cemerlang dinner. The wipers had to work extra hard as it was almost impossible to see what was ahead. To make things worse, silly me forgot to take the umbrella from the rear window first, so I had to fetch it when I reached the parking lot. You don't need a super imagination to picture what happened afterwards! I arrived, pretty wet and rushed to the 6th floor. As I was part of the welcoming committee, I waited for the VIPs- En Shamsudin Haron (Assistant Director, JPNJ), En Mohd Said Daimon and En Shahat (PPD Kluang). STK provided the Ghazal performance and Sains Johor entertained us with the zapin dance and a song from one of the girls. It was great to be greeted by my ex students from Sains Johor! They were part of the zapin team. How they have grown!

We celebrated Pn Sapiah's retirement too in this dinner. All the best to her. May she have a wonderful retirement. I received the 'Tokoh Guru Cemerlang Daerah' Award 2009- Alhamdulillah. Thanks to the selection committee. Credit must be given to Ismail (Kluang YDP) for all the hardwork he has put in and of course the committee for organising many activities this year. By the time the event was over, it was already 11 p.m. and the rain had stopped. In the mad rush to my car (only two cars left in the parking lot and I was pretty scared), I left my umbrella behind!!