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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Physics Special - Potential Difference in a Nutshell


Let's revise this with the Al-Farabian way - using easy illustration:

1. Similar charges repel each other.

2. They are brought closer to each other, creating repulsive force.

3. Energy is needed to bring these charges closer to each other.

4. The work done (to bring them closer) is called potential difference.

5. The whole thing happens in the electric field.


Monday, 24 February 2014

The First Seminar This Year is On (15 Mac 2014)

Laughter + Smiles + Tears = Sweet Memories SPM 2013
We come here to learn,
And we aim to score.

We shall laugh 'til our heart burn,
We shall study deep to the core.


Our greatest yearn,
Is to be better than before!

5 Points for Locomotion of Earthworm

Let's go to our wriggling friend, the earthworm! :-)

*You need to add the term antagonistic muscle actions for longitudinal-circular muscles reaction to get full marks.

The distribution of marks:

5 features + 5 description of earthworm locomotion = 10 marks.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Teaching Tips - Using Concept Attainment to Teach Comparison-type Notes

This post is specially dedicated to the teachers. I'm sure you guys familiar with the Calhoun's Concept Attainment teaching strategy. Now, let's apply them here for our convenience in teaching Biology.

Biology has many infos which we have to compare. The important ones (I call them the Tickling Thirteens) are listed below. For the students, check whether you already master them (red bold ones are available in this blog).

We take the Mitosis VS Meiosis as our example today. The syntax would be the same, as outlined here:

1) Present the Info with Positive & Negative Exemplars:

In my case, I use concrete & interesting diagrams: 

2) Ask the Students to Compare the Exemplars:

Encourage them to talk about the diagram. Ask them both similarities & differences. Don't worry about right/wrong answer. Let them speak out. Some interesting (& funny answers) would be like below (Malay):

"Mitosis muka sama, meiosis muka lain-lain"
"Mitosis jadi dua, meiosis jadi empat"
"Mitosis potong sekali, meiosis potong dua kali"
"Mitosis relaks je, meiosis macam tension kena potong"
"Ini semua cikgu amik kat Internet kan?"
"Semua start daripada satu sel"
"Satu sel jadi banyak sel..."
"Kenapa diorang cakap Perancis?"
"Ni cikgu amik dari blog Cikgu Heery kan?"

3) Ask the Students to Relate Within Exemplar:

In this process, we train them to make hypothesis regarding of what they saw. Again, don't worry whether the answer is right or wrong. The point is for the students to speak out in an intellectual/ logical manner. Example of answers (Malay):

Hypothesis in Positive Exemplars (Mitosis):

"Sel belah sekali je, sebab tu la jadi dua sel"
"Sel belah sekali je, tak kacau isi sel, sebab tu la muka sama"

Hypothesis in Negative Exemplars (Meiosis):

"Sel belah dua kali, sebab tu la jadi empat sel"
"Sel belah dua kali, caca merba isi sel, sebab tu la muka lain-lain".

4) Teach Students Using their Own Points:

In this phase, the teachers would confirm/ correct/ alter the students points. Examples:

"Mitosis muka sama, meiosis muka lain-lain"

Teacher would state that in mitosis, the genetic constituents of the parents & daughter cells are identical, whether in meiosis, they are different.

"Mitosis potong sekali, meiosis potong dua kali"

Teacher would state that there is one phase of cell division, while in meiosis, there are two (Meiosis 1 & Meiosis 2).

"Sel belah dua kali, caca merba isi sel, sebab tu la muka lain-lain".

Teacher can correct this statement by saying that they cells are different because the chromosomes conducted cross over prior to the meiosis.

Note the difference of this strategy with the traditional type of teaching. Most teachers would just list down the notes between Mitosis & Meiosis for the students to memorize for the test.

This strategy is preferred in teaching because it encourages the students to take part in the learning process. Also, the students are taught to think inductively, which is crucial in forming a habit of critical thinking. Finally, the process is just plain fun! 

Wish you the best in your teaching/ learning endeavor :-)


Whimsy Wednesday - Serious Matter is Deadly Serious...

The pic I draw here describes my mood in these days. I have to take care of something before I come back. See you later guys...

With lots of love & respect (respecto)

Cikgu Heery

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Thinking Teen - The Most Important Question to Ask Oneself

Value-searching steps - 1. Ask
Let's take a break from study and focus on what matters the most - you. As a teen, I'm sure you have lots of things in mind, especially about your identity & role as a human being. You yearn to enliven your life to the fullest instead of just day-to-day surviving. Thus, one question can be asked about yourself to tackle this issue:

"What is my value?"

You've seen your friend very good at sports & are cherished by others. That's his/her value. The values could be adept in public talk (debat), knowledgable about current issues, making jokes, or computer genius. Being good at playing musical instrument is also a great value. Some of my students are very good in photography or drawing manga. One student showed me some cool martial art moves because he idolizes Bruce Lee. For me, I was good in drawings. I still remember that I gained respect among my friends because I drew pictures they requested.
2. List down your preferences
You might think that by acting 'cool', being troublemakers, wearing revealing outfits, money, rich parents, fancy cars, branded clothes, or just being cute would be categorized as values. Wrong. Here are the 4 prominent features of values:

1. Values are something intrinsic (in you) that makes you unique & special
2. Values are something that benefit BOTH you and others.
3. Values are deeply meaningful to you (they move you & give you sense of direction in life).
4. Best values are something that you work at instead of something you are born with.

The greatest benefit of having values is they boost your self-esteem. Professional teachers know that students having a good self-esteem is crucial as the main vehicle for them to drive their daily teen lives. That's why the main outcome of teaching is to increase the students self-confident. The teaching itself is an act of providing knowledge, which is a great value to students. You might learnt the best learning techniques. You might learnt interesting topics in schools.

But, if the students' overall self-esteem remains low, something is dead wrong with the education received.

In fact, most of developed countries such as Japan & Singapore, state that the most desired outcome in education is to produce confident learners. How about us here in Malaysia? 

That's why for adults, the best thing we can do is to encourage the students to get their own values. One mistake the adults do is assuming that studying is the only value for the students. We should understand that teenagers are individuals with own preferences and own values. Hence, praise them for their effort in not just in study, but also sports and hobbies. Provide them with necessary financial & emotional support. 

As for you guys, ask yourselves - what is your value?
3. Decide


Friday, 7 February 2014

Teknik Menjawab Soalan Esei Jenis Aplikasi (Use of Microbes in Biotechnology)

First of all, we should realize that the Science Stream students are preparing to take higher education such as Degree and above. Thus, the teachers should prepare them to write properly structured answers in written form. 

In other words, in this blog, I am gearing you up to write thesis/dissertation/assignment/research journal in your future years as scholars, not just to pass exam. Here I show you how, by using the technique I thought your seniors before - the PEE system.

It stands for:


We shall discuss the use of PEE system on the application-question below:

Q : Discuss the roles of microorganisms in biotechnology by providing suitable examples (10 marks)

To start, let's use the SWEM point specifically for this type of question:

S - Sea pollution control
W - Waste treatment
E - Energy (clean)
M - Medicine & Health

Later, we write the explanation & the examples. Here is the complete answer:

I intentionally left the food processing point for you to dig it out :-)

It's up to you to write in table or essay form. We shall discuss this more near the SPM exam soon. Go Bra-zil! :-)


Aerobic & Anaerobic Respiration Comparisons

The most obvious difference is the use of oxygen. Here, we shall discuss the further differences between them in a peculiar way for your convenience:


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Physics Special - Understanding The Newton's 3rd Law of Motion

You learnt before that going up the lift causes you to feel 'heavier' and going down makes you feel 'lighter'. Why is that so? First, lets analyze the Newton's Third Law of Motion:

Yup, just like when you kick someone in the a**, the person will kick you in the a** back :-)

So, when you are standing up, there are two forces acting upon you, the gravity, mg (downwards) and the normal reaction force, R (upwards).

How about the formula thingie? Well, here is the correct technique to write for the SPM...

"Why the formula R-mg=ma? What is R? What is mg? What is ma?"

mg is mass(m) multiply with gravitational acceleration(g) which results in weight, which in this case it goes downward. Feel the weight of all objects around you. It goes downward on your hand, right? That's mg.

R is the reaction force opposing the mg. It's a normal phenomenon to all objects. That's why it is called normal reaction force.  In this case, the floor/ground is 'pushing' your feet upward. It also causes the reading on the weighing scale.

ma is the resultant force. It is the result from the 'clash' between the opposing R and mg (like cats and dogs, R and mg fight each other!). So, the result can be felt in the acceleration (a) in ma.

In this case of standing up, no acceleration is felt. That's why you are stationary. The R cancelling mg when added together, causing the resultant force to be zero.

Just like a war with no winning side...

In the seminar, we shall discuss the case of resultant force in the elevator.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Whimsy Wednesday - The Dread of the Day

We can neither repair our past.
Nor control our future.

All we have now is the present.

With it we shall make it lasts.
And paint quite a picture.

With every ounce of our undying effort.
Until that day, we shall make it our essence.

8 Essential Points of Protein (PART 1)

Here are the first 5 points you MUST know about protein.

1. Basic unit = amino acid

2. Elements = CHOSN P (chosen 'P') - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen, & phosphorus.

3. There are 20 types of natural amino acids. 
I just degraded myself with this photo of plastic surgeon-obsessed people.
4. Two types of amino acid - Essential & Non-essential

5. Amino acid is an amphoteric molecule (having both acid & base features)
Or it can be a girl with mood swing, just saying... :-)

To be continued in Part 2...


Monday, 3 February 2014

Physics Special - Sound Wave Interference Experiment

It's been a while I haven't give Physics lesson. In interference, you learnt the wavelength = ax/D formula. Now, let's have some fun regarding the sound wave experiment interference, as shown in diagram below:

You can see the relationship between the distance between two coherent speakers, a (dog) and the distance between two loud sound heard, x (cat). That's because they are inversely proportional (cat & dog always fight!). But your teacher can easily teach their relationship via the formula itself.

Af!Af! (barking sound) VS Xssss! (cat hissing)

First, let's see the variables (simplified):

MV: a (you change the distance between speakers)
RV: x (you measure the distance between two loud sound)
CV: D (you maintain the distance between you and the speakers).

Hence, we arrive at the hypothesis (simplified):

"The larger the a, the smaller the x."

The teachers can show this as the advance organizer (from Ausubel) before the experiment starts. For the rest of you guys, have fun! :-)


Gong Xi Fa Chai! 新年快樂.