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Tuesday, September 29, 2015



UPSR 2016 Math & Science - What's New


Overall, for all of the new format UPSR in 2016, you can clearly see a shift towards subjective types of questions with more marks and time allocated for these questions.

For the UPSR 2016 Science Sample Paper, this is what we noticed.

UPSR Old Format                                                       UPSR New Format (from year 2016)


  • Sains 1 paper only 
  • Time allotted: 1 hour 15 mins 
  • Paper was divided into 2 sections     
  • Part A = 30 marks for 30 multiple choice questions
  • Part B = 20 marks for 5 subjective questions
  • Sains - 2 papers but considered as 1 subject
  • Time allotted = 1 hour each for Paper 1 & 2
  • Paper 1 = 40 multiple choice questions
  • Paper 2 = 8 subjective questions 40 marks
                                                                                                         
       


That means now there is more emphasis on Science plus greater emphasis on subjective type questions.

For the UPSR 2016 Math Sample Paper, this is what was observed.

UPSR Old Format                                                        UPSR New Format (from year 2016)


  • Paper 1 
  • Time Allotted: 1 hour   
  • 40 multiple choice questions  
  • 60 marks
  • Paper 2 
  • Time Allotted:  40 minutes
  • 20 subjective questions  
  • 40 marks
  • Paper 1
  • Time Allotted: 1 hour
  • 40 multiple choice questions
  • 40 marks
  • Paper 2
  • Time Allotted: 1 hour
  • 15 subjective questions
  • 60 marks                                    
 * According to a reader, although Math Paper 2 looks like it has fewer questions, each of them have 2 sub-questions at least so total is around 30 questions. Thanks for pointing it out, Michelle.                     

Notice the shift in the marks with more marks given for the subjective questions and with lesser questions than before.

We won't analyse the questions. From the marks, time allotted, number of questions etc. you can see that there is a shift towards more HOTS types of questions.

Related Posts:

UPSR 2016 New Format Including What's New in BM Paper
UPSR 2016 English Paper Format - What's New
UPSR 2016 Chinese Paper Format - What's New



UPSR 2016 English Paper Format - What's New

UPSR 2016 will see the addition of an extra English paper for all candidates. Students will now have to sit for
  1. English Paper 1 (Comprehension/Pemahaman)
  2. English Paper 2 (Writing/Penulisan)
Perhaps it is inaccurate to say that there is an additional paper. There are not extra papers. Students continue to sit for 2 papers, only now they will be counted as two separate subject passes instead of one.

* Both papers are 1 hour 15 minutes each.

Let's have a look at the sample papers provided on the Portal Rasmi Pemeriksaan in greater detail. You can download the pdf of the sample papers from the portal.

Firstly, note that the samples are not split for SK, SJKC and SJKT. Only one sample is given.

English Paper 1 UPSR 2016 (Pemahaman)

Like the BM Paper which we wrote about in our article UPSR 2016 New Format, the English paper 1 has two parts:

English Paper 1 Part A comprise 20 multiple choice questions. 1 mark for each. Total 20 marks.

English Paper 1 Part B has 5 questions totaling 30 marks. They are subjective questions with varying levels of difficulty and include a passage, a poster and a chart with an average of 4 questions each after the given passage/poster. You will see a mix of easy and hard questions for example:

Q24 (a) Imran and his eight-year-old sister are at the supermarket on the first day of the sale. His sister will get a.....
  • present
  • 10% discount
  • free ice-cream
(Tick the correct answer)
(1 mark)

Q25 (b) Imran's grandmother loves outdoor activities. Suggest an item for her birthday present and give reasons to support your suggestion.
(2 marks)
English Paper 2 UPSR 2016 (Penulisan)

Do note that the English Paper 2 is not a new paper. Previously students sat for an English Paper 2 as well. The only difference is now it will be counted as a separate paper. 


For the UPSR 2016 English paper 2, only one sample is provided. It looks neither like the SK or SJKC one. 

The English Paper 2 has 3 parts ie Part A, Part B & Part C

English Paper 2 UPSR 2016 Part A is fill in the blanks based on given notes. 10 marks for 5 spaces.

English Paper 2 UPSR 2016 Part B comprise transfer of information (3 marks) and composition of 50-80 words (12 marks). In the sample paper, the student is required to write an email to a friend. Eg. shown below

English Paper 2 UPSR 2016 Part B (ii)
Image Credit: Portal Rasmi Pemeriksaan
English Paper 2 UPSR 2016 Part C - Part C is 25 marks and students are required to write a story/guided composition with pictures and words given as guides, similar to the previous papers for SK as well as SJKC. Students can choose 1 of 2 questions.

So what's new for the UPSR English 2016? 

  • Students still sit for 2 papers but now it will be counted as two separate subjects
  • Paper 1 will now be part objective and part subjective with higher weightage on the subjective part ie Objective 20 marks plus Subjective 30 marks
  • Under the UPSR old format Paper 1 was 50 minutes, now it is 1 hour 15 minutes. Paper 2 remains the same at 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Will SK and SJKC/SJKT now sit for the same paper? We have to wait for the announcement on that (Should SJKC use this paper format, then there will be no more sentence making type of questions)

Related Posts:

UPSR 2016 Math & Science - What's New
UPSR 2016 New Format Including What's New for the BM Paper
UPSR 2016 Chinese Paper Format - What's New



Public Speaking Vs Speech & Drama, Which Is Better?

The ability to present and communicate effectively is an important ingredient for success. As a parent knowing this, you wish to give your child extra exposure in this area but which is better?

Public Speaking classes or Speech and Drama Classes? We spoke to the people behind BluBricks who runs both types of classes and this was what they told us.....


At Blubricks, we teach both Public Speaking as well Speech and Drama classes. Both share many similarities but also significant differences, which we will talk about to allow you to gain a better understanding of the two.

Speech and Drama classes at our centre are open to kids aged 4 years and above, all the way up to adults! As the word ‘drama’ implies, theatre activities such as role playing are carried out in these classes. The kids get to play all sorts of different characters:  from being a princess or a pirate to being an astronaut or even a ferocious fire-breathing dragon. All these roles allow them to show their individual interpretations of the characters, which encourages creativity and builds up their confidence in performing for an audience, be it just their classmates or during a production where there is a larger crowd watching. Every year, our teenage drama students put up an hour-long production that is open to the public. They all look forward to it very much as they get hands on experience about producing, devising, rehearsing and putting together a performance in an actual theatrical space.

Public Speaking is recommended for kids aged 8 years and above, open to adults too. The classes are about how to deliver a speech, and deliver it well. Kids are given specific topics to speak about and are trained to speak about them in depth and at length. For the teens, these topics can include current global issues such as slavery, abortion, natural disasters etc. Our older ones also learn to pitch ideas to potential clients, which is good training for their future. An understanding and knowledge about the topic is necessary, therefore they learn to develop creative and critical thinking while simultaneously building confidence in addressing an audience. One of the important objectives of Public Speaking is to learn to effectively structure a talk that is both informative, entertaining and persuasive. This is coupled with techniques of how to engage an audience when speaking, so that the message of the speech is properly delivered while the audience's interest is maintained all throughout. Being able to speak in public well is nothing short of an essential life skill, as it is required more and more in today's world where people are increasingly encouraged to voice out.

To wrap it up, Speech and Drama is the path we start our younger ones off on. They have fun playing anything they want, which we hope will pique an interest that lasts a lifetime. Eventually, this path meets the Public Speaking one, where there is a more serious approach and more skills are picked up. Both paths develop confidence and encourage creativity. At the end of the day, it is up to the child to decide if they want to continue with drama for the rest of their lives, or focus on Public Speaking or do both! The wonderful thing is that you don't have to choose between the two.
  


Photo Credit: Photos on this page are provided by BluBricks


Monday, September 28, 2015



UPSR 2016 New Format

Source: Portal Rasmi Peperiksaan
According to local Malaysia news the UPSR 2016 new format is out.

You can read some of the news from these sites:
SK students will now have to sit for 6 papers while SJKC/SJKT students will have to sit for 8 papers. The extra paper being English Paper 2. 


We managed to download the "Format Mata Pelajaran" but we weren't able to download the sample papers and got a "No Data Received" or "Failed-Network Error" message. However, after several attempts, we finally managed to download the BM paper.

First, note that different sample papers were given for Math and Science ie Matematik SK and Matematik SJKC plus Matematik SKJT. Similarly for Mata Pelajaran Sains, there were different sample papers but not for the language papers. Does that mean that all schools will be sitting for the same language papers now?

For UPSR 2016, every subject has 2 papers ie Paper 1 and Paper 2.

For Math and Science, both papers are 1 hour each.
For the languages BM, English, BC and BT there will also be two papers each too being Pemahaman and Penulisan. Both papers are 1 hour and 15 minutes each.

The significant difference is the Paper 1 (Pemahaman) for the language papers. 

We will analyse the BM paper we downloaded.

Whereas previously it used to be fully objective, now it is part objective and part subjective. Paper 1 (Pemahaman) will be split into two parts ie Bahagian A and Bahagian B. Bahagian A is 20 multiple questions with 1 mark each. 

Bahagian B of Paper 1 is the major difference. For Bahagian B of Paper 1, there will be 5 subjective questions which carry 30 marks overall. We had a look at the BM paper. It includes, fill in the blanks, matching, write the dialog based on picture, state the peribahasa with picture given. In addition, there are 2 petikans (passages) and 1 pantun (poem). About 4 subjective answers each are required at the end of the passages and poem.

Paper 2 is divided into 3 parts as before however the significant difference is in Part B &C.

Part A is "Bina Ayat" as before. Part B is new on "Ulasan". Part C is not on Nilai Murni as before. It is similar to the Part B of the old UPSR paper ie on essay writing. Two choices of questions to pick from.

In the sample paper the choices were...

1. Write a speech about the ways to respect a teacher. (Cara-cara menghormati guru)
2. Based on given lyrics of a song, write a story about the love of a mother. (Tulis cerita tentang kasih sayang seorang ibu)

In short, previously the Penulisan Paper was in the following format:
Part A = Bina Ayat
Part B = Karangan
Part C = Nilai Murni

In the new format, the Penulisan Paper is in the following format:
Part A = Bina Ayat
Part B = Ulasan
Part C = Karangan

We'll do an analysis of the other papers once we are able to download them. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 26, 2015



Backpack Vs Trolley Bag For School

Backpack Vs Trolley Bag? Which will it be? Parents are weighing this decision while kids are getting
weighed down by the load or workbooks year after year. This post will talk about the pros and cons of both the backpack and trolley bag and give you some tips to help you decide which type of bag is best for your little one.

When I was young, we didn't have to worry about such things. I remember having a red and black tartan checked rectangular school bag that looked like a suitcase. The bag weighed quite a bit but our books didn't. Packing the school bag was easy then since the bag was rectangular. We just sat the bag on the floor, put the stuff neatly in and snapped the suitcase cover shut. All done. We didn't have trolley bags before. Those were for the airport for long distance travel! However, these days trolley bags are a common scene in schools.

Now, things have changed quite a bit. Bags looked a lot fancier with cartoon characters, glitters and other styles. However more styles also mean more decisions to make. Let us put styles aside and just decide on the make. Backpack Vs Trolley Bag. Which will it be?

"The best tip we can give you when deciding what type of bag to buy is to study the school's layout."


Will your child be on the ground floor? Usually the lower primary school students will be placed on the lower floors so you may find that in Std One, your child may be on the ground floor. In that case a trolley back can help to reduce the load for him. However, there are other factors to consider. On days when he has to stay back in school for extra curricular activities. Does he have to carry his bag up and down from one classroom to another.  Does he have to carry his bag up and down buses? Or will the transporter be assisting? Will he have to maneuver through stairways before he reaches his ground floor class.  If on the higher floor, how far does he have to carry his bag from the bottom of the stairs to the area where he waits for his transport. 

Many will tell you that a trolley back adds to the weight when dragged up the stairs. However do consider the overall layout. If your child has to drag the trolley back up just one flight of stairs but has to walk very far from the bottom of that stairway to the area where he waits for his transport, a trolley bag may not be so bad after all. So study the location!

I have seen many kids bump their trolley bags noisily up and down stairways and later glide and roll them happily all over the school. If the flight of stairs is short and the rest of the distance is long, the worse thing is the wear and tear from all that bumping.


Tips for Choosing Trolley Bags

  1. Make sure you check the wheels. Are they strong and sturdy? You child will be dragging the bag along everywhere. From home to school to classroom to rocky road surfaces and up and down buses too. If the wheels go, your trolley bag is useless so check the wheels. 
  2. Check the mechanism for the handle. Is it easy for your child to pull up and down easily. Does it lock firmly in place? Will you be able to get a replacement easily?
  3. Some trolley bags are detachable. Although this may seem like a good idea, you may not really use your trolley bag as a backpack, unless your trolley or handle breaks down. Also, since it is designed to be more of a trolley back, the backpack may not be as sturdy as an actual backpack so think twice before going for detachable ones. 

The advantages and disadvantages of backpacks

Backpacks are portable and does not have added weighed when carrying up and down stairways. Usually kids will move on to backpacks once they reach higher primary for several reasons:
  • They are on the higher floor
  • Trolley bags become too childish for them
  • They are older and stronger
Be mindful of this fact when buying your child's first bag. If you are using a trolley bag, you will most likely have to change it by the time your child is in Std 3 or 4. Try to factor this in your costing decisions. You should also be mindful of the design. A favorite cartoon design now may not last throughout the years.


Tips for Choosing Backpacks
  1. Make sure the straps are sturdy, broad, padded and firm. Thin straps will cut into your child's shoulders
  2. Take your child shopping with you so you can test out the fit to get one that is just the right size
  3. If the backpack comes with waist straps, make sure all the straps fit your child snugly and the bag is not hanging down.
  4. Make sure the straps are easy for your kids to tighten to the desired fit
  5. The back of the backpack should be padded well
  6. Check all the zippers to make sure they are working well
  7. Check the compartments and think about how your child will be packing his bags. If you want your child to put his tumbler with his bag, then an external compartment will be good so that you get extra space inside and also to prevent spillage. However do note that water tumblers add to the overall weight. The bag should be big enough to fit bigger books and files but not too large for your child.

Some ergonomic bags are quite expensive but do consider and plan for the fact that you may need to change a cheaper bag every year while you can keep the expensive one for several years. At the end of the day, it may turn out to be not too different cost wise.

Consider a homework bag

Apart from backpacks and trolley bags, you can consider a smaller rectangular size homework bag for storing homework for the day or exercise books to distribute the weight so that not everything is on the back.

"Once You Have Bought Your Bag, The Next Thing You Need To Do Is To Teach your child."


Teach Your Child

The best tip for you as a parent is to check the layout before deciding on the type of bag. However, once you decide, whatever type of bag you buy, the best thing you can do is to teach your child.

  1. Teach your child how to wear his bag safely (Backpacks should be carried over two shoulders, not one. Waist and shoulder straps should be tighten to fit but not overly tight. Let them practice with books in them.
  2. Teach your child how to walk up and down the stairs safely by holding on to the handrails. If he is using a trolley bag, teach him how to pull his bag up safely. Teach him not to run on stairs and to look where he is going.
  3. Teach your child how to pack his bag properly from Day One. Don't let bad habits start. Teach them to bring only the necessary books.
  4. If it is possible to leave books behind in school to reduce the weight, then teach your child to be mindful of his homework and books and to remember to bring those he needs home when necessary

"Remember that buying school bags is an exciting thing for your child, something to help him look forward to school. So enjoy the moment and Happy Shopping!"

Friday, September 25, 2015



Math Games and Activities For Kids

If you are teaching kids math, read this post for some ideas for some math games and activities to make learning math fun for kids.

Kids can have fun with Math

Fun Math Games, Interesting Math Activities, Printable Math Games. There are many sites you can use to teach your kids math. I will review some of the ones I think are the best for teaching kids math in a fun manner.

Math need not be boring or hard. It can be fun. Make use of these resources to help your children learn math quickly and easily. They won't even realize they are learning.

Math Songs for Kids on YouTube - These math songs are sure to get kids tapping, singing and dancing along while they learn math.

One of the best way to learn anything is through songs. Somehow the retention and message gets through quickly especially if the song is fun and catchy and the child likes to listen to them over and over again. Repetition always helps retention. Kids learn fast through music and songs in a fun manner. Songs and music make learning math so much more fun!



Besides math songs on YouTube, here are some other fun online math resources for kids to learn math.





Cool Math 4 Kids
Cool Math for Kids age 3 through 12

This site is the place to go for Cool Math Games for kids from age 3 up to 12. There are so many math games here you won't have time to go through all of them! The games are suitable for pre-school children learning pre-algebra right up to grade school kids learning fractions.

You can also get free printable math flash cards here. With game titles like Snorzees, Civiballs 2, B-Cubed, Abducktion etc kids can definitely be assured of having fun while learning math. I like the Monster Mind Reader Math Game.



Cool Math
Cool Math Games for kids aged 13 to 100!

This is another site from the Cool Math Network of Websites. Suitable for kids aged 13 and up to 100, the math games are sure to keep kid coming back for more math.

Besides the games, you can get free Math Lessons, Math Practise, and have access to a Math Dictionary and other reference. It is a very nice and cool place for kids to learn Math.

There are many other interesting math sites in the Cool Math Network of websites. I especially Finance Freak, where teens and even adults can learn Money Math. I like this saying on the site "A fool and his moeny are soon parted.... Don't be a fool, be a freak!" hence the name, FinanceFreak.com. Cute tongue in cheek humour.

Learning Games For Kids .com
Printable Math Games for Kids

You can find plenty of Printable Math Games for kids on Learning Games For Kids .com

This site is very user friendly. The free online math games can be easily found according to different grades and levels, starting from Kindergarten Math, moving up to 1st Grade Math, 2nd Grade Math, 3rd Grade Math, 4th Grade math up to 5th Grade Math plus you can also find Addition Games, Subtraction Games, Multiplication Games and Division Games easily and quickly.

Primary Games .com
Telling the Time Games, Shape Games and More

This site called Primary Games .com was created by a teacher. I find the Math Games suitable for young children.

Here you will find games about telling the time, money games, shape games, and other puzzles like tangram and sudoku for young kids.


Kids Math Games Online .com
Math Puzzles, Memory Game, Logic Game, Problem Solving Games, Quizzes and more

Kid Math Games Online is another excellent resource for free Math Games and Activities. The popular games here include addition games, subtraction games, online Sudoku, online board games, probability, percentages, angles and more.

I like the free classic board games like checkers, chess, backgammon and dominoes as well as the evergreen logic games including mastermind, tic tac toe and rock paper scissors. These are classic games that all kids should know. Now they can learn it online interactively.

This site is yet another excellent resource for kids to learn math. Thumbs up for it!

Maths Zone of Woodlands Junior School
Interactive Maths Games and Activities From Woodlands Junior School Maths Zone

Woodlands Junior School, a primary school in England with students from 7 to 11 years, has a good educational site for children. It includes an Interactive Maths Zone for kids.


The Maths Zone is categorized into the following Maths Categories:

1. Number Skills
2. Shape and Space Skills
3. Data and Probability
4. Measure Skills
5. Maths Investigations

Besides These Online Math Games And Sites You Can Use the Abacus to teach Math - Mental Math is a useful lifelong skill

An abacus is a great way to teach mental math through visualization. Check out the 3 Online Chinese Abacus or Suan Pan from our earlier post.

You Can Also Teach Math with Board Games


You can use Board Games to teach kids about simple counting, addition and subtraction as they go back and forth the board or about counting money for games like Monopoly

The classic monopoly game is not just a game. It teaches kids about counting money and investing.

My kids who are 7 and 9 love to play monopoly. They love to buy and sell properties, build houses and collect taxes for properties or land that they own. As they throw the dice, they quickly learn addition, they learn to count fast when moving along the board. They learn to count and get the correct change when buying land etc. Board games like the monopoly is a great way of teaching kids about math without them even knowing it!

Tangrams - Tangram puzzles are great for teaching kids about shapes


The old ancient Chinese Puzzle called the Tangram has 7 pieces. Legend has it that an old Chinese man dropped a square tile and broke it into 7 pieces with straight sides.

A Chinese Tangram Puzzle is a good and fun way for teaching kids to recognize shapes and sizes. It also improves spatial reasoning.

Not only that, an adult will be captivated by the limitless possibilities you can create with these puzzles as well. Animals, objects and people of all shapes and sizes. This is a wonderful Math Game for kids.

Do you like Math?

Well, perhaps you will find Math fun after checking out some of the resources on this post.

Thursday, September 24, 2015



Past Year Exam Papers For Primary School SK

Yesterday we wrote an article on where to find past year exam papers for primary school for SJKC. We promised to do one for SK too. So, here it is!

As we mentioned in our earlier post, the best places to find past year papers are teacher's blogs, forums, FB groups and websites. 

1. From Teacher's Blog: Here's one from Cikgu Shamsudin's blog. He has got soalan akhir tahun for Std 3, 4 & 5 from 2010 till 2014. If you browse around on the sidebar of his blog, you will find soalan pertengahan tahun and percubaan UPSR papers too.

2. From website: Sistem Guru Online is a good place to go for bank soalan. Just go to the tab at the top of their page and let your mouse hover over the "Soalan" tab. Then you can select, Tahun 1, Tahun 2 etc. The subject list is comprehensive. For example on this Tahun 5 page, you will find papers for Bahasa Melayu, Matematik, Bahasa Inggeris, Dunia Muzik, Dunia Seni Visual, Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan, Pendidikan Moral, Sains etc. Excellent resource.

3. From website: KSSR.org is another website you can surf over to for exam papers. You can downlad papers for Soalan Ujian Mac, Ujian Sept, Ujian Akhir Tahun for Tahun 1-Tahun 6. Here is the link to their bank soalan

4. From website: This website is a home tuition portal. They also provide free past year papers for download. Note that it is for lower primary only. Std 1- Std 3 for Ujian Selaras, Ujian Pertengahan Tahun and Ujian Akhir Tahun for various subjects including Bahasa Malaysa, Matematik, Dunia Sains & Teknologi and English. Here is the link to their bank soalan

That's all for now. I am sure there are many other resources. When we find them, we will update this page for your easy reference and sharing. Please do share it with a friend who needs it. Sharing is caring!

Happy revising with your kids!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015



Past Year Exam Or Test Papers For Primary School SJKC

The year end examinations is about a week or two away for most SJKCs and many parents are busy looking for past year exam papers for primary school for SJKC.

So where do you find these primary school test papers online? From blogs (especially teacher blogs), online slides or presentation sharing places eg Slideshare, forums, Facebook groups, school websites etc. All you have to do is search.

Our FB group, the Malaysia Primary and Secondary School Parents group on Facebook has collected some of these useful links and put them in our files for parents convenience but somehow or other, no one seems to know they are there even though we mentioned them several times. If you are a member, please do have a look at our Files Section. We have included lots of links to useful sites as well as articles for members there.

Anyway, for the benefit of other parents who are not in the group but searching for this information, I have decided to put them out here on our blog.

Here are the some places online where you can find past year exam papers or test papers for primary school for SJKC.

1. From School website: Std 1 to Std 6 past year term test papers from SJK (C) Pei Hwa, Taman Perling - This is very good. It is categorized according to years from 2010 to 2015 for Std 1 to Std 6. Both questions and answers are provided. Excellent!

2. From Forum: Under the SJKC Lick Hung Parents Resource Library discussion on the USJ.com forum. You can find many sample std 1, 2, and 3 exam papers here. 

3. From Slideshare: This is a SJKC English Paper which I found from searching. What you can do is go to slideshare and search for testpapers by typing in your search term in the search box (eg: Year 3 SJKC BM etc) and see if you get lucky. Some teachers post there.

4. From Forum: You can find KSSR Std 1 to Std 4 exam test papers from this forum called Exam Paper Share

5. From A Book Publisher: These are not exam papers but they are still worth a mention. They are from PEP Publications which have provided KSSR Std 1, 2 and 3 workbooks for free download here. BM, Math, Science and English workbooks are included. 

6. From FB Groups: You can join our FB group The Malaysia Primary And Secondary School Parents to network with other parents. Besides these links we also have photo albums of past year papers shared by parents. Two other groups you can join to get past year papers are Bank Soalan Bahasa Inggeris KSSR Tahun 1-6 and Bank Soalan KSSR Semua Subjek Tahun 1-6 Sekolah Rendah.

Next, we'll post our compilation of where to find past year test papers for primary school for Sekolah Kebangsaan. Stay tuned! We will also add on to this list from time to time to keep it fresh and updated for the following years. 



Now Malaysian Students Can Learn Singapore Maths From The Comfort Of Their Home

Singapore Maths is well known all over the world for its effectiveness in teaching Math to kids. Many Malaysian parents choose to send their children for Singapore Math Enrichment classes. If you step into any bookshop today, you will see rows of Singapore Math syllabus books being sold. Singapore Math is also being taught in many private and international schools, while some parents teach Singapore Math to their kids at home using books they buy from the book shops or online.

Do you know that now there is another way Malaysian students can learn Singapore Maths at home? Yes, they can do so from the comfort of their homes! This is made possible by Matholia, an online portal for parents and kids to learn Math together. Parents and kids have separate admin dashboards where parents can monitor and track their child's progress.


We have an exclusive discount available right now from Matholia for our site members. Please login to get your discount codes. Your discount code entitles you to the following:
  • 50% discount off the annual subscription fee of US39.90 *
  • Free 14 day trial *
*Valid till 15 October only.
** Now extended till 31 October 2015!

As a registered member you will get:

Unlimited Access To.....
  • Learning, Practice and Review modules for Kindergarten and from Primary 1 up to Primary 6 Singapore Maths Levels
  • Syllabus-based games for all levels
  • Review and Individual Progress Tracking and Reporting for Parents for every child signed up
  • Personalized training and demonstration via skype should you require it
We tried out the portal ourselves. Here is our tutorial on how to redeem your free 14 day trial period to use this online interactive learning site for learning Singapore Math at home.

Matholia, the online portal for self taught Singapore Math is now available for Malaysian kids from kindergarten to Primary 6. Select the Malaysia flag to enter.


 Next, select the "Parents" tab to sign up as a parent. 


Next Step: Fill in your particulars and enter your coupon code (Select 1 year if you are claiming the discount for annual subscription. Skip/no need to select plan if you are claiming the 14 day free trial period. By default 1 year is selected)




You are almost done now. Just one more step. Follow the instructions to add your child as a user. Once you have done that you and your child will be able to login using the password you used when you sign up but you will have different administrative panels. If you have several children, you will be able to track all their progress and they will have their own admin panel. Each additional child is charged at 50% the standard subscription price.








That is all to it. Now you will have unlimited access to the site. Let us explore the site now. The screenshot you see below is the practice screen. As you can see all the topics are organized and categorized for easy retrieval and use.




The next step you can explore is the "Learn" Tab. Here you will see lessons organized according to syllabus topics. Almost all of the topics come with videos to enhance learning, just like in a classroom.



Next to the "Learn" tab is the "Play" tab where you will get access to syllabus-based games.






I skipped the "Review" tab because it is self-explanatory. Children get to review the lessons they learned here. Then we move on to the "Tools" tab where an interesting array of online Singapore Math syllabus tools are available for the learner. 



Finally, the last tab is called the "Reports" tab for parents or "Progress" tab for students where stars and marks are given to show the student's learning progress every step of the way from the beginning of the term till the end for subjects and graphically presented. There's no chart in mine because we haven't started learning. Notice the "Help" and "?" at the right hand side. You can request for help by message or email at any stage.

With access to so many tools, videos, games and learning modules, this portal is is useful for
  • homeschoolers searching for supplementary learning materials
  • public schools students and parents who wish to learn the Singapore Math syllabus on their own
  • those who are currently studying the Singapore Math syllabus and wish to have extra learning material. 

The project behind Matholia team are Mr Daniel William Cole (MICD, BSc, PGDE - Mr Cole has been involved in primary mathematics education for over 12 years. As a former mathematics Head of Department, Mr Cole has taught and authored books throughout South East Asia, including current MOE- approved textbooks and workbooks in Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.) & Assoc. Professor Dr Ng Swee Fong (PhD, MEd, BSc, DipEd, Dr Ng is an Associate Professor with the Mathematics Education academic group at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Dr Ng works extensively with Singapore primary mathematics teachers including teaching and supervising at the masters and doctoral level. 
Dr Ng has a wealth of teaching experience having spent twenty years teaching upper secondary mathematics. She has also authored mathematics titles for Singapore and the region. 
Her general interest and research area is looking into ways in which to improve teaching and learning across the primary mathematics curriculum.) 

Members, remember to Login here to claim your coupon code.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015



Science Games and Activities for Kids

Science Activity Kit
Kids learn a lot from Science Experiments at home. This post is all about Science Games and Activities For
Kids to have fun learning Science.

Science can be Fun!

Science Games and Activities Online. Interactive science games, home science experiments etc. There are plenty of resources online and this lens will lead you to them.

Science and be fun. Science teaches kids about the world around them. Science experiments are exciting. Teaching kids science can be fun. Teachers and learners can have fun together with science.

Starting from the basics of learning about shapes and colors and moving on to learn about ourselves, the plants and animals around us. Learning about space, about different Science processes and reaction, about electricity etc. Science is a very interesting subject for kids because learning Science is learning about life.

Learning Science is Learning about lifeWhat could be more interesting than that.

Home Science Experiment - Germinating Bean Seeds

Watching plants grow is one of the best and easiest Science Experiments you can do at home with kids.

Here is a step-by-step picture guide of the Germinating Bean Seeds experiment we did at home during the children's school holidays. See our pictures from Day 1 to Day 7 to see how the bean seeds grew.

Home Science Experiment - Make your own rainbow

Here is a step-by-step video on how you can make your own rainbow in a simple science experiment you can do at home. The rainbow colors does not look so nice on the video but I've tried this experiment at home with my kids before. They were thrilled to see the rainbow reflected on the wall. They have been asking me to do it with them again ever since. You should try it. It is a very simple yet exciting science experiment for young kids. All you need is a tray of water, a mirror and a torch.



Here are a few online resources for science games and activities for kids

Science Kids
Bringing Science and Technology together
Science Kids is an good place to go for interactive online science games for kids. This link that I have provided leads you straight to the page for Science Games. Games are organised according to categories like "Living Things", "Physical Processes", "Solids, Liquids and Gases".

This site also offers lots of suggestions for simple Science Experiments you can do in the house. Plus it has Science Projects, Science Lessons, Science Videos and more.

Great place to go for Science Games and Activities for Kids.

Discovery Kids
The place to go to satisfy curious minds

If you have a child whose conversation often starts with "Mummy, why does................" then you should lead them to Discovery Kids to have some of these questions answered:

Are bats really blind?
Why are eggs egg shaped?
Is the world too crowded?
Why are mosquitoes so annoying?
Why do we really need trees?

I absolutely love the Discovery Kids Tell Me Section. Plus they have great space and solar system photos and a very interesting section about the human body systems.

National Geographic Kids
Dare to explore

Where else should we to go teach kids about the animals in our world but National Geographic Kids.

There are animal games, animal photos, animal videos, stories and more.

Teaching kids about animals are very much a part of teaching and discovering science for young kids.?"


BBC Schools Science Sites
Science for Kids age 4-11

BBC Schools is a wonderful resource not only for Science for kids but also for Languages, Art, Numeracy, Music and more. I love BBC.

This link takes you to the BBC Science sites for kids from age 4 to 11. Within this link you will find many more links to Science Sites within BBC, all with more fun Science Games and Activities to support the teaching and learning of science. What an incredible Science resource.

Kids Astronomy .com
For the little space adventurer

If your kid loves stories about space, astronauts etc, then let him learn about the moon, planets, asteroids etc. There is plenty to see and do on this Astronomy For Kids site.

Even adults interested to know more about astronomy would find this site interesting.

Lesson Plans on Astronomy

Ideas for homeschoolers

If you are a homeschooling mom, you might want to check out this great Solar System Lesson Plan. This link takes you to the Astronomy Lesson Plan for Week 1 of 4.

PBS Kids
Science Games

PBS Kids is another great resource for Science Games for kids. I love how the topics are organised in easily searchable tabs.

In addition to this site which lists PBS Kids Science Games, you can go to PBS Kids Zoom Sci to get more ideas for Simple Science Experiments you can do at home.




Science Zone (Woodlands Junior School Website)
Interactive Science Games from Woodlands Junior School

Woodlands Junior School, a primary school in England with students aged between 7 and 11 years, have a wonderful educational site for children. It includes a Science Zone.

Its Science Zone has many Interactive Science Games as well as many other Interactive Science Activities for children in the following categories:

1. Living and Life Processes

2. Physical Processes

3. Materials

4. Earth and Space

5. Water

So many wonderful Science Games and Activities For Kids online resources, so little time to go through them all! Remember to bookmark this page so you can come back to it for easy reference.




Monday, September 21, 2015



Holiday Crafts for Children

Holiday is a good time to do crafts with kids

Making crafts during the Holiday Seasons and festivals like New Year, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Halloween etc is a good way of teaching kids about these festivities and cultures. It also creates an absolutely festive feel for the kids and make them look forward to the celebrations with eagerness and anticipation.

It is a way of preserving culture. I hope you enjoy the crafts below. Some were done by me and my kids over the last few years when they were still preschoolers. They are fun and easy for young children. Others, are from our recommended favorite sites for Holiday Crafts for Children.

Teach kids about holidays and cultures using crafts

Whether it is Christmas, Chinese New Year, the muslim Ramadan and Hari Raya or the Diwali or Festival of Lights celebrated by the Indians, crafting is a great way to teach kids about the different cultures of the world.

Chinese New Year Crafts for kids - Here are some really quick and easy Chinese New Year Crafts to do with kids

Here are some easy Chinese New Year Craft kids can do at home. It is fun and easy for kids to follow. I love YouTube. You can learn many holiday crafts by watching the videos and making the crafts as you watch. Kids can make Fish Craft for the Chinese New Year as fish is evergreen and considered Good Luck for the Chinese.

The Chinese like to give out Angpows (red packets filled with money) during festivities especially Chinese New Year. They like the color red because it symbolizes good luck and fish because the word fish sounds like the word prosperity. So, many Chinese like to decorate their homes with fish made from angpow papers plus lanterns and other decorations all made out of angpow paper. We always enjoy making our own homemade decorations made from angpow paper although there are many readymade ones being sold.

Here's one extremely easy to make angpow fish video. You can make it at any time of the year, not only during Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year Angpow Fish Origami Craft




Valentine's Day Craft Ideas For Kids - Here are some of my favorite resources for Valentine's Day Crafts for kids

Valentine's Day is the perfect time for making crafts! Here are some of my favorite sites with fun Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids which offer a variety of Valentine's Paper Crafts, Valentine's Heart Crafts, Homemade Valentine's Day cards and other crafts kids can make.

DLTK's Valentine's Day Activities for Kids
Free printable templates and instructions for Saint Valentine's Day crafts plus coloring pages, a brief history and recipes. Suitable for children -- toddlers thru grade school.

Free Valentine's Day Crafts Projects at AllCrafts.net
AllCrafts.net - Free Crafts Network Free Crafts projects! Your guide for all types of crafts. Holiday crafts, Kids crafts, crochet, sewing, knitting, dolls, rubber stamps and much more! 20+ craft categories. New free projects added weekly!

Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids, valentine crafts for kids
Valentine's Day Crafts to enjoy with your kids, including bookmarks, a Valentine card holder, valentine lollipops and lots of other fun ideas!

Valentine's Day: Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids - Martha Stewart
Thousands of Martha Stewart and other holiday clip-art, decorating, crafts, hand-made gifts and project ideas.

Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids
Valentine's Day crafts for kids. The Valentine's Day crafts are a fun and creative way for your child to spend a cold February afternoon and most are made with craft materials from around the house.

Meanwhile, here are some of the crafts we have done on this blog. Click Here For Instructions On The Crafts Shown Below

Parenting Times: My Kids' Crafts

Happy New Year Craft


Fireworks Glitter Art can be done for any holiday including the New Year.

Fireworks Glitter Art Instructions

This Fireworks Glitter Art was done with glue and glitters. Remember to use black or dark construction paper for the best effect. This is a great craft idea for festivals or celebration. It would be the perfect Happy New Year Craft. Check the link below for how we did ours.

Happy Diwali Craft


Kids Rangoli Craft from Activity Village

Diwali Crafts for Kids
from Activity Village

Activity Village has a nice selection of Diwali Crafts for Kids.

Diwali is a great time for crafting. It is the festival of lights. So you can do many crafts with candles, lights and flowers. Children can also make a Simple Rangoli Craft for Kids. Rangoli is a decoration in front of the house usually made of colored rice grains.

Christmas Crafts For Kids


Paper Snowflakes
How to make paper snowflakes

This craft is related to our Christmas Tree and Snowflakes Scene Picture Craft above. We pasted the completed snowflakes onto our picture. In fact, you can use these paper snowflakes cutouts for just about any other pictures you can think of. You can even make a few colored ones and string them together to make a hanging snowflakes mobile. Anything is possible with a little imagination and creativity.

Christmas Scene Craft


A must try craft for the Christmas holidays, this Christmas scene and tree craft uses snowflake cutouts. Don't worry, I will show you how to make the paper snowflakes in my step-by-step picture guide. Check out my previous module on How to Make Paper Snowflakes.

3-D Christmas Tree Craft

This 3 dimensional Christmas tree craft is not difficult to cut out and assemble. The fun part is putting up the decorations. As usual, we used our recycled ribbons from gifts and hampers we received. We also used stickers and glitter pens.

Here are the instructions on how to make these 3-D Christmas trees.

Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card


There are different versions to this Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card. Version One of the Pop-up Christmas Tree requires an origami or a Christmas tree made out of paper folding. You then stick that origami tree on the card. Version two, simply requires you to do some cutting on paper. Both are equally beautiful and suitable as a fun craft for young kids.

Santa's Reindeer Craft


Another holiday or Christmas craft, this one features Santa's reindeers. The reindeer's ears are made out of from paper cutouts of the children's handprints. Again, we featured the paper snowflakes in this Christmas Craft.

We got our Reindeer Art idea from Allfreecrafts.com Then we added some snow flakes from paper cuts in them.

Mooncake Festival Crafts

Paper Lantern Craft for Mooncake Festival

This paper lantern craft for kids is suitable for mooncake festival, lantern festival or Mid Autumn Festival as well as Chinese New Year. It is great for teaching kids about these festivals. Typically Chinese children will carry lanterns and go around their neighbourhood while their elders will sip tea and enjoy mooncake under the moonlit night on mooncake festival.

However, these paper lanterns are so pretty, you can make them at any other time just for fun. I have a step-by-step guide on how to make these paper lantern craft.

Here are some more mooncake festival craft ideas for 2015.

Halloween Crafts For Kids - Quickly Following The Chinese Mid Autumn Celebration in September Is Halloween In October

Here are some interesting Halloween Craft ideas for those celebrating Halloween.

Halloween Crafts
Halloween Theme Crafts From Makingfriends.com

Halloween Crafts and Activities - EnchantedLearning.com
Halloween Crafts and Activities for kids. Kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school crafts. Make wonderful, simple Halloween crafts with things found around the house.

Halloween Crafts - Easy Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids - Parents.com
Find Halloween craft ideas your kids will love. Includes pumpkin crafts, candy carriers and holders, and more from Parents.com

Halloween Crafts
Create spooky, homemade Halloween crafts with easy Halloween craft ideas. Includes dozens of simple Halloween craft projects your kids will love, plus Halloween printables!

Hari Raya Crafts
from Kiddyhouse.com

Ramadan Craft

Bulan Ramadan or the Ramadan month is the 9th month of the Islamic Calander. Muslims will fast during this month. You can read more about Ramadan at Wikipedia.

Kiddyhouse.com has some interesting Ramadan Crafts for kids. Here kids can learn how to make a Hari Raya Card Craft, Ramadan Lamp Craft, a Ramadan Mobile Sun Catcher and more.

The Hari Raya Card Craft is in the form of a ketupat or Malay Rice Dumpling. Very interesting.

Check out earlier post for more Hari Raya Crafts for Kids. You will find more links for children Hari Raya Art and Craft including how to Make a Hari Raya Card, Hari Raya Lamp Craft and other kids craft ideas for Hari Raya. Check it out for links to Ramadan Activities, Coloring pages, Stories and Ramadan Songs for kids.




How To Make A Paper Fortune Teller (With Step By Step Instructions)

How To Make A Paper Fortune Teller

Origami Paper Fortune Tellers Or Cootie Catcher is a traditional game passed down from generation to generation. If you have forgotten how to make one, this post shows you the steps on how to make it.





How To Make A Paper Fortune Teller or Cootie Catcher - Step By Step Instructions

A Paper Fortune Teller or Cootie Catcher is a fun game I used to play as a child. In those days, we didn't have tablet computers or interactive hand held devices to distract us. I like how life was so much simpler then. Children played with homemade games and toys. They read a lot more books then they do now and they also have a lot more physical play.
In this lens, I will teach you how to make a paper fortune teller and how to play with a paper fortune teller. It is a nice game to play with friends on a rainy day. You can make up the fortune or write fun things to do in your paper fortune teller and have a jolly good time.
What You Need To Make Your Paper Fortune Teller - You Will Need A Square Piece Of Paper
First of all, here is what you will need to make your paper fortune teller.
You will need a square piece of paper. You will also need marker pens or colored pens. If you like you can make your paper fortune teller look even better by decorating it with colored pencils, glitters or stickers or anything else you like!


Step One on How To Make Your Own Paper Fortune Teller



First, you have to fold your square paper in half. Then fold it again into half. Finally unfold.

Step Two on How To Fold Your Own Paper Fortune Teller



In the second step, you have to fold all the corners of the paper to meet in the center. When you are done, you will have a square paper again.

Step Three On How To Fold Your Own Paper Fortune Teller - Look at the sequence of this picture in clockwise manner and finishing at the center


When you are done with step two above, turn your paper over.
In step three, you have to fold all the corners of the paper into the center in the same manner as you did in step two.
When you are done, you are back to square one, meaning you will have a square paper again.

Step Four On How To Make Your Own Paper Fortune Teller


When you are done with step three, turn the paper over, then fold first one way and reopen and then fold the other way and reopen. This is to facilitate or make it easier for you to slip your fingers into the paper fortune teller in the next step.

Step Five One How To Make Your Own Paper Fortune Teller


Write the names of four colors on each of the flaps in your paper fortune teller.
The most basic is to write in the name of colors. However, you can exercise your own creativity by filling it with the name of flowers, your friends, or monster names if you prefer, just for fun!

Step Six On How To Make Your Own Paper Fortune Teller

Next, turn the paper fortune teller and write in the numbers 1 to 8 on all of the sections you see.
Again, instead of numbers you can write in any other words you prefer.

Step Seven Of Making Your Own Paper Fortune Teller


Finally, write in the "fortunes". Be imaginative and fun. Write in anything you like.
Instead of 'fortunes' you can also write in other things that require your friends to do a certain action, like "Dance and twirl around" or "Laugh non stop" etc.


How To Play With Your Paper Fortune Teller


1. Slip your fingers into the 'pockets' of the paper fortune teller.

2. Ask your friend to choose a color.
3. Spell the color while moving your fingers in and out first one way, then the other.
4. Then ask your friend to choose a number that is available.
5. Move the fortune teller in and out according to the number chosen.
6. Ask your friend to choose another number from the ones that can be seen.
7. Open the flap and read out the fortune.
Free Printable Paper Fortune Teller Templates - For All Occasions
These paper fortune teller or cootie catcher templates are for all occasions including Valentines, Thanksgiving, Year of the Dragon and Halloween. Have fun!



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