Why not teach reading?

This has to be one of the most common questions asked to me. The answer is quite simple. Research has shown that children who acquire reading skills at an early age did not have an added advantage in reading comprehension later in life. In fact, those who were late readers (e.g. those who started reading fluently at 7 or later), when compared to early readers who started reading at 4 or earlier, caught up and matched the reading abilities of their earlier-reading counterparts within a few years. Some studies had even shown that late readers develop much better comprehension than … Continue reading Why not teach reading?

How to score in primary school Science?

I love teaching Science. Partly because I get to do all those fun experiments with the kids, but the main reason is that ALL my students are ‘A’ graders. (They did not come to me with ‘A’ grades though. I don’t “cherry-pick”.) It is therefore the least stressful subject to teach! The most frequent grouses from parents and children are that they don’t know what are expected in the questions or they just can’t get that full marks. My approach is simple. A Study Map™. No, not mind-map. A Study Map™ is derived from the same principle as the Mind-Map only that … Continue reading How to score in primary school Science?

CAPS or lower case?

Which is the correct answer? I really love my grandfather. I really love my Grandfather. I really love grandfather. I really love Grandfather. The correct answer depends on how you address your grandfather. The general rule is that all proper nouns should be written with a capital letter. Proper nouns refer to names of things. e.g. Clarice, Keming Primary School, Sony Common nouns are names of things in general. e.g. woman, school, television. These words do not come with capital letters. Therefore, Option 1 is correct because “grandfather” is simply used as a common noun that refers to the person as … Continue reading CAPS or lower case?

Neither…nor VS Neither of…

Not just the students, the adults are very confused by these as well simply because they require some memory work. Also, the explanations online are not always consistent because the English language is a discourse that varies from context to context. However, for the sake of the PSLE standard in Singapore, the basic rule that students need to understand is this: When using “Neither…nor” or “Either…or”, the form of the verb used in the sentence must follow the noun closest to it. e.g. Mother realised that neither the lamps nor the dining table was where ____________ should be. (a) it (b) … Continue reading Neither…nor VS Neither of…

Motivate your child with this simple step

If getting your child to start working on their homework feels as hard as pushing a car on handbrake, you are not alone. Sometimes you just wish there is an “on-off” button that you can press so that you can just kick your slippers and slouch on the couch after a long day at work while your little one presses on till he/she is done with her task. Unfortunately, there is no such button, but there is, one special formula which you can adopt. Praise them. No, not the usual “Good job”, “Well done”, “Good boy” which you have been … Continue reading Motivate your child with this simple step

Does listening to Mozart really make my child smarter?

Unfortunately, the answer is no… The original study, where the whole “Mozart Effect” came about, wasn’t even conducted on children. In the study, 36 adult students were given a series of mental tasks to complete on three occasions. Before each task, they listened either to ten minutes of silence, ten minutes of relaxation instructions, or ten minutes of Mozart’s sonata for two pianos in D major. Obviously, the study found that students who listened to Mozart did better at tasks where they had to create shapes in their minds. They also were better at spatial tasks where they had to look at folded … Continue reading Does listening to Mozart really make my child smarter?

The number one thing you must do to help your child focus in class

REMOVE ALL SCREEN TIME. Many articles had talked about it, scientific studies had proven it, real anecdotes reported, but parents all over are still making this mistake in parenting. I assess children on a daily basis and have seen close to thousands of children, out of which, more than half had short attention span, were disruptive in class, and were not learning well. Whenever these symptoms are observed or are told to me, I will pop the question, “How much time does he/she spend in front of a screen in a day?” And I’ve had a 99% hit so far that … Continue reading The number one thing you must do to help your child focus in class

Why is “-ing” allowed after “to”?

We’ve all been there, our teachers in primary school told us we mustn’t add any participle to the verb if it follows after “to”. For example “to do”, “to run”, “to know”. And so we teach our children the same rule. However, there’s more to the rule than we can remember. For example, Jasmine is used to ________ in the room all by herself. (a) sleep (c) slept (b) sleeps (d) sleeping (                    ) (Source: P6 Past Year Examination Paper) The correct answer is (d) sleeping, and not (a) sleep. This is how I usually explain to my students: Jasmine … Continue reading Why is “-ing” allowed after “to”?

The number one question that parents ask that children can’t answer

This is most likely the all-time favourite question that parents ask on a daily basis, “What did you learn today?” I’ve heard it repeatedly from others and even myself every time I reach home, “Tell me about your day W, what did you learn?” And almost 100% of the time, or at least for most children under the age of 12, parents find themselves shaking their heads when they hear, “Nothing…”, “I don’t know”, “I learnt… (blank)”, “Ooh I played this (and that)… blah blah… (and they continue with a list of things that had happened to them, none of … Continue reading The number one question that parents ask that children can’t answer