With slightly more than a week to the oral examinations, it is important for children to not feel overwhelmed. Now is the time which parents will really need to work with their children's minds and hearts and show them your fullest support! I have been receiving enquiries about our P6 class and I regret to inform you that our P6 class is full and we will not be taking in any more children. However, do drop me a comment, a message or an email if you have any doubts that you need to clarify, I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible.
In the past few weeks, we have been discussing about oral at length (you can drop by our archive to take a look at our previous oral tips!) to prepare for PSLE oral this year. The section which is causing most parents and children anxiety is the stimulus-based conversation. I have stressed about how having a conversation is basically a session of sharing stories. As I revised with my pupils these few weeks, I feel that it is necessary to highlight how by simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!) and pack in the details to paint a fuller picture to engage the examiners. Here are two ways for you to fill up your stories:
1. Use the 5W1H to think through your stories
My advice to my children is to think up of 3 stories or news/facts which are related to the topic during the preparation time. It is not sufficient to just say a line or two about your story. For instance, on the topic of keeping a pet, a child may share about the day that he started owning a pet. Compare the following:
Pupil A: "My family owns an adorable dog. My father bought me a puppy and I named it Cotton. It was very cute and playful."
Pupil B: "My family owns an adorable dog. Last year, my father had decided to give me a rewards as I had made a vast improvement in my results for the end-of-year examinations. One Saturday, he brought me to a pet shop located at Bukit Timah Road and a fluffy white maltese caught our eyes. I knew that was the perfect puppy. Even though it cost over a thousand dollars, my father loved how playful it was and we decided to bring it home. I was overjoyed as I carried my new pet home and I named it Cotton as it has fur that looks like Cotton.
Who: My father and I
When: When I was ten years old/ Last year/ One Saturday etc.
Where: At a pet shop located at Bukit Timah Road
Why: I had achieved outstanding results for my end-of-year examinations
What: What was the breed of the dog? What was the price?
How: How did you feel? -overjoyed
How did the story end? - We went home with the puppy and I named it Cotton.
By applying the 5W1H, Pupil B is able to come up with at least 5 sentences that provide a fuller story. Help your children by asking them to draw a simple 5W1H mind map and list the points. This will help them to visualise the points easily as they share the story during the examination.
2. Add a conclusion to tie up your story
This is extremely important! Without a proper conclusion to link the story back to the question, your story will seem irrelevant and cause your conversation to end abruptly. You can conclude your story by (for the question: Do you think children should keep pets?)
- expressing your opinion E.g. "After having Cotton in our family, I have become more responsible and I believe children can step up to take care of their pets."
- giving advice E.g. "... I would advise children to come up with a list of responsibilities involved in taking care of a pet and then consider whether they are indeed ready for one."
- reflection (the lesson learnt) E.g. "...I learnt the importance of being a responsible pet owner. Taking care of a pet involves many responsibilities and I made sure that I always fed Cotton on time from then on."
By applying the two points above, your child should find it much easier to share their experiences during the examination with the step-by-step approach.
I have made some revision cards to help my children so that they can have a quick look-through at how the two oral segments should be carried out before the examination and during revision. You may wish to cut out the two cards and paste them at the front and back of a piece of construction paper so that it is sturdier. That will also make the revision cards a good size to carry around (:
Our new classroom has taken shape and you can take a look at the process at our 2016 Class Schedule page! Remember to subscribe to our blog or like our facebook page if you would like to receive updates on the release of our class schedule for 2016. Have a good time practising and remember to take a breather between practices!