Life long sharing . . .

Archive for September 2015

Watching the CBBC drama Leonardo with my girls. In 2nd episode of the first series, “Da Vinci’s Code”, Leonardo’s notebook was stolen by Lorenzo de Medici’s father, Piero de Medici. But it proves to be no use to him because all the formulae and calculations are written in code. Piero employs Lorenzo’s maths teacher Professor Pico to decipher the code and guess what, Fibonacci sequence were used by Leonardo to trick this professor.

It reminded me to share this story I learnt about the person who introduced this famous numbers, Leonardo of Pisa.

leonardoOfPisa Born in the city-state of Pisa, Italy, Leonardo of Pisa (1170-1250), also knows as Fibonacci (which roughly means “Son of Bonacci”), made a significant contribution in the field of mathematics. He was one of the greatest Western mathematicians of the Middle Ages. His greatest contribution included the introduction of the Hindu-Arabic numerals 0 to 9 to Western Europe in place of Roman Numerals (I, II, III, IV, V, etc). His book, Liber Abaci or also knows as Book of Calculations, documented the Hindu-Arabic numerals and how the Hindu-Arabic numerals could be useful in business transactions.

He also generated the famous Fibonacci numbers whereby in each term, after the first two terms, is the sum of the two preceding terms.


Here is an interesting Maths Olympiad question using Fibonacci Numbers. Check it out.



Got it? Cheers !

Was in discussion/sharing with a few wonderful parents on using mind mapping as self learning tool for kids. And a wonderful mom shared her wonderful post on learning mind mapping


And of all the links shared in her page, she recommended this one as the best.


Don’t miss it. Please do check out both sites.

I can’t wait to share it with my girls when they wake up from their nap.


Sample for 华文理解甲组

This is the first time I look at UPSR Chinese paper. This section starts with 4 questions on grammar or vocabs, followed by 2 long comprehension passages with 8 questions each. Proverb/idioms, synonym/antonym and pronunciation are tested in the comprehension questions as well. Now, I must say, it’s a surprise to know that Chinese rhetoric 修辞手法 is being tested too. Wow… I didn’t know they learn so much for Chinese language 🙂


Sample for 华文理解乙组

This section is mostly subjective, with another long comprehension passage (around 1000 words) at the end.

mm… The paper asks about the meaning of certain characters in the poem. So when learning poem, knowing how to recite by heart is not enough.


I guess in general for 华文理解 paper, good knowledge in vocabs is important. These will be tested: characters that have similar sounds but different meaning 错别字; or characters that look almost the same but different meaning 形似字; and even same character carries different meaning in different context, or even pronunciation changed when put in different context 多音多义字.

Sample for 华文书写

The arrangement is similar to BM, 甲组 is transfer of information to a passage. 乙组 is something like BM ulasan, write commentary of situation depicted by a picture.  丙组 write one essay out of two options given. mm… in the sample, both options are of narrative / story type 叙述文。


Sample for Comprehension paper Section A

Here is some analysis on the Grammar part:


Luckily the Proverb is asked as an objective question. Not like Bahasa Malaysia where students need to guess the proverb from a picture and construct a sentence using the proverb.

Sample for Comprehension paper Section B

This section is mostly subjective,starts with questions like complete simple dialogue such as asking questions. (Thank goodness no Bahasa Istana) There are three passages, one is a short story; the other two are advertisement fliers and dialogue. I guess this is the easiest, especially when compare with the Chinese Comprehension paper, 3 long passages full of words, no pictures, no point form text.

Sample for Composition paper:

I think the Composition sample paper is quite comprehensive in term of what kind of questions to expect. Fill in the blanks, answer questions, writing short passage such as email, based on material (e.g.  map, brochure.)  provided. And the last section, write story based on pictures and words given.

Some other good references on this topic:


Sample for Pemahaman Bahagian A:

Sample for Pemahaman Bahagian B:

Here is some analysis for Pemahaman questions. (Please correct me if I am wrong)



hmm… for the subjective question in Bahagian B, a bit concern about fill in the dialog between Sultan Mansor Shah and Datuk Panglima Awang. On top of need to make sure our children can converse well (well, then only can write out the diaglog), must know Bahasa Istana? We don’t speak Bahasa Istana in our daily life ooo…. (Note to myself: may be need to start buying Bahasa Malaysia comics books already ….)

Another one is: must learn to make sentences using peribahasa, simpulan bahasa, pepatah? bidalan? bandingan semacam? Knowing the meaning is not enough now.

Comprehension: There are 4 passages being tested:

  • 1 passage in Bahagian A with 4 objective questions;
  • 3 passages in Bahagian B with subjective questions including one question about sinonim (oh dear, cannot ‘ting-tong-ting-tiang’ for sinonim or antonim questions now. Must really know).
  • the 4th passage in Bahagian B is pantun (poem), which I find is the toughest one. They even ask to write out the meaning of selected lines from the poem. mm… Will they come out harder poem like syair?

Sample for Penulisan:

There are 3 parts.

Bahagian A: Memindahkan Maklumat.

I believe this is still almost the same as previous format. Given a topic and pictures, write 5 sentences.

Bahagian B: Membina Ulasan.

In the sample, students are asked to write ulasan based on a poster given. I am assuming it can also be to write ulasan about the benefits, the lessons learnt, and nilai-nilai murni ?

Bahagian C: Menulis Karangan

Only two questions to choose from. Taking the sample given as example, I assume one is karangan tak berformat such as cerita; and one is karangan berformat such as ucapan, surat rasmi ?.


Some other good references for this topic:

We are currently watching this CBBC award-winning drama “Leonardo” aired in 2011 and I told myself I must share about it.


The series follows the adventures of the young Leonardo da Vinci and his friends in 15th century Florence, Italy. Though it is not exactly factual but quoting the co-director “we play fast and loose with history and it’s not the job of a drama to give facts… but to inspire imagination.” I do agree with that, kind of fictitious but still some history elements are there. My girls gotta know more about this genius inventor Leonardo da Vinci, and  this is the first time for them watching drama in that kind of background – Italy city in 15th century.

And also, we read this book “Who was Leonardo da Vinci” at the same time, to learn some historical facts about Leonardo da Vinci.


For example, Leonardo’s parents did not get married. He was kind of like anak luar nikah. His father was a practical man. Knowing Leonardo’s choices in life were limited (due to his birth status), and being aware of his gift for drawing, his father arranged for him to be the apprentice of a famous artist, Andrea del Verrocchio.

The apprentices learnt to make paint brushes and paints, as shown in episode 1.


Oh ya, all apprentices were boys. No girls were allowed. And I think the character Lisa Gherardini in the drama was fictitious. In the show, she disguised herself as boy (Tom) so she could become a painting apprentice.


Leonardo kept notebooks full of drawings, ideas, and experiments that he did. And there is one interesting thing about his notebook:


In episode 2 “Da Vince Code”, the story line is about Leonardo’s notebook and the mirror image thingy. Actually, I was thinking, can it be Leonardo da Vinci had dyslexia ? Hahaha…

Also there is an episode about Leonardo attempted flying.


In history, did Leonardo actually build any wings? Nobody is sure. But in his notebooks, he did mention testing the wings on a hill near Florence.

And do you know, among the three greatest artists of the Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, Raphael was a great admirer of Leonardo’s, but Michelangelo was not. He didn’t like Leonardo and Leonardo didn’t like him. Michelangelo came from a well-off family but didn’t wash or change his clothes often. He was also short, had crooked back and quick temper. Leonardo was handsome, well-dressed, neatly groomed, and charming. The two of them were so different.

To conclude, both are a good read and a nice watch for us. May be you will like it too.

New word I learn today.



September 2015
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