Thursday, 22 January 2015

First Day Teacher Internship in an American School........

It was a bright sunny day, the sky was a soft shade of blue and there was a slide breeze in the air. I stepped out of the cab that was sending us for our teacher internship right in front of the entrance of  Riverside Middle School. I did not know why, my heart was thumping really hard that it could jump out .. perhaps it was because that was my first day in a completely different environment as a teacher,,,, other teacher interns were equally nervous as all of them we very quiet in the cab. 
       Once we were inside the school building, we were shown our way to the office to meet the principal Dr.Kevin Black, a charismatic man in his forties who has shown high leadership skills in Riverside Middle and gained the highest esteem from the teachers there. I did notice at my first glance that he was a man who lead by example. I saw him running the school with great care and concern. He was rather very friendly and warm to the students. One thing I noticed about him was when he needed some students to arrange the chair in assembly hall he called them in and arranged the chairs with them ( something that I have never seen in Malaysia, where principals only give orders and never lifted a finger.......,oppps no offence).  His exemplary acts are followed by the teachers as well. 
            During the assembly we were asked to introduce ourselves, we did but the students did not seemed to respond while we were introducing ourselves, there was a pin drop silence at the assembly hall and all their eyes were on us.. Despite the jitters, I  put a brave front and introduced myself to the students... I think they were told to keep quiet and watch their manners as they were all very quiet( we used to do that in Malaysia when we have visitors right?)....hahahahahaha

After the assembly ended we were approached by some students and they welcomed us in their american accent and asked more things about our countries until they were shooed away by a disciplinarian.. One thing I notice during my first day was the students do not greet their teachers with a 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' but with a simple 'hi' or 'hey' and the teachers seem to be okay with that.( In Malaysia, the "goods"is a must to show respect right? well that's our asian culture)

I was then approached by Miss. Wendy Hawkins and she informed me that my teacher partner Ms. Sharon was unable to come to school and  she will be my teacher partner till Ms. Sharon comes back. So I followed her to her class. Since it was my first day of internship, all I did was introducing myself to the students and sit and observe Ms. Wendy Hawkins. It was a great experience to be with Miss. Hawkins on my first day of internship because Ms. Hawkins has won the ‘Teacher of The Year’ award several times in the district and state. She shared her files, her lesson plans, the syllabus and also her modules generously, she even allowed me to make copies of her materials.... Such a great generosity!!!!!!!!!
Ms.Hawkin's Awards 
Ms. Hawkins teaches writing to 8th grade students (Form 2 in Malaysia). Her teaching style is completely different and in USA they are definitely using the 21st century teaching skills and she limits her role as a guide and fasilitator in the class and allow students to explore the ideas on their own using laptops and other gadgets. Her writing lessons start with a simple short journal writing activity related to the topics/theme that they are learning and she continues her lesson with her current lesson. Currently she is piloting project based learning, where students are required to read, adopt and adapt articles form certain sites on the internet. Students are required to complete a four paged guided report based on their research on internet and their final work will be composition based on the knowledge that they have gained from their research they did on the internet. It was really, really interesting…In Malaysia, we have always seen that teachers including me  can start and complete one essay writing activity in just two - periods but here in US one writing lesson can be stretched to weeks, they really stress on the quality of writing by making sure students know what they are writing. Right now I am thinking of adapting this project- based learning activity in Malaysia once I am back and it is going to be exciting to bring back something worth it … at least for those who are thinking that I am having a holiday now they know that I am actually doing something beneficial here…hahahaha…..
American textbooks and teacher guide manuals 

Back to the American classroom, Ms. Hawkin’s classroom is very organised and she loves blue very much so she decorated her classroom in blue which was eyes- soothing. I loved the arrangement. The number of her students in her class are from 20 to 25. I was told that a maximum number of students she supposed to have is only 25 and cannot be more than that. Being a teacher for 18 years she organizes her classroom so well and her students seem to love her so much… I did not see any errand offenders on my first day.. the kids seem to be very loving and fun. I saw some cheeky ones too who seem to be excited to see us and tried to crack jokes….I just laughed although I did not know what they were saying…hahahaha

The American classroom is so cool.........
 My first day was really  awesome and looking forward to go to school again and carry out my 1st lesson which will be about Malaysia…I am excited and will share once I am done with it…..



Monday, 19 January 2015

Year 2015 - fulfilling My American Dream.....

Hello people..........with the blessings of  Almighty,  2014 has been a great year as I had countless achievements and accolades.....millions of thanks to everyone who has made all the awards and achievements possible.....and without the support of family and friends as well as divine intervention nothing would have been possible.....
Experiencing snow for the first time 

I would say the divine intervention did not stop in 2014 but continues in 2015 as I am embarking a journey of lifetime for the next few months of my life in USA a country that many people like me would want to go....I am indeed lucky to be selected in an International Program which is held in America where I get to meet and live with teachers from other countries as well as attend classes at Clemson University and will be teaching in a Middle School here in South Carolina....
my crazy classmates




For many, they would think that this is a paid holiday, but for me, it is different....... it is time to learn and share as well as to bring back countless wisdom back to my country to be shared with my colleagues and of course I will visit all the places that I got to see in Hollywood movies.....hahahaha.....

Regards, 
Mohana 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Catch Us If You Can - Sample Questions and Answers

For those who will be sitting for the SPM examination next week, here are some sample questions and answers based on the novel Catch Us If You Can.... I hope these samples will be helpful in your last minute preparation for the battle next week.  I have analysed past years papers and hope one of these questions or anything related will be tested. Please click here to download the samples.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Literature Practice - Form 4

I have compiled two sets of questions based on the poems He Had Such Quiet eyes and In the Midst of Hardship. It can help our students to understand the poems much better. It is easier for the students to understand the poems when there is drilling our different types of questions rather than explaining over and over again the content of the poem. Please click here to download the questions and here to download the answers ... Unfortunately I am still working on the Form 5 poems...once I have tested them with my students I will definitely share them here.....

please drop by to say thank you...If you find this to be helpful.......

Thursday, 16 October 2014

MICELT and MELTA Conference Materials


 Champion
Tan Sri wira Abdul Rahman Arshad Debate Championship National Level,
Sibu Sarawak. ( 18 - 22 September 2014) 
Hi, it has been a long time that I did not post anything here....I have been very busy since after  the Raya Break. What have I been doing you may ask, too many things actually  that I can't really post here yet....but I can tell you that right after the Raya break I attended two conferences and right after that I was busy with the marking of PT3 and SPM trial papers.  I was also training my dearest students for the Tan Sri Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad Cup -  mind you it was a national level debate competition. The good news is we won!!! YES!!! we won the nationals for the first time...It was our determination, hardwork as well as God's blessings. By the way as  promised I would like to share the materials I used for my presentations at MELTA and MICELT conferences last month. Please feel free to download them. Please click here to download the powerpoint. Next am planning to present in an International Conference in Hong Kong somewhere in 2015 ..Hopefully I will reach there.....

Here are the ways to use MTVs in your lessons : 

a) First you need to get the right video so that your students can understand the content. Please make sure the video does not contain any sexual explicit materials and it goes along with your scheme of work and syllabus. 

b) Next you need to plan how you are going to go about your lesson using the video. If you are just showing them the video and asking them to write an essay based on the video right, its just not going to work. You need to plan some activities related to the video to ensure your students understand the content. 

c) Prepare task sheets. your task sheets can be simple questions related to the video. You can ask your students to rearrange the sequence of the video which is in written form.  You can also create information transfer kind of activities based on the video you want to show them, while watching the video you can ask them to complete the chart by transferring information from the video.

d) If you are to choose a music video, make sure  you choose a video which has a story.   When the MTV has a storyline it will be easier for you to teach your students to write a composition based on the video. 

here is an example of an MTV : 



Sunday, 14 September 2014

MELTA and MICELT MATERIALS 2014

Hello all, I know that I promised to all those who came to my session that I will upload my materials here as soon as possible,... I'm so sorry for not uploading them yet.....I will uplod the materials as soon as I'm done with things that I am being busy with yea....sorry for the inconvenience caused...


Regards, 
Mohana 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

What have I been doing?

It has been quite sometime I did not post anything on this blog and I did not know that I have some readers  who are quietly following me. They mailed me asking what had happened. Well, these people have really made my day...well here is the answer..............This year has been quite a tough year for me, personally and professionally. My job at school has become very demanding and I am in the midst of doing my dissertation. On top of that I have been attending state level courses and conducting district level courses. Right now I have my plate overloaded and hopefully I can cope with it. Well, the one thing that puts a smile on my face is definitely the APC which I received recently for the second time. I received my first APC in 2007 and after a short break it came on my way again. Besides, I have received my CPT results recently and it was to my satisfaction (C1).I am definitely thankful for all the blessings. This week I will be presenting at MELTA Conference in Kuching.....hope everything goes well...I will share it here once am back from Kuching. I have also received a good news two days ago... I am not going to share about it yet....Will share it once everything is confirmed....