Archive for the ‘Effective Teaching and Learning’ Category

Putting the fun back in learning

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
Teachers found Manoharans (standing) talk both insightful and inspiring.

Teachers found Manoharans (standing) talk both insightful and inspiring.

To mark The Star’s 20th year in NiE, workshops are being held for teachers to hone their skills and creativity in language lessons.

A teacher is always a learner before a teacher. These were among words of wisdom that Star-NiE freelance trainer Lucille Dass imparted to some 48 secondary school English teachers during a workshop held at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.

The Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) workshop, held recently, aimed to convey creative methods of using the newspaper as a resource in language lessons. Another session for 45 primary school English teachers was held the day before. Both workshops were the first of many that have been planned until September for teachers from Klang Valley schools.

The Selangor State and Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Education Departments and the Institute of Teacher Education, international languages campus, Kuala Lumpur, are jointly collaborating on the project to mark Star-NiE’s 20th anniversary.

Dass, a strong advocate for fun learning, had each teacher unleashing the child in them as they sang and clapped to some of the activities.

The workshop concluded with an empowering talk by the Institute of Teacher Education, international languages campus, Kuala Lumpur, lecturer Manoharan Nalliah.

“Teachers create all other professions – that’s how powerful we are,” he said.

Echoing Dass’ sentiment, he said: “The minute they (the students) have fun with language, they remember. The main idea of bringing language arts into the curriculum is to include one hour of teaching language in a fun manner.”

Teachers were engaged and enthusiastic, eagerly showing off their activity sheets to Dass during the workshop.

Teachers were engaged and enthusiastic, eagerly showing off their activity sheets to Dass during the workshop.

He also noted that while “HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills)” and “21st century learning skills” are terms that are heavily used of late, NiE has been tapping into these skills since its inception in the 1980s. “I have always felt that the newspaper is the best resource because it is so authentic.”

Workshop participant Zulmazlina Zulkifli from SMK Shah Alam thought that the talk by Nalliah was positive and inspiring.

“It encourages us to be better teachers. I think it’s good for teachers to come out and listen to people who inspire. Being a teacher is not easy.”

Adam Dharma from SMK Bandar Tasik Puteri found the NiE activities they picked up at the sessions useful and applicable in the KSSM (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah).

“They are suitable as action-oriented tasks for students.

“A major challenge is to get my students interested in the language. And the newspaper caters to all. Students can find something that interest them.”

A newcomer to NiE, English teacher Foo Sue May from SMK Assunta, Petaling Jaya, said it was an insightful session. “The newspaper is a good material to use in class – it is authentic and has lots of images so it is attractive to students. It would make students more interested in learning English. I like how the activities are interactive and it gets them talking.”

SMI Al-Amin Gombak English teacher Yusmedarwati Mohd Yusoff, whose school recently subscribed to 430 copies, also attended an NiE workshop for the first time.

“We received our first issue last week and the students were very happy with the activities, especially the hands-on ones. I’ve been teaching for 12 years, but now I feel like I’ve just gotten a new gadget.”

“The government is trying to raise English proficiency standards, and I think this is a good way to help students. The workshop was very helpful. I have lots of ideas in mind and I can’t wait to carry out the activities with my students!”

Petaling Utama district education office English Language officer Nuraini Abd Rahman encouraged teachers to attend the workshop. “It’s a great method to teach English. Many topics in The Star coincide with themes in the syllabus.

“I encourage teachers to pick up this method of teaching. It also promotes reading and literacy. From reading materials like the newspaper, pupils are aware of what is happening in the world and it will prepare them for future endeavours.”

by EMILY CHAN
Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/03/05/putting-the-fun-back-in-learning/#0eKLFzlfLs8XlWTl.99

Follow Curriculum Prepared For P&P, Teachers Told

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

SUNGAI PETANI, Jan 16 (Bernama) — Teachers have been advised not to wait for or use last year’s examination format as reference in their teaching and learning (P&P) sessions this year, said Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.

Instead, Khair urged the teachers to follow the new curriculum prepared by the Education Ministry as it had been completed and comprehensively fulfilled all aspects of education.

“The new standard curriculum for primary and secondary schools have been reviewed. Thus, we do not want teachers to wait for last year’s examination format or even use the older format.

“In the curriculum, we have clarified what needs to be taught, what needs to be achieved and what needs to be defined… that is sufficient,” he told reporters after attending the 1Malaysia Young Teachers’ Professional Discourse for Kuala Muda and Yan districts, here today.

Meanwhile, Khair assured that in empowering the 21st century education, students with special needs and Orang Asli children would not be neglected.

“We will continue with what has been implemented and further boost the P&P to ensure these students are not left behind.

“The 21st century is the time for student-centred learning, we evaluate them based on their activities and interaction ability, not focusing only on examinations,” he said.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1320450

Turning lessons into song songs

Sunday, January 15th, 2017
Chong is making history of his own by coming up with new lyrics to popular songs. — Bernama

A teacher is gaining fame for helping his students memorise facts through catchy songs.

HISTORY (Sejarah) is a subject that is perceived to be difficult, with most local students finding it dull and boring because it involves reading and memorising.

A good knowledge of a nation’s history is essential for all. It teaches us about the experiences and lives of people who lived in different times and places.

Last year, a teacher took the unconventional step of turning history lessons into entertaining songs, making the events and dates much easier to digest.

Vulcan Chong Weng Hon decided to turn the content of the Forms Four and Five Sejarah syllabus into lyrics centred around popular tunes to make it easier for his students to memorise them.

The 25-year-old teaches at a tuition centre in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.

In March, Chong listed down and transformed Sejarah topics into songs that were trending among young people.

He uploads them to his YouTube channel called Sejarah Melody.

He thinkgs that many students don’t like Sejarah because it requires memorising dates, difficult to pronounce foreign names, and complicated storylines.

“Songs not only help in memorising the details of an event, but also in making the learning process enjoyable,” he said.

Chong spends about two weeks to transform historical events into a song by drawing upon key contents of the SPM Sejarah syllabus.

Among the popular songs that he has “modified” are Eyes, Nose, Lips by South Korean heartthrob Taeyang, Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars, and the Doraemon theme song.

“In the beginning, I had included some Chinese words in the lyrics to make it easier for my Chinese students to understand.

“However, after uploading my first video on YouTube, I discovered that many non-Chinese students also enjoyed my video. They also requested that I use lyrics in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) .

by SOON LI WEI.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/01/15/turning-lessons-into-song-songs/

Making the classroom more conducive

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

THE incident where one of our secondary school students fell to his death from the third floor of his school made me very sad.

Being a discipline teacher for more than a decade, I understand that adolescents at that age are very agile and need time to break free.

According to reports, the student was trying to rescue a school bag which another friend had thrown down is all quite natural gimmicks among adolescents.

In my years of dealing with adolescent boys and girls, I have dealt with more cases. However what I am going to highlight here is when did the incident happen. If it was during school hours, then what were the teachers doing?

One of my unwritten regulations for my trainee teachers when they start their practical teaching is to be at the classroom at least several minutes before the bell goes off for the next period. Being early before the teacher in class leaves can resolve many discipline issues.

In my own experience, once the bell goes, the students who actually need a physical stretch after a 40 or 80 minute lesson will start running around or to the next class to have some excitement. And I think it is only natural for them to have such an urge as they have been focusing or trying to focus on the lesson taught.

Research has shown that many discipline cases do take place during change of periods. Usually in the olden days, the principal or other school administrative will make their rounds during such times. It is still a routine in several schools and a kind of subtle warning that all students and teachers are to be in class to continue with the learning and teaching process.

After all these years in the educational field, I ask myself … I just finished an 80 minute class which could be anything from Science, Maths, languages, Religious Education or Moral Education. I have another three different subjects before recess or school ends. What do I need? Yes, a short break to rest my mind, exercise my limbs and refresh my muscles. And how can teachers help deal with that need? I always made sure that my students kept standing after they got up to wish me and did some physical movement and basic exercises in the classroom, spoke to their friends about anything and then settle down. But because Moral Education (that I mostly taught) is a subject where the Muslim and non-Muslim students have to go to their respective classes, students would have moved a bit and felt fresh to start a new subject.

In most New Zealand secondary schools, students have the privilege to move from one building to another building. Meaning teachers of different subjects are in the specific rooms and it’s the students who move from classroom to classroom.

It gives the students the opportunity to walk, chat with their friends a bit, go for nature’s call, feel refreshed and continue with the next subject. Year 12 and Year 13 students (Lower Six and Upper Six) also have the privilege to leave the school grounds for lunch breaks or a short rest at home if home was nearby. The issue of students playing truant hardly exist.

by DR VISHALACHE BALAKRISHNAN.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/11/06/making-the-classroom-more-conducive/

Better learning outcomes for all

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
Making moves: Mahdzir playing a game of chess with low vision student Muhd Naqiuddin Azim after opening the symposium.

Making moves: Mahdzir playing a game of chess with low vision student Muhd Naqiuddin Azim after opening the symposium.

MALAYSIA will achieve full primary school enrolment within the next few years.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said it was possible despite the challenges his ministry faced in reaching out to some indigenous communities.

“We face a problem reaching out to those who live in very remote parts of Malaysia (like the areas in Sarawak and Sabah that are nearer to Indonesia),” he told reporters after launching the Education 2030 Symposium here on Tuesday.

The symposium focused on the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4), which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Some of the students from these communities have to travel a few days to reach the nearest school.

Although the ministry had provided hostels and boarding schools, Mahdzir said that the children needed adequate supervision, especially when they enrolled in schools at the age of seven.

He also said that based on the 2015 annual report of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, primary school enrolment stood at 98%, while upper secondary school enrolment was at 85%. This situation could be due to students finding jobs to support their families.

He said students dropping out was especially prevalent among those in the lower income bracket.

In this regard, Mahdzir said the game changer for secondary schools may be TVET (technical and vocational education and training). “We can do this (increase enrolment rates) by adding more vocational courses,” he said, adding that this could help retain students who prefer the TVET path.

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/08/28/better-learning-outcomes-for-all/

Bringing positive pacts and outcomes

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

They are extraordinary people who not only teach, but also help youth from displaced and deprived backgrounds learn new skills and find their voice.

WHILE the right to education is enshrined in various universal proclamations, such as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, the sad truth is that many children are still not accorded the kind of education they deserve.

Realising that more can be done to improve the lot of children and teens, many Malaysians have stepped in to do their bit.

“It is pointless watching from the sidelines. If there is a way to help improve a situation, we must lend a hand,” says S. Siva Ahnantham, a volunteer teacher.

“We need to step back from our everyday lives, appreciate what we have and contribute in whatever way we can to those who aren’t as fortunate,” adds the IT consultant.

In Kuala Lumpur, just across the Chan Sow Lin LRT station, IDEAS, an independent Malaysian think tank, has been offering help to disadvantaged teens and refugees.

IDEAS Academy provides secondary level education for those aged between 12 and 15.

It is an initiative supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Our plan is to expand to pre-university (A Levels), which means that we will soon have students aged up to 18,” says IDEAS Academy board chairman and IDEAS chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan, 41.

Cup cakes: Students getting baking tips from an instructor at the IDEAS Academy.

Cup cakes: Students getting baking tips from an instructor at the IDEAS Academy.

UNHCR says that Malaysia has 151,560 refugees and asylum-seekers from conflict areas.

Of these, 34,000 are children below the age of 18, and only 28% of them have access to education.

When IDEAS Academy conducted its first lesson in September 2014 in a classroom in HELP College of Arts and Technology, only 24 students showed up. Through word of mouth, the number soon ballooned to over 100 students.

A year later, the centre moved to its present site where it occupies four floors. To date, this is the only secondary education provider available within the area for refugee children, adds Wan Saiful.

by OOI MAY SIM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/07/31/bringing-positive-pacts-and-outcomes/

Bringing positive pacts and outcomes

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

They are extraordinary people who not only teach, but also help youth from displaced and deprived backgrounds learn new skills and find their voice.

WHILE the right to education is enshrined in various universal proclamations, such as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, the sad truth is that many children are still not accorded the kind of education they deserve.

Realising that more can be done to improve the lot of children and teens, many Malaysians have stepped in to do their bit.

“It is pointless watching from the sidelines. If there is a way to help improve a situation, we must lend a hand,” says S. Siva Ahnantham, a volunteer teacher.

“We need to step back from our everyday lives, appreciate what we have and contribute in whatever way we can to those who aren’t as fortunate,” adds the IT consultant.

Let’s groove: Students at the IDEAS Academy moving to the tune of a Bollywood song as their dance teacher Nisha Kaur Sandhu (front) leads the way. — SAMUEL ONG / The Star

Let’s groove: Students at the IDEAS Academy moving to the tune of a Bollywood song as their dance teacher Nisha Kaur Sandhu (front) leads the way. — SAMUEL ONG / The Star

In Kuala Lumpur, just across the Chan Sow Lin LRT station, IDEAS, an independent Malaysian think tank, has been offering help to disadvantaged teens and refugees.

IDEAS Academy provides secondary level education for those aged between 12 and 15.

It is an initiative supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Our plan is to expand to pre-university (A Levels), which means that we will soon have students aged up to 18,” says IDEAS Academy board chairman and IDEAS chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan, 41.

Cup cakes: Students getting baking tips from an instructor at the IDEAS Academy.

Cup cakes: Students getting baking tips from an instructor at the IDEAS Academy.

UNHCR says that Malaysia has 151,560 refugees and asylum-seekers from conflict areas.

Of these, 34,000 are children below the age of 18, and only 28% of them have access to education.

When IDEAS Academy conducted its first lesson in September 2014 in a classroom in HELP College of Arts and Technology, only 24 students showed up. Through word of mouth, the number soon ballooned to over 100 students.

A year later, the centre moved to its present site where it occupies four floors. To date, this is the only secondary education provider available within the area for refugee children, adds Wan Saiful.

by OOI MAY SIM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/07/31/bringing-positive-pacts-and-outcomes/

Need for students to learn new words

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

VOCABULARY is a term used to define the words which make up a certain language. More often than not, teaching vocabulary tends to be one of the biggest challenges faced by educators in schools.

This is partly due to the fact that the teaching of vocabulary is not emphasised enough in schools as compared with other aspects of language acquisition such as grammar or composition.

Consequently, vocabulary is sidelined and neither students nor teachers have the inclination to explore it. Students need to be taught the importance of learning vocabulary from a young age because a strong command of vocabulary enables the child to write, read and understand far beyond his age.

There are many methods of teaching vocabulary that teachers can utilise in school that are both enjoyable and educational at the same time.

One of the most basic ways to teach words is to use words.

It is not enough for students to merely know the meaning of a word, rather they should be able to identify the different forms and functions of the word as this knowledge will enable them to use the word in different contexts.

There are several aspects that the teacher can choose to teach depending on the student’s age and capability such as the root of a word, its meaning, the different forms, function, other related words as well as synonyms and antonyms.

For example, if the teacher is introducing the word “pinching” he can first start by teaching his students the root of the word which is pinch. Its meaning is to squeeze. Adding suffixes such as pinching or pinched and related words such as pain or squeeze will help student expand their knowledge of one word and simultaneously learn different words that are related.

Moreover, visual aids are very useful tools in aiding teachers to teach vocabulary as they are extremely stimulating and engaging.

Flash cards and drawings can be used with younger learners. They also respond well to colours and images.

In addition, teachers can also make use of the “realia” concept by directing their student’s attention to the objects in their surrounding environment to further stimulate their creativity.

This is because research has shown that cognitive growth starts from an early age and is stimulated by visuals.

For instance, if a teacher is introducing words associated with shapes such as a circle for the first time, he may begin by showing the class a flash card of what a circle looks like, then he may teach them how to spell circle.

After that he may ask the students to identify an object in the classroom that is circular in shape and ask them to describe it. Activities like this will help students remember the word with ease as they’re able to visualise the words being taught.

Furthermore, using games to introduce new words can be an excellent method to get students interested in vocabulary.

Word games like Scrabble or Pictionary can be used in the classroom with the supervision of the teacher. Teachers should make sure that the game is played correctly and that they fully understand the meaning of the words.

by MIRIAM GUNA.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/07/10/need-for-students-to-learn-new-words/

Learning in a fun way

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

TEACHING and learning methods such as Play to Learn and Vedic Math may seem unconventional for some, but their proponents maintain these methods have been used effectively.

MathMonkey, which is headquartered in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, runs the MathBrain educational enrichment programme where unorthodox and hands-on methods are used to grab young students’ attention.

“We want to make learning maths fun for our young students.

“We use play to learn and Vedic Math to educate and gain their interest in learning mathematics in different ways at a young age,” said MathMonkey Asia International Franchise consultant T.K. Lee.

The MathBrain programme is for children aged between four and 12.

Lee said instead of spoon-feeding students with answers, instructors at their centres allow students to think for themselves and come up with solutions, thus refining their thinking skills.

No spoon feeding: Lee says instructors allow students to think for themselves and come up with solutions.

No spoon feeding: Lee says instructors allow students to think for themselves and come up with solutions.

MathBrain instructor Harsimar Kaur, 25, said the play to learn concept helps students hone their thinking.

“When they solve mathematical problems through games, they compete with each other healthily,” she said.

Lessons in the MathBrain programme are divided into three parts.

First, students will have their homework checked, followed by revision through games such as the card game Snap.

Harsimar said playing games during revision is a method of refreshing her students’ memory from lessons learnt in their previous class.

by SANDHYA MENON.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/06/26/learning-in-a-fun-way/

Report Card System In Schools To Be Improved – Mahdzir Khalid

Monday, June 20th, 2016

KUALA NERANG, June 19 (Bernama) — The report card system on students’ academic achievements will be improved to narrow the difference between urban and rural students, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said.

The move, he said, was aimed at improving the achievement of rural students, which had not been as satisfactory as that of students in urban schools.

“If we are to look at the graph on the academic achievement of rural students, it is still low and the ministry has to improve the report card system from time to time to improve the performance of rural schools.

“We have 134 district education offices (PPD) and they have carried out various incentives like giving prizes to students and schools with good performance,” he told a media conference after presenting aid to the less affordable here yesterday.

He said the ministry also wanted to see competition between the genders, which currently showed that the girls were better that the boys.

Mahdzir said the ministry would request the PPDs to submit reports on the performance of schools under their respective jurisdiction in a move to get the schools to resolve theirs.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Mahdzir said it had been the ministry desire to have a single morning session for all schools.

However, due to shortage of classrooms in secondary schools, but too many students, some schools are forced to have morning and afternoon sessions.

BERNAMA

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1256913