We are very proud of Man Wen, a Pri 5 pupil. She joined us last year in Sept. Her mum pulled her out of her previous tuition centre because she didn’t see much improvement in her results, although Man Wen enjoyed the classes there. Today, Man Wen told me that she scored 65/95 for her paper 2, 30/40 for her composition and 15/15 for her situational writing.
For the Primary 5 pupils, they may not do well in the SA 1 exam as there are actually many things they have to learn: many rules for the different types of sentence synthesis questions and grammar rules for the commonly tested grammar items. Also, they grapple with the comprehension cloze passage and open-ended comprehension questions.
I teach my pupils the different rules for sentence synthesis and give them ample practice. I also have a systematic way of teaching the commonly tested grammar items for PSLE by explicit teaching, games and ample practice.
For comprehension cloze, I teach my pupils to look out for grammatical and contextual clues and the importance of word collocations (how words go together). By constantly getting them to practise looking for clues and familiarising them with word collocations, the pupils get better at answering cloze passages.
There are no shortcuts. The children need to be explicitly taught, and via games and constant exposure to the various rules and skills, they will remember what they have been taught. It will take some time for them to remember what they have been taught and they must be willing to work hard.
I use a behaviour log to chart my pupils’ behaviour and progress in class. Man Wen didn’t complete her homework initially. I let her mother know and we worked together to monitor her progress. We explained to her the importance of completing every assignment if she wanted to see improvement. The constant nagging and encouragement worked and she made a vast improvement in her SA 1.