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Hi, everyone! I have finally managed to write something. I hope 2017 will bring many great things for all of us!
-TM, 2nd February 2017

Monday, January 30, 2012

KSSR Year 2: Listening & Speaking (Animal Sounds)

   Two posts in a day! Rajin pulak I, haha.

   As I have mentioned in my last post, I am teaching one Year 2 class. Since KSSR was first launched last year (2011), this year's Year 2 pupils are the first ones to follow the KSSR. I have gone for a course on KSSR when I was in my training institute, but it was merely a brief introduction and though it helped, I am still a little hazy about the whole thing. Thankfully I have some notes given by our very kind lecturer Madam Is.

   I prepared this lesson by following an example provided in the KSR Year 2 Teacher Guidebook. I am not sure if what I have done is right, but as I told you before, I was not able to carry this lesson out. If anybody is currently teaching Year 2 pupils and would like to try this lesson out, I welcome you to use my idea and please do come back and tell me how it when. I'd love to know.

Subject: English
Level: Year 2 KSSR
Skill: Listening & Speaking
Topic: Animal Sounds

You will need:
 Flashcards of animals
Audio files on animal sounds


Set Induction: Talk to pupils about their favourite animals. If they do not know the English word for it, ask them to say the name  of the animal in their mother tongue. Then tell them the English version and make sure they repeat after you.

Step 1
1. First show pupils pictures of animals. Tell them the names of the animals and ask them to repeat after you. Go through all the picture you have.
2. In the second round, ask the children to make the sounds of each animal.

Step 2
1. Play the animal sounds, one by one. In the first round, ask them to guess what animal it is.
2. In the second round, play the sounds again and this time tell them the animals that make the sounds. repeat as necessary.

Step 3
1. Distribute the worksheets.
2. Explain to the children that you will play one animal sound. They must try to guess which animal makes the sound and write the number '1' on the box next to the picture of the animal.
3. After they have done that, play the next sound. Go through the sounds one by one and let them write the number before playing the next sound.
3. Check the answers with the whole class.

I believe this lesson is quite simple. If you try this out, do let me know, and  I'd love to hear you suggestions on how to make the activities better, more interesting or more suitable for lower/higher ability pupils. Thank you! I hope you enjoy this post!

RULE NUMBER ONE: Teachers MUST Like Their Pupils

   So begins my life as a teacher.

   I have spent 5 days in service at SKST. There is so much that I do not know. So much that I must learn.

   I received a temporary timetable on the second day I was here. Apparently, I was sent to SKST because I was supposed to fill in an empty spot left by a teacher who was supposed to report here earlier this year, but never did (she got a transfer to another state). Mr L's words were, "We are so happy to get an English teacher. We need another female English teacher." I feel wanted. Hehe.And needed.

   I was assigned to take over the classes which were supposed to be taken by the Teacher Who Never Came. Three Classes. 2D. 3Z. 4D. You'd better remember them since I predict i will be talking about them a lot. A LOT.

   Each grade is streamed into two classes- the Z classes for the higher ability pupils and the D classes for lower ability ones. You may have noticed that I go two D classes. It's all right! I thought It is best to start with the more difficult classes. You learn and gain more experience that way.

   I want to talk 2D.


   The first time I entered their class, they managed (or I managed to make them) stay in their seats. New teacher alert. (Nearly) all was good.

   The second time I entered was two period before the final bell rang. They were already wearing their bags, ready to go home. They yelled, kicked, ,banged the desks and simply ran amok. The Silent Treatment did NOT work. I began to get a foreboding of doom. Grey clouds. Heavy rain. I was determined. When I next entered, I would be strict. Garang. These children need to learn that I was in charge. I prepared for battle.

   Every time I talked to my friends or other people, I would describe the horrors that these children had presented to me. 2D this. 2D that.

   The third time was yesterday. I'd received the permanent timetable and I was ready to rock these kids' socks. In short, it was a total flop. A huge disaster. I went back to the staff room and brooded at my table.

   Mr L happened to be there, so I started talking to him. He's my mentor, so I told him all about it- how my planned activities never got carried out because the children would not listen to me... and so on. We talked about it for quite a while. I was down in the dumps and not ready to climb back to the top. Though I nodded in agreement to what Mr L said, the words did not enter my heart.

   Then, Mr L said something that struck me right at the core of my heart. It was such a simple statement, but it shocked me right back into existence. He said:

   "You must enjoy (being with) the children. Then you will enjoy the class."

   Realisation flooded into me. I was dumbstruck. Just with those words, I began see things clearly. It was as if a door had been unlocked and I was walking out of it, meeting sunshine and fresh air and all good things.

   I had made a mistake. When I was at SKP, however bad things were, I knew that I loved and cared for the children. They were special. I did not only want to teach them and help them learn, I also wanted to be their friends.

   With 2D, I had fallen into a trap I fell into the Teacher vs. Pupils trap. It was me against them.

   It should have been me AND them. Teachers and Pupils. I had set myself apart, and I did not try very hard to remember all their names. I did not even think about  whether I liked  them. Whoever they were, I just wanted to teach. It was wrong. I was wrong.

   Today, I entered and smiled. I joked, and laughed and teased. I began to learn their names, and I could feel that I liked being there. Let me tell you it was no a total success. We're a long way from there. However, I think whatever happens, I won't want to stop trying. These children are special. They need my attention, and my help. I want to look forward to going  to class. I don't want to dread the thought of meeting them every day. In order to execute change, I must change. It starts with me.

   2D, let me be your teacher. Let me be your friends. Let me into your world. Let's make learning fun, shall we?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

5 Rules in English Class

   [UPDATE: Rules for Year 2 & Year 3]

   I've yet to write about my school, but I've been a bit occupied recently so I hope this post will do for now.

   Remember the '6 Rules' thing that I posted about last year? Well, I never did get around to carrying them out so I could not update you on the results. However, I'm quite determined that I'd do it for at least one of my English classes at SKST. I fact, I've already started it for one of my classes. Here are the rules:




   Since my pupils are all Muslims, it seemed appropriate for Rule Number 1 to be set. Technically speaking, they are NOT all exactly rules, but I believe they will help in setting some sort of goals for the children to achieve. Besides, it'll help them memorise some lines in English, and get them used to the idea of actually using the language.

   I'm currently at home and will be returning to GM tomorrow, Insya-Allah, If I have time, I'll write a bit about some more stuff later. TTFN.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Posting: More on JPN Briefing

   After spending 3 days at school, I am back. At home. Yes. Yes!

   Anyway, to continue the news on posting, I thought I'd write with more details on the JPN briefin. you people who hope to be posted to Kelantan may want to take note since the procedure and all might just be the same.

   The briefing was held at Dewan Bestari. Pink building. Next to an orange building. Ground floor. We signed our names before going into the hall. They did not ask for any documents. My friends Shima, Ipah and I wore blazers, just in case, but it wasn't really necessary. Parents were allowed to go into the hall, so my Mum sat with other parents at the back of the hall.

   The briefing started off with a long introductory speech from some important person. He spoke of thigs like how important our job was, how lucky we were to be placed in Kelantan since it's  so hard to get in, you get the idea. He also put a lot of emphasis on how ENGLISH teachers were placed in ONLY RURAL AREAS since we were needed there. He mentioned it a few times. In fact, pretty much everybody who spoke in front mentioned this little interesting fact. The first place they filled up with new teachers was the 'jajahan' (district) I was sent to. GUA MUSANG. Yeahhhhhh. Yay for me (coughs).

   The second speaker also spoke about similar things, after which he officiated  the ceremony. We were like, what??? Baru nak rasmi? Bila nak bagitau dapat sekolah mana ni? The secondary school people already knew where they were posted to, since the name of the school was listed beside their name when they registered. W primary school people fidgeted an sat on the edge of our seats, giggling nervously.  Thank goodness nobody went hysterical.

   Finally, they started calling our names. We went to the front, received our placement letters and our fates were sealed. From the 9 TESL girls from my training institute, 2 were placed in Gua Musang (guess who one of them was. I'll give you some sweeties if you get it right), 1 in Jeli and the other 6 in Kuala  Krai.

   After that, they called out the names of the schools and the Heads of each school came out to meet their new family member(s). Two of my friends were posted to the same school! Lucky them. My Head didn't come (okay that sentence makes me wanna crack up), but the PK HEM (Senior Assistant Teacher for Student Affairs) did, and he was (and is) a very, very nice man. He's in his fifties, and is going to  retire in about 3 years, I think. Mr L. Mum came and sat with us, and he kept telling her not to worry, that SKST (my school) was the safest, most comfortable school there is. He said, "Oghe2 situ jughus2 blako." (The people there are nice people). Did I mention that Mr. L is Chinese? And that he speaks using the Kelantanese accent when he speaks in Malay? Yeah.

   There was also a short briefing on Badan Ehsan or Ihsan, but I couldn't hear much because the hall was so noisy, with everybody being excited on getting their new schools. What I did hear was that new teachers should register, because they have some sort of donation(?) for new teachers who are posted to places like Gua Musang and need money and stuff. I'm not sure if I heard  about this correctly. I will try  to find out more and share with  you.

   One more briefing was on the Plan Pembangunan Guru Baru. This was some new programme they came up with in order to get new teachers oriented to their school, as well as to monitor them to make sure we're doing our job. I still don't know much about it, but when I do, I will tell you more about it.

   That's it for now. TTFN!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Posting: JPN Briefing

   I'm tired, so I'll only write a bit. In short:

   -Kelantan received 74 new teachers today

   -the Heads or their representatives were there to welcome the new member(s) of each school

   - the new English teachers were all posted to either one of these 3 districts: Kuala Krai, Gua Musang or Jeli

   - we received our memo/placement letter (surat penempatan). The offer letter (surat tawaran kerja) will only be ready after 2 weeks

   What? You want know where I've been sent to?

   Gua Musang. Hehe.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Pages for Easier Access

   If you're a regular reader. you may have noticed that I've added some tabs under my header/banner/whatever. I decided to because it seems more websitish (what word!) and professional ((huh?). It will also make the blog more accessible for all my students, namely you. Uh-huk.

   Anyway, some pages or tabs may still be empty or in progress, but I'm putting them there for now anyway, to see how they turn out. I hope they prove to be useful!

Reflective Practitioner: What Should Teachers Think About?

   My supervisor during practicum was Madam Jane. She was an excellent supervisor and I could write one whole post about her. I feel blessed to have had her guidance throughout practicum, and I've yet to buy her a gift to thank her! I hope any juniors who get her will learn as much as they can from Mdm J.

   Being the 'rajin' sort of lecturer that she was, she wrote down these question while observing my (or my partner's, I don't remember) class. These questions are really good, and help you to think and reflect upon your teaching. It would be good if you take the time to answer then, whoever you supervisor is. You could also include this in your portfolio

Reflective Practitioner

1.     How can teachers create instructional opportunities that reflect an understanding of how all children learn and develop?

2.     How can teachers adequately address the enormous diversity of today’s learners and approaches to learning?

3.     How can they use a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to support the continuous development of each learner?

4.     How can we encourage teachers to be reflective, to inform their practice with a deep understanding of how children learn and develop?

Reflective practitioner:     
-   theory and experience continuously informing and shaping each other
-   constant back and forth between the teacher’s theories about learning and what is really happening in the classroom
5.     What teacher behaviours contribute to students’ achievement and success?

6.     How can teachers engage in systematic inquiry that can help them improve their teaching in a way that is more likely to ensure that kids ‘get it’?

   Being the nice person that I am (ahhem!), I've also uploaded the questions in the form of a Microsoft Word document. You can download it using the link below. Included is a mind-map, also by Mdm Jane.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Write Your Reflection After a Lesson

[I am still waiting for news on posting. While I already know which state I have been posted to (Kelantan, in case you didn't read my last post), there's still no definite news about which school it is etc. I suppose there are a lot of meetings going on about it, so I hope we will have news soon, Insya-Allah.]

   In the spirit of posting, as well as the fact that my TESL juniors are going to start their first day of practicum this coming Monday, I'd like to write a non-news and practicum-based post, hoping it will be useful for the girls and also anyone who will be going to practicum as well. I wish to share what I experienced, and i hope it benefits anybody who needs some tips.

   Basically, during practicum every teacher trainee has to keep and update a huge and heavy record book which contains all your lesson plans. After each lesson, you must write a reflection in your record book. Below are some tips and guidelines for writing your post-lesson reflection:

When to Write
This is important. Unless you have a class, meeting or other important activities, write your reflection immediately after your class has ended. Find a nice and quite place to do this, but of course you could do this in the staff room. I found the canteen at my school the most peaceful place to write a reflection (but of course during lesson hours, if you were to do this during break when students run amok while filling their tummies, it definitely wouldn't work!), though I only went there for this purpose once or twice, which I regret. It's good to have some peace and quiet to mull  over things. Most importantly, you need to write while the memory is still fresh in your mind.

What to Write
Your reflection does not have to be too long. If it is, then it's fine but make it focused, don't ramble on and on about unnecessary things. Don't make it too short either. Your main focus is on:
  • the weaknesses of your plan- perhaps how something you planned didn't work, or how you forgot to include something in your plan
  • the mistakes that occurred in your lesson
  • strategies on making improvement for future lessons
By focusing on these areas, you will have a clear view of what to write and it will also benefit you in planning your future lessons. You may also write about positive things that you noticed about the lesson, but I like to focus on the mistakes because it helps me a lot and I don't want to write a 3-page article instead of a simple reflection! Besides, you can write a longer reflection and include it in your porfolio (find time to do this if you can, and you don't have to write by hand, you can always type it!).

Typing vs. Writing by Hand
My first reflections were typed because i didn't particularly like my handwriting and I also  did not follow my the tip, hoho (I waited until I got home to write the reflections! Bad idea.) However, it is better to just write the reflections since you need to do it right away. Trust me!

To sum this post up, here is a sample of one of my own reflections, taken from my practicum record book. It is not that good, but since it includes some feedback from my lecturer on it I think it suffices for a sample. 

UPDATE: I no longer have my practicum record book as one of my lecturers borrowed it and I don;t think I'll be going back to my IPG in the near future to retrieve it. However, if anybody reading this would like to share their reflections, please feel free to do so. Remember, we all learn from one another!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


They said:

So I typed in my ID:

And here it is: 
[click on the images for a bigger view]

So where'd you get? Do share!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

News on Posting: Let's hope it's true!

   Some of you may not have Twitter, but if you do, you may want to follow Dato' Wee Ka Siong's account, he tweets a lot about posting these days. Here's the link:

   According to WKS, the first batch to be posted this year will be able to check  their placements this coming Monday evening. We all can't wait! Hopefully the news will be worth the long wait, Insya-Allah. 

   Since I'm a TESL graduate, I mostly only check out the tweets regarding the TESL grads. If you have questions regarding your programme, you can check out his tweets, of better still, shoot him a question. From what I've seen, he's mostly ready to answer queries made to him. 

   According to WKS, 199 out of 201 TESL (primary school) graduates cleared the interview. They're still waiting for SPP to confirm the list for TESL (secondary school). I'm not sure about the DPLIs, KPLIs who missed out on last year's posting and the PISMP programmes, but I hope things turn out well for all  of us.

   Hopefully Monday will bring good news for us all!

   UPDATE: It's Monday! Insya-Allah all primary school option teachers will be able to check by 8.00 PM tonight. Those from the secondary school option will be able to check their status in 2-3 days. All the very BEST!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Results for SPP Interview

   As always, I am a little late with this news. If  you've gone for the interview this is where you check your results. The link is also where you check your application.

   Alhamdulillah I passed. 

   So. KISSM = Checked. SPP = Checked. What's next? Posting? Yes! Yes! According to Dato' Wee Ka Siong's Twitter, we should get some news by 9th January. I'll keep you posted. 

   I pray that things will go smoothly for:
   1. Everybody who's still patiently waiting for news on posting. It's been a long wait, Insya-Allah it'll be worth it!
   2. Everybody who's waiting to be called for SPP interviews. I hear another round of interviews will be conducted this month. I wish you people all the best!
   3. Those going through practicum this year. I know my TESL juniors will start theirs soon. Have a good ime, and learn lots of things, okay! If you need my help, just leave a comment on any posts.