Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sembrong Zone Excellence Programme

Date: 27 July 2009 (Monday)
Venue: SMK Belitong, Kluang
Time: 8am- 2pm
Facilitators: Pn Roslinda (SMK Bandar T6), Cik Huda (SMK Timur), En Hafiz (SMK Belitong), Pn Zahida (SMK Kahang) and Pn Rahmah (SMK Canossian Convent)
No. of students: 77 near-miss students

I was in SMK Belitong for the Sembrong Excellence Programme for SPM candidates today as the coordinator.It was a very fruitful session and I had a great time with the other facees. I actually learnt a lot from the facees, especially Huda's session which was well-conducted. However, on the way out of the school, my car grazed against the culvert and there is a long gash now :( Got to send to the workshop soon!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Gerak Gempur PMR English 1

Date: 24 July (Saturday)
Time: 8am-12.30pm
Venue: PKG
Participants: Form 3 teachers
Trainers: Madam Tey and Madam Ng from SMK Tinggi Kluang, Johor

I came as early as 7.45am to oversee the course on behalf of my principal, Madam Tan Tong Yar. Unfortunately, teachers were not punctual. One participant actually turned up at 9.15am! However, credit should be given to the early birds who came all the way from Simpang Renggam and Kahang because they were there at 7.30am. After the welcoming speech and housekeeping, I handed over the session to the two trainers. The participants were fortunate to have the two trainers as we, the district Panel, had taken great trouble to enlist the right people to take the teachers through the assessment of PMR. Prior to the course, the exemplar scripts were chosen from STK and SMCC following the Gerak Gempur papers held on Monday. I hope the participants took the opportunity to learn as much they could from the course. Thanks to Madam Tey and Madam Ng for agreeing to conduct the sessions and this was indeed another successful course. A word to the PKG staff though- please vaccuum the room- there are too many pins, debris and what not on the carpet. The room has been the same since last year!

District Action Research Course 2009

Top: me delivering my slot
2nd from top: Farhana the mc and Kala (facilitator)
3rd from top: sharing session
Bottom: the participants

Date: 23 July 2009
Venue: SMK Taman Sri Kluang, Kluang, Johor
Participants: 44 teachers (Heads of Panels and One Lower Secondary Teacher per school)
Facilitators: Cik Kalanadesan (SMK Taman Sri Kluang), Pn Zahida (SM Kahang Timur) and Pn Rahmah (SMK Canossian Convent, Kluang)

The Action Research course finally took off on this day. It was organised by SMK Taman Sri Kluang in collaboration with the District Panel. After my meeting in Kota Tinggi, I dashed to SMK Taman Sri Kluang for my slot at 3pm. After driving for about 15km towards Kluang, a friend called to tell me I left my notebook in Kota Tinggi so you can imagine what happened. I might get a ticket for speeding but you will only get to know near Hari Raya when the JPJ rounds up offenders (me included most likely). I was 5 minutes late for the slot but I managed to share my action research with the teachers. Thanks to Kala and Zahida for a job well-done and to En Mahyudin (Language Officer) for the welcoming speech!

Majlis Guru Cemerlang Johor Meeting

Top: meeting in progress
2nd from top: pensive me
3rd from top: meeting in progress
Bottom: the catching lobby of SK Kota Jaya which greeted guests..

Date: 23 July 2009
Time: 8am-2pm
Venue: SK Kota Jaya, Kota Tinggi, Johor

The MGCJ committee had a meeting to disuss its role in the national convention which will be held soon. MGCJ is responsible for Documentation, Photos & Videos and Evaluation/Report. The meeting was chaired by the Pn Norizah Rahmat, the Chairperson. Many decisions were made and will be brought forward to the national committee meeting. Amongst them, CDs of candid shots and photos of state contingents will be given and the tentative programme was discussed. The idea was to invite the PM as the guest-of -honour. The list of the Johor contigent was distributed and each member was given a nice piece of material to be worn at the national convention. My only concern is whether my tailor is willing to accept another order as Hari Raya is fast approaching and she would have been loaded with tailoring orders by now!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Listening and Speaking Anyone?

Have you ever wondered why English classes are quiet? This is something English teachers need to think about seriously. If you walk into a school and just try to stay for a bit, you will notice that you hardly hear any loud reading or choral reading in English classes,let alone group work and presentations. They are basically QUIET. I'm not suggesting no teaching is taking place in these classes but isn't it strange that teaching a second language (a foreign language to many actually ) can be a very quiet affair? Small wonder our students read poorly, have no confidence in pronouncing words they've never come across and are not able to speak after 11 years of learning English in school!! This is certainly food for thought.

I think these skills have been neglected by English teachers as the emphasis usually lies in reading and writing. Teachers are always saying the need to complete the syllabus as the main reason for not doing listening and speaking but I would like someone to tell me what it means to 'finish the syllabus' really. Can you ever 'finish' teaching a language as it is skills based rather than content based? I am often lost when the school administration asks me to state (as part of a monitoring exercise) whether I've 'finished' the syllabus! Isn't language learning a cyclical process rather then a linear one? You always need to repeat and therefore when does it end? Anyway, I'd like to share a lesson I conducted recently in 4S1. Here goes...

Skills: Listening and Speaking (Consensus-seeking Activity)
Time: Double-period
Orientation: Group work (5 in a group)
Materials: mahjong paper, marker pens, a situation
1. Put ss in gorups of 5.
2. Give each group a situation.
3. ss discuss and come to a consensus based on the situation given.
4. Presentation adn Q and A

The situation

The Earth is doomed. All life is going to perish in two days due to radiation.
A spaceship from another solar system lands and offers to rescue eight people, who could start a new world on an empty planet very much like earth. Imagine you are the selection committee and you have to decide who may be rescued.

Which eight would you choose from the list below?
• a policeman (45 male)
• a teacher (35 ,female)
• a university professor (60, male)
• an athlete (28, male)
• a popular singer(30, female)
• a novelist (45, male)
• a scientist (55, male)
• a historian (38, female)
• a politician (55,female)
• a dancer(30, female)
• an architect (42,male)
• a soldier(26, male)
• a doctor(32, female)
Happy teaching!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Co Curricular Day, 11 July 2009

The ELDSS decided to display the project work done by all the forms on this day. We did not have much time to prepare hence we came up with a personality test and language games for visitors. Thanks to Vanitha and Dewi for manning the booth. All in all there was a lot of buying and selling going on and a stall called MJ (Michael Jackson) stole my attention!

Michael Jackson lesson plan

Last Friday, we had a lesson using the video 'Thriller'in 5S2. The aim was listening and vocabulary. The class went well except for the technical glitch at first. Mind you it's not easy handling 40 students when the aim is listening..You can find the materials here All you need to do is download the video from youtube. Another possible lesson is here. All the best!

Class Journal (5S2)

I've decided to share with you an entry written by ___ in the class journal. I'm a firm believer of journal writing. My students have an individual journal and my classes have a class journal. The class journal is a platform for students to write about the lesson we just had and to voice out suggestions. Some students voice out things they are normally 'scared' to mention to me directly! Of course they write nonsense too at times :)But they find comfort and freedom to write and I will have achieved my aims because they are using English!! In addition, we are also constantly ommunicating for the betterment of our English classes. You'll be surprised that your 16-17 year olds have a lot to say and they say it honestly. I think we should also listen to our students (within reason of course) as they are our clients and best judge. Here's an entry I'd like to share. (Ignore the mistakes - they are still learning :))

Yo, yo, yo! _____ here ^^ Let me tell you a small secret. At first when I heard that our English teacher is a Guru Cemerlang, I felt very nervous and scared. This is because I always thought that Guru Cemerlang will be very fierce and the way they teach will be very boring. But teacher you make me change my mind. The way you teach is very interesting (Except the extra class, very tired and boring).
The most I like is group work becaue I don't have to figure out all the answers by my own. I can share an opinion with my group members. Beside that, the song activities is also very good for us. Even though I am not really a good singer but I really enjoyed the atmosphere during that time, Everyone in class seem very close to each other ^^
I hope teacher will happy and enjoy every moment that we spent together. I also hope teacher don't always complain to me. I feel stress and dissapointed. Believe to me , less complaint your life will be more happy. But I still want to apologise to teacher for what our class has done^^. Please keep in contact with me all the time, even though after SPM^^Thanks for your love and We Love You Also.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Dented spirits..

Today I was looking forward to the presentations by 4S1. However, to my horror, one group forgot to bring their mahjong paper and the other brought it home accidentally because...well, I won't bother to explain...Despite all my reminders, they still forgot. The whole incident just left me angry, tired and dejected. Nothing I have been doing seems right. They don't seem to appreciate anything I do. Lately, I have been scolding them a lot (all to do with sloppy work and indiscipline of course) and I don't blame them for hating me. I never imagined I would be facing problems with this class. It's like the ice has not been broken or what? There's this particular girl who annoys me with her lackadasical attitude. Perhaps she comes from a well-to-do family and she thinks she can do what she likes. Coincidentally, her Mandarin teacher also told me about her negative attitude. Perhaps she is over confident with her English.

When I was first given this class, I was very enthusiastic- I thought they had such potentials..and I was there to help unleash their potentials...There were moments in class when I asked simple questions and there was this dead silence...or the same people will answer the questions and the rest couldn't be bothered. Then the other day I got angry because two girls talked incessantly from the beginning to the end of the class! Maybe I can write a story entitled "A week of anger" or something of that nature! Any teacher would be stupid not to reprimand such behaviour. But they took it well. I met them outside the corridor and explained what I didn't like about their behaviour and they could accept it.

Sometimes I wonder what these students expect of me. Follow their whims and fancy? Tolerate their forgefulness? Ignore the books they don't hand in? (I never get the full number of books these days anyway) Ignore the corrections they don't do? What kind of teacher will I be? Perhaps, they will be better off with another teacher next year as they never appreciated me anyway. I am just a figure who walks in and out of the classroom and I've probably not touched them in any way...Perhaps I tried too hard? Maybe I should just let go- enter class like a robot and leave like a robot- no feelings attached. No need to 'connect' with my students -then maybe everyone will be happy.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The English Debate

Should English be made compulsory to pass the SPM? This is indeed a hot issue today. The issue is raised now that the fate of PPSMI will be decided soon. As in many matters, there are pros and cons to the question.

Treasure Hunt 2009, 4th July 2009

The winners: Champion (No Name), Ist Runner Up (1/1), 2nd Runner Up (4S1)

The English Literary, Debating and Scrabble Society (ELDSS) conducted a treasure hunt last Saturday from 7.30 to 10.30 a.m in the school compound. A total of 23 teams registered but 18 turned out. Each team comprised of five members. A briefing for checkpoint officers and team leaders was done at the English Zone by Pn Rahmah. Thanks to all who took part and to ELDSS committee and members. A special thanks to Sahidah, Gayatiri and Vickneswary for helping me prepare all the clues and materials needed for the treasure hunt. Watch the slide below for the activities.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

MGCJ Module Building Meeting (2), PKG Kluang, 2 July 2009

The second module building session for sharing best practices in teaching was held at PKG Kluang and we had a fruitful although tiring meeting as it ended at 4 p.m. The module builders and trainers were Adeline (Batu Pahat), Tan Bea Lea (Segamat), Syeikh (Mersing), Norzieha (Pontian), Ramesh (Johor Bharu), Manyamaran (Kulai) and Rahmah and Hafiz (Kluang). I had to rush to school at 12.15 to carry out the LET and panel meeting for my English panel and returned to the PKG at 1.30 p.m. Halfway through the discussion, I thought the panel was not paying attention anymore to the pesentations. Everyone was busy editing his own material! It was actually very tiring to listen to all the presentations and to make comments alone. And yet it had to be done so that we have the best materials to be presented during the course. Besides, producing quality materials should be foremost in a GC's work. However, all in all, we had a variety of materials to choose from for the training session later. Reaching home that day, I grabbed 'lunch' at 4.45p.m (there was no more lunch at the PKG by 1.30) and hit the sack at 9 p.m. The dummy is now with me and I will proceed with the final editing. Thanks to all involved.

Chocolate cake for 4RC, 29th June 2009

On Monday, I baked the long promised chocolate cake for 4RC. They told me they loved it! This time the cake rose slightly higher than usual. Could be due to the baking powder I used. Anyway, I was busy typing away when I smelled something burnt! I ran to the oven and adjusted the temperature as the top part was still not fully cooked and thank God, the cake came out alright. I've baked this hundreds of time so I couldn't have got it wrong.Glad they liked it!