Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Pearl Notes- Revision

I'm currently revising the novel 'The Pearl' with my form 5 classes. Based on the module we've been using, I assigned eleven topics for groups to answer. They managed to produce the evidence needed to support the answer. Feel free to use them and adapt where necessary.

The Pearl (notes by 5S1)

I'm also revising the following texts which I think may be tested in the SPM:
  •  Sonnet 18
  • The Road Not Taken
  • The Drover's Wife
  • There's been a death in the opposite house (just in case LPM decides to throw this in this being the final year of the text)
 Am not too keen on spotting questions but one has to do what one has to do :)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Thinking Classroom

The idea of the thinking classroom has long been used in the west. Learn about the philosophy, characteristics and benefits of the thinking classroom here.

Friday, 29 October 2010

State Level Action Research Seminar for Secondary Schools 2010

Date: 28 Oct 2010
Venue: SM Foon Yew, Kulai

About 200 heads of English Panel from the state attended the first Action Research Seminar organised by the English Unit , JPN Johor. Principal Assistant Director of JPN Johor, Mr Shanmuganathan a/l Suppiah, the main force behind this seminar, delivered the opening speech and seven presenters shared their action research. They were Rani (SMK Convent, Batu Pahat), Ismail, Navinder and Noor Rahilme (group presentation from SIGS, JB),  Maimunah (SMK Spg Renggam, Kluang), Azrina, (SMK Tasek Utara 2) ,Raja Zainon (SMK Tg Adang, Gelang Patah), John Daniel aka JD (SMK Teknik, Batu Pahat) and me.

The buzz word for this seminar was 'the thinking classroom', an idea that the JPNJ will pursue next year. What a co incidence! I truly believe that teachers must be thinking teachers first before you can have a thinking classroom hence I thought it most appropriate to share my blog , whose tagline is  ' the thinking teacher' with the audience.  The closing was officiated by Deputy Director of JPN Johor, Tn Hj Markom bin Giran. Peggy Loh from the New Straits Times was also there to cover the seminar. Met some old friends and FB friend like Rabiah from SMK Seri Gading.  Good to meet some old colleagues from Muar (forgive me for forgetting your names- it has been many years since we last crossed paths). On the way home, silly me took the wrong turning  (trust my bearing) and was on the way to Saleng ...I used to go to school in Kulai but how Kulai has changed..crrrazzy traffic! Well, a u-turn put me back in the right direction :)

Deputy Director of Johor Education Dept-
Tn Hj Markom Giran closing the seminar.

The Heads of Panel from the state.

Azrina (right) gave an excellent presentation.

MGC Kluang Action Research Seminar

Date: 23 Oct 2010
Venue: SMK Jalan Mengkibol, Kluang

As the coordinator for judging, my task was to brief the judges and the participants. After a few postponements, the seminar finally took place. Congratulations to the winners!

Secondary Category:  1st:   Pn. Che Hasnah bte Nuh
                                  2nd:  Pn. Zaiton bintiDaud
                                  3rd:   En.Zulkifli bin Pungot

Primary Category:  1st: Pn.Maimunah bt. Juraimi
                             2nd: Pn. Wahidah bte Abdul Rahman
                             3rd: Pn. Maslia binti Darum

Judges: En Parmin, Pn Roshizan and Pn Khatijah

Seafood treat for my mentees

We had a great time at a seafood restaurant in Kg Melayu (terrible of me not to remember the name of the restaurant but it's just after the traffic lights if you are driving from town). After kerapu sweet sour, squid batter, tom yam, kai lan with salted fish we were all ready for home! Study hard Sahira, Farah, Syafiqah, Syazana, Siti Hajar, Syahira for the coming SPM!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Date: 25 Oct 2011
Operation D-Day -GC Gred Khas C Evaluation

Alhamdulilllah, the only word to describe my evaluation for Guru Cemerlang GKC. It is also the most appropriate word to describe my relief after it all... Got home and performed 'solat sunat syukur' as I was deeply touched by my students' spirit (5RC) and enthusiasm. Thanks for all your prayers and motivation students and friends. Thanks to the inspectorates for giving me plenty of opportunity to describe myself and what I do. As I've always said before to close friends, "It's not easy to be rahmah and to describe me!" Besides how do you  begin to summarise 24 years of teaching? No small task. Alhamdulillah for everything. The rest is up to Him...

***Couldn't go to the gym as planned though- slept the whole afternoon- dead tired..I deserved to sleep :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

46,000 visitors

Thanks to one and all for visiting my blog. You have motivated me to do more and to share more. I hope you have benefited from the sharing. Have a productive day ahead :)

'The Pearl' Notes

Click here to go to useful notes for teaching 'The Pearl'.

SPM Talk in SMK Agama Kluang

I was invited to give a talk to SMK Agama Kluang recently.  As always the students are always polite and eager to learn. All the best in your SPM!

SMK Agama students and Cik Rafkah, my x-student and their English teacher. 

Friday, 22 October 2010


Date: 20 Oct 2010
Venue: SM Sains Johor, Kluang

I was invited to my former school SMK Sains Johor, Kluang for the retirement  of my former principal, Tn Hj Nojumuddin (Pengetua Cemerlang JUSA C). Happy retirement sir. May you have good health and happiness always. It was good to meet some old friends and students. Nice of the girls to still remember me!!

Tn Hj Nojumuddin Abd Samad
Old friends!!

X-students- how they've grown!! All the best in your SPM!!

4S2 wonderful journals...

Well-done to the girls in 4S2 for diligently writing their journal and keeping them up-to-date. Keep writing!

PLAN J Meeting

Date: 22 Oct 2010
Venue: SMK Spg Renggam, Kluang

Mr Shanmuganathan (Principal Assistant Director, JPNJ) chaired a meeting to revise PLAN J for Forms 1-5 and also for primary schools. We broke into small groups and managed to produce a draft which still needs fine-tuning before distributing to schools. 

The From 4 and 5 group- Sumila, Maimunah,John, Yusof, Vasanthi, Rani and I

Sunday, 10 October 2010

5RC's story

The girls in 5RC did a great job of piecing a story from the newspapers. Congrats girls! I wanted to see how the students would react when given this activity compared to 5S1.  5RC consists of 35 students with  average to weak levels of proficiency. The only change I decided to make was  to appoint the better students (seven of them) to be group leaders for the seven groups. It's amazing how a simple decision like that could influence the students' behaviour. The selected leaders felt appreciated and they conducted themselves as leaders in the true sense of the word. As a result, the girls produced excellent writing pieces and I was very pleased to the say the least. Well-done girls!

Li Ching and her group.

Jing Wen and her charges.

Su Hui and Pei Ying presenting their story.

Poonjoley and Vaneswary trying their best!

Their master pieces.

'I like You' slips - a lesson on friendship

To round up a lesson on friendship, I used this activity in 5S1 recently. I've posted something on this last year I think. Use the search engine on the top left sidebar to look for it. It's an activity that I can't do without every year as and when I see fit because the results are wonderful and the ss are engaged in a meaningful task.  I must add though that this was a double period lesson. Here's the brief structure of the lesson:
  • write about 5-7 words from the song 'You've got a friend' by Carol King. Get ss to predict what the song is about (prediction)
  • ss listen to song and fill in a worksheet with gapped lyrics (intensive listening)
  • put ss in groups and ask them to list out the qualities of a good friend (speaking/writing)
  • call group reps to read their list and teacher writes the list on board (ignore overlapping ones)
  • finally get ss to rank the top five in the list in terms of importance (consensus-seeking)
  • wrap up (about 10 mins) with 'I like you slips' (reinforcement)
***A note on 'I like you slips' activity:

After a discussion on the qualities  of a good friend, get ss to write something NICE and POSITIVE about  their friends in the class. Prepare envelopes with ss names and lots of paper. You will see many ss taking  lots of papers (slips) to write. And if you dare, take part in the activity too. Have an envelope with your name and see what your ss will write!

Envelopes with ss names and plenty of papers.

Time to write something nice about my friends...

Allow ss to take as many papers- observe time limit of course..
Here are the slips I received - cross my fingers no one will hijack my blog and accuse me of gloating in  self-praise :) My comments in blue:

1. Thanks for your teaching for almost two years! =) Really appreciate it. Love you =) (I can live longer!!)
2. Hey teacher! Thanks for spending time with me on facebook. (what FB? o u mean FB yeah great conversations we had PY)  I appreciate it so much!!! Hope you're well with the things you are working on!!! Have a good rest before you move on =) Stay healthy and cute! (I know-like Doeramon some of you say)
3. Teacher: You spend a lot of time and spirit to teach us (meaning comes through hehe). This activity is very good. I can feel the effect of this lesson. Thank you. I hope that our class will go raya at your house. Thanks a lot... =)
4. Thanks for giving such a meaningful lessons today. It is really touched me and give me a deep thought. Thanks. (am glad...)
5. Puan Rahmah, Well, there is so much to say, too much to fit in here. You have been a very good teacher. I miss the days when we were in the car and you were sharing stories (even though I didn't talk much but I was really listening. Well, maybe cause I couldn't speak fluently that's why I kept quiet, but sometimes we should be a listener). Teacher, I hope you can be a friend, a friend who guides. (catch me on FB =) )
6. Teacher, thank you for this activity! I realise that how important friends are! You know I always think I'm alone before this activity, but maybe I will change my mind after doing this! I love you TEACHER! (my ss have feelings after all...)
7. Teacher, well, you are a good teacher. A very dedicate and faithful teacher. You just never failed to carry out your work as a teacher. I really admire and respect your commitment in teaching! =) May you continue to be patient in teaching and many lives will be touched by you! (touching this...)

Tell me what you think of the activity.

Teaching the simple past tense..

I don't know whether this is a good method but I decided to give it a try. Teaching 4S2 grammar is no easy task and no matter how many times you teach it, they still get them wrong in their compositions!! Funny isn't it? So the adage 'repetition is the mother of skill' has got to be true! REPEAT until they are blue in the face :) This is what we language teachers do all the time anyway... 
How the lesson went:

1. As a set induction to this lesson, I decided to give two minutes to all the students to fill up the board with any simple past tense verbs that they have all learned in the previous lessons. While they were doing this, I left the class (practically) and came back two minutes later. 
 2. The next step was to get ss to tell me the irregular verbs and to circle the verbs.
3. I put them in groups of four and asked them to select five verbs they like and take turns to TELL a story using the five verbs. SS tried their best despite still needing to write sentences down. They are not used to speaking activities so it takes a while for them to formulate sentences.
4. Get the groups to tell their story in front of the class. 

What do you think of this 40-minute lesson? Feedback welcome.

All the best in your SPM!

Programme: 'Kem Kecemerlangan SPM Felda Wilayah Segamat'
Date: 18 Oct 2010 (Saturday)
Venue: La Bella Resort, Mersing

I received a phone call from Tn Hj Jalil Satari, PPD Kluang to help give a  two hour talk to 60 SPM candidates under the Felda Wilayah Segamat programme. I've never heard of this resort but I managed to find it and was there 10 mins to 8 a.m. I must say the students were very attentive although a bit quiet. All the best in the coming SPM!

Tn Hj Jalil, Penolong PPD and I with students from SMK Kahang Timur, Kluang

Professional Development 4: Action Research

Date: 10 Oct 2010
12.45 p.m. - 2.30 p.m
Venue: Lab 1

Four teachers who conducted their action research this year - Anand, Murniyati , Azrimah and I shared our research with all the teachers as part of our professional development session.

My sharing session on a research on Idioms.

Murniyati presenting her action research in Chemistry.

Anand taking about his PJK action research.

Grammar and Vocabulary Module for Average and Slow Learners

Date: 9 Oct 2010
Venue: PKG Kluang

Fifteen teachers sat together to brainstorm and build two modules for use in 2011- Hafiz, Fuziana, Atifa, Komala, Nirmala, Kavitha, Azura, Izzuan, Muzaffar, Rose, Nurhazirah, Fariha, Rafkah, Farhan and yours truly. We collectively decided to build a module on grammar and vocabulary with a test item after every unit.  The modules are meant for average and slow learners in which we will control the structures to suit the levels of the target groups. We hope to train teachers to use the modules next year and also to collaborate with PKPSM to publish the modules for Kluang district. We are also considering publishing them under Panel Perunding Mata Pelajaran (PPMP) for the state. Thanks to En Mahyudin, Language Officer  PPD Kluang and all! I shall oversee the editing with Fuziana (GC from SMK Simpang Renggam) in November.

The Vocabulary group under me

The Grammar group under Fuziana