Playdohing to Keep Pre-Oral Jitters at Bay

Last year we shared a post on How to Beat the Pre-Oral Jitters? There we advised students who need an additional hands-on approach apart from reciting the oral doa to beat their pre-oral jitters. For these students, we suggested playdohing their way to keep the pre-oral jitters at bay while waiting for their turn to be oral assessed.

However, the 50 cents playdoh is a small container was so popular that it soon went out of stock soon after our post came out 😊. This year we could only manage to get these ones (see image). I got my daughter to buy them from her primary school bookshop for $2 each.

How does playdohing works?

Playdohing works when students do not look at the oral examiners while waiting for their turn to be called up by the oral assistant or time-keeper. They should focus instead on working on playdohing to create objects of their choices. This exercise has two effects on these students; firstly, it distracts them from worry incessantly, and secondly, it triggers them to be creative as their finger their way turning their playdohs into interesting artifacts. This pre-oral exercise will beat any pre-oral jitters and sets students’ minds into problem-solving mode with all the creative juice they have fed their minds with.

Playdohing to keep the pre-oral jitters at bay is not for everyone. We have identified only 5 students from our 3 Secondary 4 Express / Normal Academic (Out of Stream) classes this year. You can identify these students easily from your oral practices in classes. These students breakdown easily before and during oral practices (the extreme case) to those who manage anxiety from physical demonstrations like finger-tapping on the desk (minor case) during oral practices.

The O Level Malay Language Oral Examinations will commence next week. It is our wish that all O level candidates do well for their oral examinations. Good luck! Ameen

The Polytechnic-Junior College Conundrum

The polytechnic-junior college conundrum has been addressed quite extensively in the Internet to advise students what institution to choose for their post -secondary education. However, the misunderstanding among students and educators alike with regards to the Early Admission Exercise (EAE) into Polytechnic and the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE) applications has given this conundrum a new lease of life. At the heart of this unfortunate misunderstanding is this question:

Can I still apply for a place in a junior college via the JAE despite already securing a course in a polytechnic via the EAE application?

When we refer to the polytechnic EAE website here, it states the following:

Withdrawal

13. If I have accepted a Poly EAE offer but subsequently decide that I prefer taking part in JAE, what can I do?

Should you wish to withdraw your acceptance of the Poly EAE offer, you must submit your withdrawal online via the Poly EAE online portal no later than 16 October 2020. Students who have accepted a Poly EAE offer but do not withdraw by the deadline will be deemed to have confirmed their acceptance and will not be eligible to participate in the JAE and other polytechnic admissions exercises.

From the above statements, students and educators alike can be excused for thinking that students who are offered a polytechnic course via the EAE application can only participate in the JAE if they have withdraw this EAE polytechnic course by 16 October 2020. However, we need to be alert that the polytechnic EAE website can only speak on the behalf of matters pertaining to application into polytechnic and definitely not on matters pertaining to application into other education institutions.

This is evident when we refer to the JAE 2020 booklet (page 1) that reads below. Do note that the JAE 2020 Booklet is a publication from the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore that has jurisdiction over all applications into government-funded post-secondary education institutions (junior colleges, Millennia Institute, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Educations).

Eligibility to Participate

2.1 The following groups of students are eligible to participate in the JAE:

2.1.1 All Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SC/SPR) with valid GCE ‘O’ Level Examination results. However, any SC/SPR who was previously admitted to a JC, MI, Polytechnic, ITE1 should not apply for an institution in the same category through the JAE.

What does this mean? 
Students cannot apply for another course in a polytechnic via the JAE if they have not withdrawal their EAE polytechnic course by 16 October 2020 but they can still apply for any courses in JC, MI and ITE via the JAE.

So students can still keep their EAE polytechnic course beyond 16 October and consider applying for a place in a junior college via the JAE should they receive a favourable results in the O Level Examinations. They do not have to rush in making this decision.

Good luck!

Don’t Despair; Help is Around

Being a student is not easy. Not only that you have to contend with assignments and examinations, but you too are not saved from the brunt of difficulty when problems strike your family. I remember growing up I was always constantly looking out for community centres that offered bursary for needy students ever since my dad passed away when I was in Secondary 1 leaving behind my mom who had never work before in her life consigned to double shift work in a plastic factory to raise a family of three children.

And so, since Karangkutu is drawing record number of hits these past weeks because of the N & O Level Examinations, I thought of sharing this good news over Karangkutu so that more students get to know it.

The good news is that the Northeast Community Development Council is providing financial assistance scheme to help residents living in Aljunied, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Tampines GRCs, Hougang and Punggol East SMCs. Therefore, if your family are Singaporeans/PRs and have a per capita income not exceeding $800 (total family income divided by the number of family members), you may want to consider applying for the financial assistance by Northeast CDC.

The online application can be found here: https://go.gov.sg/necdc-assistance-schemes

Describing COVID-19 in Malay Language

As the circuit breaker eases in phases, we would like to continue impress upon our students the need to stay vigilant and maintain high personal hygiene as well as adhering closely to the safe distancing measures. This we do by getting our students to reflect on their practices and lessons they have learnt thus far during the circuit breaker. To facilitate this, we designed and included COVID-19 themed questions in the paper 1 preliminary examination for our graduating students. Click on the images below to view the questions.

Many students were caught off guard by the COVID-19 themed questions and a few of them did not manage to use the correct COVID-19 related terms in Malay Language in their emails and essays. As such, we took the opportinity to share the correct translation of these terms after the preliminary examinations. In this way, our students are more prepared to use COVID-19 scenarios in their emails and essays in the coming Malay Language Paper 1 O Level Examinations should the opportunitiy arises. We share the translation of these terms with you below. The slides can be found here.

More Students Earning Collectibles

We are glad to report that more students are now earning their Kami Pelajar A1 collectibles. This is a good sign as these collectibles are visual evidences to indicate that these students have attained good momentum and are on an upward trajectory leading up to their coming O Level Malay Language Examinations in June. Students appreciate it when their efforts are affirmed through these visual evidences and draw much psychological comfort to learn that they on the right track. These earned collectibles will spur them to continue working hard to earn the remaining collectibles and in the process prepare well for all the 12 examinable items in their O Level Malay Language Examinations.

Among them most notebly is Rabia who has earned 5 of the possible 12 collectibles. Rabia telah tawan Lautan Peribahasa, Taufan Kefahaman Subjektif, Belantara E-mel Tidak Rasmi, Cakerawala E-mel Rasmi dan Kehangatan Lisan. We humbly and sincerely pray that God blesses our effort and translate these collectibles into more students scoring distinctions in the coming O Level Malay Language Examinations, Allahumma ameen

Building Cross Cultural Understanding Towards Hari Raya Celebrations

It has now been a week into the month of Syawal. It is about this time in the past Hari Raya celebrations that I would start receiving requests from my former students wanting to visit me. This year the same cannot be said. It has been a quiet Hari Raya no doubt due to the virus outbreak. And in my moment of reminiscences of those wonderful times spent with my former students, I came across this Hari Raya video.

This Hari Raya video was created with the help of an extraordinry batch of former students a few years ago. It was meant to build cultural understanding towards Hari Raya celebrations and the etiquttes to follow when visiting Muslim homes during Hari Raya. We showed this video during assembly and it received good reviews. The video continues to be a useful resource for the purpose it was created. But for me now, it provides some comfort towards my longing heart wanting to see my former students again.

I hope that you enjoy the video. Selamat Hari Raya! Minal ‘Aidin wal Faizin.

Preparing Graduating Students for the EAE Application

The Early Admission Exercise (EAE) into polytechnic will soon open for our graduating students who will be sitting for their O Level Examinations this year. As we are all aware, the EAE is an aptitude-based admissions exercise that allows students to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission to polytechnics based on their aptitudes and interests prior to receiving their O Level Examinations results

While there are students who have made up their minds, many more are still unsure of what polytechnic courses to apply for. We help our graduating students ease the conundrum in two ways. First, we assist our students to think about what career they are passionate about in an oral activity based on the topic Menggapai Impian found in the Jauhari textbook for Secondary 2. This oral activity is a series of oral exercises we organise to help our graduating students build their oral competency to better prepare for the O Level Oral Examinations. Thus, this activity also helps achieve one of our students’ academic objectives.

This is the worksheet for the oral activity. We have received exemplary oral presentations from many students. We would have shared the best oral presentation in an audio file here had it not been that we are concerned our students may not feel comfortable with us sharing something that are personal to them. As we know, many students do not share openly about their ambitions.

Secondly, we help our graduating students work towards a successful EAE application with submitting an impressive EAE write-up that stands out. For this, we share a collection of EAE write-ups that we have collected over the years helping students write and polish up their EAE write-ups. The samples are good resources for graduating students to think about what everyday experiences they can creatively include in their write-ups. Aside that, they can take away some know-hows how to present their main info ‘jump into the eyes’ of the reviewers and not get buried because of poor organisation. The collection of EAE write-ups can be found here.

Our Recipe to Keeping Students’ Motivation High During Full HBL

At the start of the year, we did not anticipate there would a worldwide virus outbreak and we never heard the term circuit breaker being used before to name the strategy to stop the virus from spreading in Singapore.

In short, full home-based learning was remotely far from our mind. But now that we are in the midst of it, we are grateful that our collectibles have helped us keep our graduating students’ motivation high during the full home-based learning.

We document our journey employing our collectibles in teaching nd learning in the section and subsections of Kami Pelajar A1. Do check it out. Who knows you may like and consider our approach for your graduating class next year.

Let’s Fight It Together

The outbreak of COVID-19 virus has brought forth the best of humanity among Singaporeans. This selfless spirit we can see among our front-line essential services workers who quietly go about doing their jobs to make Singapore safe. At the same time, we have also seen a minority among us who flout the COVID-19 circuit breaker rules without any regard towards the safety of fellow Singaporeans. This unfortunate development has encouraged us to prepare another COVID-19 lesson package to inculcate in our students to love and care for Singapore and fellow Singaporeans. You can learn more this lesson package here.

Turning A Challenge Into An Opportunity

The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted lives. In Singapore, the circuit breaker has been extended to another month and likewise school closure would be extended for the same duration. However, the outbreak presents a valuable opportunity for us to educate in our students important lessons that they can learn from.

With this in mind, we have prepared COVID-19 lesson package for our graduating students where we organise oral activities around the theme Health is Wealth. These oral activities are designed to help our graduating students to build their oral competency to better prepare for the O Level Oral Examinations. You can learn more these activities here.