Friday, 21 February 2014

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 7

Reading Programme
Deadline: 25 Feb (Tue)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 25 Feb (Tue) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the articles found here for this week's reading task and complete the question at the end. 

Feedback for CHIJ Secondary Preliminary Examination 2013 Paper 2
We will be doing the feedback for this comprehension practice this week. You have submitted the work to me a few weeks ago. Please re-read the passages to prepare yourself for the lesson and bring along the passages.

There is no other preparation required this week. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Follow-up for Feedback Lesson on Proposal Writing

Please post your responses to the questions I put up on the board during lesson today as comments to this post.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 7

Reading Programme
Deadline: 18 Feb (Tue)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 18 Feb (Tue) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the following articles for this week's reading task:
(a) "Developing a sense of rootedness" found here and complete the reading task at the end of the article. 
(b) Article on Television given out during assembly today and write one paragraph, supported by your own examples, in response to the following question:

How applicable are the criticism made by the author to all forms screen entertainment readily available to children today?

Preparation for Lessons
Do a brief research on the issues from "Our Singapore Conversations" mentioned in your question paper for the proposal writing assignment you did a few weeks ago. You should be familiar with the background of the issues listed. The question paper can be found here

Monday, 10 February 2014

Preparation for 3rd English lesson in Term 1 Week 6

Please see this file and make your choices as comments to this thread.

Lesson Summary 10/02/14 by Crystal

Learning points for today:

How to craft a good point
- It must be related to the question and the stand. One or two keywords should be addressed in your point.

Good examples should:
- include the keywords or key issues
- must be able to fit the question in.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Feedback on Reading Tasks submitted in Term 1 Week 5

1) Gender is no longer a helpful concept
2) How to eat ice cream

Citing the author's argument in your response
The purpose of the reading task is to get you to critique the author's arguments. Given the purpose, it should be clear that you would need to do the following:
(a) Identify the specific arguments from the author which you would like to discuss
(b) State your position on these arguments

Many of you did not identify any arguments from the text and went straight to give your own opinion on the issue in general. Such a discussion can be done even without close reading of the text and is not the intention of the Reading Programme. In real life, it is like having a discussion with someone without addressing any of his points specifically.

Several students did manage to identify arguments from the text. But for this group of students, a common problem is the presentation of your information. If you are unclear in your signalling, your reader would not be able to tell which part of your paragraph consists of the author's argument and which part consists of yours. A simple way of doing the signalling would be to use phrase such as "The author argues / points out / states that...", "One point from the author is that...", "I think that...", "I agree with the author...". You could also replace the word 'author' with the first name of the author (e.g. Lo).

Summarising / Repeating / Explaining the text
The Reading Task is an application task, not a summary task. As such, there is no need to spend an inordinate amount of time to summarise, repeat or explain the text. Just cite whatever you need to make your argument. You can assume that your reader would have read the same text as you. Having said that, do not cite blindly from the text either. You need to show some understanding, and it is possible to show understanding without needing to do a lot of explanation. In fact, much of your understanding would be displayed in your ability to make judgements on the author's arguments and draw in your own examples to relate to these arguments.

Supporting your opinion with your own examples
Many students are not providing any examples to support your opinion. What you cite as examples are often mere opinions. It would be good to review your understanding of what constitutes an opinion and what constitutes an example.

Key points in the text "Gender is no longer a helpful concept" 
Lo points out that in terms of differences in economic roles (e.g. jobs), social roles and expectations, and even biological roles, gender as a differentiating concept is becoming increasingly irrelevant. However, he maintains that the concept of gender still has an important role to play as a moral guardian.

Students may discuss any of the points raised by Lo and relate it to their society. Some students ignored the requirement to relate the points to the situation in their society and went on to write a general response about gender roles in the world, which was largely irrelevant to the question.

Key points in the text "How to eat ice cream"
Eco opines that there is a human tendency for excesses and waste. He laments that this is worsened by parents over-indulging their children and spoiling them, and a consumerist society trying to do the same to adults. He finds this development undesirable, indecent and decadent. Students were asked if they found Eco's concern still applicable in today's society (in general, not just your society).

Students may choose to discuss whether children and adults in today's society are still being encouraged to over-indulge and if so, whether such over-indulgence is indeed undesirable. A typical argument would likely point out that today's children are also spoilt with many of them being given expensive things they do not need (just like having two 2 cents cones), for example, smartphones. A valid concern would be the values and attitudes that the children would grow up with, as well as how consumerism can be harmful to the environment.  However, it is also possible to disagree with the author. Smartphones for example, could be seen as an investment in the future of the children, by getting them exposed to the technology that drives their world at an earlier age so as to give them an edge. Therefore, it might not be fair to characterise smartphones as two 2 cents cones. Moreover, consumerism is not entirely without its merits. It is the engine that drives the world economy, helping to lift many in the world out of poverty and bringing us many modern conveniences. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 6

Make up lesson on 14 Feb Friday
I am not going to be in school on 17 Feb (Mon). As such, a make-up lesson has been planned on 14 Feb (Fri) from 1245h to 1345h. The venue will be your regular classroom. Attendance is compulsory. Plans for your regular EL lesson on 17 Feb (Mon) will be confirmed in due course as I am asking if any of your teachers would like to take over that slot.

Reading Programme
Deadline: 10 Feb (Mon)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 10 Feb (Mon) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the following two articles given out in class today and do the tasks found at the end of the articles for this week's reading task:
(a) How important are dreams
(b) The busy trap

Preparation for lesson
Ready for lesson on 10 Feb (Mon)
Read the handout on Paragraph Development found here
(a) Make a copy of the document on your own google drive. 
(b) On your own copy, analyse the sample paragraphs based on the given instructions.
(c) Use the comment and highlighting functions to do your analysis

You are required to bring your LDs to class and load your analysis before lesson for checking. Please arrange your tables in the required seating arrangement for English.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Homework on Signposting

Please post what you group has been assigned to do as comments to this thread.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Feedback for Term 1 Week 2 Reading Tasks

Admin matters for Reading Tasks
1) Do not submit reading tasks which have already been marked. You are to file them in the big blue ring file for EL according to the instructions mentioned in the Admin Guide.

2) Do not file other worksheets with your Reading Task Binder. Each week, I should only see the required reading tasks in your binder and nothing else.

3) Staple your tasks to the articles and submit them together.

4) Leave the appropriate margin in your writing to ensure that your writing is not blocked by the layout of the file when you write on the back facing side of your paper.

5) Use the correct content page, punch holes and file it on top of your reading tasks. All materials should be filed this way for easy access.

Feedback on Reading Tasks
1) The feedback for "Why a fat tax won't work in Singapore" and "The End of Serendipity" have been posted on the cohort Facebook group to benefit more students.

2) For "The Machine Stops", many students managed to see that today's society is becoming less personal and face-to-face interaction is on the decline. An often cited example is the prevalence of texting and surfing on social media sites even when in the company of others.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Follow up for lesson on Question Analysis

Please post your learning points for today's lesson as comments to this thread. Each group is to post at least one learning point and you should not post a point already posted by another group. This learning point could be something we covered during the lesson, or something which came to you as a result of going through the preparation I set last week, or even something which came after the lesson. Do spend some time thinking about it as this is a critical skill.

Please complete this by 3 Feb Wednesday.

Here are some questions which may help you in posting your learning points:
1) What have you noticed about using the different methods of generating ideas?
2) What have you learnt about translating the ideas that you have generated into points?
3) What are some things to look out for when analysing the question?
4) Why are some words in the question more important than others? Are there unimportant words which we can ignore?
5) Can there be more than one possible stand to a question?

You may also comment on other areas not covered by my question.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Online automated writing tutoring program to help you improve your language

SST has subscribed to a web-based grammar database "Grammarly@EDU".
Grammarly@edu is an automated writing tutoring program which 
  • helps students develop sentence-level writing skills like grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and vocabulary usage;
  • reinforces proper citation habits by directing students to improperly quoted content in their texts;
  • encourages students to revise their writing, helping to improve the quality of written assignments which students turn in;

To access the program:

2) Click on "Sign-up" button at the upper right corner of the page.
3) Enter your name and institutional email (SST email) address; choose a password.
4) Click "Continue", you will receive an email confirming your registration
5) Click on the link in the confirmation email and you will have access to Grammarly@EDU