We Got Silver!

We are pleased to announce that TUTLA | The Card Game that Makes the Learning of Language Rules Fun! was awarded the MOE Innergy Silver Award 2020. This is the second time that we had won an Innergy Award. The first time was in 2018 when our reading app to help Normal Technical students to build their reading competency won the MOE Innergy Bronze Award 2018.

We thank God for His blessings and for giving us the inspiration and the capacity to develop these amazing teaching and learning resources. We are grateful that we have the support of educators who continue to help promote our resources to their students and the teaching fraternity so that our resources benefit a wider audience.

We are excited to share that we have submitted a Teacher-led Workshop (TLW) proposal to the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST) to hold a workshop next year to share how we used TUTLA in our classes. We are fortunate to get funding to produce TUTLA for participants who will attend the workshop. If you would like to own a set of TUTLA and are not able to attend the workshop, you can purchase a set from The Game Crafter. You can learn how to play TUTLA here where we will add more TUTLA gameplay in the future.

We Have Just Published Our Kami Pelajar A1 Collectibles

The collectibles gave Kalisya a sense of reassurance of her achievements and encouraged her to do even better.

We have just published our Kami Pelajar A1 Collectibles at The Game Crafter here. Educators can now purchase these collectibles and employ them with their graduating classes next year.

We use these collectibles to invoke positively our graduating students’ affective domain to give their best to attain distinctions during the June O Level Malay Language Examinations this year. You can find out how we designed and produced these collectibles, employed them successfully in a classroom and home-based learning environment, and what were our graduating students’ feedback towards these collectibles below:

Kami Pelajar A1
>Target Setting
>Criteria
>Charting Progress
>Recipients of Our Collectibles
>Students’ Feedback

We have submitted a proposal for the coming Teachers’ Conference 2021 and look forward to sharing our collectibles in a paper presentation. We will continue to employ these collectibles with our graduating classes next year and welcome any query from educators who would like to do likewise.

Adakah Makanan Melayu Sudah Hilang Kemelayuannya?

We share here Rifqi Aqil and Nur Sara’s video. They are our school’s Rakan Bahasa 2020 who produced this video for the NewsMaker Videos Competition as part of the Bulan Bahasa Melayu celebrations this year. This video was uploaded to the Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura Facebook Page last Monday.

The content of the video was inspired by an article in the Berita Harian newspaper written more than a decade ago when both Rifqi and Sara was about four years old. The article entitled Perteguh ‘Jati Diri’ Makanan Kita appeared in the Berita Harian on Saturday, 11 April 2009. This enlightening article was written by a senior Berita Harian writer Mohd Noor A Rahman who has gracefully provided us the original article below for our reference.

The issue highlighted by the writer is something that would not catch our attention as we go about in our fast-paced living. However, both Rifqi and Sara have decided to do a bit of research to see if there are really makanan Melayu yang sudah atau menghadapi risiko hilangnya kemelayuannya? While their findings are evocative, they do polarised opinions when we discussed this issue with our upper secondary students.

Among them, there are those who somewhat agree and disagree while a considerable number see this as a non-issue. These preliminary dip-stick survey findings are unexpected and we are keen to know more why our students feel this way. It would also be interesting to see whether there are any generational differences in opinion if we were to ask teachers and older members of the community for their opinions too. Interesting.

In short, this video and the article together with the issue that surrounds them have the potential to be a learning resource. They can be a topic for a student research project. However, we are thinking of something bigger than that that will galvanize all our Secondary 3 classes taking the Express syllabus next year.

The activity that we have in mind will be conducted as part of our Mother Tongue Fortnight Programme next year. In this way, our programme will shift away from traditionally exposing students to the Malay customs and culture to discussing critically their existential challenges in the coming decades. We have started this shift this year with an activity that has a similar intent.

Besides the activity will also help achieve an academic target. That is to get our students master the P.E.E.L. (Point, Elaborate, Example & Link Back) technique when presenting their arguments in an expository writing and during an oral presentation. The activity can be designed as a precursor to teaching the P.E.E.L. technique or as a reinforcement activity after teaching the technique.

In brief, the activity will take the form of a two-staged debate over an online platform and that will be followed up with a face-to-face debate. The online platform that we are considering is a simple discussion board. The online debate will engage every student to research and contribute their arguments but presenting them using the P.E.E.L. format. Their arguments will serve well as secondary resources for the selected team of four best debating members from the same class to use in the next stage of face-to-face debate. In this way, the success of the team can be contributed to everyone’s effort from the same class.

Another interesting feature of this two-staged debate is its three standpoints. In other words, three classes or teams can participate. They will argue one of the following standpoints: agree, disagree or this is a non-issue of the topic Adakah Makanan Melayu Sudah Hilang Kemelayuannya? Interesting isn’t it?

And we have our two Secondary 3 Express classes and one Secondary 3 Normal Academic (Out of Stream) in mind for this activity next year. We look forward to sharing our learning journey conducting this activity in a post next year. Hopefully, our students will benefit tremendously from this activity.

Pelajar Cemerlang Series 3

This year marked the third year of our video project where we invited students who scored distinctions in the recent June O Level Malay Language Examinations to share their recipes to success. The aim of this video project is to educate our upcoming graduating students on how best to prepare for their national examinations and to motivate them to work hard to give their best.

This year several students have agreed to share their recipes to success and you can view their sharing and sharing of past students here. We usually play these videos during the first lesson of the year to get our graduating students to start the year on the right foot. These videos serve as a trigger activity to get our graduating students to envision themselves in the shoes of the students in this video. At the end of the lesson, they are given the task to create a video of themselves sharing (a) how they felt when they first heard that they had scored a distinction in the O Level Malay Language Examinations and (b) what were their recipes to success.

The aim of this envisioning exercise is to stroke our graduation students’ emotions so deeply that they experience that rush of adrenaline that comes with success and hopefully, albeit brief and fleeting, this experience will motivate them to work hard to score a distinction for themselves too. We look forward to discussing in greater detail how we had used these students’ videos from the envisioning exercise we had this year to better prepped our graduating students just before they sat for their O Level Malay Language Examinations in June. Do look out for our future post on this.

Using Our Books to Better Support Learning

We provide our upper secondary students from the Express and Normal Academic streams a copy of our karangan and email books. This approach allows our students with better support when we teach our writing strategies. Our students are able to see how the strategies play out in the samples karangan and email in the book and model them when completing their writing assignments.

On this note, we encourage you to consider including our books in your school booklist for upper secondary Express and Normal Academic classes. Do raise your intention with the owner of your school’s bookstore and instruct the owner to contact us for supply. Do let us know early so that we can set aside supply for your school.

We have just sent the manuscript of our fourth book – Panduan Bacaan & Lisan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat N & O – for printing. We plan to provide our graduating students a copy of this book next year to better support them for their Oral O Level Examination. We are aware as educators that the oral examination is the third-largest mark component of the overall Malay Language assessment in the O Level Examinations. We believe that the book is a good investment for students who are working towards doing well for the Malay Language O Level Examinations.

You may want to include this book too in your Secondary 4 and 5 classes’ booklists. Do contact us should you be interested to do so.

No Teacher Should Be Left Behind

We have designed below 10 Teachers’ Day online wishes cards that you can choose from to express your appreciation towards your teachers for free. In this way, no teacher should be left behind from receiving your appreciation and well-wishes.

How to use them. You can post these cards on social media, tag them to your teachers if you know their social media accounts, and add your personalized message for them in your posts. Alternatively, you can email these cards to your teachers. You can find their email addresses from your school website. Or, you can text the link to the cards in an SMS or Whatsapp to them too. Whichever works best for you.

We would love to hear which card is your favourite in the comment section below this post. Remember, don’t miss out any of your teachers! Make Teachers’ Day a blessed day for rejoicing for them for all the hard work they had put in for you.

On the behalf of your teachers, I thank you in advance for your appreciation and well-wishes.

Celebrating Teachers

Teachers’ Day is an important occasion for my family. It is an opportunity for me to reinforce in my children the values of respect towards those who help develop their intellect and mold them into morally-upright individuals. To achieve this, I would ensure that my children have something meaningful prepared for their teachers as Teachers’ Day gifts. You will be surprised that with a bit of agency and creativity, you could come up with something that costs little to put together that your teachers will appreciate. Beyond that, for the younger ones, I went as far as to get them to rehearse scripted well-wishes they will say to their teachers when they present their gifts to them. All these are to heighten the significance of the occasion in my children.

This year, we decided to work with enamel pins. I got these rare pins costing two dollars each online that came in four colours but my children preferred them in red and black. The message on the apple-shaped pins reads:

I am a teacher. What is your superpower??????

We designed back-up cards with customized messages for individual teachers together. We wrapped the Teachers’ Day gifts in decorative plastic bags. What do you reckon? Do you like them?

I hope this sharing sparks off some interesting ideas you can consider as meaningful gifts for your teachers this coming Teachers’ Day. Do start early thinking about what you would like to give them. Do not forget your Malay teachers. They have been working hard to prepare you for your Malay Language O Level Examination last June. The results release is anticipated to be this Monday. Regardless of your results, do show your appreciation for all the good they have done for you thus far.

Preparing Students Psychologically for the Imminent ML O Level Results Release

What does a Japanese racehorse have anything to do with graduating classes and the Malay Language O Level results release. Who would have thought that there is a connection and a useful one too?

The Malay Language O Level results release is imminent. The release is anticipated with a varying degree of trepidations from many students, even those who were consistently doing well in assignments and are expected to do ace the examinations. They are the focus of our one-time lesson specially designed for the pre-Malay Language O Level results release.

The objective of our lesson is to psychologically prepare our graduating students when they receive their Malay Language O Level results. All of them have worked tirelessly for the past 18 months now. However, we adults are wise enough to know that life may not necessarily play out as how we plan it to be and we may not get in the end what we have strived hard towards to before. Our students are too young to know this and maybe too inexperienced to accept disappointment to bounce back stronger and focus on the next step.

The next step for our graduating students is the November O Level Examinations for their remaining subjects. They have to remain focus regardless of what is the outcome of their Malay Langauge O Level results. They can achieve this if they are able to take disappointment well and bounce back as soon as possible. However, we have seen over the years there would always be a few whom we had expected to do well lost a lot of time because they were sucked into a depression after receiving an unfavourable result. This lesson is for them.

What this lesson is not – and this is an important caveat – is that it is not for students who refuse to work hard from the start. They should not take what they learn from the lesson any respite for their poor results that were of their own doing. This has to be made clear from the start of the lesson. We do not want students to walk away from the lesson with any unintended message that may affect negatively how they approach work and challenges in life moving forward. We thank God that most of our students are highly motivated to work hard to ace their examinations except for a very small number.

Our special lesson is designed around a short film about a Japanese racehorse named Haru Urara. The video is available in Vimeo. The original lesson can be found here but we have made some modifications.

The most prominent modification is an activity called Dearest me that we have added at the end of the lesson. In this activity, students are invited to write a motivational note to themselves via Google Form using their handphones. These notes are for their eyes only and will not be shared with others. As such, they are expected to be sincere and upfront with what they wrote. Their notes consist of advice and words of motivation to themselves should they get unfavourable results, may God forbids.

We will text these notes to them after the release of the results. What better way to shake one up from a depression slumber than reading one own advice and motivation!

We encourage you to modify the lesson to what suits your students best. Good luck! Do share with us how you lesson went. We would love to hear from you. Cheers

Teaching Comprehension Question Types

We teach our graduating students systematically on how to ace comprehension exercises.

Our 5-step approach consists of teaching them (1) what makes up the structure of a comprehension passage, (2) how to annotate every paragraph in the passage, (3) how to match questions to answers in the passage, (4) what are the different question types and how to answer them, and (5) how to derive the meaning of selected vocabulary asked in the questions.

We share with you here resources we use teaching our graduating students the different question types for 5-mark comprehension questions. You’ll find our lesson recording above and the PowerPoint slides used in the lesson here useful. We hope you benefit from our sharing.

Happy 55th Birthday SINGAPORE!

We celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday amid a global pandemic. Despite these challenging times, Singaporeans from all walks of life find ways to help one another cope and make Singapore safe for all.

We have put together a video to honour this Singapore Spirit for our school National Day Programme this Friday. This is our contribution to our beloved nation, albeit insignificant compared to what others have done thus far. Nevertheless, we feel we must contribute to whatever measure we can.

We hope that you enjoy the video. Feel free to use it for your school’s National Day Programme too. Do forward the video link to your NE Coordinator or CCE HOD. We wish you a restful long weekend ahead.