Saturday, March 29, 2014 25 comments

Teaching Novel - Getting students to read

Salam and Hi.

I've tried a few techniques to get my students to read Step by Wicked Step:

  1. Get students to read alone and silently in class. They doze off easily.
  2. I read to them. They like it but it hurts my throat.
  3. Get students in groups. Carry out the 'Reading Circle' activity. 

Reading Circle using Step by Wicked Step

  1. In this activity, each member of the group take turns to read aloud each line/paragraph. 
  2. I normally ask students to read 5 of less pages per lesson. 
  3. Based on my observations, students are more relaxed in this activity. 
  4. I encourage them to act out certain dialogues by changing their voices. 
  5. They do not feel intimidated when reading with their peers in small groups. Their peers could help them in understanding what they read.
  6. The exciting part - I've never seen any students doze off in this activity :)
  7. After reading, give them the related exercises. To download the exercises, click at the respective links: Chapter 1, Chapter 2
  8. After completing the exercises, give the answer key to each group.
  9. Students mark their own work in groups.
  10. Teacher acts as a facilitator.


Reading Circle in action (with 5 Imtiaz)







Friday, March 28, 2014 9 comments

Using idioms in essays

Salam and Hi.

I received the following questions through email:

Assalamualaikum  teacher. May I know how to put the idioms in my essay and made my essay more interesting though I use the simple simple sentence. I also want to know how to get more marks in essay. 

My reply:

Salam.

With regards to using idioms in essays, first, you have to identify suitable idioms for the essays.

You may visit the following websites and choose the appropriate idioms for the appropriate situations:
  1. http://www.learn-english-today.com/idioms/idioms_proverbs.html
  2. http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/cat/
Or you may simply google: "idioms themes"

Let's take the example of the previous essay that you wrote - 'A Visit to the Zoo'

The example of idioms that can be used are:
  1. hit the road - When you hit the road, you begin a journey.
    • We hit the road at 9.00 a.m.
  2. with bells on - If you go somewhere with bells on, you are delighted and eager to go there.
    • We went to the zoo with bells on.
  3. reach for the moon - If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even if it is difficult.
    • In the drawing competition, everyone reached for the moon.

  1. had a whale of a time - to have an exciting or fun time
    • We had a whale of a time at the zoo.
  2. kill two birds with one stone - If you kill two birds with one stone, you succeed in doing two things at the same time.
    • We managed to learn two main things in this trip. Firstly, we learnt about the different types wild animals kept in the zoo. Secondly, we learnt how these animals are conserved. It was like killing two birds with one stone.
Hope I've helped.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 28 comments

Writing a Report (PMR) - A Visit to the Zoo

Salam and Hi,

Here's another essay from an anonymous student that I checked recently.

The original essay:

A Visit to the Zoo by the English Language Society 2014

               The English Language Society of SMK Ahmad had made a visit to zoo for the annual activity. A total of 50 members and four teachers involved in this trip. The main objectives for this trip was to promote awareness of endangered animals in the wild. We did many things there such as sightseeing around the zoo, drawing competition and treasure hunt. 

               Cik Suraya one of our advisors taken the attendance at the school compound by eight on the morning. We boarded the bus with two teachers each buses to supervise the members. We arrived at the zoo at 9 a.m. We tour around the zoo for one hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. We found my unique and rarely found animal like panda. It's such a worth sightseeing.

             Next, we gathered in front of zoo lake for the drawing picture competition. We given one hour to finish the drawing. The attractive privet will be given to the winner. It's made us more participated to do our best. By 11 a.m. we started the treasure hunt. We were divided to few groups. Everyone do their best in seeking the treasure. It took one hour to find all the treasure.

           After that, we had our lunch break. We were served with many foods that had been prepared by the zoo workers. We had the prize ceremony after done eating. Two student from lower forms and one student from upper forms won the prize.we departed at 1 p.m. It was an enjoyable and unforgettable trip.

           The society wanted to thanks to our advisors and the zoo workers for their support and guidance. The society would also like to express appreciation to all people that involved in this trip.

                                                                                                              Prepare by,
                                                                                                                 Anonymous
The corrected essay:

A Visit to the Zoo by the English Language Society 2014

               The English Language Society of SMK Ahmad had made a visit to the zoo for the annual activity. A total of 50 members and four teachers were involved in this trip. The main objectives objective for this trip was to promote awareness of the endangered animals in the wild. We did many things there such as sightseeing around the zoo, and taking part in the drawing competition and treasure hunt. 

               Cik Suraya, one of our advisors, taken took the attendance at the school compound by eight on in the morning. We boarded the bus with two teachers accompanying each buses bus to supervise the members. We arrived at the zoo at 9 a.m. We tour toured around the zoo for one hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. We found my many unique and rarely found animals like pandas. It's It was such a worth sightseeing.

             Next, we gathered in front of the zoo lake for the drawing picture competition. We were given one hour to finish the drawing. The attractive privet will be given to the winner. It's made us more participated to do our best. We were eager to participate in the competition and did our best. By 11 a.m. we started the treasure hunt. We were divided into a few groups. Everyone do did their best in seeking the treasure. It took one hour to find all the treasure.

           After that, we had our lunch break. We were served with many foods that had been prepared by the zoo workers. We had the prize giving ceremony after done eating. Two students from the lower forms and one student from the upper forms form won the prize. we We departed at 1 p.m. It was an enjoyable and unforgettable trip.

           The society wanted to thanks to thank our advisors and the zoo workers for their support and guidance. The society would also like to express our appreciation to all people that who were involved in this trip.

 


Reported by,
Anonymous
…………………………   
Anonymous,
The Secretary of The English Language Society,
SMK Ahmad

Teacher Nuha’s comments:
  • Good job for trying!
  • Use mostly the simple past tense from the beginning to end of the report.
  • It’s is the contractions for either ‘it is’ or ‘it has’

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 14 comments

Writing a Recount (PMR) - A Trip to a Waterfall

Salam and Hi,

A student sent me an email, asking my help to check a recount writing. For more information about a recount, you may visit this website: Recount Writing.

The original essay:


Last holiday , my friend and I went on a trip at Ulu Ayam Waterfall.We gathered at bust station early in the morning. The journey there took an hour and half. It was my first trip together with my friend.


Everyone was so excited with this trip. We brought the snacks and drinks from home. Upon arriving there we we're serve by the scenic view of hills and forests. It,s really make me impressed. The bird chirping and the sound of the waterfall made me feel in peace. Ulu Ayam Waterfall was a famous for its beautiful recreation park among tourists.


We do many things there . We hiked the hills, swimming at the waterfalls and many else. As we swam at the waterfall, suddenly rain started pouring. We ran to find a safe shelter. It, s funny and fun to see a few of my friends run trying to save the foods that had been wet because of the rain. 



After a few minutes, the rain stop pouring. We had a small barbecue near the waterfalls. We rested for a while after eating. Before we went home we hiked up the hills . We found many unique fauna like a wild orchid. We went home in the evening. We feel really sad leaving the Ulu Ayam Waterfall . While in the bus, we all agreed to come again there. Although it was tiring, it was a precious and fun trip.



The corrected essay:

Last holiday, my friends and I went on a trip at Ulu Yam Waterfall.We gathered at the bust station early in the morning. The journey there took an hour and half. It was our my first trip together with my friend.

Everyone was so excited with this trip. We brought the snacks and drinks from home. Upon arriving there we we're serve captivated by the scenic view of hills and forests. It,s really make me The beautiful scenery impressed me. The bird chirping of birds and the sound of the waterfall made me feel in at peace. Ulu Ayam Waterfall was a famous for its beautiful recreation park among tourists.

We do many things there. We hiked the hills, swimming swam at the waterfalls and many else more. As we swam at the waterfall, suddenly the rain started pouring. We ran to find a safe shelter. It, s was funny and fun to see a few of my friends running and trying to save the foods that had been wet because of the rain. (..the food was wet because of the rain.)

After a few minutes, the rain stopped pouring. We had a small barbecue near the waterfalls. We rested for a while after eating. Before we went home, we hiked up the hills. We found many unique fauna flora like a wild orchid. We went home in the evening. We feel felt really sad leaving the Ulu Ayam Waterfall. While in the bus, we all agreed to come again there. Although it was tiring, it was a precious and fun trip.

Band/Mark: C – 14

Comment: Not bad. Need to work on your grammar. Keep writing. You’ll improve.

Additional comments:

1) The meaning of "together with"
  • in addition to 
  • in association with

2) Serve
  • to give (food or drink) to someone at a meal, in a restaurant, etc.

3) feel in peace is incorrect.
  • Correction: feel at peace or feel peaceful


4) We hiked the hills, swimming swam at the waterfalls and many more
Explanation: Use the same tense.
  • We hiked the hills, swam at the waterfall, played ball, collected pebbles and had a picnic. (for this essay, a correct sentence structure uses all past tense verbs)
  • We hiked the hills, swimming at the waterfall, played ball, collecting pebbles and had a picnic. (this is an incorrect sentence structure because different tenses are used)

5) Be consistent:
  • How many waterfalls are there in Ulu Yam?
  • If there is only one, write "waterfall".
  • If there are more than one, write "waterfalls".
6) Fauna means "animals"
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3 comments

Step By Wicked Step - Chapter 2

Salam and Hi,

You can download the exercises that I used for teaching Chapter 2 - Step by Wicked Step at the following link:
Saturday, February 22, 2014 4 comments

Step By Wicked Step - Chapter 1

Assalamualaikum and hi.

I would like to share the reading activities I've used to teach Step By Wicked Step Form 5 - Chapter 1. 

Teachers, if you would like to use the exercises, you are welcome to edit and adapt the exercises to suit your students' proficiency levels.

Download at this link : Step By Wicked Step - Chapter 1 


Pre-reading activities:
  1. Discuss the meaning of step by wicked step.
  2. Discuss why is the cover of the book black/dark.
  3. Discuss the author.
  4. Read and discuss the blurp. For example - Who is Richard Clayton Harwick.
  5. Discuss the contents briefly. For example - How many chapters? How many stories? 
Happy learning and teaching English!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 5 comments

Hi there! I'm still here.

Assalamualaikum and hi to everyone.

I truly apologize for not being able to update my blog for quite some time. Sorry for not replying your comments, emails, private messages and checking your essays.

Let me come clean. I hardly have time for blogging because:

Reason #1: 
I gave birth to a baby boy on 14 February last year. That was the biggest reason of my long hiatus and my being very quiet. 

Reason #2: 
2014 is a very challenging year for me. This year, I have mountains of workload. I'm the new SPBT teacher. I am responsible to teach the fifth formers for the first time, teach 2 PBS classes, manage the athletic team, train students for choral speaking (I'm a first-timer) and make a documentation on every curricular activity in my school. Oh, did I mention that I'm one of the FROG VLE admins? Well, these are my major job scope. Pheww..

I haven't stopped blogging. It's just that it's very difficult for me to find the right moment to blog. 

However, I know that whatever my reasons are, I should have been more courteous. Sorry, my bad.

Juggling between work and family aren't easy. I'm in the process of coping with the changes in my life and be happy and grateful with what I have.


14 February 2013 - Emir Zafran, 1 day 'young'


 14 February 2014 - My Emir 'Valentino' Zafran is 1 year old. Zafran is with his sister Zara. She's in Standard 1 this year.





 
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