Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Happy Holidays!

Time to rest and rejuvenate and spend quality time with the family.

We all deserve this much needed break!

May Allah accept our work and efforts in 2016. Ameen

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Teachers! Do you read?

Dear teachers, do you read? If you read, what do you read? 

I've always believed that what we execute in the classroom should be informed by what research says or what experts in ELT says. It is easy to fall into the trap of our whims and fancy. I choose to call this a trap because I'm guilty of it too! You know what I'm referring to....those days when you decided to dish out something interesting in the classroom because it got the students moving around and there was much fun and laughter but then when you sat down to reflect on it, you realised that it didn't have much of an impact as far as your lesson objectives were concerned! 

Lets' be honest; some lessons were jumpy and disconnected. Some lessons were conducted not based on the skills our students really need to master. They were sometimes one-off or done 'for a change' and only suited the day and the mood of the teacher. Hence we need to read more of the right kinds of materials that not only strengthen our skills but help us make good teaching and learning decisions.

It is advisable that English teachers also become a member of some teacher development groups to enhance their knowledge and skills- the kind of groups that let you grow and become thinking teachers. A thinking classroom cannot start without thinking teachers, if I may be so bold as to suggest. Through such groups, teachers can get the latest information on their trade, that's for sure. I know some of your reactions might be.."Owh! That's too high for me!" or "I'm not teaching the tertiary levels." but you'll be surprised how much you can gain from reading practical researches on teaching and learning. Even action research for that matter, although action research is not given the respect it should in the research circle and ELT books. If you're a coach, it is even more relevant because you are coaching teachers all the time and need to keep up with ELT developments. From research to training materials, you will get access to them by joining the right group and reading the right kind of materials online.

One such teacher initiative I'm proud to be a member of is Teacher Voices (TV), led by Ibu Flora Debora, Petra Christian University, Surabaya, Indonesia and the reputable Dr Willy Renandya of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore among others. The following description conveys the the groups' objectives.

'Teacher Voices: English Language Teacher Professional Development Group' is NOT a group for students and people who try to learn English as the group's main purpose is to improve teaching skills not English.

This is a professional development group for classroom TEACHERS, textbook WRITERS, curriculum SPECIALISTS, RESEARCHERS of ENGLISH Language Teaching or Applied Linguistics.

'Teacher Voices' aims to provide a platform for English language professionals from around the world to share and exchange teaching and research information and ideas.

Members discuss a wide range of topics such as curriculum and materials development, language teaching methodology, language learning theories, classroom management, teacher research and teacher professional development.

Members of this group are expected to engage in the discussions using FORMAL ENGLISH and avoiding the use of slang and colloquial language.

Please do not use this group for business promotion and self promotion. Please do not circulate any material which are copy right protected in this forum cause it is against the law.

If you would like to administer survey questionnaires, please assure our members of the following:
1. that the research has been cleared by relevant authorities in your universities / institutions (ethics clearance)
2. that you as the researcher will keep members' responses confidential
3. that you will share the results of the research with interested members

Irrelevant posts will be deleted and the users will be removed from the group.

It's time teachers read serious stuff, not just face book postings or the usual story books. Besides, you will get up-to-date information on conferences of your choice to hone your skills as a teacher. And we have friendly experts in TV to respond to your questions although I know some of (my) questions, being a school teacher, may seem a bit trivial :) But the choice is yours. I just feel we are not reading enough serious materials related to our profession. We spend hours on social media but very little time reading resource books and classroom research or at least read from educational websites. 

Here's sharing Dr Willy's upcoming book with (his permission of course). This book is very useful for SISC coaches too because you're in the business of coaching and mentoring teachers. 

(credit Dr Willy Renandya, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore)

Keep the passion burning!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 17 October 2016

Dancing in the Rain

The school is abuzz with our nomination for cluster school! Unusually busy. For what it's worth (heard there isn't much money in it now), we are doing our best to prepare for the verification process this week. This week? Yes, you read right. English has been chosen as the niche area. Everyone in the panel is trying to take it positively and after two weeks of stress, things have acquiesed and more smiles than glum faces are emerging :) They are not to blame. Who wants extra work?

What irked me most was the manner in which the news (the change from Mathematics to English) was conveyed to us. It was very HEARTLESS (I'm trying to choose a kinder word but couldn't find any) Would have been kinder to call all of us in the English Panel to explain the change first before dropping the bomb in the official telegram. Sheer lack of common sense especially when all the while it had been another subject. It was a Friday morning that those 'Gegar Vaganza' kind of posters found their way into the official telegram group and what ensued was very disappointing. There was silence after the team briefing in SMSJ followed by a wishy washy briefing a day later.

Am not going to be apologetic like I did before, blaming myself for English to be chosen. If others feel that way, too bad. What will I be doing? I will be dancing in the rain!

Am still doing things I did 25 years ago...sob sob sob

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 15 August 2016

Captain Nobody Forecast Questions 2016

As promised the forecast questions are ready!!! Thanks to Azriq Aiman and his students from SMA Al Maarif Kuantan for agreeing to collaborate in this project. May Allah bless our effort! If you intend to use the material, I only ask you to kindly credit this blog and the schools. I hope the material will benefit our students. 

***Please do bear in mind that this is students' work and therefore tbe tolerant of unintended mistakes :)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 1 August 2016

Score A+ SPM Talk

Date: 30 and 31st July 2016
Venue: Dewan Khalifah

Alhamdulilllah, we managed to organise this talk successfully! Heartfelt thanks to old friend, Annuar Tahar, Excellent Teacher from SMK Juasseh, Negeri Sembilan for sharing useful tips with 160 SPM candidates in SASEM. Thanks too to all committee members in the English Panel and PIBG for their help. May all students benefit from the talk.

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Science of Learning

I've always believed that teachers must be guided by what research says about teaching and learning. This is one wonderful article highlighted in a group I've joined. Thanks to Learning Innovation Circle ( and in particular Zaid Ali Alsagoff (, whose expertise is mind blowing!. FYI Zaid I've been very quiet because I just feel overwhelmed by the experts in your group. A small teacher like me who belongs to the baby boomers generation is still learning how to embrace technology in her classroom in small strides. Thanks also to Fazleen ( for accepting me into the group. 

Sometimes teachers make day-to-day teaching and learning decisions in the classroom based on their whims and fancy. Small wonder then the results achieved. It's time to change this by doing some reading on what research actually says before planning to teach. Enjoy the article below!


Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Captain Nobody: A collection of Forecast Questions and Evidence from 5 Khawarizmi and 5 Syafie

Hi all! My students in 5 Khawarizmi and 5 Syafie are in the process of answering and finding the evidence for fifteen forecast questions on 'Captain Nobody' in our preparation for the coming SPM exam. I'm inviting teachers from any school to add on to the evidence. All you need to do is download the material which I will download in my blog soon (am still editing them) and get your students to add  on the evidence that we may have missed. Email your students' contribution to The end product will then be a booklet with fifteen questions complete with solid evidence for our students to revise. Let me know your school so I can add your school's name to the booklet. Hope to hear from you!

A booklet my students made in 2013

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Professional Learning Community bil. 6/2016: Cooperative Learning Structures

Date: 19th July 2017
Time: 3.00-5.00 p.m.
Topic: Cooperative Learning Structures

Think teachers had a lot of fun during the session. Thanks to Kluang District SISC + , Pn Fuziana Ali, Hjh Nurmina Hj Rusli and Haji Yazif for conducting the session. The session focussed on practical cooperative learning strategies we can carry out in the classroom. From the feedback I gathered from random teachers, they learned interesting and practical ways to conduct group work in the classroom. However, they felt more time was needed as the second speaker was rushing to do her part. In sya Allah, will organise part 2 as soon as time permits. Thanks to all committee members of PLC and teachers for making this a success! 

My report is ready :)

Hjh Nurmina explaining a point

Terima kasih daun keladi! 

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 4 July 2016

Eid Mubarak!

Wishing You A Happy Eid with your family and friends!
Maaf Zahir Batin

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 1 July 2016

'A Poison Tree' with 5 As Syafie

Raya songs were already in the air! But at the corridor, the principal quipped, "Hajah, saya belum observe hajah..esok boleh?" Huh? Orang dah mood raya ni haha. The lesson took place on Wednesday anyway, yup, a day before the Raya break. Boy..was I at pains trying to give instructions in 5 As Syafie - they can be pretty rowdy especially when they are doing the gallery walk. You really have to be strict with instructions. However, overall the lesson was o.k. but my throat wasn't!

I was given 95% for this lesson. My principal said he couldn't give me 100% because it might be an issue with officers. Apparently, there was a teacher in a day school who was given 100% and officers were sent to investigate the matter! Knowing my principal, he will avoid that any cost :)  Told him no lesson is perfect and it's up to him what he thought I deserved. By the by, hubby got 98% in his day school and was happily teasing me on my 95%...perhaps he should be a guru cemerlang instead :)

You can find the lesson plan below. Try it. Your feedback is much appreciated :)

Gallery Walk and peer evaluation using 2 stars and a wish

Thank you for your comments! Will do better!

click on image to view

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Monday, 6 June 2016

Ramadhan Kareem

May you have a blessed Ramadhan and may Allah accept our prayers!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Happy Teacher's Day! (The STAR: Mentors Beyond Chalk and Talk, 15th May 2016)

Thanks to the STAR for featuring me today.  Happy teacher's Day to all teachers out there! Keep the passion burning!

You can read the article here.

My students in 5 Al Khawarizmi will be thrilled to bits!

(credit: google images)

Happy teaching!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 13 May 2016

JOHOR SBP Professional Learning Community

Date: 11 May 2016 (Wednesday)
Venue: SM Sains Sembrong, Kluang

Thoroughly enjoyed myself doing this PLC. I could feel that adrenaline rush after years of not training teachers and gave it my all. This was a PLC for English teachers for the eight residential schools in Johor namely, Sekolah Tun Fatimah, SM Sains Muar, SM Kota Tinggi, SM Sains Johor, SM Sains Batu Pahat, SM Sultan Mahmud Iskandar Mersing and SM Sains Sembrong, Kluang (hope I didn't miss anyone!) Glad to be able to share for our professional development. My principal whispered that this will be an annual affair in sha Allah....SBP Johor should collaborate more and share materials and expertise. In this session we relooked assessment for Continuous Writing, dabbled in a bit of item-building, shared our programmes in school and looked at HOTs items in the SPM past years papers. 

Some of the programmes run by the schools were English in Camp, Public-Speaking, DEAR, Lesson Study, and performance-based extra classes. I was pleased when STF attributed its success in the 2015 SPM (GPS 0.93) to the setting system and journal-writing :) especially so with journal writing as I've been promoting this to my panel for years. Some times, it takes others to convince us of the benefits of something :)

Congrats to all teachers who were present! 

Happy teaching!

A teacher from SM Sains Sultan Mahnud Iskandar, Mersing sharing best practices in his school

Good to see many young ones eager to learn!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Listening and Speaking: Form 1 Qayyim and 1 Kathir

This is a must activity that I will carry out if am teaching lower secondary. The students obviously have a lot to improve on when it comes to speaking English but I'm proud of them all the same. It was all their work with minimal help from me. I only provided them with some guidelines:

  • imagine your Fantasy Island and draw it
  • what would you like to have on the island and why
  • why is your island special compared to others
  • present it in class
And my cute little kiddos came up with....

Our island has a chocolate river where you can have chocolate every day!

Group 4....the winner! Love those food..these kids are hungy all the time!

hmmm...two dimensional

However difficult it is..let them speak!

1 Kathir boys in action


Happy teaching peeps!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

What happened to Lulu in 5 As Syafie today

Date: 4th May 2016
Double period

In view of the coming mid-year exam next week, I decided to carry out some beyond the text activities based on the poem "What has happened to Lulu?" My students surprised me with their response particularly the telephone conversation between Lulu and her mother! The following is the rough lesson plan:


     (5 mins)
1.    Write one word to describe Lulu.
Post-it notes
2.    Sequencing the poem
     (10 mins)
2.    Sequencing the poem
Strips and envelopes
3.    Role-play
     (50 mins)
3.    A telephone conversation between Lulu and her mother
4.    Game
     (10 mins)
4.   Wheel of Fortune
Post it notes
Score keeper

For the role-play, provide the following situation:


Three weeks have passed and nothing has been heard of Lulu. 
Infact, she has found somewhere to live, made new friends and 
found a job. She decides it is time to phone home. Why? She 
doesn't intend to return yet. How will she feel as she dials?
 What is her mother 
doing when she calls? What is her reaction?

The students were given about 30 mins to prepare the telephone conversation. I need to compress the files first before uploading...perhaps in another post :)

Here's the link to the powerpoint I used.
Happy teaching!

One group was able to rearrange the strips correctly based on the poem...quite challenging!

Mind the dirty board! It could not be erased due to permanent ink...

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Friday, 15 April 2016

Resources for Poem: What has happened to Lulu?

Here are some links I found on the Form 5 poem "What has happened to Lulu?"

Happy teaching!!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Saturday, 9 April 2016

21st Century Learning tools

Finally got time to do these an effort to keep up with 21st century learning. After this will be the laminating process and into the classroom in sha Allah! 

You can click here for the files. 

Happy teaching!

Thanks Jenny Ho for sharing this :)

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Congrats to the 10 panels that successfully carried out Lesson Study and Teacher Sharings in Cycle 1! In Cycle 1 (Jan- March) the teachers really scored big because a total of 10 panels completed their Lesson Study. Besides LS, some panels also managed to do Video Critique and Teacher Sharings. Although there is still some fine-tuning that needs to be done with LS, the fact that the teachers had managed to carry it out is an achievement in itself.

Well-done teachers! Look out for PLC 4 where we have a mass session in which panels can share their experience in carrying out LS.  Sasem awesome!

I've been busy school and I'm happy to do what I'm supposed to be doing for my students and teachers :)

Happy teaching!

Additional Maths






Teacher sharing: using the SMARTBOARD by elective subjects

Pendidikan Agama Islam

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Visit by Sakura (SM Sains Kucing Utara)

I just have to blog today after such a long break! First up, SAKURA visited us last week, precisely on the 6th April. SAKURA is as 'young' as my school but their achievements are truly inspiring. At such a tender age, the school has already shot up to no.8 in the SBP rankings. It is we who should be bench marking them and learning from them! Anyway, I was tasked to share our PLC programme and I hope I didn't disappoint anyone :) Thank you for visiting us and we hope to emulate you!

One for the album!

Yours truly, my principal on my right and on far right Dr Norisah, principal of SAKURA

The briefing...

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

Saturday, 27 February 2016

11-week English Language Programme in Brunei and Hawaii

Here's a professional development programme just for you! Do apply peeps. Closing date is in April.

Happy teaching!

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH

PLC and Lesson Study

Radhika took the students for a tour
for the set induction..a novel idea!
Alhamdulillah, we had two observations and lesson studies last thursday. The first was conducted by Radhika in 1 Majah and the second was Nash's class in 3 Sina. Both of them did a wonderful job and everyone in the panel gave their support. My utmost thanks to Nash for agreeing at the last minute to have observation and lesson study at the same time. He must have been under a lot of pressure but in all honesty, he was God-sent!

This young teacher has a lot of potential and is serious about his work. I've been waiting for a long, long time for such a teacher. It was just heart-warming. English is not dead after all!!! Granted, many prepare extra hard for an observation class but that's absolutely fine. Do what you have to do to get a good mark and Nash did just that. He executed the lesson so well especially his set induction and a creative way of making students come forward to participate. The only part that could have been improved was by not having too many activities after the paragraphs were written and displayed. The error-correction part could be another single period I felt, but all in all it was a well-thought out lesson. During our post-visit discussion, everyone had something positive to say about both lessons. Focusing on the plus points was a good way to start.

The picture on 'gotong-royong'
 that Nash used in his lesson :)

As a senior teacher, the lesson reminded me of myself preparing for an observation (I'm still observed twice a year) It also reminded me of the many classes I had to observe in my teaching career and there are indeed many stories to that I remember vividly was that of a not-so-young teacher who coolly sat down while observation was taking place in her class. I blamed myself for the lack of respect she showed to me. Perhaps she had wanted an administrator to do the observation not an excellent teacher.

I  wish this young teacher the very best in his career. More often than not I encounter those who fizzle out after being posted to school- young grads who are roaring to go so to speak but somehow end up 'stunted' or 'lost' by external factors? I pray that he keeps his focus in teaching and not be swayed by co curricular responsibilities (seen too many) and other non-teaching responsibilities for the simple fact that we need good teachers in school for our children. We owe it to them!

Enjoy the picts.
Kudos to the both teachers and the English panel!

Happy teaching!

Nash' class - writing a speech

Radhika in action- the simple present tense

Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH