Monday, 31 August 2009

Happy Merdeka Day

To all Malaysians,
This is a day to rejoice and celebrate 52 years of friendship, partnership and trust!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


All the best to SPM candidates 2009 in the upcoming trial exam. Do your best!

Excel in English SPM, PPMP, JPN Johor


This book is finally published! The SPM English Subject Consultancy Panel (PPMP) came together to produce materials for this book. As the State chairman, I was responsible for discussing the contents, forewards and editing. It consists of 7 units on desriptive writing and 12 units on narrative writing. When we first started, we had hoped to write or compile materials suitable for near-miss students. However, as we progressed, we decided that the book should have a variety of materials for all levels. Thanks to the team- Ismail(JB), Rani (Batu Pahat), Shima (Kluang), Sumila (JB) , Sanizah (Mersing), Yusof (Muar), Mrs Jacob (Segamat) , Marhaini (Kulai) and Roziati (Pontian). I certainly hope the book will help English teachers in Johor to teach writing in their classes.

10,000 visitors today

I never thought my blog would have 10,000 hits! Thanks to one and all for visiting my blog :)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

To 4S1 and 4RC students,
For our next lesson on Monsoon History, have a look at the video below:

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Holy Ramadhan is here...

To all Muslims around the world, may you have a blessed Ramadhan!
'Sometimes ALLAH breaks our spirit to save our soul,
Sometimes HE breaks our heart to make us whole.
Sometimes ALLAH sends us pain, so we can be stronger,
Sometimes HE sends us failure so we can be humble,
Sometimes ALLAH sends us illnesss, so we can take better care of ourselves,
Sometimes HE takes everything away from us, so we can learn the value of everything HE gave us,
Have a peaceful, blessed moment in ALLAH's loving presence.

Salam Ramadhan

The Pearl Module

This is a module I have been using for the past five years. It is edited annually to accomodate the feedback given by students. Thus far, it has helped my students to deal with "The Pearl". Next year will not see any novels and I'm sure many teachers will be relieved. The BPK prescribed too many literature texts previously in what should be a component of the mainstream syllabus. Imagine having to deal with six poems and five short stories in Fm4! It's maddening! Teachers are pressured to spend more time teaching literature than the four language skills. It has become literature with a big 'L'. Well, the good news is in 2010, there will be fewer texts to teach and I'm one happy teacher :)

PPMP Speaking Module

Date: 18-20th August 2009
Venue: BTPN Skudai, Johor Bharu

Today, I oversaw the module-building for the state PPMP (Panel Perunding Mata Pelajaran). We have decided to deal with 'Speaking' as this is a neglected skill in the classroom. Members in my group were Vasanthi (Kota Tinggi), Yusof (Muar), Mrs Jacob (Segamat), Sumila (Johor Bharu), Nuraisyah (Johor Bharu) and Sanizah(Mersing). Although we were short of members, we are confident we will do a good job once the module is pieced together.

Reading Club 3

I've used this book as a resource for as long as I can remember. It gives an invaluable source of ideas for language teachers. It contains resources of over 130 short activities for the language classroom. As an English teacher I find the activities useful especially in helping students and teachers:
* learn or practise particular aspects of language
* get to know each other
* provide a smooth transition between two major parts of a lesson
* supplement a coursebook
* introduce or round off lessons
As a teacher, you will need to adapt the materials to suit your classes of different levels of ability. However,many examples are provided with additional suggestions for variations or extensions of the basic activity. Good luck!

Reading Club 2

I read this book some time ago and would like to share it here. This is a story of the writer herself, Adeline Yen Mah, a Chinese woman who suffered appalling emotional deprivation and rejection by her family as a child growing up in China and Hong Kong in the 40s and 50's. Adeline however became an extremely successful doctor and business woman in the USA. The story also depicts Hong Kong: of middle-class life at the time of the European concessions and thereafter. There is a connection between the east and the west throughout the story and it certainly offers an insight into this kind of life in aChinese family. Although a bit depressing in the early chapters, it got better towards the end- a good read.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

State Level Action Research Seminar for KRK Schools 2009

Top pict: Kahar, me and Rosizan
2nd from top: me presenting
3rd from top: selling my ideas
Bottom: kahar receiving his cert

Date: 18th August 2009
Venue: SMK Simpang Renggam, Kluang
Participants: 260 teachers

The state level Action Research Seminar for KRK schools was held today at Jauhar Hall, SMK Simpang Renggam. I was invited to present the action research that I won at the state level last year. This was my 8th sharing session with teachers and principals. It was great to meet Kahar and Roshizan again and to listen to Kahar's 'Jari Mat Malaysia' rsearch where he taught students how to remember the periodic table in Chemistry. I thought it was very innovative! My session went well except for the fact that I had to use a lot of BM as the audience was a mixed group. I hope my BM was okay :) The event was well-organised but the front seats were not occupied. Teachers preferred to sit at the back...this is typical isn't it?

Innovative Classroom Teaching Competition, Kluang District, 15 August 2009

Innovative Classroom Teaching Competition
Date: 15 August 2009
Venue: PKG Kluang

On this day, the district English Panel organised the above competition at the PKG. It was a pleasure to see teachers presenting their ideas on what they do in the English classroom. This competition was my brainchild as I thought the JKD should move to a different level instead of taking the usual path of organising routine activities such as debates, public-speaking and courses for teachers. I wanted to see more 'teacher talk' on what they do in the classrooms. We had a teacher who just started teaching for less than a month taking part and one who has taught for 30 years! It was wonderful to see them share their ideas. It wasn't easy to organise this competition but SMK Teknik Kluang did a very good job!. Although we only had 11 entries (11 schools) from the expected 22, it was a great success.

I could see that English teachers actually do a lot for their students but there wasn't any platform for them to share. Since this was the first time we had such a competition, there were of course some weaknesses that can be improved upon. Perhaps the word 'competition' should be removed altogether because many teachers were afraid the moment they heard it was a competition. Then there was the technical aspects to be looked into. Nevetheless, I think it was worth it and I'd like to congratulate those who were brave and positive enough to take part. The audience certainly enjoyed the whole session, judging from their laughter. This couldn't have happened without the MC's (En Moideen) hilarious jokes! I only feel sorry for those who were negative about the whole idea- it's a lost on their part really. I understand it's not easy to change teacher's mindset, particularly when they are in their comfort zones. This was the challenge I had to undertake as the Vice-Chair. All's well that ends well. The video still needs editing and I will upload as soon as it's ready. My principal has also agreed to show it in our next panel meeting. The winners certainly deserve a mention:

1st: Pn Maimumah Begum (SMK SEDARA)
2nd: Pn Latifah (SMK Simpgang Renggam)
3rd: Pn Farah(SMK Dato Hj Hassan Yunos)

1st: SMK Taman Sri Kluang (Jazz Chants)
2nd: STK (Web Quest)
3rd: SM Teknik (SVA)

Many thanks to SMK Teknik as the organising school, judges, En Mahyudin (Language Officer), Madam Tan Tong Yar (Chairperson, District English Panel, and Mr Kan Sui Seng (retired English teacher).

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Now for a breather..

Salam and hi,
Now i can breathe a little with my ptk essays and skt taken care off. The past two weeks was horrid! First it was the two ptk repeat exam that I had to take. It clashed with my IAB course so I could only look at it at night. Mind you it's no small feat writing two essays and to raise the level to evaluation was the real challenge. The questions were easy but the level was not. Then in the middle of the course, I received a phone call from Unit Naik Pangkat JPN Johor asking me to send my SKT by the 14th. Oh boy! To make matters worse, I had a cold (no , not H1N1 thank God) and was given two days MC. Not to mention the backache I suffered for sitting in front of my notebook for days!! Well, am so glad i posted everything this morning. If you think I am complaining , well yes! Getting rid of the ptk essays and the SKT was a sort of cartharsis...I was really pleased with my principal's evaluation of my current performance (96%) though. What more can I ask? I hope i will pass my ptk this time round :) Tomorrow we have 'makan-makan' in the staffroom and I am looking forward to it. I've ordered the chicken rice and some teachers will bring kuih dan fruits. It's a breather alright and don't we all need it?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

'Learning To Lead Change Course', IAB Genting

Date: 2-7 August 2008
Venue: IAB Genting

Top pict: from left-madam chong, hjh marmining, me, yati and liza
2nd from top: from left- hjh marmining, madam chong, me and tn hj wan ibrahim
3rd from top: what should i do with them? (team-building)
4th from top: team-building in action
5th from top: madam chong concentrating real hard
6th from top: me presenting under real stress!(ptk essays due soon and skt to be submitted at the same time to pengarah huhu)
Bottom: Liza the baby in the group

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and learn I did! NO regrets going for it and thanks to my principal, Madam Tan for allowing me to go. Drove with Kak Min to the course and at least now I can confidently say I can drive to iab :) Met many new friends like Ain from Selangor, Yati from Sabah, Liza from Bdr Tenggara and Madam Chong (principal of SMK Sultan Ibrahim, Kulai- my alma mater)although the turnout for the course was rather disappointing (only 12 out of the expected 20) However, the 12 of us made full use of the lecturers and there was a lot of room for q and a. I probably asked too many questions hehe but I just love intellectual sessions! For the record the course components were:

Managing Change (sharpened my knowledge on this. Dr Yusof's session was excellent!)
Team building
Capacity Building (I love this one too!)
IQ, EQ, SQ (Hj Asnil's session was so so...)
Leading change
Handling Conflict
Continuous Professional Development ( This was great!)
Leadership for Change

Although I have conducted most of these sessions myself under the MTDP programme, I actually learnt a lot from the input received. I definitely sharpened my skills in using Diamond 9 as a tool in training. My principal expects me to share in our professional development next year but for the time being, my ptk essay overules everything! Wish me luck!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

'Best Practices in T &L Course', Kluang District, MGC Johor

Date: 30 July 2009
Venue: SMK Taman Kluang Barat, Kluang
Time: 8am - 4pm
Target Group: beginning teachers/non-optionists SPM English teachers
Trainers: Hafiz and Pn Rahmah
Schedule: 8.30am-10.30am- writing
10.30am- 12.30pm - listening/speaking
2-4pm - workshop and closing ceremony

Today, both Hafiz and I conducted a six-hour course for 38 English teachers from Kluang. This was a programme organised by the Majlis Guru Cemerlang Johor for the state. Although we had some glitches at the beginning, I must say I was very pleased with the course participants for their excellent participation. I conducted the Writing and Workshop sessions, while Hafiz conducted Listening-Speaking. During the workshop, four groups displayed their creativity in creating stories from newspaper pictures and another four groups presented a consensus-seeking activity. Some stories were just hilarious! Congrats to all teachers! The following are the participants' reflections and suggestions:

1. I feel motivated to go back to school and teach listening and speaking. More courses to refresh our T&L activities.
2. Learnt a lot as a new teacher and able to gain and share ideas with others. Good course but don't drag the ending.
3. I really enjoyed what was offered! It was indeed helpful and I pray real hard that I'll gain my confidence to be as good as you Kak Rahmah. What you shared was pricelss and may you achieve what you've not achieved yet. Keep up the good work. Please do inspire teachers from rural school.
4. Interesting.
5. The sessions were good and beneficial...especially for me as a new teacher. Have more of these sessions in the future. More hands-on activities. Reduce the fee..haha..Tq
6. Very useful to me as a new English teacher.
7. The 3 sessions were amazing and it gave some insight on how to be a good English teacher.
8. I find the activities for the workshop are fun and interesting. I hope to use them in my classes. You can and should conduct referesher courses for optionists as well.
9. Attractive and practical. Encourage active participation. More workshops for Eng teachers.
10. Interesting. Good, well-planned time, punctual.
11. I like the course very much. As a very new teacher, I really need the information and new ideas for my teaching. Thank you so much! I would like to suggest that the modules are prepared much earlier so we can refer to it straightaway during the session.
12. The course was wonderful and it had taught me a lot. Need to have grammar course in future. Thanks!
13. A good session. Very informative. Hope to have more courses like this
14. Very good and informative. I learned new ways approach to teach my students.This type of course should always be carried out from time to time.
15. Coruse was ok and nice. I like it very much.
16. Fruitful sessions. Meaningful sharing moments. Time to know each other well. (So excited to have my own blog to share!) I'll learn/work on this.
17. The activities today are very intersting and we can see you have put much effort to make this activity a success. Thank you for what you have done for this session. We will apply whatever we have learnt here in the classroom.
18. I do enjoy myself attending the course today. I was unhappy yesterday when I was asked to attend the course at the first place. However, it is totally worth! If I can't make it today, I will regret! This course is very helpful esp in my P&P and the mateials are very interesting/useful for PLBS. Therefore, I got 2 in 1 benefit at the same time. TQ Pn Rahmah & En Hafiz! Please provide mineral water for teachers :)
19. I really gained a lot of useful skills and techniques in teaching listening and speaking. It's wonderful, enriched my knowledge. Helping me in doing P&P. TQ very much. Need some mineral water and sweets.
20. I've gained a lot of ideas in carrying out listening and speaking activities in my school. I enjoy this course and it made me realised I did very little activities with my students in L&S skills.
21. I enjoyed the session so much. I forgot how much I enjoyed the songs in lessons. I would start using it again in my future lesson. Furthermore, the course has opened up my mind to the many ways of teaching the language to students.
22. The activities were good and helpful and can be used in school. Organise more courses on the various stimulus which we need for our activities.
23. A very interesting, useful, knowledge-packed sessions especially during the workshop session. It helps me in terms of broaden my style of teaching and what's more important, taught me a lot of things even though some of the stimulus and materials presented were already learned and created before by myself. Perhaps the organisers should ask the participants to present more of their masterpieces rather than just sit and listen and relax.
24. The course is very useful to new teachers like me.
25. Satisfied and fulfill the teacher's need.
26. Very informative. Activities carried out were interesting and applicable in classroom.
27. All went well. Well done and keep up the good work! For lunch- shoud be more interesting. Lack of varieties.

Thanks to Hafiz, my co-trainer, Ismail (Chairman, MGC Kluang) and the secretariat for the smooth-running of the course. I find sharing with teachers always rewarding!

District PLBS Meeting

Date: 30 July 2009Venue: SMK Paloh Meeting Room
Chairperson: Tn Hj Monsarif from the PPD Kluang

Immediately after the essay-writing competition, I was involved in the PLBS meeting with all the assesors for Kluang district. We checked through our claims forms and reports before they were handed in. Those present were Madam Chan Cheng Neo(Chief asessor (SMK Tinggi Kluang), Miss Khoo (SMK Teknik), Miss Kalanadesan (SMK Tmn Sri Kluang), Miss Haslinda (SMK Jalan Mengkibol), Pn Aziah (SMK Simpang Rengam), and yours truly.

District Level Essay-writing Competition 2009

Top pict: this is my story...
2nd from top: judges for Upper Sec
3rd from top: judges for Lower Sec
Bottom: En Mahyudin giving his speech

Date: 30th July 2009
Venue: SMK Paloh, Kluang
Target Group: 22 Lower Sec students and 22 Upper Sec students
Judges: 10
Today, the district level essay-writing competition was held in SMK Paloh. It was well-organised and I'd like to congratulate Pn Azzra (the Head of Panel) and her committee for a job well-done. En Mahyudin Salim, the language officer from the PPD and the principal of SMK Paloh were present for the closing. All participants received a certificate from the PPD. Congatulations to the winners!

Top pict: me giving away certificates of participation
2nd from top: Joan getting her prize
Bottom: These girls made me proud! Joan from 3/1 (Ist Place-Lower Sec)
and Lee Yee Wei from 4S1 (Runner-up, Upper Sec)