Monsters in a Box!

Finally our Mini Monsters has arrived all the way from the US!

We were waiting for this throughout the school holidays. The wait is now over and it is worth waiting. The final product just looks amazing! We can’t wait to try this teaching and learning aid with our lower secondary classes.

Oh btw, the Mini Monsters is an oral guides we designed to help warm our lower secondary students to our oral strategies. We’ll discuss more about what it can do in the Mini Monsters Oral Guides page in due time.

We have not made our Mini Monsters Oral Guides public by publishing it in The Game Crafter for anyone who would like to buy it but we hope to do that soon and announce it in the Mini Monster Oral Guides page.

If you have any query about about this amazing teaching and learning aid, do drop us an email.

CROSS THE LINE ~ The Target Setting Activity Visually!

Our PLT project this year is the Saya Pelajar A1 Collectibles which we introduce to our graduating class who will be sitting for the Malay Language O Level Examinations in June. We use these collectibles as a teaching resource to invoke our students’ affective domain in order to motivate them to work harder to achieve distinctions in their O Level Examinations for Malay Language.

Details of our journey in coming up with these collectibles can be found here. We documented our journey in the longest ever post we had written. Happy reading! We hope that you gleam useful lessons from our experiences. : )

The above is the first lesson of our PLT project. The lesson is called ‘Cross The Line’. ‘Cross The Line’ focuses on helping students to set targets for their Malay Language O Level Examinations in June, identify possible challenges and solutions to overcome those challenges, and finally learn from alumni who scored distinctions in the previous Malay Language O Level Examinations.

This first lesson is the first of five installments where we will repeat segments of the first lesson again throught the first semester before our students sit for their O Level Examinations for Malay Language in June. We do this so that our students are often reminded of their targets and can track their progress visually. Puzzled? Just check out the video and you can find more details here.

And finally, if you would like to carry out this PLT project with your graduating students this year, do get in touch with us. We would love to learn from you!

Pelajar Cemerlang Series 2

This is the second series of videos where some of the students who scored distinctions in the June ML O level exams volunteered to share their success recipe. The videos serve as good motivation resources for future graduating students working towards ML distinctions. You can view all the videos here; https://karangkutu.com/pelajar-cemerlang-series/

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.

A Tribute to Singapore

We learnt a lot about Singapore’s 700 years of history from putting together this video for our School’s National Day celebration. In addition, the multimedia sensory experience at the Fort Canning Centre brings to life key moments in Singapore’s transformations as well as historical figures that played crucial roles in them. Our students only knew some of them to begin with. Thus, they gained useful knowledge about the past that makes what Singapore is today from the trip to the centre.

This realization set us thinking about students who did not have the opportunity to visit the Fort Canning Centre. While the video above provide them a glimpse of what they could have experienced there, what else can we do?

The BigS | Bicentennial Singapura Card Game
For this we have created a lesson package building around a card game that we have designed with the objective to educate students some of the (perhaps, lesser known) historical figures and the transformative events that had helped shape Singapore. The card game is called BigS | Bicentennial Singapura. The card game is played like the card game Fikir-fikir. Many Malay teachers may have a few sets of Fikir-fikir card game in their schools and could have used them in their lessons before. Essentially, like Fikir-fikir, students are expected to guess the historical figures or the transformative events in Singapore’s long history from hints made available on the BigS cards.

The lesson consists of two parts; the preparatory and the game play.

The Preparatory
The preparatory takes place in the last 20 mins of the previous lesson where students work together to prepare the cards with templates provided here. Students needs to have some stationery, namely scissors, glue and some drawing block papers. Next, the cards are distributed among the students with the task of finding the appropriate hints (5 words or phrase) for the figures or the events stated on their cards. To find the hints, they need to view as homework all the videos in the playlist here: https://tinyurl.com/SGBicentennial. This playlist contains 23 short videos about segments of Singapore 700 years history courtesy of the Singapore Bicentennial YouTube Channel. This homework is a prerequisite to build students’ prior knowledge to play the card game.

The Game Play
The game play takes place during the next lesson. The teacher starts the lesson by getting students to arrange their seats in a continuous line. Each seat represents a point in Singapore’s 700 years historical timeline. Without showing their cards to their peers, students will work their way to find the appropriate seat to represent their places in the Singapore’s historical timeline. Once the students have settled, they will take turn – starting with the first in the timeline – to explain the hints on their cards for other students to guess correctly the figures or the events stated on their cards. Whoever guesses correctly gets to keep the card. Before giving the card away, the student who prepared the hints has to share a summary about the figure or the event and why it plays a transformative role in Singapore’s history. At the end of the game, student who has the most correct guesses (or most cards collected) wins the game. It sure gets the class excited if the teacher presents something nice as a token for the winner. Try it and let us know how your students feel about the lesson.

The BigS | Bicentennial Singapura Card Game

How To Beat That Pre-Oral Jitters?

Cikgu, when I’m nervous I forget everything.

All too often we hear this remark from a handful of students who suffer from pre-oral jitters while waiting in the examination hall for their turn to face the oral examiners. The sight of the two oral examiners whom they have not seen before and anticipating their turn in fear not knowing how will they do in front of these strangers is understandable. So how do teachers advice students suffering from pre-oral jitters?

Pre-oral jitter is like stage fright and it hits even a seasoned entertainer. Some students suffer from pre-oral jitters even though they have prepared well for their oral examinations.

Traditionally, we encourage students to get into the habit of reciting the doa Moses was taught when he met Pharaoh every time during oral practices and more so during oral examinations.

My Lord, expand for me my breast (with assurance). And ease for me my task. And untie the knot from my tongue. That they may understand my speech.

Wahai Tuhanku, lapangkanlah bagiku, dadaku. Dan mudahkanlah bagiku, tugasku. Dan lepaskanlah simpulan dari lidahku, supaya mereka faham perkataanku.

This oral doa has a tremendous therapeutic effect to calm students’ nerves and improves their self-confidence during oral examinations. In the past we have seen its impact on students who worked hard but stutter since young. However, they performed well during the national oral exams bagging distinctions.

Nevertheless, there are students who need an additional hands-on approach apart from the oral doa to beat their pre-oral jitters. For these students we provide them each a small container of playdoh (see above). The container is no bigger than a lens of a spectacle that students can easily carry in their pockets. The playdoh is in a set of 12 multicolored short strings.

We advise these students not to look at the examiners while waiting for their turn to be called up by the oral assistant or time-keeper. They should focus instead on working on their playdohs creating 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 feed their minds with.

I have got my daughter who is a primary school going pupil to buy the playdohs for me from her school bookstore. It costs me only 50 cents each. The playdohs are meant for 1-2 specific students who need the extra help to beat their pre-oral jitters.

Would this work for your students too? Why not send the link to this post to your students’ Whatsapp group chat?