Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Majlis Guru Cemerlang Johor Convention 2010, Selesa Hotel, Pasir Gudang, Johor

Majlis Guru Cemerlang Negeri Johor will be organising a convention from 1-2 July 2010 in Selesa Hotel, Pasir Gudang, Johor. Here's the programme:


1 JULAI 2010
7.30 – 8.30 pg : Pendaftaran & Sarapan
8.30 – 9.00 pg : Taklimat
9.00 – 9.45 pg : Ucapan Ketua Sektor Pengurusan Sekolah -
En Mohd Hasidin bin Hj Zaini
9.45 – 10.30 pg : Pembentangan Kertas Kerja 1 – “Mengurus Kecemerlangan”
– Tn Hj Ismail Bin Rosdi (Pengetua SMK Taman Desa Cemerlang, Pasir Gudang)
10.30 – 12.00tgh : Pembentangan Kertas Kerja 2 – “Menganjak Ke Kanan”
- En Yew Kok Leh (Pengetua SMK Jalan Mengkibol, Kluang)
12.00 – 1.00 ptg : Pembentangan Kertas Kerja 3 – “Standard Guru Malaysia”
- Penceramah dari IPG
1.00 – 2.00 ptg : ‘Check-in’ / makan tengah hari / solat
2.3.0 – 4.30 ptg : Pembentangan Kertas Kerja 4 & 5 – NKRA & KPI- Pn Norhayati Bt Alias (Timbalan Ketua Nazir Persekutuan, Putrajaya)
4.30 – 5.00 ptg : Sesi Bergambar
8.30 – 9.00 mlm : Pembentangan Kajian Tindakan Sekolah Rendah
- Pn Azlinda Bt Ahmad (SK Bandar Putra, Segamat)
9.00 – 9.30 mlm : Pembentangan Kajian Tindakan Sekolah Menengah
- Cik Deep Wei Wei ( SMK Sri Mersing)
9.30 – 10.00 mlm : Perbincangan Akademik

2 JULAI 2010
7.00 – 8.00 pg : Sarapan
8.00 – 9.00 pg : Perkongsian Ilmu 1 – Guru Cemerlang Jusa C (MT Tambahan)
- En Yap Poh Lai (SM Sains Muar)
9.00 – 10.00 pg : Perkongsian Ilmu 2 – Guru Cemerlang Jusa C (BM)
- En Azizulrahman Bin Abdul Rahman (SMK Datuk Sulaiman)
10.00 – 11.00 pg : Pembentangan Kertas Kerja 8 – “Program Immersion”
- Tn Hj Aminuddin B Adam (Pegawai PPD Johor Bahru)
11.00 – 12.00 tgh : Ucap Utama dan Perasmian Penutup
- Yang Berbahagia Tn Hj Sufa’at B Tumin (Pengarah
Jabatan Pelajaran Johor)
12.00 tgh : ‘ Check-out ‘ & Bersurai 

(credit: mgc kluang)

I shall be joining them in the late evening as I have a talk with Segamat teachers in the morning.

Monday, 28 June 2010

At a crossroads...

I'm at a crossroads in my life right now...trying to come to an important decision. This decision will have a large impact on me most definitely. I suppose in life, you will come to a crossroads sometimes because things don't remain permanent. Satisfaction is a relative term and as such it means different things to different people. I don't want to sound ungrateful to God but I need Him to help me make a decision. I'm looking for signs after performing Istikharah but I have to keep praying and be patient. I believe He will show me the way and who knows the month of Rejab may bring with it blessings in abundance :)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Upcoming do's...

When school reopens tomorrow, a handful of responsibilities await me. June and July will be crazy months!!

  • District standardised papers item-building (Wed and Thurs afternoons)
  • PPD's Immersion programme
  • ELDSS - Explorace preparations (district level) at the lake ,World Cup Quizzes for English Month, Merdeka Message Competition
  • British Connecting Classroom Online Community (BCCC) Project meeting with stakeholders
  • English Month video clip for the launching of English Month
  • English SPM Exam Techniques talk for 5S2, 5P1 and 5P2
  • JPNJ's Subject Consultancy (PPMP) state meeting(Simpang Renggam)
  • LET Programme- I will share my recent Action Research and the BCCC Programme with the English Panel 
  • State English Panel Meeting (30 June, SMK Sri Lalang)
  • Segamat District Professionalism Course for English teachers
  • Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia Seminar (Penang)
By the way, don't forget Rejab is here. Special prayers and Aa’mal that  can be carried out on any day or daily for this seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar as mentioned by Prophet Muhammad (saw):

  1. The month of Rejab, in its superabundant favors and benefits, reverence and sanctity, is next to none. It is linked to Almighty Allah (SWT) as Sya’ban to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Ramadan to his Ummah (Muslim Community). 
  2. Who so observes fast (even one day) during the month of Rejab gets Allah’s pleasure.
  3. Ask forgiveness and turn repentant to Allah (SWT) as much as you can because mercy drops from the heaven like a gentle rain in the month of Rejab (also known as “As’abb” – pouring out, full of love and kindness).
  4. Allah (SWT) shall forgive and have mercy on him who recites: Astaghfirulaahallad’ee Laa Ilaaha Ilaa Huwa Wah’dahoo La Shareeka Lahoo Wa Atoobu Ilayh” at least 100 times (400 times will accrue more rewards), and recites “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” 1000 times, during the month of Rejab, and gives alms or sadaqah in the name of Allah at the completion. 
  5. Recite Surah Al-Ikhlas at least 100 times (1000 or 10000 times will accrue more rewards) in the month of Rejab. 
  6. Keep fast on any day in the month of Rejab.

Let's fast tomorrow.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Teacher Talk (1)- Research

Some emails I received from my blog's visitor (her identity deleted) from Melaka. It made me realise that there are many positive people out there who genuinely want to improve themselves and to learn from each other. I will be uploading more later and shall call this 'Teacher Talk'.  My replies are in red and the sender's emails are in blue.

Re: salam
Rahmah Sayuti ...Add to Contacts

thanks very much. your comments are very encouraging. i hope u will do well in your research and some day be a great english teacher! all the best!

To: Rahmah Sayuti
Sent: Sat, June 19, 2010 10:04:09 PM
Subject: Re: salam

of course madam. your blog is amazing. I love it! All i need are in your blog. btw, thank you so much for your respond :)
you can share my email to others. My pleasure madam. May Allah bless you.
Thank you

Hugs and Kisses

From: Rahmah Sayuti
Sent: Sat, June 19, 2010 7:56:38 PM
Subject: Re: salam

thank you for visiting my blog. i hope it's useful. regarding your choice of research topic, well there are many you can choose from. Reading is good too provided it's not too wide. My supervisor, Dr Susan Hunston used to tell me 'Small is beautiful'. so if you're thinking of reading, which aspect of reading? Extensive reading is a good area but you need to read more about it in order to know exactly what u want to do. Literature is another possible area and speaking. do you know that teachers hardly teach speaking nowadays and when we ask teachers, what is the best way to learn English, they will unanimously agree that it's speaking!!! If I were doing my phd this is an area i will definitely look into. anyway, good luck in your research.

i hope you don't mind me sharing your email (and others) in my blog but i will not reveal your name of course. in this way, other readers of my blog will also get some sort of interaction and can also offer feedback.

Kak rahmah

To: rahmahs@yahoo.com
Sent: Sat, June 19, 2010 1:18:00 PM
Subject: salam

i am one of your blog visitor and reader.
i am in my final year, B. ed Tesl in uitm. I really want your advice on what topics should I choose for my research. I was thinking to do on reading, but it is a lame topic and not really interesting.
Hmmm. My pleasure if you could give me some info :)

thank you.

Teaching Vocabulary

Some materials I have used for teaching vocabulary. I will need to use them soon judging by my Form 4 class performance in the recent mid-year exam! Boy I need to rethink my strategies!! They can't handle full-length essays so I will need to look at paragraphs instead- which is what my new book is all about.I  hope to design some materials suited to their ability and see how they progress. This will also involve modifying my scheme of work for this class. And don't forget vocabulary too- this reminds me of Wilkins who said,  " Without grammar, little is conveyed, without vocabulary nothing is conveyed."

I would like to share the three best answers from my students based on the recent mid-year exam. The question is on the novel 'The Pearl', which comes under Section D of Paper 2. Thanks for letting me publish your essays in my blog girls. I hope that many will benefit.

Mid Year Exam Question:

Would you recommend the novel you have studied to your friends? With close reference to the text, give reasons to support your answer.

(Lim Yee Wei- 5S1)

           The novel that I have studied in the literature component in English language is The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I would certainly recommend this novel to my friends.

           Steinbeck has provided an interesting plot with well-arranged events that caused suspension, the perfect book to attract the reader’s attention and interest to keep on reading the book and a final twist towards the end. The story begins in a peaceful morning for a happy family Kino, Juana and Coyotito. Then a scorpion stings Coyotito’s left shoulder. This incident acts as a trigger to the happenings after that in the story. The parents bring the baby to the doctor but are rejected because Kino has no means to pay for the treatment as he only has eight mishapen pearls. Then there comes the sudden fortune when Kino discovers the world’s biggest pearl as 'big as a seagull’s egg' and as 'perfect as the moon' that was the hope for the family and the people. The greed that engulfs the entire town upon hearing the news of Kino’s discovery leads to too many more misfortunes that Kino encounters later in the novel. Then the final twist is Coyotito’s death. It strikes the family hard and acts as a reminder to the family. The bond between the family strengthens when Kino and Juana decids to finally throw the pearl back to where it belongs- the sea.

          The characters in the novel also help strengthen the plot. Kino’s bravery and the strength is first revealed at the beginning of the story when he beats and stamps the scorpion which stings Coyotito into a paste with his bare hands. Juana as a traditional woman apply primitive treatment to Coyotito’s wound that is a damp poultice made of brown seaweed. Kino’s determination to keep the pearl even after the misfortunes happening despite Juana’s suggestions has brought more misfortunes to the family, forcing them to run from their home at last. Kino’s hopes from the pearl are also important. Because of his hopes from the pearl- new clothes, proper marriage with Juana in church, a harpoon made of iron, a Winchester rifle and for Coyotito to be educated- he refuses to throw the pearl back into the sea. Juana is a supportive woman who accepts her husband decisions and stays by his side, together the family go through thick and thin. The greedy people- the beggars, the doctor, the priest, the pearl buyers and the intruders also go after Kino hoping to benefit from his pearl. These are merely a few characters in the story that made it interesting.

          Lastly, Steinbeck inserts many moral values through the well-packed novel such as greed and hope. Steinbeck also draws out the readers’ thoughts throughout the novel. Readers are invited to think - is it wise for Kino to keep the pearl? Is it a mistake to have hopes? Is it his fault to be uneducated and poor? If the reader were to be in Kino’s situation, what choices will he make? Readers often find themselves struggling between these thoughts and the right and wrongs. If Kino has not found the pearl, will it be a different story? He might be going through other hardships to save his only child.

          The plot, the characters and the moral values are the main reasons why I would recommend this novel.

(Foo Wee Nee - 5S1)

          The novel that I have studied is The Pearl written by John Steinbeck. I will recommend this novel to my friends because it is an inspiring story with an interesting storyline. It shows the themes like love, hope and greed. Most importantly, I have learnt a lot of moral values from the story.

           The story taught me that as human beings, we should not be greedy over others’ good fortune. In the story, the doctor is a greedy man. He refuses to treat Kino’s son, Coyotito who is stung by a scorpion as Kino has no means to pay him. However, when Kino discovers the greatest pearl in the world and is going to be rich, he quickly pays Kino a visit and offers treatment to Coyotito. He wants the pearl from Kino after the treatment, but Kino refuses. The pearl buyers are greedy too. They collaborate to cheat Kino so that they can buy Kino’s pearl at lowest price. The greed of these people finally ruin Kino’s life. I learnt from this evidence that we should not be greedy about others’ fortunes.

          Besides that, the story taught me to be determined in life. Juana is a very determined character in the story. In order to treat her baby, Coyotito, she asks Kino to get the doctor. When the neighbors say that the doctor will not come, she decides to take Coyotito to the doctor instead even she knows that the doctor will not treat her baby because they have no money. After the second attack, Juana thinks that the pearl is evil and advises Kino to throw it back into the sea, but he refuses. Therefore, she decides to throw the pearl herself when Kino is still in bed. However she does not manage to do so as Kino stops her in time. Juana’s determination is a good example to all of us who face obstacles in life. We should be determined to overcome challenges.

          Last but not least, the story taught me to help the others who are in trouble. For instance, Kino’s brother Juan Tomas and his wife, Apolonia are very helpful towards Kino’s family. Juan Tomas often gives advise to Kino when Kino deals with problems in life. When Kino’s house is burnt down, Juan Tomas allows Kino’s family to stay in his house for a day so that they will not be discovered by the villagers. On the other hand, before Kino’s family begins their escape at night, Apolonia packed some food for them. What is more, Juan Tomas tell the villagers different stories about Kino’s family so that they can escape successfully. Juan Tomas and Apolonia are indeed very helpful. We should learn this quality from them in order to be well-liked by others.

           On the whole, I would say that 'The Pear'l is worth-reading as it is able to teach us many moral values which we can apply in our daily lives.

(Chong Shu Le -5S1)

           The novel that I have chosen is The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I will recommend this novel to my friends as it contains interesting themes, characters and moral values which attract me to read it through.

           The theme in this novel is love. Family love is shown through Coyotito and his parents, Kino and Juana. When Coyotito is stung by the poisonous scorpion, Juana is anxious and she sucks out the poison from Coyotito’s shoulder although it is dangerous. As for Kino, he rubs the scorpion to paste and stamps it until it is a fragment out of anger. They want to bring Coyotito to see doctor for treatment although they know that the doctor as the richer descendants of Spaniards, look down on them as poor Mexican Indians. Kino tries to pay for Coyotito’s treatment but he has only eight misshapen seed pearls. He hits the gate of doctor’s house angrily when he knows the doctor refuses to treat his son. Family love is also shown through Kino and his wife, Juana. When Kino kills one of the intruders, Juana drags the dead man into the shelter of the bush and revives Kino. She is willing to escape with Kino although she knows she will face many challenges. When they are tracked in the mountains, Kino who worries about Juana, asks her to hide with Coyotito as she is tired and her ankles are scratched by stones. Juana insists to stay by her husband’s side and supports all his actions. Kino takes his strength from her and kills the trackers in order to protect his family. He is willing to sacrifice himself for his family. This theme encourages me to read the story till the end.

           There are also interesting characters in the novel. The doctor as the villain in the story is rich, greedy and despicable. He lives in a stone house and his room is decorated with heavy, dark curtains and furniture. He also wears a red watered silk robe from Paris, has a silver tray with silver chocolate pot on it and a tiny- cup of Egg-shell China. He is materialistic and cruel person. When he hears about Kino get a great pearl which is as ‘big as seagull’s egg’ and as ‘perfect as the moon’, he poisons Coyotito and tried to figure out where Kino hides the pearl. He is more like a killer than a treater. So is the greedy priest who hopes Kino will pay alms for the church after knowing Kino has a great pearl. He comes to Kino’s house and reminds him to contribute to church as he is named after a great man. Kino’s brother, Juan Tomas also plays an important role to attract readers’ attention. He hides Kino and his family in his house during the fire and tells the neighbors that misfortunes befalls Kino and his family. Besides, he advises Kino to be careful not to be cheated by pearl buyers when he follows Kino to the town. When Kino fails to sell the pearl, he kindly advises Kino not to go against their way of life. He also wishes Kino good luck when Kino insists ton selling the pearl at the capital.

           There are also many moral values in this novel. We must not be greedy shown through Kino who is determined to keep the pearl to lead a bright future. He hopes to marry Juana in church, get some new clothes, a harpoon made of iron, a Winchester rifle and get education for Coyotito. But with the pearl, everyone is envy of him and tried to steal the pearl from him. After being attacked by the intruders, Juana advises Kino to throw away the evil pearl as it brings too much misfortunes to them but Kino refuses. As a result, his house is burnt down and his canoe is broken. The worst thing is that he loses his only child, Coyotito, in the fight with the trackers. The pearl may be the answer to break him out of the cycle of poverty, but it also causes his son's death. We must respect others. In the novel, the doctor who is rich and lives in big, stone house despite Kino who is poor and lives in brush houses. He refuses to treat Coyotito who is stung by scorpion.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Skyping for the first time..

Skyping for the first time is so exciting! In my bid to improve my tech skills, I skyped today with a dear old friend Kok Keong aka KK Tang. How do I describe it in one word? Wonderful!! Thanks Keong for teaching me how to do it- I owe you that mushroom batter when I'm in KL the next time around- that is if you are not so busy, being CEO and all (all that power to hire and fire). Am trying to do video conferencing during the Co Curricular Day between my school and another. Wish me luck! Here's one ambitious teacher (or simply an idiot!) who will not take 'no' for an answer. If only you know the ICT situation in my school..sob sob sob...still I will not be discouraged by this- with God's will I will succeed!

British Council Connecting Classrooms Online Community - Internationalisation! Here comes SMCC!!

Date: 1st June 2010
Venue: PPD Kluang

Our KPP English Unit, En Shanmuganathan chaired this meeting. My school has been selected to be a part of this internationalisation programme and I'm thrilled to bits! Our partner school is St Aidan's in Yorkshire, England. Thanks to Rosleen (STK Project Coordinator) and Atifah (SM Belitong Project Coordinator) for sharing their input with us. Here's an opportunity for SMCC students to connect globally and expand their horizon! For more info click on BCCO.

Bravo Kluang Choral Speakers!!

Bravo to the choral speakers for their sterling performance
in the recent Johor State Teacher's Day celebration!!

Well-done to the whole team: Ismail Yon (chief trainer and YPD Majlis Guru Cemerlang Kluang), the trainers Vasu, Puniah, Mui Nair, Patidah for your effort and dedication and Hjh Mahizan (SMK Cannossian  Convent, Kluang) for  taking care of the team. This was a collaboration between Majlis Guru Cemerlang Kluang (MGCK) and SMK Canossian convent, Kluang. Proud to be a part of the team.  Thank you God for the inspiration when I was editing the script. Tuan PPD sent two messages saying that the director (Tn Hj Sufaat Tumin) was in tears and was touched by the teachers' performance. I also received a message from En Hasidin (Ketua Sektor Pengurusan Sekolah) congratulating them on their performance. BRAVO Kluang!!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Using Word Clouds to teach English

While still on the subject of technology (technogogy is the hype now), how about using wordle to generate WORD CLOUDS from a text you have chosen? This is an exciting tool you can use to teach English in the classroom. You have the option of changing the font, layout and colour schemes too. For your creativity,  your wordle creations will be yours for keeps. For a sample lesson on how to use word clouds,  go to Box of Tricks. An example of a wordle below:

   (credit http://www.wordle.net/)

Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers- Get there!

  • Do you have a blog?
  • Do you twitter?
  • Do you use Youtube in your lessons?
  • Have you got an active e mail?
  • Do you have Facebook?
If you answer no to two of these questions, I say GET THERE PEOPLE!! Despite feeling incapacitated sometimes when it comes to technology in my own school, I try my best to keep abreast with the latest  in technology. Ask yourself when was the last time you use power point in your lessons to provide that variety? Huh? Powerpoint? Are we still talking about this age old tool? I read somewhere that people are just tired of powerpoint (read 'Death by Powerpoint'). This reminds me of that particular lesson where a good twenty minutes was wasted just trying to get connected to an LCD (sweat and all) and one of the students commented in our class journal that she preferred if I didn't use powerpoint at all! Well, who can blame when getting connected itself was a real pain. Having said that, we all know that technology is important to improve our repertoire as teachers and  it is effective especially for the slower learners (I believe there are no good or weak learners, just fast or slow).

Hence,we need to embrace new technologies so learning can be more fun and effective.
'New tools are emerging all the time, many not originally intended for education, but which can be put to good use by students and teachers alike to extent opportunities, enhance learning potential and develop the level of digital literacy that students will need for the 21st century.' (nikpeachey.blogspot.com)

Some of these tools are free and they are very useful tools for the language teacher. For a good explanation of freewares using Web 2.0 technologies for teachers you can download the E-book here- Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers. Happy reading! I've also linked the e-book on the left sidebar.