Monday, November 30, 2020

Random thoughts: Rentention of Chinese Characters

I am quite happy with the results of my pupils. It sort of validate some of the works I am doing with them. To be honest, before the releasse of PSLE results, I am worried if I "fail" them, and also that I labour for "nothing". This article is about vocabulary. 

Internalizing vocabulary so that rentention is long term

Internalizing vocabulary, required quite a bit of time. First, it need to be taught, quiz, and read aloud. Those can be done in a day or 2. Then we need to use them in context of speaking and writing. Then it need to be repeated through different writing and speaking context.

I need to clear some of the high frequency or sight words. After which, is quiz after quiz, adaptive quiz where they are tested of vocabulary of low accuracy. 

Visualization of characters, need to encassed in a  system, after the random and creative system of learning it. For example, whenver we see a particular part of a word, it will always mean the same thing, that will help you remember the semanatics of the vocabulary. One example is “辶”,got something to do with "actions" or "movement", hence, I said this looks like a scooter, scooter moves you around. Words that contain this “辶” usually have connections to "places" or "movment". Of course, then you have to go through those words again and again, and the skill behind this is for them to make sense of the part of the words and making a story to link it with meaning on their own

Another example, is the part "古”,I told them it looks like a tombstone, I then link it to words like "故事”,story = are about people that have died, even difficult words like “适合”=suitable, which did not have any inking with "death" or "scooter", I simply said you "move around looking for a place to die, why? Because you wanted the most suitable place, to rest in peace.

The “story” does not have to be logical, in fact the more "creative" it is, the easier for it to be remembered. 

After going through it a few times, I give them a few words, and ask them to do the linking themselves. 

Not all pupils need such help in Chinese Characters, it work the best only with the weakest of pupils, becasue the Chinese Characters make no sense to them at all at the first place, and they just look like alien "pictures".  Below are some of my pupils' work, earlier in the year. Towards the end, due to the restriction of time, I simply forced feed it to my weakest pupil. I should have better planning next year. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Random thoughts: Blind spots

 Blind Spot 1

When it comes to investment, I have wondered aloud what is my competence of circle. The recent rally of the market (Which has turned as I am writing this), makes me realise:

1) Almost all counters in my radar raises with the raising tide. There are some salted fish that didnt move, but a quick check makes me realised I do not really need skills to pick the right stock during a raising market. The odds are heavily stacked against one when the tide rises or falls.

2) My competence hence is to prevent permanent loss such that a company go belly up. I look at various ratios etc. But the "outsized" gains depends a lot of positioning your portfolio according to the themes. A lot of positive news that happen recently depend on luck rather than skills. 

3) Thus it seems, temperament and patience, seems to matter much more beyond the basic investment literacy. I cannot trade daily, I cannot find good companies "anytime", most of the time, it takes a lot of waiting. Waiting for luck to allow the margin of safety to appear to buy, for the thesis to work out.

An example, I recently further accumulate CDG and Koufu. I believe phase 3 will benefit them. Between the 2, I see much more catalysts in Koufu than CDG, yet Koufu price falls more than CDG. 

I See the following in Koufu

1) Management accretive accquisition of dough culture.

2) Macau opening up slowly but surely with China containing Covid very well.

3) 2nd expansion to Phillipines and the prior withdrawn expansion to Indonesia left a deep impression in me. They were trying to bring RandB Bublé tea to indon. (I tried it, nothing special, but reasonably good, able to compete with the rest), but they withdrawn suddenly. When they go to phillipines, they worked with peri peri instead. Opening at their stores to try viability. According to their quarter update, it is deem viable even current covid situation. I paying for competent management (compare this to SPH, with poor customer service and incompetent and overpaid acquisitions, yet the price cheong more than 20% with rumors of restructuring. This again, points to luck.)

4) cost saving (operational wise) with their integrated facility in Woodlands. 25 percent space for external vendors have been filling up

Risks are with the bidding of food courts, there might be some lumpiness here and there. Food courts contracts are 3 years. They have returned contracts before. But I see this as a plus, since they are not chasing numbers mindlessly. 

A compelling story, yet it is the worst performing counter. I believed it might still turnaround, but the timing is pure luck. 

Blind Spot 2

Last day of school, I got my pupils to do digital autographs for one another. They can take photos with t their BFF, and read notes and decorate the photo before sharing it with their friends.

I know of a a few pupils who are very shy, so I encourage them to create autograph for their friends, even if no one ask them for a photo shot. I did ask 1 or 2 pupils to approach them to take some photos with the shy ones.

Surprisingly, at the end of the day, I have 3-4 pupils with no photos/ notes in their folder, and some as many as 9. The 3 pupils do not come across as socially aware, although I knew 1 of them are not actually well-liked

Granted, although I am the co-form teacher of the class, I only teach them once a forthnight or month since semester 2, and there are only a handful of pupils who are my chinese pupils, I am quite shocked how these pupils can slip past my radar. There are very nice kids who are very good friends imho with only 1 invite to autograph too.