Tag Archive: 2 Gem


Day #16 – 23 Mar 2012

I didn’t have any classes today, but I was expecting my 2 Gem and 1 Best to be handing in their books—quite a number actually. 2 Gem was supposed to hand in their Grammar&Vocab, and journals, while 1 Best was supposed to hand in their Writing books, and journals as well.

So I was happily thinking to myself that, finally, I would have some marking to do! (Weird, I know. But I wanted to have a go at it, since Sun has been busy marking. I, however, haven’t had a chance to mark books yet because my students were not sending in their books to be marked >.<)

Anyway, the day was almost over and I was anxiously waiting for my students to pass me their books. It was almost the last two periods of the day, and still there were no books?

I went for relief in 2 Perdana (it wasn’t really my relief, but I was doing a favour for one of the teachers who suddenly “had to go somewhere” =.=) and passed by my beloved 2 Gem. I was dismayed to see that there were just as few students in the classroom as there were the day before, and they were just sitting around chatting, with no teacher in sight. I stopped by to talk to them.

The poor things seemed bored out of their mind! “Boring la Cikgu, hari ni belajar BM je.” So many teachers were not around, and the students are the ones who suffer. It feels a bit pointless to come to school :/ Anyway, when I reminded them to hand in their books, only 2 students handed in the two books I wanted, a third only handed in one. Again, I was exasperated. When I asked why weren’t the rest handing theirs in, there were a million and one excuses. Tak bawa la, Lupa la, Tak siap la. >.<

I told them that I was going to punish them next week. Not Monday, luckily for them, since Dr. Melor will be coming to observe me teaching then. So, probably, Tuesday. Tuesday I was going to make them stand outside the classroom, I told them. “Ala, Cikgu. Tak nak la. Berdiri kat luar, macam mana nak belajar?” Hm, all of a sudden they’re so eager to learn, is it? @.@

As for 1 Best, I am disappointed, yet again. I caught two of the girls from 1 Best in the staff room, and I asked them where their books were. They came back later to hand in about 5 or 6 students’ books.

5 or 6 students.

If that isn’t really clear, let me help you: OUT OF 29 STUDENTS, ONLY 6 HANDED IN THEIR BOOKS.

I guess that 15-minute lecture they got from me the other day had no effect whatsoever. >.<

Can you imagine? Since I started teaching this class 3 weeks ago (not including school holidays), I have yet to receive more than 6 students’ work from the entire class of 29? And they are supposed to be the better class! And to think I wasted all my breath scolding them the other day!

Now what am I to do? What can I do to make sure this does not happen again? Should I punish them severely? I think I am going to make them stand. Stand during my class until I feel like telling them to sit down. Do you think that will work? Or will I just have to get used to the fact that my students are just not going to hand in their work to me T.T

Well, another alternative is to make time in my lesson for them to complete everything and to paste them into their books, immediately. During my class. Which means that I will have to carve out some time to go around the whole class and check that they have their books and are pasting the handouts I gave them, there and then. Which means I will have less time in my lessons.

What a waste of time, don’t you think? @.@ But I may have no other choice. 😦

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Day #15 – 22 Mar 2012

Only one class with 2 Gem today, and I really dislike it because it is after assembly. I always end up with about half my time left :/

Anyway, remember how surprised I was to see only nine students in class the other day? Well, today there were seven.

Yes, SEVEN. =.=

Well, I guess it didn’t matter. It’s not like I will not teach if there were less than ten students 😉 In fact, it’s a GREAT thing because I find it soooooo much easier to teach and they are sooooo much easier to handle when there are only seven of them 😛 Plus, these seven were the better, more well-behaved kids, and I guess this was a rare opportunity for them to have uninterrupted learning time—for TWO days now! 😀

I wanted to do Adverbs with them today. So I started off by asking them, “Class, where did I put my bag?” The expected answer was, “You put your bag there.” And since they had just come from assembly, I asked them, “When did you go for assembly?” And the expected answer for that one was, “We went for assembly just now.” So these words, tell us more about the verbs, more about when and where an action takes place. So these are called Adverbs 🙂 Most important to note is that adverbs are always related to verbs—they must tell us more about a verb. Otherwise, they are not called adverbs.

I gave them this example, “There are some books there.” I asked them to identify the verb first: are. Good. Then which one is the adverb. They told me, ‘there’. “Which ‘there’?” I asked. “The first or the second one?” They said, “The second one.” Which is right. But I wanted to find out from them if they knew why. One of the students actually managed to answer it correctly, saying, “Because the second one is related to the verb.” I was mighty proud of him :’) They actually managed to answer quite a challenging question! 😀 True, it’s only one boy, but it’s better than none! 😉

I referred to their English text books page 57. I made them copy down these notes in their Grammar books:

Adverbs tell us more about a verb. Adverbs of place tell us where the action takes place. Adverbs of time tell us when the action takes place.

To demonstrate, we did Task 1 in the text book together. I found it very important that they first, identify which is the verb. Only then look for words that describe either where or when the action happens. And then specify the type of adverb: either place, or time.

Since there were so few of them, I managed to ask some students to try the questions out one by one. Of course, I guided them by asking, “Okay, first of all, which is the verb?” “Good, now which is the adverb?” “That’s right! Now is that an adverb of place or time? Does it tell us where or when?”

I made sure all of them bracket the verbs, then underline the adverbs, and then identify the type. Because we were going to do the same for their subsequent task. There was still some time left, unexpectedly, so I thought I’d try out the first few of the items in my Handout 11A.

I managed to do the first four or five items. Doing the exact same thing that I’d taught them, 1) bracket the verb, then 2) underline the adverb, and finally 3) identify the type. Initially, I had wanted them to make their own sentences using those same adverbs in this exercise. But as a last minute judgment, I felt that they weren’t ready yet to make their own sentences with just an adverb given. I had not given enough, or the right input for them to do so, and it wouldn’t be fair.

I did, however, believe in copying sometimes being able to solidify what has been learned. So I made them rewrite the sentences. Hopefully, all that SVA and present tense or past tense sentences will be able to seep through, somehow! xD

They were able to identify the adverbs pretty well, sometimes skipping ahead of the ‘identifying verbs’ part to give me the answer for the adverbs immediately. But I wanted to make it very clear that adverbs are related to verbs, and that identifying the verb FIRST, will allow you to be able to identify the adverb accurately.

Strangely though, they had not too much problem with identifying adverbs, but more on identifying the type of adverb, either place or time. :/ So I told them to ask themselves if it answers a Where, or a When question. Then it would make it a Place and a Time adverb respectively. 🙂

All in all, they are certainly making progress, little by little. And I am beginning to be really proud of this bunch of kids, even if it’s just a small fraction of the entire class. I really hope the others will be able to catch up. My suspicion though, is that some of them just won’t be bothered. I have all the handouts with me. I wonder how many will actually seek me out to get them from me? >.<

A simple but satisfying lesson with 2 Gem today! 😀

 

Handout(s):

1. Handout 11A (Adverbs of Place and Time)

Day #13 – 20 Mar 2012

I wasn’t expecting many students to be in the classroom when I entered 2 Gem today, seeing as I knew they had their PE lesson just before my English periods. (Actually, who has their PE lessons after recess?! A little odd, don’t you think? :/) But even with that expectation, I wasn’t expecting a mere NINE students to be in class! @.@

When I inquired more, they said that the rest were either absent, or involved in olahraga. Ah. Well. It’s olahraga week, or month, I think. Many students are involved, and it’s really hard to keep track of who’s involved in what, and when @.@ And I did not want to spend too much time on that, and compromise those who are present in class—they deserve a proper lesson.

To start, I also wrote everything that we have done in class so far, and which ones are supposed to be in which of their books, as I had done with 1 Best. The purpose was because I also suspected that a lot of their work is either not completed, or missing. I guess that is the problem with using handouts. And I’ve used a lot of them in my lessons! :/ Well, to justify myself, handouts save time in copying—time that weak students like these can use to actually focus on the content matter. For example, instead of spending so much time copying mindlessly, they can instead think or work out if  the subject ‘she’ goes with a verb that has ‘s’ or no ‘s’. Do you get what I mean?

I want them to focus on the content, rather than on the mechanical aspects, like writing. But then again, copying and writing sometimes do help to solidify what they’ve learned. But that is why I sometimes include rewriting the sentences in the handouts. Otherwise, they would conveniently forget that I told them to rewrite the sentences I gave them =.=

Anyway, housekeeping matters aside, I started with the discussion of their mid-term paper. However, I was horrified to discover that they had actually passed up their question papers together with their answer sheets. I, however, was only given their OMR sheets that were marked using the machine! So, where were their question papers?! @.@ Because of that, I found it rather difficult to discuss the questions with them, since they had nothing to refer to. But because there were only 9 of them, I made them sit closer to the board, and to me, so I could show them the questions I was referring to. Still, not great. :/

However, I picked only certain questions to discuss with them and especially focused on phrasal verbs. Their poor vocabulary is definitely one main reason that so many of them did not do well. And of all the elements of the English language, I think that phrasal verbs are one of the most difficult. It’s because you either know the meaning, or you don’t. And the knowing, comes from reading widely, which I doubt they do 😦

Phrasal verbs like, “worn out”, “broke down”, “show off” I wrote them on the board and told them to copy them into their Vocabulary books with the meanings in BM. So, they could write “letih/penat”, “menangis” and “menunjuk-nunjuk” respectively. The main point is so they understand, and can remember these words. When I saw some of them were not copying the words down, or writing anything down, really, I scolded them. I told them what is the point of being so interested about their marks when they don’t pay attention or make an effort to find out why they got wrong?! I told them, very frankly, “I don’t care if you failed. The point is to learn, and to improve. If you get 13% now, but get 20% in the next test, I see that as improvement! As progress! You should learn from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them.” They were quite sober after that.

There were quite a number of other phrasal verbs that were not found in the test that we worked on together, and I was very happy when they asked me things like, “Teacher, what is the difference between ‘show off’ and ‘show up’?”. This shows that they have read some of these phrases, and they are interested to know. I am always so happy when they ask me these kinds of questions 😀

After that, I discussed previous exercises I had given them on Past Tense and Subject-Verb Agreement with them. I wrote the answers on the board, and they checked their own work. Of course, when they hand their books in, I will check them again. But this is for discussion’s sake.

Then, we played a GAME! 😀

It was strangely coincidental that when I had first entered the classroom, one of the boys asked me, “Cikgu, hari ni main game ke?” And I had smiled to myself, knowing what I had already planned, and said, “We’ll see, we’ll see.” 😉

Basically, it is a quiz; one that I designed with questions on 2 topics: Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA) and Simple Past Tense (PT). I had already prepared 20 items, 10 of each, for them to “draw” from. Here are the items:

Subject-Verb Agreement:

1. Khairul and Fahmi (has/have) the same jersey.

2. She (d0/does) not like Mathematics.

3. You (is/are) the tallest boy in the class.

4. Samad (has/have) two younger sisters.

5. The children (climb/climbs) the monkey bars all the time.

6. My parents (like/likes) to walk in the park every day.

7. I (drive/drives) to school in my Honda City car.

8. My brother and I (enjoy/enjoys) going to the cinema.

9. The mouse (run/runs) into the hole in the wall.

10. These baskets (contain/contains) oranges from Australia.

Past Tense:

1. My brother * (drink) too much water this morning.

2. I * (cut) myself with a pair of scissors by accident.

3. They * (be) sick yesterday.

4. We * (ring) the doorbell and waited.

5. He * (drive) to Malacca last week.

6. The dentist * (pull) out my tooth last month.

7. Our family *(enjoy) ourselves at the zoo.

8. My mother * (apply) some medication on my cut.

9. Zul * (pay) a fine because he was late to school.

10. Pn. Rosmah * (cook) chicken curry for her husband’s dinner.

Now, the quiz is rather normal, really. But the novelty was: how we chose the categories.

What I did was, I used a roll of cellotape to stick two slips of paper for each “side”: Simple Past Tense, and Subject-Verb Agreement.

After doing that, it will look like this:

So all the students had to do was, spin it (or flip it–like a coin–as some of them did), and whatever was facing up would be the category they would have to answer a question from! 😀

Well, I didn’t think I could make a die big enough, nor did I have the materials I needed to make one at hand… So I guess you could say, I improvised! 😉

Yeah, the students laughed at my creation, but it certainly caught their interest. 😛 And it is definitely something they can’t say they’ve ever done before, can they? 🙂

But what made me happiest was when they were able to answer all of the questions right! (We had time for 12 questions, 6 for each group.) True, some discussed with their team members for the answer, but the very fact that they were able to discuss, because they had some knowledge of the rules that can be applied, made me really happy! I tested them at every turn I could. When they said the past tense of “ring” was “rang”, or the verb that agrees with “Khairul and Fahmi” was “have” and not “has”, I questioned them, “Are you sure? Are you VERY SURE?” Most of them were able to answer quite confidently.

I cannot truly describe how I feel. Dare I say that they are making progress? That they are actually improving? 😀 Sure, they might still be a little shaky here and there, and sometimes they do get confused. But at the very least, they know something, they have some basic knowledge of the grammar rules, of which I can now always refer to even when we’ve moved past this topic for good.

I was realllyyyyyyy very happy with these bunch of kids—MY kids :’)

I told them I was really happy, and that I would get them something as a reward. I bought them Choki-Choki treats! (They actually requested for it =.=) Which I will be absolutely delighted to present them with when I see them for class on Thursday :DDDDDD

My boys are getting better! 🙂

p.s: Regarding *Zaki, he was not in class today—involved in olahraga methinks. So I still have no idea on the effect of The Talk with him. Will I see a difference on Thursday?

p.p.s: Choral Speaking and Choir practices start tomorrow. I am nervous, and afraid at the same time! I’m solely in charge of the Choir (nerve-wrecking!) and Sun and I are both in charge of training the Choral Speaking students for the competition, which is in about a month. I think I’m going to pass out from the pressure T.T

Day #12 – 19 Mar 2012

With 2 Gem though, I didn’t want to waste too much time. Again, they had sauntered in after recess like they had all the time in the world, instead of rushing in because the English teacher (me) was already in the classroom. >.<

I had wanted to ask them about their holidays, what they did, where they went, if they had gone anywhere. But half the class were involved in olahraga, DK and all sorts of other activities that I just got tired of asking. I just accepted that, for a lot of them, they had other priorities besides studying English in my class. So.

Since, according to the scheme of work, this week is supposedly the “mid-term holidays” instead of the week after, I thought I’d take the chance and work on their basic grammars this week, and then resume text book work. So, one of the most basic, most important aspects of grammar is: Subject-Verb Agreement. Without it, you could not even make simple sentences accurately.

So I started off with an analogy of press studs. I had some trouble trying to explain what press studs were, in BM. But they eventually got what I meant. I said that, in English, sentences are like press studs. The subjects (pelaku) and the verbs (kata kerja) had to “fit”, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to close properly—like press studs! 😀 I also told them, contrary to Past Tense–where I had already told them it did not matter who the subject was the verb form remained the same–Subject-Verb Agreement is very important in Present Tense.

I made them copy down notes on different subjects and their verbs. “I, You, We, They” –> Verbs with no ‘s’. While “He, She, It” –> Verbs with ‘s’. Then we tried out different verbs; I gave them the subject and they’d tell me the right verb that agreed with it. (talk/talks, listen/listens, laugh/laughs, drive/drives etc.) Then I tested them further with subject substitution–where “Fahmi and I” could be substituted with “We” and would take a verb with no ‘s’. “Rahman and Afiq” would be “They” and take verbs with no ‘s’ as well. “The girl”/”She” will take verbs with ‘s’ and so on and so forth. Things were looking good at this point 😀

Then we did auxiliary verbs. I know, I told the class to ignore the names. Too difficult. >.< But the concept of a Singular subject taking on verbs like is, has and does while plural subjects take on are, have and do. With the exception of course of “I” and “You” where they take on plural verbs. Quite a lot to deal with, but I drew them a table to copy down as well. Hopefully, they could memorize it and it will help them.

Next was just exercises. I was glad that this time I had time to go through the questions with them–Handout 7A. There was ample time to do them one by one with them, and also time for them to try some questions on their own before we discussed them. I had some breathing time from writing furiously on the board to walk around the class and take note of the students’ progress. They seemed to be doing alright 🙂 They did still have problems with the “I” and “You”, and certain special cases like “Everyone” taking on singular verbs, but otherwise, they were slowly working out the correct verbs on their own 🙂

I just worry that they will get too dependent on the table and notes I had given them and keep referring to it all the time. But I guess they all have to start somewhere, right? Hopefully after more practice, their subject-verb agreement will not be a problem any more 😀

I had also prepared some revision questions on Past Tense (Handout 7B), which I had already taught them before the holidays. But obviously, from the questions they were asking me, and the blanks they left in the exercise, they weren’t really paying attention to me, or they have very short term memories =.= I wonder if it is possible to work on their Past Tense some more. Maybe in their Journals, I might show them how to use the Past Tense they’ve learned and put them into practice.

In retrospect, I rather liked today’s class. (1 Best’s was a bit too rushed! @.@) I was able to give them the input they needed to work things out on their own, albeit slowly. And I also had time to walk around and really see how each of them were doing. Some were faster than others, some were still struggling and kept asking me, “Betul ke, Cikgu?” Still, I was glad for the breathing time 😀 Good class, today! Achieved all my objectives, and saw some progress from the students. Satisfied! 😉

p.s: Something happened today. You can read it here.

 

Handout(s):

1. Handout 7A (Subject-Verb Agreement)

2. Handout 7B (Auxiliary Verbs and Past Tense)

Day #8 – 6 Mar 2012

For 2 Gem’s class, I had also referred to their English Form 2 textbook. I somehow felt the burden to do some grammar with them as they are rather weak in even the most basic of grammar. I decided to use the double period to work on the Past Tense with them, since I doubted a single period would suffice. Maybe for other classes, but one measly period will certainly not provide enough input for 2 Gem to be able to convert verbs in their past tense forms on their own.

For this class, I thought I would introduce the rules, and irregular verbs to them. I had quite a lot planned out for them and I was concerned for the time. But Tuesdays are terrible days with 2 Gem—my class with them is immediately after their PE (Physical Education) lesson, which meant that when they enter my class, they would have spent the last hour running furiously for futsal or some other physical game, and they would be tired, or even restless. Worse, they are going to sashay into my class smelling of sweat and mud.

In fact, all 3 classes with 2 Gem for the week are similarly disadvantaged, in terms of time. Mondays, after recess; Tuesdays, after PE; and Thursdays, after assembly. >.<

On this particular day, I don’t know why there were so many distractions. True enough, the boys trickled into class, hot and sticky. And barely half the class were in even at 11.30 am, when my class was supposed to start at 11.10 am. I was very annoyed by then, and had the back and front doors locked myself. Here I was, excited and ready with the day’s lesson and not even half are in the class. I simply could not wait any longer.

Anyway, on with the lesson.

As a set induction, I simply asked the class when is the past tense used. It is rather unfortunate that, even for a question that seemed so easy, some of the students were not able to answer me. @.@

I explained to the class that it was necessary to indicate an action that has already happened in the form of the verbs in English. There are modifications made to the verb itself, as compared to BM, where adding “telah” or “sudah” would indicate that the action has occurred. I asked them to turn to page 58 of their textbooks, and I went through each of the rules for changing verbs to past tense forms. The rules are:

1. Add ‘-ed’ to a verb: walk –> walked, climb –> climbed

2. Add ‘-d’ to a verb ending in ‘e’: like –> liked, smile –> smiled

3. Add ‘-ed’ to a verb ending in ‘y’ if the letter before it is a vowel: play –> played

4. Add ‘-ied’ and remove the ‘y’ for a verb ending in ‘y’ if the letter before it is a consonant: apply –> applied, cry –> cried

I went through each rule together with them and gave them examples so it is clearer. I then wrote certain verbs on the board and got a few students to come up to the board and write the correct verb forms in past tense. Thankfully, they were able to do all of them correctly. There were, though, certain answers given that made me alarmed. When I asked what the past tense form of “enjoy” was, a student, one of the better ones actually, said, “enjoying”. I was quite taken aback because his answer seemed to indicate that there is a misconception on what past tense is, or possibly what the present continuous, or a gerund is. I wonder if I will have time to go back and correct them on these errors in learning.

For the final rule, where the verb form is changed completely, I had prepared a worksheet with a list of irregular verbs (incomplete) for us to try out together (Handout 6A). I explained that, unfortunately for them, the first 4 rules we had learned could not be applied to these verbs and they had no choice but to just memorize these verbs and their past tense forms. I also pointed out that there are certain verbs where, in the past tense, remain the same, unchanged; especially common mistakes like “put –> putted” and “cut –> cutted”.

Even this took longer than expected. To demonstrate my point on verbs that change forms completely, I thought a very simple example that they surely knew would prove my point. So I gave the example of “run”. I tested them by asking if “runed” (after adding ‘-ed’ to “run”) the past tense of “run”? One poor boy actually quite enthusiastically told me, “Betul, Cikgu,” (Correct, Teacher). T.T I was honestly stunned speechless. I thought, of all the simplest of verbs, this would be one common one that I’m sure they have come across. Surely, they knew “run –> ran”?

Apparently, not. >.<

So, these two activities already took up my double period. Which was really a shame. I had wanted to do the worksheet I had prepared (Handout 6B) together with them, just in case they needed more help and guidance, or any explanation for difficult words. Instead, I gave them the worksheet to do as homework, to test what they had learned in class today.

I did have a little trouble with one of the boys, again. The same boy as it always is. I had already noticed that he was not really paying attention to me during the class, but I had left him alone, as long as he was not disturbing others. The last straw was when he walked all the way to the front of the class to talk to one of the boys whom I could see was clearly trying to concentrate on my lesson. I reprimanded the boy and told the rest of the class off for being rude and disrespectful. However, I did not let it disrupt the class for too long. It barely lasted a minute.

In retrospect, I was probably again over-estimating them. Maybe I should have focused on only the four rules that could be applied to convert verb forms in past tense and saved the irregular verbs part for another day. In all honesty, I had truly expected that we could have completed everything in time. What I had not expected were these little indications that they had not even mastered the most basic of grammar. Nevertheless, I believed that some who were paying attention may have benefited from today’s class.

Handout(s):

1. Handout 6A (Irregular Verbs)

2. Handout 6B (Simple Past Tense exercise)

Day #7 – 5 Mar 2012

Over the weekend, I managed to prepare quite a number of handouts and worksheets for my classes. So I was rather excited for classes this week 🙂

This week was when Sun and I really started to follow the scheme of work, since last week was our “Orientation Week”, so to speak. For 2 Gem, I was working on Chapter 5: The Value of Friendship with them. Even though technically, they should be in the fourth week of this topic, I had a feeling that they hadn’t really done that in the past 3 weeks anyway. So I decided to start from the beginning of the chapter: talking about their feelings in various situations.

Basically, by the end of the lesson, I wanted the students to be able to use some related vocabulary to convey how they feel in certain situations. Nothing too difficult or complicated, just plain and simple. So I designed several activities to help them do that. 🙂

The first was getting students to identify different types of feelings and learning new vocabulary at the same time. So I gave them Handout 3A, that I called the “Feelings Chart”, where students would see a drawing of an emotion or feeling, and read an example of a situation for it, and identify them. (I was not really good at drawing using the computer, so I drew them manually. You can also leave the last two spaces blank and encourage the students to draw in their own smiley faces for any feelings, and write an appropriate situation for it.) Here, they would be able to learn feelings like happy, angry, excited, rejected, hurt, lonely and sad, which were words I had taken from the English Form 2 text book and the English KBSM syllabus Word List.

I even reminded them to write any new words they have learned into their Vocabulary book, and that I didn’t mind if they wrote the meanings in BM because, I felt strongly that a long dictionary definition would be absolutely pointless if the students did not understand it. I would prefer English-BM translations, as long as it aids their understanding and help them remember the meanings.

Next, I had students read a letter I had prepared (intentionally using some of the students’ names for authenticity) and then fill in the blanks with the appropriate feeling–Handout 3B. I had already given them a list of words to fill the blanks up with. This was, again, identifying types of feelings, but through reading a letter and looking for clues from the writing. Plus, this would familiarize them with an informal letter, which I was planning to teach them to write in the near future. (Possibly, the next chapter.)

Finally, for the last activity, I called it the “Feeling Lucky Draw”.  I had prepared 12 small slips of paper on which I had written different types of feelings. So, what I had them do was, come up to the front, pick a feeling, and then give an example of when they feel that way. For example, if they had gotten the feeling “sad”, they would have to make a sentence like, “I feel sad when…..my friends don’t invite me out to play football.” Here, I added a few more feelings than those learned at the beginning, for example, nervous, disappointed, afraid, jealous and worried.

They managed to complete all the activities rather well, I would say, and I was extremely pleased with the class. I may need to give them more speaking and writing tasks. Oh, an important thing to mention is that, as I had planned last week, I implemented the point system with 2 Gem. They were divided into 5 groups of 4 and for any correct answers, or volunteering, or coming out front to speak, I would give the team 5 points each.

It certainly improved their class participation tremendously! They were raising their hands to answer at every turn, they stood up to volunteer, they tried even when they did not really know. Even the boy who was giving me problems before participated in the activities as well. I was very surprised—the system actually worked! 😀

It was very encouraging to watch, and my heart was warmed. 😉

However, I still need to work on ending the class effectively. I tend to forget many things in my rush to end the class on time. I forget to tell them about their homework, or what books I want them to bring for the next class. Nevertheless, I was able to achieve all objectives for this class! Yay! 😀

 

Handouts:

1. Feelings Chart (3A)

2. Feelings Letter (3B)

I was getting a little nervous, especially about the F2 class I was teaching, because I had just gotten a look at the English KBSM Form 2 syllabus and the school’s scheme of work. Apparently, they were supposed to have done the poem I Wonder by Jeannie Kirby. And from what I knew about their previous English teacher, I was not entirely sure the class had already done the poem.

Besides, I was unsure of what to do with 2 Gem today, and after the havoc they’d caused playing Sports Hangman, I thought I would do more of the talking this time, and do something more academic with them, so they’ll be less noisy.

I thought I could start off with something simple for the poem: choral reading, and maybe just understanding the literal meaning of the poem, as well as working on any difficult words that they did not know. I didn’t want to give them any notes yet, just focus on the words of the poem in the literature text.

However, it was only a one-period class, and I worried that I would not have enough time to do what I wanted to with them. And, true enough, the class came in late after assembly—my class started a full 20 minutes later, leaving me with only another 20 minutes for my 40-minute lesson! T.T I did not really have a choice.

I had already informed the class the day before to bring their literature texts, yet, I still caught a few of them sharing their books. I do not know if it was a wrong choice on my part to let them off the hook with a warning and advice to remember to bring their books to class the next time. I was, though, disappointed that even after having informed them beforehand, they still did not bring their books. It was either a sign of carelessness, or a tidak-apa attitude that I was not very happy with.

Nevertheless, the show had to go on now, didn’t it?

I wrote the title and the poet’s name on the board, and then nonchalantly asked if they knew the poem. Unexpectedly, the students answered yes. So I asked them if Cikgu Faiz (their sub teacher) had done the poem with them, and again, they answered yes. Darn, I should’ve asked them if they had done the poem already. No matter, I told them it was alright, and in fact, it is better because now what we were going to do would be simple for them, since they’d done it before.

I started off by asking them if they have ever wondered about things, and what they wonder about. Initially, I had planned that they write one “I Wonder” sentence and be as creative as possible with it, and then share it with the class, as a set induction. For example, “I wonder why people always associate me with Lisa Surihani.” (Personally, I’d received this comment numerous times this week. I even found out from one of the teachers that the female celebrity had also recently tied the knot with Yusry.) However, due to the lack of time, I skipped this part. 😦

Then I read the poem aloud, line by line, and asked the students to repeat after me by mimicking the sounds and tone, if possible. Unfortunately, I kept getting interrupted by one of the boys. After that, I went through the meaning of each couplet in the poem, explaining any difficult vocabulary they did not know as well. I found that, even though they told me that Cikgu Faiz had done the poem with them, it was if they hadn’t. They still struggled to tell me the meaning of the poem, and there were numerous words they did not understand.

To sum up the lesson, I asked one of the boys to read the poem aloud in front of the entire class. He read it rather well, even if it was not perfect. I was quite satisfied. Unfortunately, I had gone over my time and had to rush out of class, very flustered. Plus, I was also unable to give the students a brief summary of the poem (which I wanted them to copy into their books). However, I did manage to ask one student to tell the class what the poem was about in his own words, and the answer was quite satisfactory. 🙂

Still, I have to admit that I experienced problems with one of the boys—the same boy who kept interrupting me, and also half-chased me out of the classroom by saying, “Cikgu, dah habis masa la!” He did not want to cooperate when I asked him to answer a question, and responded by saying, “Cikgu, nak tidur la.” I still made him stand up and coaxed him into answering (why did it feel like I was begging? >.<) and giving me his interpretation of that particular couplet.

Day #2 – 28 Feb 2012

The next class was with 2 Gem. I had planned a special game that I thought would be interesting for them: Sports Hangman. It was basically Hangman, but the words revolved around sports. I decided to do something related to sports since, during our first class on Monday, all their hobbies and interests were sports activities. I figured, since it was something they liked, maybe they would be more participative then. 😀

I had prepared a list of words that were sports related, and I divided them into categories that I could also introduce to them. For example, I could introduce “Verbs” to them, with action words like smash, hit, pass, shoot, kick, serve, bounce under this category. The next category was “Equipment”, which included nouns like, racquet, shuttlecock, hoop, net, goal post, bat and mouth guard. The final category, also nouns, was “Attire” and I taught them words like shoes, socks, helmet, jersey, knee pads and elbow pads. So I thought that they could not only play a game, but learn new words as well, in a subject they were interested in—sports! 😀

So the Hangman game began. First, they would choose a number from 1-20, which would decide which word they got from my list. I would draw out the number of blanks for each letter in the word, and they would guess the letters. Every wrong guess would be one step closer to being “hanged”. Points would be given to the opposing team each time you “died”! xD

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Well, the game certainly turned out to be a huge success! 😀 They were very excited, so excited that some of them were basically sitting on the floor directly in front of the white board, practically at my feet, to be nearer to the action! 😛 I guess boys will be boys, and they enjoy anything that is even remotely competitive. They cheered every time their team got a word right, and jeered at the other when they didn’t. Unfortunately, all the cheering and the jeering made for a very, very, noisy class. I kept trying to hush them, but it was getting a little bit out of control. >.< What made things worse was when Mr. Thina, the discipline teacher, passed by my class and actually made a backtrack to it. I think he was actually considering interrupting my class and taking matters into his own hands. T.T

That made me feel a little depressed, actually. I mean, I knew the kids were enjoying themselves (a little bit too much, methinks) and in a way, they were learning something, even if it was just one new word. Still, it didn’t look good that I had a whole bunch of boys all over the classroom, making a lot of noise. >.<

I guess I achieved the goal of getting them interested in the lesson, but with consequences. Considering that this is a class of 20 boys, I may need to think twice before I play games like these with them in the classroom. I may not be able to control them as well as I’d like. And I need to remind myself that I have to be considerate as well, to the teachers and classes next door that may need more quiet. 😦

Still, the students practically begging me to continue the game when I said we had to stop, made me feel at least a little bit glad that they enjoyed themselves playing the game 🙂

Although it was my first day of school at SMK Putrajaya Precinct 14(1), it was not my first time in the school. I had snuck into the school during the end-of-year holidays (well, the security guard let me in) to have a look at the school that I would be teaching in for four (very longgggggg) months!

I was very nervous. I had on my green sequined baju kurung and had my hair up. I was already up at 5.00 am so I could put on eye shadow, mascara and blusher in addition to my normal eyeliner and contact lenses. Even driving to the school in near pitch-black darkness was terrifying.

We waited at the canteen area, fidgeting nervously. Finally the office lights came on and we headed upstairs. We had a brief encounter with the Principal of the school, Pn. Juriah bt Bahali, who quickly handed us over to the GPK1, En. Zaini, whom Sun had spoken to on the phone once before.

He welcomed us to the school, even gave us our choice of which form we would like to teach, then took us on a short and simple tour of the office and staffroom. He even made us our own punch cards so we could punch in and out of work! I was absolutely fascinated–strange, I know. But I’d never had one of those before! 😉

We were then put under Pn. Koh Lee Chin, the head of the Language Department. She became one of our guru pembimbing to help us settle in and answer any of the questions we had. However, our timetables had not been drawn up yet, so in the meantime, Sun and I did relief. (We later found out that there were about FOUR teachers who were on maternity leave! @.@) The school, though, is extremely efficient. We had our timetables before the end of the day. I would be teaching one Form One class, 1 Bestari, and one Form Two class, 2 Gemilang.

I did, however, go into 2 Gemilang, although, at the time, I had no idea they were the class I would be teaching. I was rather surprised to find out that the class consisted of 20 Malay boys. There were no girls at all. It was not really an important fact if I was not teaching the class. But now that I know I am, I gulped quite audibly in my mind. @.@

Anyway, I did a rather simple “Introduce Yourself” activity. I instructed the students to come up to the front, introduce their name, and just something about themselves that they think is special. For example, “My name is Miss Lisa, and I like to play the piano.” They could tell the class, and me, about their hobbies or favourite sports etc.

I realized, from this activity, that the students’ English language proficiency is very low. They could not really understand what I was saying, nor truly respond to my probing and questions. When a student said that he liked to go fishing, I was intrigued enough to ask, “Oh, so how often do you go fishing?” He looked very confused and started asking his friend, “Apa? Apa yang cikgu tanya?” I was confused, myself. Did I speak too fast? Did he not hear me? I slowed down my speed and emphasized on the question. “HOW OFTEN do you go fishing?” He was still unable to understand me! It was only when I finally said, “Berapa kali kamu pergi memancing?” that he nodded in comprehension. “Ohhhhhhh. Sekali seminggu.” They also did not know that “lake” meant “tasik“.

I certainly have my work cut out for me. >.<