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Thursday, September 21, 2017



Parents Workshop: Tips To Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers

UPSR 2017 has just concluded. Did you know that with effect from the year 2016, the English paper for the UPSR examinations was broken into two separate grades. The abbreviation UPSR stands for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, which is the Primary School Achievement Test taken by all Malaysian students sitting for national examinations at the end of their sixth year in primary school before they leave for secondary school.

English Paper 2 which is the writing paper is now graded separately. Not only that, the number of multiple questions for Paper 1 has been reduced while subjective questions requiring writing skills are now included in English Paper 1.

This means overall, a lot more emphasis is now given to writing skills in the UPSR examinations.

On our Facebook group, we have two groups of parents. One group have kids sitting for UPSR in public schools. They are concerned about this new emphasis for kids to write creatively in HOTS (High Order Thinking Skills) types of questions. The other group of parents have kids who are transitioning to private or international schools. They may skip UPSR but they are also faced with the issue of making sure their kids can switch to an environment which require more creative writing in English.

Either way, as a parent, you may wish to support and help your kids to write more creatively. Whichever group of parents  you belong to, you will find this parents workshop useful for you to get ideas on how to help your child write better.

In conjunction with their 20th year Anniversary, Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail is offering this Parents Workshop on Tips to Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers to 20 lucky parents for just RM20 per person. We are now taking registrations for parents in our group. Parents, please go to this thread to leave your name in the comments section to secure your place. The workshop is on Wednesday 4th October, 2017 from 9.30 am to 11 am at Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail. It is for parents with kids aged 7 to 10 because it is ideal to pick up writing skills from young.

Details of the Parent Workshop
Title: Tips To Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers
Date: 4th October, 2017
Time: 9.30 am to 11 am
For Whom: Parents with kids aged 7 to 10
Fee: RM 20 *subject to 6% GST
Number: Limited to 20 pax.
Venue: Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Address: Units 8 & 10, Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Tel 7727 1909 or email ttdi@lornawhiston.com.my
Our Facebook group members, please proceed to this thread to leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017



Deepavali School Holidays 2017

When is Deepavali in 2017?

This year, 2017, Deepavali falls on Wednesday 18th October, 2017.

When is Deepavali School Holidays 2017?

For Schools in Group A observing Friday and Saturday as weekend including Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu, Deepavali 2017 School Holidays is on 15,16,17, and 19 October 2017. Add the weekends and you will have a stretch of holidays from Friday 13th October to Saturday 21 October 2017, a stretch of 9 days all together.

For Schools in Group B observing Saturday and Sunday as weekend including Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya, the 2017 Deepavali School Holidays falls on 16, 17, 19 and 20th October 2017. Include the weekends and you have a stretch of 9 days of holidays from Saturday 14th to 22nd October 2017.

Melaka has an extra holiday on 13th October for Birthday of YDP Melaka while those in Pahang may have a longer stretch of holiday if they take another day off on 23 October since 24 October is the Birthday of Sultan of Pahang.

It is now a practice to have longer holidays for the festive season also called Cuti Perayaan and shorter holidays during the year end.

Source of Information: Lampiran C of Surat Siaran Takwim Penggal Dan Cuti Persekolahan Tahun 2017 dated 13/12/2016 from Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia official website.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017



Computational Thinking Helps Kids & Teens in Problem Solving

Computational thinking is a skill that every child should learn. Kids will benefit from knowing how to think this way. It will help them to understand and master technology and solve every day problems in almost any area.



Why Kids Should Learn Coding

When kids learn coding, they have to practice computational skills in order to solve problems. In coding, kids will learn Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm. Although these may sound like really big words and rather technical vocabulary but they are really very simple and useful concepts that can be applied in problem solving in any area.

If you take a closer look at the meaning of these words in computational thinking context, you will instantly see how knowing and practicing these methods will help children in school and life in general

WHAT IS COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
The 4 cornerstones of computational skills.
1. Decomposition – breaking down a complex problem into smaller tasks that are more manageable

2. Pattern Recognition – looking for trends or patterns within problems that will help us solve problems more effectively and efficiently

3. Abstraction – pulling out patterns to focus on how to solve the problem by ignoring unnecessary details

4. Algorithm – a set of steps to follow in order to solve problems



How Coding Helps Your Child Solve Problems

Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm. These thought patterns when practiced frequently enough will help a child view problems in a new and different light.

They will learn how to break down problems into smaller sub-problems. They will be better able to focus when they look for similar patterns while removing distractions before finally arriving and following ordered steps to solve problems. It is a very useful skill to have for everyone. Training a child to think in this manner from young has long term benefits that will be useful for the rest of their lives.

How Computational Thinking Helps Your Children Succeed In The Digital Age


Our children are born and grew up in the digital age where their daily lives are greatly influenced and depend a lot on technology. Many digital conveniences they grew up with are as a result of creative computational thinking and coding. It is therefore inevitable that they should at least have some awareness of how coding makes things work around them.

When they grow up, a lot of job opportunities and career options will benefit someone who is computer science savvy. They don’t have to be a computer engineer or technician but having computing knowledge and computational thinking skills will go a long way in helping them in employment in any field or area.



When And How To Start Learning Computer Programming and Coding

In KidoCode, kids & teens attend classes in computer programming where children as young as 6 can start to learn coding. Learning is personalized and adaptive to each kids understanding and knowledge. These kids & teens are learning Code & Math using Python Programming Language, Web Development, Game Development, Mobile Development, and Electronics & Robotics.

Everybody is welcome to come and join the 3 hours FREE Trial Class where kids & teens get to experience coding in Python and create their first mobile application. Click here to register for the trial class.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017



All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 3)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 3 of the three part article on this topic.

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


Why conduct so many tests so many times?

This was one of the questions bugging me, and I found the answer in the same guide. We’ve already got two theories by two professors in the core of these psychometric tests, why not add one more?

The third is by Donald Super, and it involves the development of self-concept. Basically, people grow, change and mature throughout their lives and thus, career development is a lifelong process. He identifies 5 life and career development stages.



Image Source


  1. Growth stage (from newborn to 14 years old)
    1. Fantasy stage (4-10)
    2. Interest stage (11-12)
    3. Capacity stage (13-14)
  2. Exploratory stage (ages 15-24)
    1. Tentative stage (15-17)
    2. Transition stage (18-21)
    3. Trial stage (22-24)
  3. Establishment stage (ages 25-40)
    1. Trial stage (25-30)
    2. Stabilization stage (30-40)
  4. Maintenance stage (ages 40-64)
  5. Decline stage (ages 65+)

You can read more about the theory and the identifying characteristics of these 5 stages here.

Based on the above timeline, year 3 pupils are in the Fantasy stage, Year 6 at the Interest Stage, Form 1 at the capacity stage and Forms 3, 4 and 5 at the tentative stage.

It makes sense to gauge a child’s aptitude and personality traits at those intervals. If the Form 4 and 5 seems overdone, note that back in 2015, the tests only go up to Form 3. Form 4 and 5 only begin testing last year in 2016. I have yet to find the reason behind extending the tests to cover two more years.

How do I get access to my child’s aptitude test results?

Thanks to another resourceful member in our FB group, we found this link where parents can check their children's aptitude results. (Tip: When checking results, you will be asked a few questions for verification. Be patient and try again if what you entered does not gain you access. Other combinations of questions may do the trick).

In any case, parents can can make a trip to the school office or talk to their child’s class teacher to ask about the test results as well as obtain advice on how to further hone their child’s case, interest and natural preferences.



Monday, September 11, 2017



All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 2)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 2 of the three part article on this topic.

Read Part 1 here.

What You Need To Know About Secondary School Psychometric tests (6 tests)

In secondary school, psychometric tests are carried out in Form 1, 3, 4 and 5. These tests are more detailed.

Form 1: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) & Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)
Form 3: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) & Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)
Form 4: Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)
Form 5: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)

Here’s a better way to look at all these tests.


Image Source


Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)

By Form 3, students will get a more thorough aptitude test known as Multiple Intelligence Inventory (Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai). Think of this as a sorting hat (yes like in Harry Potter) that will put a student into one of these 9 categories.



This is part of a larger infographic, which you can check out in detail here.

The name Howard Gardner which you see in the image above is a Harvard professor who came up with the Theory of Multiple Intelligence.

Basically, the gist of the theory is that there is more than one way to define a person’s intellect. You might not do well in an IQ test, but that doesn’t mean you are not intelligent in another aspect. In fact you may do particularly well in 1 of these 9 constructs.

Format for Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)

Of the 9 constructs of intelligence, verbal-linguistics, math-logic and visual-spatial are tested in Paper 1. The questions are in multiple choice.

In Paper 2, the other categories are tested, together with 10 visual-spatial questions.


Understanding the results from IKP

From this guide on administering and implementing psychometric tests for Form 3, the following scoring table summarizes how the scores are analyzed.



(Source pp 17-19)


Personality Tests

Beginning from Form 1, the ITP and IMK tests are administered.

Inventori Tret Personaliti

ITP tests allow teachers to identify and understand the personality of students and to decide the best way to “intervene” during the teaching and learning process. These tests also help the students identify their own potential as well as a possible career path that is suitable for their personality.

Format for Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)


The ITP tests for 15 constructs with 10 items for each construct. The total questions to answer is 150 questions. The time given is only 30 minutes so students are answering 5 questions per minute. Check this link out to get an idea of the type of question. 





Source


Understanding the results from ITP
If you want to know what the scores represent, check out Slides 19 to 33 of this powerpoint.

Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)


The IMK tests is based on another theory by another professor, John L. Holland. This theory links vocation (career) choices to personalities. What you choose as your career is an expression of your personality. There are 6 themes in the Holland codes, which are:


Format for Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)

The IMK tests for 6 constructs with 30 items for each construct. The total questions to answer is 180 questions. The time given 30 to 40 minutes.

Understanding the results from IMK


Based on their answers, students are then sorted into the following career interests.


Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 5.40.22 PM.jpg


Source: Pg 31-33

Friday, September 08, 2017



Your Kid Can Be Addicted To Games. What Should You Do?

Our children of today grow up in a digital world, a world filled with apps and where many are connected socially online. Playing games, looking up for information and sharing online is a norm to them. They grow up with handheld cell phones, tablet computers and many other conveniences of the digital world which allows them to play games with and be connected to friends.

Should parents forbid online time and game playing?

Placing limits and controls should be done to a certain extent but to forbid entirely is not realistic, not when the school uses the internet to hand out homework, not when communication between school clubs and members or between friends is largely done online through whatsapp groups or FB Messenger service. It is inevitable that our children will eventually find their way online. Placing too many restrictions will make a child resentful and left out. What we should do instead is to channel their love for games and curiosity about how things work into coding activities instead.


What can parents do to prevent excessive gaming and possible addiction?

  • put the PC or device in a common area in the house
  • keep all devices away at night before sleep
  • educate children about online safety and dangers of addiction
  • wherever possible have children do their homework away from the presence of devices unless it is required for the homework
  • watch out for signs of addiction
  • channel creativity and love for play into coding activities instead

Why channeling to coding activities help

It does not mean that a child who spends a lot of time online is necessarily addicted to gaming. There is a world of difference in a child who plays games for 2 hours compared to a child who learns how to create or make digital games or apps for 2 hours. They both spend 2 hours online.The digital world and digital devices or the internet are not the necessary evils. It is how we use it. We can choose to use it positively or negatively. We can choose to use the computer positively by allowing and encouraging kids to use computers in a positive way.


Just as the digital world is the norm to today's kids, coding is increasingly becoming the new literacy, as essential as learning the alphabets and math. Letting your kids learn to code instead of spending endless hours gaming is positive. Letting your child learn computational thinking in a structured and guided environment is positive. Allowing your kids to find out how things like apps and games work is positive. Let them learn how to create games instead of just playing them. Show them that the computer and other devices can be useful as an educational tool and fun too instead of only for games.

To open their minds to this possibility, you can start by sending them for a free 4 hour long coding activities class at KidoCode. Solaris,  Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Click here to claim your free trial class.



All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 1)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 1 of the three part article on this topic.

All you need to know about psychometric tests


Around this period, some parents may have received a notice from their school, informing them about a test called a psychometric test. Your notice may look something like this and if you are wondering what this is all about, read on.


Image Source


What are psychometric tests?

Don’t worry, they aren’t academic tests. Schools started running psychometric tests in 2009 as part of the UPSR schedule. Nowadays they are carried out during the schooling year for most of or the entire month. The image below shows what the schedule looks like for 2016.


For 2017, click here.

What are these tests for?

At the risk of oversimplifying this, these tests are to find out what your child’s strengths, interests and inclinations are (basically what the students like to do and are good at). The information can help teachers help students fully realize their potential based on their personality traits.

About Primary School Psychometric tests (2 tests)

Ujian Aptitud Am


In primary school the tests will be carried out at Primary 3 and 6. These tests are known as Ujian Aptitud Am (or general aptitude tests). The General Aptitude Test in Year 3 measures the student’s natural ability to learn or do something easily and quickly. The student will be tested on their analytical and verbal skills.


Format for Ujian Aptitud Am

The test takes 1 hour and there are 80 questions to complete. There are 30 questions in BM, 30 questions in English and 20 Math questions that require analytical and problem-solving skills.

Take a peek at this aptitude test for Primary 3 carried out in 2015.

In the next part of this article, we will explore the Secondary School Psychometric Tests followed by the Conclusion on Why We Conduct These Pyschometric Tests and How To Get Access To Your Child's Test Results in Part 3. Stay tuned.

Read Part 2 here and Part 3 here

Tuesday, September 05, 2017



Enhance Academy Brings English Education To Klang Folks

We did a poll recently on our FB group about secondary school choices and here are the interesting results of the poll.
  • 199 parents plan to send their kids to SMK
  • 196 parents plan to send their kids to International School
  • 96 parents plan to send their kids to private school doing national syllabus
  • 62 parents plan to send their kids to SMK Cluster schools
  • 56 parents plan to send their kids to Chinese Independent schools
  • 40 parents plan to send their kids to alternative learning centres
  • 34 parents plan to send their kids to SMJK
  • 185 parents have other plans eg homeschool on their own, plan to migrate overseas or have not decided
Interestingly this shows that many parents have plans to switch to English environment in secondary schools. The parents on our platform also continually seek out DLP (Dual Language Programme) schools. Schools that are under DLP will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Inform­a­tion and Communications Tech­no­logy, as well as Design and Technology either in English or in Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil or Mandarin.

The Importance Of Learning English

It is quite clear that parents realize the importance of learning English and are looking into ways to prepare their kids from young. English is an important international medium of communication. Having a good command of English helps you to communicate more effectively with others. You will be better able to share your views and opinions. This is very important in business communication. 

How To Prepare Your Child For Private or International Schools or national schools doing DLP 

Did you know that 4 out of 6 subjects in SK (or 6 out of 8 subjects in SJKC) in UPSR which is the first Primary School Achievement Test taken by all students before they enter secondary school are language subjects?

This is because language is the basis of learning and communication. Mastering your languages helps you in understanding your Maths, Science and other non-language subjects.

If you intend to send your child to an English based school, then it is essential that you plan ahead by giving them extra classes in English. One way is to send them to English enrichment centres.

Today, we would like to introduce you to one such centre called Enhance Academy.

About Enhance Academy

Enhance Academy is a specialized English language centre catering for learners from Pre-school age up to Pre-University and Adult Learners. Their tagline is
  • Enhance Your English
  • Enhance Your Confidence
  • Enhance Your Future
What You Can Expect From Enhance Academy

  • Enhance Academy uses up-to-date techniques to teach Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Skills.
  • All their teachers in every centre are foreign teachers and university graduates with formal teaching qualifications
  • They have a highly creative learning environment with well-resourced facilities
  • Lessons are dynamic, innovative and student centred 
  • Courses are designed for learners' individual needs
Where Can You Find Enhance Academy Centres

Currently Enhance Academy has centres in

  • Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong, Penang
  • Butterworth, Penang
  • Bukit Mertajam, Penang
  • Bayan Baru, Pulau Pinang
Enhance Academy caters for learners from Pre-school age onwards


Enhance Academy brings English Education to Klang folks with their latest centre in the Klang Valley. Below is the location for Enhance Academy, Klang. This is good news for Klang parents. Now you don't need to travel very far to get your child quality English education.

Enhance Academy, Klang 
The Landmark, TB- MTBBT 2, 2-2, Jalan Batu Nilam 16, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2, 41200 Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 60 3-3318 8806

Enhance Academy Klang classroom



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