Tag Archive: Week 6

Day #30 – 13 Apr 2012

Did a lesson with 1 Buck that I have not done with 1 Best, only because Wednesday was a holiday (for the installation of the new king) so I missed one double-period lesson with them.

I went a little bit off the text book for this activity. In the text book, students were supposed to write a very short letter in reply to a friend’s about their school timetable. I kind of doubled it into a lesson where they learned how to write an informal letter as well 🙂

I wrote my own letters for them (didn’t use the one in the text book, but it was basically the same concept). I actually sealed each letter individually, and wrote their names on the top, as if they were real letters! 😉

So, I started off the lesson by telling them that I had met the postman that morning. “The postman asked me, ‘Hey, you’re teaching 1 Bakti, right?’ and I answered, ‘Yeah, I am. Why?’ And he tells me ‘I have a bunch of letters for them, actually. Would you mind delivering these to them for me?'” So I gave out the letters to each student, and the boys were laughing, asking me, “Betul ke, Cikgu jumpa postman?” I just laughed and told them, “Yeah, why? You don’t believe me?” xD

It was quite fun to do, and they seemed to enjoy that “make-believe” part 😉

Then I got some of the students to read the letter out for us. The boy I called on, and the other two who volunteered, read the letter out pretty well, I must say! Quite good diction 🙂 So, their reading seems good, but their speaking skills need a little brushing up. They tend to speak to me in BM, though I insist on replying them in English. I try, at every opportunity, to encourage them to speak in English with me.

Anyway, then we worked on the parts of an informal letter: Sender’s Address, Date, Salutation, Introduction, Body and Sign-off. Then I made them underline all the prepositions of time that we had learned on Tuesday in the letter: before, after, at, by, on and in. This would draw their attention to how prepositions of time are properly used. And through that we kinda recapped what we did in class the other day. For example, when to use on and what does by mean when you say, “…by 7.10 am.”

After that, we went through the letter, paragraph by paragraph, and gave suggestions on how they can reply Hashim, their friend. I also suggested common courtesies, like “Thank you for your letter,” “I have safely received your letter,” “I hope you are doing well in your school,” etc.

In retrospect, maybe I should have called on a few students to ask for their suggestions on what they can reply Hashim on based on the letter. :/

Anyway, once we were done on that, we had more time than I had expected for them to start working on their letters already. I told them to quickly paste the letters in their Writing books, and to start writing the letter so that they can ask me any questions. I think I quite like this method, because it allows me to go around and talk to the students, see how they are doing, and allows them time to ask me any questions, about grammar, or vocabulary, or spelling. Which they do. I’ll try to make more time for this section in my next Writing classes. 😀

All in all, it was a rather simple class, really. No fancy videos, or use of LCD projectors and such. Sometimes, I prefer it that way. Although using ICT has its perks, in reality, it’s just too much of a hassle, sad to say 😦 And too many things can go wrong that will jeopardize your lesson plan. I’d rather do something really simple: just me and the kids and simple handouts that will ultimately also achieve the learning goal, albeit a little boring or dry. But sometimes, we have to stick to what guarantees success. Right? @.@

Hm, I guess that slip-up with the portable LCD has kinda made me cynical about using ICT in the classroom now. Still, I will keep trying and hopefully the kids may benefit from it, and not too many problems will arise. @.@

btw, here’s what I wore today! Something really special that many teachers and students complimented me on! :DDD




1. Handout 17A (Informal letter+Prepositions of Time)

Day #29 – 12 Apr 2012

Yesterday was certainly a much-needed one-day holiday! But it just made me wish holidays could be longer 😦

Anyway, I had the Mr. Nobody lesson planned out for 1 Buck today, the one that didn’t work out with 1 Best because I could not get the LCD projector (on Monday 9 Apr 2012) =.=

So this morning, bright and early, I practically ran to Pn. Mas Yanti’s table to look under her desk…..and was ecstatic to see that the portable LCD was there! 😀 I grabbed it and put it under my table, so no other teacher could take it. I didn’t feel too bad about that, because my class was at second and third periods anyway. It’s just to make myself feel better, I guess @.@

Well, when it was time for my class, I lugged my heavy Dell laptop bag, and the portable LCD bag, and my record book and file and pencil case to the classroom. (I didn’t like the fact that my laptop bag was a backpack, so it made me look like a school kid again, instead of a teacher. But I didn’t have a choice—backpacks are easier to carry, and less taxing on the shoulders, actually @.@) I was thinking, if all goes well, I think I’ll be able to play the video and Prezi for them, and everything will go as planned! 😀

Imagine my shock to arrive at 1 Buck, with only 5 boys in the class! When I asked where the others were, the boys explained that the rest were involved in the psychometric evaluation test thingy, something to do with the school counselor, and they were the only 5 not involved (because they were involved in the Bandung trip. Not too sure about the relevance there, but that’s what they told me *shrug*).

I considered postponing the lesson to next week, for the sake of the rest. But I didn’t think I’d want to postpone it any longer! I didn’t want to push back my lessons. I wanted to follow as close as possible to the scheme of work, as best as I can. So, I had no choice but to carry out the lesson as planned, with only 5 students.

It wasn’t all that bad. The boys were pretty cooperative, and attentive. Well, there were only 5 of them. I guess that makes a difference. And I was glad these were the ones left behind, because it gave me a chance to get to know them better. I had time to get to know the rest of them who did not go to Bandung, and so this gave me the opportunity to get to know these ones who were MIA for the past week! 🙂

Some of the boys helped me set up, and I was thrilled to discover that their power outlets were working fine, there were no problems setting up the entire thing, and it took about 5 minutes to get everything ready.

The only downside to it was that I had no portable speakers! I was planning on borrowing Sun’s, but they only just recently broke down; she was telling me she was unable to use them in her classes too :/ I had my laptop speakers, but it just wasn’t as loud as I’d have liked it to be. The students did struggle to listen to the audio, but, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise that there were only 5 students. Maybe that’s why they could hear as much as they did. If there were more students, with all the talking and the murmuring, maybe they wouldn’t have heard much at all!

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, students were attentive and cooperative. I had no problems teaching these 5. It was possible that these 5 are some of the better-behaved boys as well, so it was really no problem at all.

I had no problems carrying out the lesson and discussing with them and, in fact, had time left over to carefully re-pack and dismantle all the equipment too!

Another problem with using the LCD was that, once the screen was pulled down, it left little of the whiteboard left for writing notes. There was only the itty bit of space at the two sides of the whiteboard, and that was not much at all! I may either need to borrow Sun’s portable whiteboard, or use mahjong paper in the future! >.< Either that, or just put everything on slideshow format.

Even when I wanted them to copy the meanings of the stanzas on the board, there was no space at all! Thank God one of the students suggested typing it out on a Word document and then displaying it on the screen for them to read from and copy—which was absolutely brilliant! Thank you! 😀 I’ll do that the next time 🙂

When I met some of the girls after that, they told me how unfair it was that I played a video when there were so few of them in class. They asked me if I could do the lesson again. :/ Well, I guess I can try. If there was time in next week’s Literature lesson, I just might try to squeeze the video in, if not the Prezi one as well 🙂



1. Handout 16A (Mr. Nobody: Rhyme and Meaning)

Day #28 – 10 Apr 2012

With 1 Buck today, I carried out the same lesson as with 1 Best, and I did the same thing—bring forward the closure activity up to before Development 2.

However, with 1 Buck, there seemed to be less of a problem. There didn’t seem to be the confusion that 1 Best seemed to have for prepositions of time. They didn’t have much problem at all. So, it is possible that they are doing all right 😀

Same subsequent task, as with 1 Best: to copy the timetable and the passage with the correct prepositions of time 🙂

Oh, btw, before that, I had relief class with 1 Buck, just 2 periods before my lesson with them. So I took the chance to talk to those 6 boys whom I had caught copying their journal entries from each other, or from others, without their knowledge. I first gave them the chance to admit to their mistake, and they all did. They said they copied, and then “adjusted” a bit from their friends’ “ideas”. Well, to be honest, most of it was just plain copy/paste, no changes at all. Still, it was not their original work.

I told them I was veryyyyy disappointed in them, that they would do this. Did they think that I was stupid, that I didn’t read my students’ work, and that I wouldn’t know? What was all this journal-writing for? For them to practise their writing! I told them that if they really had a problem with having no idea whatsoever on what to write, then they could just come and see me, explain their difficulties, and I would be glad to help them!

It’s true. I would rather they have written a reallyyyyy short paragraph that was their own work, than pages and pages of someone else’s. And if they came to ask me questions, I would be nothing but happy!

I told them that I didn’t just want to teach them the language, but to teach them values as well. I reallyyyy dislike dishonesty. They weren’t handing in honest work at all, and that’s not good. If they were doing this now, then would they be copying other people’s work in PMR?? @.@ Hand in poor work, but their best effort; at least you were honest with me, and with yourself.

I made them promise me that they would never do this again. Idzral was the first to say he would not do it again, and the rest followed his lead and told me the same. Haris later told me he was sorry too, which I am grateful for. I really hope I don’t catch them doing this again T.T

Today, I was quite happy because everyone in 1 Best brought their textbooks 😀

Hopefully, this continues 🙂

Unfortunately, I found myself straining a little bit more than usual. My voice, I mean. Some were being rather noisy, and I had to get their attention. I purposely called on them to answer questions, try to catch them not paying attention. They were mostly able to answer, though.

I did Prepositions of Time with them, from textbook page 70 and 71. Discussed with them the difference between “at 6.30 pm” and “by 6.30 pm”. And many other prepositions like, “before”, “after” “on” and etc. Followed the examples in the textbook, and it all seemed fine. I even asked them questions to test their understanding, first. But it was only when they were attempting the passage on page 71, referring to the timetable given, there seemed to be a confusion between “before” and “by”. I tried to explain that “before” meant any time earlier than, but not including the time stated, and “by” meant anytime before and including the time stated.

It took some time to rectify it. But I hope they understand now 🙂

A liiiiiiittle bit rushed for time at the end, and I decided to do my closure activity first, before Development 2, because I felt it was necessary to test if they’ve gotten it right first, before getting them to try out completing the passage with the right prepositions on their own. Still, there were a little hiccoughs, but all in all, not too bad a lesson 😀

However, the points system thing seems to be biting me in the butt! >.< Now, every time I ask a question and someone answers it, they keep demanding that I give them points, even though I did tell them that I did not GUARANTEE points, but would give them if I saw fit. Still, they kept pestering me, and it was getting a little bit annoying. To the point that they were interrupting me while I was teaching to keep demanding the points.

The next time that happens again, I’m going to blow up and deduct points instead. That will teach them! >.<

Day #27 – 9 Apr 2012

Assembly was super long today—had to follow the alternative Monday timetable, and even then the first period after assembly was affected. @.@

Sun gave the announcement and I helped Ustazah Zainah with the prizes for Kelab Pengguna who won 2nd place in the Putrajaya Explorace Interactive Challenge. There quite a number of other societies and events giving out prizes to the students too, so it took up a lot of time!

Anyway, my period was not affected. However, I got two relief classes from Kak Ida during assembly! Oh, joy. >.< 5 Sau seems okay, but 1 Perd too? Oh no 😦

Today, I had a special lesson planned. I was going to do the poem Mr. Nobody in class today with 1 Best—using ICT!!! 😉 For Teaching of Literature last semester, one of our assignments was to create lesson plans and activities for teaching literature in schools. Sun and I worked on incorporating ICT to teach—coincidentally—this very poem! 😀

So, would you believe it? I already had a Prezi presentation and a video (created by Sun) to teach Mr. Nobody! All I needed was the LCD projector and my laptop, of course. Now, I had already contacted the teacher-in-charge of the portable LCD projectors (since the class did not have an installed LCD projector) last week on Wednesday that I would need to use the LCD projector for my lesson on Monday, today. She said okay.

But this morning, when I looked under her table to see if the bag with the LCD projector was there, it wasn’t. I was a little worried, but nevermind, I knew that there were two (yes, only TWO in the entire school! >.<) LCD projectors. So if this one wasn’t available, I could try getting the other one.

But I had relief classes and all, and every time I was in the staff room, I didn’t see the teacher-in-charge! @.@ The time approached for my class with 1 Best (the second and third last periods of the day), and I still could not get the LCD projector. I finally saw Pn. Mas Yanti, and she told me that a teacher must have taken the one under her table, without her prior permission, but there was one at the office, if I asked Abang Halil.

Unfortunately, that one had been taken as well, and the teacher who had, was nowhere to be found. T.T

Mentally, I was preparing myself to carry on with the lesson without the video and the Prezi presentation. But how sad! I had lugged my heavy laptop all the way to school, and for no reason at all! I was unable to carry out my lesson as I had planned! Which really sucked, it did. 😦

I had to explain to the students that I had tried, but there was no way for me to play the video and Prezi presentation for them today 😦 I could tell they were really excited about watching the video, and kept offering suggestions like, going to the library (not suitable for playing videos for a big group) and the computer lab (there were no LCD projectors there either!) T.T They were upset about it, and frankly, so was I. I hated that, here I was, trying to use ICT in a school that should have the facilities for it, and yet, unable to carry it out! Why were there only two miserable LCD projectors for the whole school to use? Why did the teachers take the LCD projectors without informing anyone or with the prior necessary permission? Isn’t it a little selfish, and unfair? Other teachers may want to use them too 😦

So I carried out my lesson without it. Well, technically, it was still alright. Only that the lesson became very very dry, when it could have been accompanied with visuals and music! 😦 I recited the poem instead, because, well, in the video, it was my voice reciting the poem anyway. Just this time, it wasn’t recorded—it was live. 😛

But when going through the poem, line by line, I kept thinking it would be soooo much better with the Prezi presentation. Then it wouldn’t be too boring. As it was, I had to act rather animated just to keep the students awake! It was that kind of a hot dusty afternoon that can reallyyyyy make one sleepy @.@

Still, the class didn’t turn out too bad. They were able to follow the lesson, hopefully. I will continue with Mr. Nobody next week. If the LCD projector is available then, I’ll try it again for them. I plan to do the same lesson with 1 Buck this Thursday. Hopefully, I won’t experience the same problems again! >.<