What a Box of Surprise!

Wow! We didn’t expect the prototype for our Professional Learning Team (PLT) project next year to look this good. What is our PLT project all about? We will make the announcement when the time is right. You’ll be excited to know what we are working on. For now, let’s keep it under wrap. We will proceed to order 40 sets of this prototype from the Game Crafter for our graduating students next year.

Our Start Right Programme

We engage our Secondary 3 Express and Normal Academic (Out of Stream) students to utilize their end of the year holidays well so that they will have a head start when school reopens. These students barely have five months before they sit for their Malay Language O Level Examinations next year. We thought of sharing this with you should it benefit you as well.

Upcoming Workshop for Teachers

We are pleased to announce of an upcoming workshop for teachers above. In the workshop we will discuss the literary moves in every paragraph of our signature descriptive writing strategy. In addition, we will demonstrate the three-pronged pedagogical approach that we employ when teaching the strategy to our upper secondary classes.

The workshop is primarily organised for teachers who use our books Contoh Karangan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat N & O when teaching our writing strategy. Participants who are selected for the workshop will enjoy better clarity of our strategy and how best to use our resources both the books and videos/worksheets that we provide via the password protected spaces in our website.

We will also be addressing any query regarding our narrative and expository writing strategies during the Q&A session. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Please register early via https://tinyurl.com/registermepls. The maximum number of places is 30. We will close the registration once we have reached this number or by Mon 28 Oct 2019, whichever is earlier. We will inform you via e-mail at least a week before the workshop if you are selected for the workshop.

We look forward to see you at the workshop. Cheers : )

Happy Teachers’ Day

Our best wishes definitely go to all educators for their dedication in educating our young.

However, this year Teachers’ Day I would like to share an anecdote. It was an encounter I had with a ML teacher at a mosque for Friday prayer many years ago. I first knew this teacher when I was at MOE HQ and I have the upmost respect for him. It was in the month of Syawal and hari raya was just a week old. So naturally we talked about hari raya and in particular about having students visiting our homes.

What struck me during the conversation was about what he said of students under our charge. Till this day his words remain in my mind and has been a constant reminder for me to be a grateful servant. The teacher informed me that he would make sure that he invited all his students to his house for hari raya and treated them well when they came. When I asked him why take such trouble? His reply was unexpected but devastatingly cut deep.

He said: Para pelajar kita ini ada pundi-pundi rezeki kita. Melalui merekalah Tuhan memberikan kita rezeki. Tanpa mereka, tak tahulah dari mana datangnya rezeki kita.  

I was taken aback when I heard this.

So as we educators celebrate Teachers’ Day today, I would like to take this opportunity express my sincere gratitude to all my students past and present for being the best students I have and more importantly for overlooking my shortcomings and continue to be the pundi rezeki for me and my family.

Among all my students, the lovely bunch in the video above always draw a smile from me every time I watch this video. They were from my best cohort who produced our school best ever distinction passes the year they sat for their O level examinations. They acted and produced the video as a video project submission for our rentas cipta lesson to expose and get students interested in Malay folklore (cerita rakyat).

Check out the video. I am sure you would enjoy it as much as I did!

Terima kasih kepada semua pelajar cikgu!

Would You Like To Observe How We Conduct Flipped Classroom?

We have received queries from teachers on how we carry out flipped classroom when teaching students our writing strategy. As such, we have decided to allow teachers to observe our flipped classroom lesson online via padlet.

In this lesson we are teaching a class of 11 Sec 3 Express students our narrative writing strategy. The lesson is on-going for the next few weeks. In these past four lessons, we have taught our student how to identify the question expectation and how to write their two-part story based on a theme they have chosen.

We challenge students to think of two-related themes for their story plot and we are amazed at what they have done. In the padlet you will find at this moment raw students 2-part stories that need polishing up after our feedback during class yesterday. The students are expected improve their 2-part stories based on our feedback by this Monday.Then after we will proceed with teaching students how to write the introductory section of the narrative essay.

If you are keen to see what happens in our flipped classroom lesson online and how our students progress in their learning, you can visit this padlet page from time to time. Do sms me or drop me an email for the link to the padlet page. We will be happy to share it with you. We hope that you will benefit from our sharing and a have your very own successful flipped classroom lesson too.

Note-taking Versus Note-making

We get our students to write their own notes.

We do this because primarily we want our students to make sense of what they learn in our lessons. In the past we provided our students with notes that we wrote on the whiteboard, present them on powerpoint slides or print them on handouts. However, we soon learn that this approach only makes learning passive and transfer of knowledge difficult.

Secondly, we insist our students to write their own notes so that they have ownership. Their notes are unique as what they take away as key points from our lessons differ because of their prior understanding and knowledge vary.

However, Rick Smith has taught us that self note-taking even if ended up with good notes is not necessarily enough for effective learning. We learn that self note-taking can be a passive learning endeavour too. Rick offered us the idea of note-making and showed us that note-making is more active and focused activity where students assimilate all information they have written and take understanding to a (meta) higher level. He shared with us a number of note-making activities and we use them after we have taught a body of knowledge to help our students consolidate what they have learn from their notes.

Below are several note-making activities that we have used in our lessons apart from the one shown in the video above:

Summary

We carried out this note-making activity as a whole-class approach. We started the summary by writing the first two sentences on the whiteboard. Students were invited to contribute two sentence to the summary but writing their second sentence only after their peers had added their first sentences. Students had to ensure that their sentences provided a good flow to the structure of the summary for easy understanding. At the end of this activity, students were invited to review the summary to critique and query each other contributions.

Slogan

Student has to derive the essence of a body of knowledge taught and turn it into one short phrase or a slogan. A good slogan is memorable and durable. When a good slogan occupies prime real estate in a student’s subconscious, it aids the student to recall the body of knowledge he or she had learnt.

Questions!

We used this note-making activity as an exit pass for students to leave the class at the end of our lesson. We started by asking students to select only three facts out of the many things that they had learnt from our lesson and come up with a corresponding question for each fact. Students were then invited to stand up and approach other students (one at a time) to trade a question that they had come up with earlier. At the end of the activity, we asked if there was any question that the students were not able to answer correctly at their first attempt. This allows us to surface student’s misconceptions and address them immediately.

Translation

This note-making activity is useful as a starter activity when we have a body of knowledge to teach. We used this activity when we had to teach students a list of peribahasa or proverbs. We divided the class into groups and assigned each group to translate the meanings of selected set of peribahasa into English. To our amazement, the students were deeply engaged that we saw them taking turn to teach the peribahasa and correcting each other translation. This activity allows students to develop their baseline understanding of the peribahasa before we start teaching them to students

Acronym

We employ this note-making activity when we require students to bring into memory procedural knowledge. Students has to first derive key ideas of a body of knowledge taught before they could encapsulate them into an acronym. As with slogan, a good acronym is memorable and durable, and it is a effective tool to help students recall key ideas of what they had learnt.

We encourage you to try these note-making activities with your students. Good luck!

ANOTHER MUST-HAVE BOOK: Contoh Karangan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat O

This is the twin book to our earlier book, and this is a must-have book for teachers and students preparing for the O level exams. A real gem! If you like to own a copy, please sms 81213129.