My grandpa is strict.


When we were living with my grandpa in the province of Batangas in 1980’s in his ancestral house,  I remember how he is very strict to everyone to wake up early before sunrise. I can consider this as an example of a  Positive Punishment.

Grandpa have a rice mill. Everytime we hear the engine starts, we know that he is already awake. We will smell the freshly brewed kapeng barako and  it will be followed later on by my grandpa waking us up to sweep the floor and burn the dried leaves and grasses in the front yard. He wanted us to fix the bed and comb our hair before we get down from the second floor of the 2-storey house. So everytime we hear the rice mill’s engine in the morning, we wake up and starts the routine before our grandpa will shout from the kitchen. He keeps on talking until he saw us moving around and cleaning the house. So to avoid this long sermon, every morning if we hear the engine starts, we immediately fix our beddings and ran down to meet him. After our early morning household chores, my grandma will prepare a delicious breakfast and we will eat together, if you will wake up late, you cannot join in the meal and the left over will be the only food you can have. This value I keep on remembering when  I went to school and at work.

A positive punishment works if presented a negative consequence (long sermon) after an undesirable behavior (waking up late) is exhibited, to make the behavior less likely to happen in the future (to wake up early).

I consider my experience positive because besides learning the values of “punctuality and early bird gets the worm”,  I still remember how he train us on doing this thing and get used with the household routine at an early age. So thankful with my grandpa and grandma for bringing up this virtue.


Early Bird not only Catches Worm…they are also Happier and Healthier.


I remember when I was in college, my friends and I lives few steps from the school. There was never a time I came late for class. For me, being punctual reduces stress and builds up motivation when you go to school early. There’s always a time to set my mind before class starts and that’s one point I think was helpful in coping up with the lesson and learning effectively. Assignments and tasks were done as soon as I can to avoid cramming and to have an ample time to get ready for another activity in school like projects or quizzes and to have sometime of my own.

Going to bed late was one of the things I really don’t like. Usually I wanted to be in bed at 10pm, and later than that makes me feels incomplete and ruining my whole day. I cannot concentrate because I feels sleepy and there’s the feeling of you still want-to-be-in-bed in your usual hour of sleep. You rush on things and seldom fails on decisions.

So I think, being punctual and early in school or class  helps  me learn more effectively for having a fresh and happy mind. I feel more productive on an early start. Researchers said that morning people tend to be happier and healthier too. While being procrastinated will makes me feel down and slow.

And I can say if someone have learned the lectures if they can apply it anytime and anywhere. That someone is very good not only in formal assessment but also in  informal one. This follows self-confidence and happier life. So if ever I will be a teacher someday, I will encourage and explain to them the importance of punctuality and coming to school or work early.

got a Happy Heart and a Happy Mind

Never had an idea how distance learning works until I got into it.  I was wondering how it will work if students can take a peek on the answer in the net and you will get the right answer and will certainly pass…but I experienced more than that. Having the resources just a click away, scheduled tasks  and managing my own time wasn’t easy. It was a commitment. I can say teacher has a big impact on delivering the content and how each of them ponder students to learn. And I would like to give credits to teacher Malou who have done a great job leaving me with a HAPPY HEART AND A HAPPY MIND!

I am working as senior Physical Therapist and I have this tasks of  supervising  intern students and assessing  them at the end of their so-called rotation on an area. I was moved by knowing the principles and the methods of how to assess my students  and  how could I know how much they are learning from me. I didn’t know that until I learned from my 10-week journey with EDS 113. Understanding alignment of objectives to  assessment so we could have an effective outcomes;  giving  meaningful  feedbacks in timely manner and appropriate words; different  mindsets to understand the behavior of our students; reflective teaching where I can further improve myself;  high stakes examination to always be prepared, table of specification and more of it to mention that I could use in my current position and will surely change my way of teaching and assessment.  I know I still have a long way to walk on to have this dream of becoming a professional teacher but I am so pleased to bring along my experience and all of what I have learned from my peers and everything this semester.



Feedback has big impact on mindset

Maybe for some students, they will blame teacher on their learning outcomes and the results of the tests. But do these students know about mindset?

Students and everyone have different mindset and I found a good source of different effective effort rubrics to help us understand the effect:


But does having a fixed mindset doesn’t have a chance to change?

Mindset on students doesn’t end where it is. Indeed, According to Dr. Dweck’s  there is a series of intervention done and neuroscientific discovery on how to increase the neural growth by actions we do and teacher’s practice has a big impact on student’s mindset.  It is interesting to know as I go through my blog about mindset.  So, before I go further, let me share to you an assessment tool  that I have found from the web to assess your own mindset first. Please follow this link to get started:

Now that you have assess yourself,  whether your brain is fixed or growing, as to Dr. Dweck study that our brain has the plasticity feature that  connectivity between neurons can change and neurons network can grow its connections and strengthen  existing ones and build insulation that speeds transmission of impulses, you now understand your own mindset and can help as a teacher to lead  your student to have an active and more open mind to change and improvement.

My conclusion, With student who have fixed mindset,  teacher’s skills of giving a proper  feedback could enhance students way of thinking.  By having a good strategies and instructions, asking open ended questions, practices could help change fixed mindset to a growth mindset. But teacher alone is not responsible  on students learning outcome. Otherwise, students should also understand that developing a growth mindset is a choice that can positively impact your personal and professional life. (Dana Wile, 2006 Better Lesson).



High Stakes Exam.. be prepared


I wanted to share my venture when I took  an English exam, TOEFL-iBT. It was a challenge for me since this exam seems summative to me. It has a high stake value which equals to opening  a door for me to a new beginning but it needs preparation and here is my story.

I have been working in Saudi Arabia  for more than 10 years and we use Arabic language to communicate everyday and time to time with our patients. Nevertheless, English was also used to convey our concerns with staff and other healthcare providers. In short, longer time speaking in Arabic than English. I must admit I have to prepare not only my skills in English but how the exam goes. I was lucky to have a review materials, containing tips and other resources for preparation. One of them is using a planner. A weekly and/or  monthly plan that you can view from this link:, they also provide free sample questions, rubrics that you can review as guidelines and a practice test. There is also a detailed tips and information for understanding more about the test.

I prefer  scheduling my review since I have work in the hospital. But the problem, I wasn’t able to follow because most of the time there are circumstances that hinder my plans. I even tried practicing the test to have an idea but needs time to sit down and focus on it. This exam has 4 sections: Reading section, listening section, speaking section and the writing section. All of them are timed and covers the traditional objective multiple choice-type test and criterion-referenced tests.

Time came to take the scheduled  exam and I wasn’t able to pass the criterion references test, where you will answer the assessor impromptu. I learned that next time, I should prepare for a high stake examination like this because it is depressing to fail.

And from taking this EDS 113, I would prefer to give both traditional and non-traditional assessment having type I, II, III items or tasks and encourage the student to prepare especially on high value examination. I will include the objective type test to measure basic knowledge, criterion reference test to measure and practice their critical thinking and analysis.

I’m sure some of the students will favor on objective type and some will go for the open ended questions or non-traditional assessment. But I’m not sure if anyone will want to answer or to take the exam under time-pressured..but better to practice them beforehand thus it will help them practice discipline and  according to study, fosters a sense of cognitive closure, allowing to fully shift our focus onto subsequent tasks.








“The reason why metacognition is so important in education is that if the student reliable to understand their own working minds, they have the ability to transform their mental processes through planning, goal-setting, reflecting, being self-critical, self- monitoring, self-assessing, and self-regulating.”

-Thomas Armstrong in Education Week Teacher


Since I am new to this course, EDS 113- Principles and Methods of Assessment, I went through our lectures and came across with the word METACOGNITION and help myself to find out what this word they say  “all teachers should know”, “thinking about thinking”, “ knowing what is knowing”, understanding one’s own understanding”. COMPLICATED!

The definition wasn’t easy to understand inspite of the feeling I wanted to know this term. I go through digging this word and came up with these few important information that I hope I can present it to you in the simplest way even Mr. World Wide Web made it hard for me.



noun: metacognition; noun: meta-cognition


  1. awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.[]
  1. knowledge of person variables refers to general knowledge about how human beings learn and process information, as well as individual knowledge of one’s own learning processes. []
  2. KNOWING HOW TO LEARN, and knowing which strategies work best, are valuable skills that differentiate expert learners from novice learners. Metacognition, or awareness of the process of learning,is a critical ingredient to successful learning.[



The effectiveness of learning, according to the studies, that the power of metacognition for increasing student knowledge and achievement has been amazing for several decades. And we all know that it is not teachers alone or students alone themselves who are responsible for effective learning. It is a partnership between teacher and students.  Self study (using text books, exercises, tape and video recorders, etc.) and self-access (including  their own interest and needs) with the teacher’s formative and summative assessments while they are studying are also of good help in enriching one’s mind. But its not all…Why metacognition is so talked-about? Though it cannot be define easily, but commonly, it is define as  “thinking about thinking.” And it means like this… It  involves thinking about one’s own thinking process such as study skills, memory capabilities, and the ability to monitor own learning. This concept needs to be explicitly taught along with content instruction.


There are several skills necessary to develop metacognition. These are taking conscious control of learning, planning and selecting strategies (which I also listed down below), monitoring the progress of learning, correcting errors, analyzing the effectiveness of learning strategies ( which work best for you) and changing behaviors and strategies when necessary.


Metacognitive Strategies for Successful Learning ( some wrote it as THINK, ACT and REFLECT)


  • Consciously identify what you already know
  • Define the learning goal
  • Consider your personal resources (e.g. textbooks, access to the library, access to a computer work station or a quiet study area)
  • Consider the task requirements (essay test, multiple choice, etc.)
  • Determine how your performance will be evaluated
  • Consider your motivation level
  • Determine your level of anxiety


  • Estimate the time required to complete the task
  • Plan study time into your schedule and set priorities
  • Make a checklist of what needs to happen when ( everyday I do this )
  • Organize materials
  • Take the necessary steps to learn by using strategies like outlining, mnemonics, diagramming, etc.

Monitoring and Reflection:

  • Reflect on the learning process, keeping track of what works and what doesn’t work for you
  • Monitor your own learning by questioning and self-testing
  • Provide your own feedback
  • Keep concentration and motivation high



To Summarize:
So, I thought only teachers should know what is metacognition. Why not? Because it plays an important role in all learning and life experiences. Beyond academic learning, when students gain awareness of their own mental states, they begin to answer important question and through these reflections, they also begin to understand other people’s perspectives..and they gain confidence and become more independent as learners. Independence leads to ownership as student’s realize they can pursue their own intellectual needs and discover a world of information at their fingertips while the task of educators is to acknowledge, cultivate, exploit and enhance the metacognitive capabilities of all learners.


Let us all try to apply  this THINKING ABOUT THINKING in our studies and in our life 😊 and see the power by ourselves.


Happy learning!





Received ONE line


My life’s purpose is not easy to find as I may want to write and connect it with my recent topic in my online study, Alignment.

In relation to what I have learned, creating your goal and everything should be align considering the assessment and strategies involved to have quality outcome. My purpose in life could be a good help in my intent though I have several goals from time to time and every fulfilment, another goal was set in… and finally enjoying the fruit of labor.

As far as I remember when I was a sophomore, I have listed my pretty little targets and every time I hit that goal , I tick the box next to it. All I want from being sophomore is to move to junior or they called it in college, PROPER, it is when you moved to the third year and you are formally a student of the course you are taking. And after that, from proper I tick the box for being senior and then to be an intern. And finally to graduate and have my license. I have been in a lot of assessment and undergone several exams but my determination of moving forward to work as what I am dreaming of came to reality. Considering the hardship of being assessed as a learner and other exams help me go through this learning to be a professional worker. And staying aligned with my goal, wether I have failed on some of my subjects and having personal imperfections helped me mold myself and embrace it.

And I will borrow this quote from Mr. Ruben Chavez that “Don’t worry about trying to find your life’s purpose. Instead, start by acting on the small things that excite you each day. These are the threads that will connect you to your path, passion, and purpose in life.”

Being a Mother is a self-assessment


I am a mother of two, Jian, my eldest @ 12 years old and my little girl soon to be one year, Venessa. I am a Physical therapist and working overseas.

My story goes like this as my ” reflection, insights and realization” from our topic Assessment Framework.

From our children we could derive our self- assessment. As a mother, we could see how we did our job of raising our kids. We can also apply the cyclical progress with the never ending guidance for the growth of our children. From the beginning we should have set our “Plans” for them and daily we need to go through a ‘Teach and Learn” process. Its either our children learn from us and/ or we learn from them then we eventually see and “Check” if there is anything we need to provide for them or maybe they need a support in certain aspect of their routine. We then “Act” and reinforce our insights for them.

Jian is a student, and as we all know, they stay in school most of the day and spend a very short time with us after he got home, to know that they also need rest from the busy world of a classroom. But inspite of my shortcomings to him, he have a way of surprising me with medals and certificates, but of course not all the time. His simple achievements give a humble assessment on how he was pursuing on his heart’s desire based on academic and on his environment at school and at home. As a 12 year old, he have been helpful in sharing his reason for some of my decision. So I’m really trying to maximize my time with him to compensate for his goodness as well as to my soon-to-be one year old, Venessa. She is now very active on trying to learn how to walk and often needs a lending hand for her to make little steps. I can even see her upper front teeth coming out now but good she doesn’t have discomfort of having those. From time to time, I can see her change. She was getting less dependent on me and trying a lot of things on her own like feeding herself alone. Me and my husband just make sure we guide her on her way to be a toddler.

It is not easy being a student and a working mom but I realize that I am not the only one going through these things. We just need to reflect on the plans that we have created, the purpose of what we are doing , especially on tough times to keep ourselves uplifted and go to through these  smoothly.

I will leave this quote from an Article “There is no way to be a perfect mother but a billion ways to be a good one.”