The end of Ramadhan

Syawal is approaching very soon. I'm feeling as excited as I am sad that Ramadhan is leaving in less than 2 days. Is this a well-spent Ramadhan than before? Well, I certainly hope so and I make du'a constantly that Allah will accept my prayers, my deeds and my fasting.

I remember during ramadhan last year, I was 4 months pregnant. Thankfully I was very fit to fast and I only skipped a day of fasting due to fever. I managed to perform the terawih at the nearby surau despite the swollen feet and my legs' refusal to stand for a longer time during prayer.

This year, I am fasting as a breastfeeding mum. The experience is way different but equally challenging. I had my worries but alhamdulillah I am fit to fast. Though exhausting, I praised Allah for the strength He has given me to go through every single day and the rezeki He showered my son for the sufficient milk produced. There were days when I thought of breaking my fast, but alhamdulillah I managed not to. Tapi memang sayur at the end of the day :) Managed to perform the terawih this year, too, at home with my companion, Luqman by my side. If he's behaving, I'll just let him play on his own while I tried to finish my prayer. If not, most of the time I'll start praying after I have put him to sleep or I'll stop after the 4 rakaat and feed him or just play with him for awhile and then continue. Either way works for us but there are also days when I'd join him into slumberland due to fatigue :)

And as of today, I have never skipped my fasting yet. If God permits, this year will be the first year ever that I will score full of a month's fasting (!). However, I am still wondering too if my menstrual cycle decides to play hide and seek this month by appearing really late which got me into a worrying state but I shoved that idea even before I could dwell into it hehe I guess it's because I'm eating less plus I am breastfeeding, so the hormones are just giddy :)

InsyaAllah, with just less than 48 hours away until Ramadhan is leaving, let us all strive harder. And let the first day of Syawal be a day of true content!

How to really love a child




I can't wait to embark on a wonderful journey (already am, in fact) in the life of my precious child.

Anticipating sticky fingers, scattered crayons, fancy artwork on the wall, dirty sweaty face, grass-stained knees, endless hugs and goofy wet kisses, scraped-up hands from falling down--aahh, such a blessing isn't it?

Love you much, little munchkin!

Good things

Like previous years, us, homies will make it a point to meet up at least once during Ramadhan. Over the years, the quorum has never been complete, but that has never stopped us from continuing this tradition.

Yesterday, we decided to meet after Isya' for a drink and a catch-up session at Pappa Rich. It was just the 5 of us with the absence of Iwani who is now residing in Miri, Hudah who is in the States, Hidah and Syikin who were away for a course, Nadia who can't seem to join and Shaf who is in Terengganu.

The time when we mommies could leave as our babies were already asleep :)

Farhana was not in the picture
Pictures by Nazliah

Though it wasn't for long, I certainly had a great time with them, just like old times. It felt good to unwind, laughed harder than I normally would, and just listening to each others' stories. Perfect.

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This morning, after Luqman woke us up at around 2-ish, and I successfully put him back to sleep, I chit-chatted with my husband while lying down. Suddenly, this feeling of warmth and giddiness came surging- I felt like we're teenagers again. You see, I realized that we hardly spend quality time together these days, or simply laze around without having to worry about our baby waking up soon. Having a baby really occupies us that we hardly have the time to ourselves.

This Ramadhan, I would be totally knocked out come Isya' and it would be such a feat to even bat an eyelid. By the time Rizal comes home from Terawih, most of the time I would already be in slumberland and he would be left alone without a companion (poor him). No matter how many times I promised not to fall asleep and wait for his return, I will always find myself waking up in the middle of the night and saw him by my side, already asleep.

So that simple mindless chat was to me, a definite luxury, and like a compensation for the times lost.

Then I was feeling unusually hungry. Sensing that we both will not go back to sleep anytime soon, he suggested that we had our pre-sahur meal together -

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The Korean Kimchi-flavoured noodle! Oh nyums!!-


while watching the Olympics :)

Priceless.

Joyful Sunday

Last weekend, together with my sis-in-law and her family, we made our way to Devflections Charity Bazaar in Titiwangsa.


Plans were made since SIL has been meaning to go to Smashing Scarves' booth a long time ago. So last Sunday was the day. Both of us had a great time, overwhelmed with variety of scarves (hehe) that we spent quite some time just there and did not go to any other booths (frankly speaking, the others weren't that interesting).

Both our babies were taken care of by our husbands so that made our shopping a lot easier!



After that, we went separate ways before meeting again at our MIL's house for iftar. We went to Shah Alam to do some raya shopping for Rizal and in the midst of that I received a call from my sister informing that our dear cousin had just given birth earlier. Since we were just in the vicinity, we decided to pay her a visit at DEMC.

Stepping foot on the 6th floor and into her suite brought back familiar feelings of that fateful day when I had given birth to Luqman. The joy, exhaustion, relief - all rolled into one.

Meet baby Sarah ;)

Baby Sarah with her 4 aunties

Then, I was informed of another great news that a dear friend, Kak Azlina had given birth just about the same time as Ika. We then rushed to Umraa in Section 13.


With the proud mum and baby boy
(Kekok sikit pegang newborn hehe)


The handsome Ali Arrazi :)

So yes, a joyful Sunday it was.

Lesson Study

Recently many countries have reported improved teaching and learning through the implementation of the Lesson Study approach. Through Lesson Study, teachers improve by collaboratively planning, teaching, observing and using thoughtful reflections of live research lessons.

Lesson Study (LS) has its origins in Japan. It was perhaps Japan's unintentional best kept secret of its best practices particularly of its Mathematics teachers until the 1990's.

I had the opportunity to go for a day course on this last year and carried it out with other English teachers who are teaching the same form. That time, it was only English, Science and Mathematics subjects were involved. Subject teachers were persuaded to set-up their Lesson Study group in school and pursue this project twice a year to the Form 2 students only. This year, to disseminate and popularize Lesson Study, this methodology has to be carried out by all subject teachers in school to all forms twice (that's what we've been told and ordered to do).

This is how it works :

Subject teachers will have to sit down together and discuss/decide on a topic/subject matter that they want to focus. Then, together they will come up with a suitable lesson plan and Teacher A will carry it out in her class while being observed by the other 2 teachers.

After the lesson, the 3 teachers will get together to discuss and analyse the lesson and teaching techniques, and make revision of the lesson plan, activities and materials. Some parts, materials or teaching techniques will need to be adopted or adapted according to students' proficiency.The revised lesson plan will then be carried out by Teacher B in her class (of different proficiency level) and the others will observe her. Observations will be discussed during the second meeting and adjustments will be done to the lesson plan and materials as well as teaching techniques.

Teacher C will then carry out the newly revised lesson plan in her class and will be observed by the other teachers. Once it's done, all teachers will sit down together again and reflect on the whole approach and analyse the strengths and weaknesses.

So what do I think of this?

Frankly, I had significant reservations even before the process started. The first thing that came to mind was the time issue. Our group had to find a really suitable time when everyone is free to sit down and discuss. It did not help that the school is continuously having all sorts of programs that we had a hard time finding a day to slot in our Lesson Study.

Then it was the issue of sitting together; teachers who have never worked together in terms of teaching now have to sit and work towards a common goal. It was very unlikely to me.
However, as we slowly worked we were getting to know each other and somehow we all shared the same frustrations and dreams for our students despite our differences.

Eventually all that was sorted out and last year, our Lesson Study Group (form 2) was the pioneer in our school. It was indeed a very refreshing experience and personally I kinda like it.

Personally, our execution is better this year as we are more well-informed of this and we know better of what to do. Similarly, we stick to the topic of SVA (Subject-Verb Agreement) as that is an area which most of our students have problems with. And students seem to enjoy it too as most parts of the lesson are student-centred. The fact that there are another 2 teachers in the class with them helped them to focus.

I am actually very happy and delighted to be part of this Lesson Study project as I learnt a lot from observing. It made me think deeper of my own methodology and ways to improve them. Overall, it promoted a collaborative culture that enhances our professional collegial bonds with our colleagues; and it allowed and encouraged us to prepare better student based activities. Of course, having said all that this will not be successful if every teacher is not sporting or open enough to listen to comments and accept helpful suggestions. And most importantly, teachers must be ready to embrace this methodology and be involved.

Quoting a teacher's words :

"Clearly, the value of lesson study is primarily in its process, the creating, the professional dialogue and in looking at a broader picture of what we do as teachers"


Indeed.

Stay Fit Stay Healthy



This is actually my sister's final year project.

Together with her team, I think they are doing a fantastic job; from its planning,looking for sponsors, and the struggles she had to endure as a Project Manager. I am surprised they managed to secure Kevin Zahri y'all! And also the fact that he is willing to be part of this event, I am sure my sister and her team can never be grateful enough.

So, feel free to join her and the rest on the date and venue stated.

For the RM6 spent, I am sure it will be worth it.

Come on, let's stay fit and stay healthy!

The Writer

The Writer
I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher by profession. At times a pessimist and one who is easily amused. I find comfort once entering the threshold of my bedroom. I write because I want to and it makes me feel good :)