Visiting Bu Cathy!

I am writing this blog in Adelaide after visiting Bu Cathy on the Fleurieu Peninsula, a beautiful part of South Australia. After following Cathy’s blog for about a year, it was wonderful to see her teaching Indonesian. I took copious notes and am eager to try some of her strategies!P1050186 I was inspired by seeing Bu Cathy teaching! It was my first time in South Australia and it is certainly a beautiful part of the world.

These are the notes I took while observing in her classroom at Port Elliot Primary School. Firstly, I was super impressed by Bu Cathy’s almost 100% usage of Indonesian. Certainly something to aspire too!

Junior Classes


The class began with singing a song: Selamat siang, Selamat siang,

Apa kabar? Apa kabar?

BUT instead of the usual baik-baik saja, the students sang: lumayan, kurang baik, senang sekali

The roll was taken by using Class Dojo. Each child was asked ‘Apa kabar?’ They answered with an amazing variety of answers: panas, lapar, baik-baik saga, capai, bingung, sedih, as well as the examples in the song.

Behaviour Management

There were 3 cute little monkeys displayed in the classroom, labelled ‘diam, duduk, dengar’.

I thought Bu Cathy’s behavioural management techniques were great and will be using them in my room! There were two A4 posters stuck on the board, labelled ‘nakal’ and ‘pandai’, with appropriate pictures. Each junior lesson, Cathy chose a paddle pop stick labelled with student names. Every time someone was ‘pandai’ throughout the lesson, a tally mark was recorded beneath the ‘pandai’ poster. If someone called out or blurted in English, a tally was added to the ‘nakal’ side. At the end of the lesson, these tally marks were counted out aloud, practised and the student written on the paddle pop stick received a prize (if the ‘pandai’ score exceeded the ‘nakal’ score. Older students were asked to move from ‘kelas satu’ or ‘kelas dua’ seating to ‘ekonomi’ (the floor). When students needed to be reminded about behaviour, a finger gesture with a spoken ‘nakal’ was usually sufficient. Class dojo was also used to record good responses (jawab), disrespectful, unfocused behaviour and calling out in English.

When students began to lose focus or needed to transition, Bu Cathy would say:

‘Angkat satu tangan, angkat dua tangan, tepuk tangan’ It was a very effective way to get the attention by using a movement.

There was also a school-based Step Program where students receive a warning for Step 1, Time Out for Step 2 and Buddy Class for Step 3. If they get to Step 3, there is a form for students to fill out while in the buddy class. A copy of this goes home and has to be signed by parents.

Bu Cathy chooses one child per lesson to sit in the ‘kursi luar biasa’. This child then gets to ‘antri’ (line up) first at the end of the lesson.

Brain Breaks

Bu Cathy used a great dance/exercise video for her junior classes. It was fun and very cute! The link is below:

Senam Pinguin

For upper classes, Bu Cathy asked the students to ‘Berdiri satu kaki’ (Stand on one leg) while she counted to twenty. To make it harder, students were invited to ‘Tutup mata’ the second time they tried. (not easy!) Berdiri satu kaki, lihat, menghitung sampai 20′.

I liked the way Bu Cathy invited her students to participate in the dance by asking: ‘Murid-murid mau berdansa?’. If they did not want to, they sat in front of the screen and watched the video of the dance.

At the start of the lesson, words to the current story were revised by saying them with the teacher and doing the gestures. Pakai topi, pakai jaket, pakai sepatu, terlalu besar, terlalu kecil, pas (OK gesture). Bu Cathy would say ‘Bu Cathy Bahasa Indonesia, murid-murid Bahasa Inggris’, then the students would translate each word at a time.

At the end ‘Sampai jumpa’ was sung to the tune of If You’re Happy and You know It’

Sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa

Sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa

Sampai jumpa murid-murid

Sampai jumpa Bu Cathy

Sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa, sampai jumpa

The pace was constant and kids were engaged. Bu Cathy would repeat words with gestures and change the patterns to keep kids thinking and moving. They would flip between ‘nakal, nakal, pandai, pandai, nakal’, say words in a variety of voices and in a variety of speeds and intonation. Sometimes she would say ‘pakai sepatu’ but do a different action to see if kids were listening. I loved the way Cathy combined a variety of movements to keep kids on their toes:

Berdiri, putar, duduk.

Hitunglah satu sampai lima.

Bediri, lompat, duduk.

They also sang a cute song for learning numbers to the tune of Are you Sleeping?

Satu, dua, tiga, satu, dua, tiga, one, two, three, one, two, three

Empat, lima, enam, empat, lima, enam, four, five, six, four, five, six.

Tujuh, delapan, tujuh, delapan, seven, eight, seven, eight

Sembilan, sepuluh, sembilan, sepuluh, nine, ten, nine, ten.

Middle/Upper Classes

Students were asked ‘Murid-murid siap?’ ‘Siap!’ they responded.

Jobs had been previously chosen, there were about 8 positions, tukang foto, polisi, menggambar, sekretaris, menghitung waktu dan ketua kelas. The ‘ketua kelas’ first marked the roll, asking each student ‘Apa kabar?’ They responded with a variety of answers as the junior students did. The ‘Menghitung Waktu’ counted the time taken to mark the roll and this was written on the white board so other classes could compare.

The ketua kelas was asked to stand and said: ‘Murid-murid, berdiri dan kasi hormat kepada Bu Anne’. I discovered later that students ‘audisi’ for the position of ketua kelas.

Class rules were revised, as well as gestures to be used if Bu Cathy was going too quickly or if students did not understand.

Words and gestures to the latest story ‘Bercakap-cakap terus’ were revised by doing gestures and saying words with the teacher. The words were keluar, datang, membaca, jangan, bercakap-cakap, pergi, terus, selalu, diam.

They then did some fun TPR with jangan tepuk tangan, berdiri, jangan berdiri, duduk, jangan duduk. etc.

Students were led through the story twice with different actors each time.

The last 15 minutes of class were reserved for ‘kursi luar biasa’.

Some of the questions used were:

(Nama) tinggal di mana?

Berapa umur?

(Nama) bermain futbol/bola basket/kriket/tenis/sepak bola?

Di klub yang mana?

Siapa bermain di tim (Nama?)

Siapa bermain di klub (Nama?)

(Nama) berdansa/menyanyi/berenang?

(Nama) punya anjing/kucing/burung/ular/kadal/tikus/ikan/kuda?

Siapa juga punya anjing etc?

Siapa nama teman (Nama)?

(Nama) punya adik/kakak?

Then they do a quiz based on that person. They stand if the statement is ‘benar’ for them. Salah – duduk.

eg Ashleigh punya satu adik. (Kids stand if this is true for them)

I will be posting next about my visits to Yankalilla Area School and Victor Harbor Primary School. Stay tuned!









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