Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Marshall Cavendish Education - P3 & P4 Maths Coaching Workshop

Math, being one of my most hated subject, I struggled to pass both my Additional Mathematics and Elementary Mathematics and not to mention during my three years of studies when I did my Diploma in Marine Engineering. I did not fail any modules, just that I did not pass with flying colours.

For Xav, we sailed through P1 and P2 smoothly without having much difficulty in managing Mathematics. We were satisfied with his grades for Math though it could be better or probably aced the papers if he was not careless.

I did not send him for any tuition or enrichment classes as I do not believe in loading him with classes for subjects which I could teach him within my ability. What I did was letting him practise using assessement books and past year papers on a daily basis. Afterall, Math is about understanding the concepts and practising.

Occasionally, I will ask for some "time-off" from Don so that I could attend workshops organised by Xav's school and external workshops for parents to help better in coaching the kids in their work. I feel the need to equip myself with the knowledge to guide him better.

Over two Saturdays, I sat in a Parent's Workshop [ P3 & P4 Maths Coaching Workshop] conducted by one of my favourite publisher- Marshall Cavendish Education. The reason why I was there, the kia-si me started to get jitters as I realised that the difficulty level for Math is slowly getting more and more challenging, especially so in solving Heuristic problems, which is my worst nightmare and I seriously hated to deal with it.

The workshop basically covered topics like:
- Whole numbers
- Fractions
- Decimals
- Geometry
- Measurements
- Heuristics

Let's me share some of the tips on Whole Numbers. How would you say 22345 to your child ?

If you have been reading out the whole number as "2,2,3,4,5" you had better stop this habit and read out in words instead "Twenty-two thousand, three hundred and forty-five". Get your child to read out in words too if they have been reading like the way you do. It allows them to learn the place of the numbers better.

Learning can take place anywhere! Supermarket is a good learning ground. Get your child to look at price tags, weigh the vegetables and get them to read out the value in words.

You can also spot number car plates and get your child to think on the spot. For instance, 2478, there are several ways to make it fun. It's so common around us and I did not think of it. This is good to keep the brain thinking constanttly.

1. Ask your child to read out the number in words.
2. Ask what is the place /value of each digit.
3. Ask what is the sum of the four digits when they are being added up. Great to train their mental calculation ! You can ask them to multiply as well!

Ms Dhillon highlighted the common mistakes made by the kids as well.

Weak Area #1 Common problem is always the "hypen", comma and "and". I did not know that they will be penalized too if they forget to write or if they put it at the wrong places. Using her rich teaching experience, Ms Dhillon pointed out which are the "weak areas" for students and the type of common mistakes she had came across.

Tip #1 Using back the same number as above "22345". Using the Rule of 3 (Refer to the bolded part), if it's before the 3 digits, use a comma, if its inside the 3 digits, use "and".

In words: "Twenty-two thousand (comma), three hundred and forty-five"
In numbers 22(comma) 345 and not 22345.

Then again, it depends on the one marking the papers. If they are lenient enough to close one eye or if they want to nitpick on this and fault the child. For me, I would rather drill Xav and let him learn the right way early to make it a good habit for himself and Vera if I can instill in her before she starts official school.

Weak Area #2 Spelling Forty as "Fourty" and Ninety as "Ninty"was one of the areas pointed out. I remembered Xav made the exact same mistakes not once in these two years and we were told that you'll be surprise that even older kids have the same problem.

Tip #2 : Do not over-pronounce "Fourty" and if possbile, get the child to read out the sentence which they wrote and hear if they sound right.

The understanding of the basic concepts is very important. I came across this in Xav's textbook but I did not know how to explain to him because I, myself cannot understand the basic concept behind how the answer is being deprived. I was only taught the old fashion way of just multiplying and carry up without being taught on the concept why. Now you see why I could not explain and probably it also explains why my math foundation is so weak. It is tedious with the renaming but it teaches the basic concept which the kids were being taught and explained on numbers with renaming.

We were also taught on Heuristics, to read and identify which methods could help to visualize better so that it makes it easier for the kids to see. These are a few methhods:
- Draw a diagram / model
- Guess and Check / Working Backwards
- Look for a pattern
- Listing
- Make a supposition
- Solving part of the problem
- Simplify the problem

Then, we were tasked to work in groups on different Heuristics problems and shared how we solved them.

I did not find it easy at all, so what do you think it will be like for our kids who are only nine or ten years old to solve such problems?  Never throw them the problems and leave it to them and expect them to solve by themselves unless they know how to. If we find it "daunting" to solve, it's exactly the same way how our kids will feel.

The parents in the workshop, some could solve but not using the fastest, time-saving method. Time factor is a very important, the kids need to do it fast and accurate during the PSLE exams. Hence, it is good if we can start training them early.

Look at the question below, go ahead and laugh at me but I really did not know how to do it.  This is the typical kind of question that always either made me shut off otherwise, I will list the letters until I reach the 57th position. But what if it's not 57th position but at a 156th position, which is much higher? Am I going to waste my time listing? I was so glad that I learnt how to solve this question using the right method, in less than 30 secs.

At the end of the day, Ms Dhillon emphasised that it is not all about getting an answer for the questions but more of the process of getting the answer and understanding the concepts.

Yes, back to the basics and I am ashamed of myself that I did not even know how to count squares properly, until we were taught how to distinguish a partically shaded square to be counted as one, half or zero We got to hands on as well, identifying the most effective way in counting the area of an irregular shaped object.

If we are able to find the relation wtihin the question itself, tthe problem can be solved easily.

By the way, this is not the first time, I am attending Parents Workshop organised by Marshall Cavendish. I have attended one Math Heuristics Workshop conducted by Ms Peggy Foo when Xav was in Primary One. She is one very engaging trainer and her workshop is never boring. You can also hope over to Mummy Ed's blog to read on the recent workshop she attended on Stretching your child's Mathematical Abilities.

Apart from Mathematics, you can also read on Mummy Christy, who blogs at KidsRSimple on:
PSLE Student English Workshop
PSLE English Workshop for Parents

She has also generously shared her No Tuition #30minrevision tips on her blog. I find them pretty useful and am inspired to start on this #30minrevision too! 

For more updates on Marshall Cavendish Parents/ Student Workshops, you can visit or follow them on :

Facebook: Mashall Cavendish Education

If you are very much involved in coaching and revising with your child, these workshops will be great to attend.

Cost Fee : $150
(Two days course, 9am - 4.30pm with one lunch included)

I did not see the date for the next run for 2017, do look out for any new updates on their website. These are some of the upcoming workshops should you be keen to attend. Do click on the picture to enlarge, this is the best I can show.

Venue: Times Centre
1 Industrial Road
Singapore 536196

Tel: 6213 9300

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Disclaimer: I was invited to this attend this workshop to learn how I can coach better for P3 & P4 levels. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - Newly added All Day Breakfast Menu

[ Media Invite]

It was great to have sweat it out after having this flu symptoms in me for a few days. I met up with Mama Jenn from Mylilbookworm for a jog around the vicinity of Promenade before we head for our brunch at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Suntec City.

I did not even realise there are two stores within Suntec City itself and we eventually found the other outlet at Basement 1 at the fountain of wealth vicinity.

CBTL @ Suntec City #B1-132

Now patrons can find these new addition on the All Day Breakfast Menu (Halal Certified) ! We ordered these dishes that were new on the menu and shared among ourselves. I kid you not, we were filled to the brim. Let me bring you through the new dishes, beverages and dessert.

Served with a generous amount of dried cranberries and roasted almond flakes. The dressing is just nice over the fresh and crisp leaves, it will make you wanting to go for more. Oh, the chicken slices are not dry and pretty nice to chew on. Should you decide to go for a filling yet light meal, go for this healthy choice, Smoked Chicken Salad.

To be frank, I hardly take greens but I do make Xav and Vera takes them. But I am loving this ! It was quite appetizing.

Smoked Chicken Salad - $11.90

If you want a heartier meal, go for the pastas! I ordered Creamy Seafood Fusilli, it was a tad disappointing. I placed the order and opted for Fusilli but sphagetti was served instead.

The prawns and scallops were juicy and the dish was served with sprinkled parmesan cheese.  The mustard cream sauce was creamy and heavy but the taste was bland. The  cheese toppings could have been more generous. We have to ask for extra cheese and chilli flakes to spice it up. I do understand that different chef produces a different taste somehow but I hope they can improve on this dish.

Creamy Seafood Sphagetti - $14.90

Jenn ordered Mediterranean Sandwich. It is a fact that I hated to eat egg yolks, totally not a fan of it. I will usually removed the yolks and eat just the whites, unless it is soft boiled eggs which I will drink it up together.

The yolk ! I placed the whole yolk into my mouth, sank my teeth into it. Guess what, I told Jenn on the spot, the yolk was nice and soft and it did not taste "bitter" ! I actually took the whole yolk with no complaints ! You got to try this !

Mediterranean Sandwich was served with some sauteed mushrooms, vienna bread topped with spinach, feta cheese, turkey ham, tomato slice. The vienna bread was soft and flavourful after soaking in the flavors from the eggs and hollandaise sauce. It tasted like bread pudding but a much nicer version as I always find bread pudding to taste much sweeter.

Mediterranean Sandwich - $13.90

We were sipping on the beverages as we ate. If you are a fan of chocolate, go give this a try. For a limited period, grab this before it's gone, from 2 March - 24 May 2017 only. I opted for Maxican Chocolate Ice Blended, it was rich and aromatic yet not too whelming in terms of sweetness. Opt to go without whip cream if you do not have a sweet-tooth.

If you like to have some coffee kicks, go for Mexican Chocolate Latte. I give my vote to the former.

Top: Mexican Chocolate Ice Blended
Small $7, Regular $8, Large $8
Bottom: Mexican Chocolate Latte
Small $7, Regular: $7.70, Large $8.20

We indulged our tastebuds with a slice of Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting.  The combination of Cinnamon dust, cheese and chocolate was just nice, it's not too sweet nor heavy. Am sure this slice is set to make a great after meal dessert ! A whole cake can be purchased at $59 SGD.
Mexican Chocolate Cake

For updates, do follow Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Sg on their social media sites:
- Facebook: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - Singapore
- Instagram : Coffeebeansg
- Website :

Should you need to locate an outlet nearest to you, you may want to check out this list of stores. Any enquiries, you can email to :

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !
Disclaimer: This is a media invite by AT Marketing Consultancy for the purpose of review. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[Reivew] Canon HD FotoJournal

Keeping memories, which is your way? These are some of the ways I believed some of us used to do. From puchasing thick, bulky albums to contain the 4R hardcopies, stashing the thousands of shots (softcopies) into a portable hard disk and forgot all about them simply because out of sight, out of mind. On top of that, if the hard disk is corrupted, bid goodbye to all the memories.

As compared to the option of keeping the photos in the hard disk, I thought it would be a better idea to scrap the photos into layouts. For my hobby sake and one of my ways to de-stress, I love scrapbooking. I would print out the photos and make them into layouts.

At least, Xav will still flip through the album and got to look at his photos. But sad to say, my scrapbooking tools and papers are now totally thrown into the cold palace due to the lack of time.

As time past by, I could no longer afford to sit down and craft the whole night away. Layouts soon got simple and more simpler than before.

Apart from scrapbooking, I have actually started to create photobooks 8 years ago. I got myself started with 2 albums for our honeymoon trip in Hokkaido and Xav's first visit to Hong Kong when he was 9 months old, with FotoHub. Personally, I prefer it to that of those bulky albums. And you know what, after 8 years, these three albums still looked the same as 8 years ago! The colours remained, nothing fades off.

Recently, I had an opportunity to review Canon HD Fotojournals . I created two sets of softcover Fotojournals measuring 10" by 10" and 8" by 12", with 20 pages each respectively using FotoIdeas

Working on the FotoJournals at the comfort of my home, all I did was:
- Visit Canon eshop to make my purchase, select the size of my preferred FotoJournal, FotoHub sent a voucher code via email and I would use that to enter when I need to submit my e-book for printing.

- Download the FotoIdeas Software. Inside the software, it contains a range of templates, layouts, frames, fonts and etc. Go play around with it ! I am not a very tech-savvy person but this software is pretty user friendly ! I just had to import the photos which I have selected into the folder.

I did not download any other fonts of my own, partly it was because I was feeling so lazy but hey, the fonts in FotoIdeas Software were good enough for me!

Font selection

- I was spoilt for choice to choose from the many layout options. After selecting my preferred layout, I simply just need to drag and drop the image into the black box. The software allowed users to do image enhancement too.

Layout selection

If you would love to, frames can be added to make the photos stand-out from the background.

colour frames selection

- Spot those "caution sign" at the right corner of a photo, it actually prompted me to take note on the low resolution of the photos.

On the other hand, the software will prompt me again with regard to the low-resolution photo when I re-log in to continue with my project. A little reminder here to SAVE your project as you go along the way. I had to redo the album all over again when I wanted to save the project which was almost completed. I hit "save" and it was unfortunate that the software had to die on me.

Re-do and submit for order, I received an email with a link to the PDF for a preview and check if all the pictures were in place and should I decide to change my mind to make any changes at the eleventh hour, I just have to click on "Disapprove"

Within 5 working days from the day I submitted the project, I received a SMS notification on my mobile that my albums were ready for collection.

The end product was AWESOME! I created the 10 by 10" Fotojournal with pictures from Pulau Ketam while the 8" by 12" Fotojournal was used to keep memories of our US Road Trip.

Canon HD FotoJournal - 10" by 10" and 8" by 12"

The cover page did not look a bit like a softcover at all ! The cover is thick enough for Vera to handle and flip through, without having the fear that she may crumple the FotoJournal.

Some of my favourite prints from the two albums. I love how I can stretch one picture across to make the front and back cover.

Pulau Ketam 

 By the sunset

If you do remember, I did mentioned about of low-resolution pictures prompted by the software earlier? The pages turned out great and colours were vibrant ! True to that of what I saw on the screen during editing.

Young Living Mona Farm, Utah

Mona Farm, Utah

San Francisco Day 3

Grand Canyon, West Rim

Alcatraz Island
Prices are steeper as compared to the ones I made previously but you are paying for quality. More to come as I can work on it at the comfort of my home instead of rushing out the entire project if I were to do it outside! I am planning to work on my Taiwan and Khao Yai trip soon ! Thank you again Canon Singapore !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, for review purpose only. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

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