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Postby The Alternative Story » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:19 am

jeestan wrote:
Hi TAS,

Thanks for providing the information on the holiday prog and also for the grammar tips, thanks learning partners too.

TAS,

How do you tell the difference between envelop and envelope and also instant and instance?


Hi jeestan,

No problem :D

Learning Partners has provided some mnemonics to tell the difference
between envelop and envelope and instant and instance.

Here is some extra information on 'instant'

For instant and instance:

Instant can be both a noun and an adjective:

Instant (an adjective)

Eg:

-Instant noodles
- Instant feedback

Here, instant is an adjective (it is used to describe a noun-noodles +
feedback)

How to differentiate Instant(adjective) and Instant (noun)

Adjective: It is used usually before the noun

Noun: It is used after articles (an, the), demonstrative pronouns (this, that), indefinite pronouns (any)

Eg:

The instant (adjective) photo booth is not working.

At any given instant (noun), you can only see one waiter in the
cafe.

So, 'instant' can mean:

1) In a specific moment (noun)

- In that instant, I saw my future unfold

2) Immediate (adjective)

- I want to drink instant coffee (coffee that can be
drunk immediately)


'Instance' on the other hand would always be only a
noun.
It means example.

- I can only think of one instance where Chinese New Year was
celebrated in my family.

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby The Alternative Story » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:59 am

jasmineong wrote:Hi TAS, sorry I feel like I am asking a lot of qns but just want to ask bout the things you said about flashback, how not to make it sound cliched? In school, the teacher will say can use flashback but then everyone's flashback is the same, so a bit hilarious and in PSLE, is it ok if everyone is the same? Thanks again.


Hi jasmine,

No problem, we will try our best to help you :D

For flashbacks, it sounds cliched when many people use the same
phrasing, this happens when a number of students memorize
a given set of phrases.

In the PSLE, when the marker comes across a few, or worse many,
scripts that sound the same, instead of being impressed, they
would see it simply as the class just memorizing phrases.
They would not think that the students can write well. This
would affect the students' marks.

We have nothing against memorizing phrases because many
times, students who do not have a wide range of vocabulary need
to be given a template of phrases to use as input for their writing.

However, in time, they should also be able to add to this template
by using phrases that could be borrowed from storybooks or
they should also be able to come up with their own 'good'
phrases by using their own personification, metaphors and similes.
However, for students who are rather weak, or who are new at
creative writing, it is good that they start off with using phrases
borrowed from teachers, schools etc. They just should not
see those phrases as the answer to good writing, rather, they
should see them as the beginning to good writing. It is what
they lay on that beginning foundation that is more important.

Examples of flashbacks of students' work:

Idea: Seeing something that makes them remember
an incident
.

However, because they write about it differently (one looks
at an old forgotten object, one looks at a newspaper article)
and their descriptions are also different, the flashback works
as it is no longer cliched and a 'photocopy' of each other.

1) I dusted off the dust from the kite. Looking at its faded colours,
I could almost smell the scent of freshly cut grass once again.
Interwoven with images of the park and a kite flying freely were
images of broken branches and a terrifying fall. The helplessness.
The terror. The pain. All these emotions rushed back to my mind
as I held onto the kite.

That day began just like any other normal one. (Story starts)


2) 'Borders opens its newest branch at Tampines Mall'- The headlines
grabbed my attention. Bending down to take a better look
at the article, I gave an involuntary shudder. Borders- it used to be
my favourite place but now it was a place I avoided at all costs. I
never dreamt that day I took my brother to Borders for the first
time would also be his last.

Two years ago. (Story starts)



TAS

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Postby jasmineong » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:45 am

TAS, your sharing about the flashback is really powerful lah..you mean your students can write like that, aiyo..I better get my children to brush up their english..do you have any other examples of composition startings to share? :wink:

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Postby Jellybeans100 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:13 am

Hi TAS,

I am newly signed up, I have been following your posts faithfully and I really learn a lot :D Just want to ask you a few things:

1) If you are setting up a branch in the east, would it be sometime
next year, cos my boy is already in P2 and I would like him to quickly
get started on the way you teach writing, his writing is quite average and I dont really know how to help him.

2) Could you put up the class schedule for the normal classes for Bukit timah
maybe in the forum, I have read your threads at the marketplace, could you put it up there as I want to see if I could squeeze in time to send my son there if you are not setting the East branch yet.

3) What is the best way to help guide the child at home besides reading storybooks, are there any creative writing books you recommend? Is
there any way to check their writing also and how to get them interested
to keep writing?

Thank you, I hope you can help me out here with these questions.

Jellybeans100
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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:56 am

jasmineong wrote:TAS, your sharing about the flashback is really powerful lah..you mean your students can write like that, aiyo..I better get my children to brush up their english..do you have any other examples of composition startings to share? :wink:


Hi jasmine,

Glad that our sharing can help you :wink: If your children are still
young (primary 1-4), you do not have to worry so much, there
is still time for them to master creative writing, if they are older,
maybe you can help them from home, work with their teachers
in school to find out what is wrong with their writing and perhaps
you can also find out from their teachers what creative writing
materials they use- some schools give out a list of phrases to learn
and from there you can use those phrases to guide your child to
write better.

There are other composition startings. We will share more
over the next few days :D

TAS

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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:14 am

Hi TAS,

I am newly signed up, I have been following your posts faithfully and I really learn a lot :D Just want to ask you a few things:

1) If you are setting up a branch in the east, would it be sometime
next year, cos my boy is already in P2 and I would like him to quickly
get started on the way you teach writing, his writing is quite average and I dont really know how to help him.


Hi Jellybeans100,

Glad to be of help!

We are still looking for a place, we are not sure if we will start one
in the East, it is quite probable but we cannot guarantee it. Perhaps,
you could start him on writing by getting him to read first, you could
use our creative writing phrases to also guide him in his writing.
You can show him how to apply these phrases in his writing. We
will definitely inform you if we do have a centre in the East.

2) Could you put up the class schedule for the normal classes for Bukit timah
maybe in the forum, I have read your threads at the marketplace, could you put it up there as I want to see if I could squeeze in time to send my son there if you are not setting the East branch yet.


We will put up the schedule of classes that we have already confirmed,
it should by out by tomorrow.

3) What is the best way to help guide the child at home besides reading storybooks, are there any creative writing books you recommend? Is
there any way to check their writing also and how to get them interested
to keep writing?

Thank you, I hope you can help me out here with these questions.


We know of some parents who use this creative writing book of
phrases by Lisa Tan. It is available at Popular. You can use
that for a start. To check their writing, you can look at their school
work and identify the problem areas: Grammar mistakes,
spelling mistakes, sentence structure too similar,
plot not well developed and from there you can zoom in on
their problem area and work with them on it.

Eg:

- Grammar/Spelling mistakes

You can come up with a list of words he always misspells and test
him on those words.

You can also get him to write sentences and tell him to take
note of his grammar-the tenses are usually in the past tense.
You can show him pictures of the beach, the park etc and ask
him to write 3-4 sentences on them and from there, you can
help work on his grammar.

Eg:

- Plot not well-developed

Sometimes children jump straight into the problem and there is
no logical thought flow to their writing. You can show them
snippets of movies and show them how movie directors
build up the tension to the problem. They do not show
you a scene of a fire and in the next moment, the firemen
come and everyone gets rescued. There is usually some delay
to the rescue and you can show them how the director builds
the tension. In the same way, you can guide them to do the
same with their writing.

You can excite them to write by watching a movie with them and
asking them to rewrite the ending of the movie, tell them they
can be the director of the day and change the story in their
writing.

TAS

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Postby jeestan » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:35 am

The Alternative Story wrote:Hi jeestan,

No problem :D

Learning Partners has provided some mnemonics to tell the difference
between envelop and envelope and instant and instance.

Here is some extra information on 'instant'

For instant and instance:

Instant can be both a noun and an adjective:

Instant (an adjective)

Eg:

-Instant noodles
- Instant feedback

Here, instant is an adjective (it is used to describe a noun-noodles +
feedback)

How to differentiate Instant(adjective) and Instant (noun)

Adjective: It is used usually before the noun

Noun: It is used after articles (an, the), demonstrative pronouns (this, that), indefinite pronouns (any)

Eg:

The instant (adjective) photo booth is not working.

At any given instant (noun), you can only see one waiter in the
cafe.

So, 'instant' can mean:

1) In a specific moment (noun)

- In that instant, I saw my future unfold

2) Immediate (adjective)

- I want to drink instant coffee (coffee that can be
drunk immediately)


'Instance' on the other hand would always be only a
noun.
It means example.

- I can only think of one instance where Chinese New Year was
celebrated in my family.

TAS


Hi TAS,

Thanks for the explanations. I have another question:

- You have to eat, _________ you?

Why is the answer 'don't' and not 'haven't? I know 'don't' sounds right
but how to explain to my kid who looks at the verb - 'have'

jeestan
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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:46 am

jeestan wrote:Hi TAS,

Thanks for the explanations. I have another question:

- You have to eat, _________ you?

Why is the answer 'don't' and not 'haven't? I know 'don't' sounds right
but how to explain to my kid who looks at the verb - 'have'


Hi jeestan,

Sure, no problem.

Usually for question tag questions like these, you should look at
the verb in front and just add the opposite of it in the question tag,
so if it is positive (eg: is), the question tag wil be in the
negative (eg: isn't) and vice versa:

Eg:
- She is a prefect, isn't she?
- They should go to class, shouldn't they?
- They cannot do their work, can they?

For action verbs (eg: swim, dance etc), the question tag
will contain the verbs - do, does, did.

Eg:
- She ate a lot, didn't she?
- They swim everyday, don't they?
- He swims in the pool every week, doesn't he?
- He rarely swims, does he?
(rarely contains a negative meaning so the question tag is
in the positive)

However for the verb - has/have/had- it is slightly different.


When -has/have/had- is used as a present/past perfect
tense, (eg: has done, have eaten, had driven)
, the question
tag will have the verb- has/have/had- in it.

Eg:

- She has driven off, hasn't she?
- They have gone fishing, haven't they?
- They have not done well, have they?

(a) However, when the verbs- has/have/had- are used to
mean possession, then the question tags at the back will no
longer contain the verbs -has/have/had.

Now the verbs- has/have/had- act as action verbs.
They mean 'I possess something'. Hence the verbs in the question
tags should be 'does/did/do'.

Eg:

- They have a pool, don't they?
(here the verb 'have' means 'own')

- She has her lunch at 1 pm, doesn't she?
(here the verb 'has' means 'ate')

(b) When the verbs - has/have/had- are used to
show a need (eg:I need to go), the verbs to be used for the
question tags are also 'does/did/do'.

Eg:

- I have to go, don't I?

Hence, for the question you posted, the 'have' is used in such a manner,
so the answer is 'don't' and not 'haven't'.
Only if it is used as a present perfect tense (eg: have gone), then
the verb in the question tag will be 'have/haven't'. Otherwise, it
should be 'do/does/did' or 'don't/doesn't/didn't.

TAS

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Postby Brenda10 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:11 pm

Hi TAS

Just curious whether would you consider to conducting a "Rule of Grammar" workshop during year end?

BTW, I have PM for you.

Brenda10
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Postby The Alternative Story » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:21 am

Brenda10 wrote:Hi TAS

Just curious whether would you consider to conducting a "Rule of Grammar" workshop during year end?

BTW, I have PM for you.


Hi Brenda,

We might do a workshop on Grammar :D if we do so, we will keep
you informed.

Got your pm and will reply soon :D

TAS

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