Showing posts with label workbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workbooks. Show all posts

Jan 5, 2008

Tactic used by publishers to get their workbooks into schools

At first glance you might thought this is an exercise book used by students in schools.

However, if you look closely, this is a Mathematics workbook. Yes, this is the latest gimmick used by local educational publishers to get their books into schools. Well, I don't think it's bad at all. In fact, this is a rather smart and creative idea. This trend which is started by a publisher has been followed by others, even big players in the market.

I supposed this trend started after the Ministry of Education announced workbook ban in the primary level particularly Year 1 to Year 3 and the limited use of one workbook per subject for Year 4 to 6.

The main objective of the workbook ban is to make lighter schoolbags for pupils. Well, these new form of 'exercise books' are way lighter than the previous thick workbooks. And how about the pricing? Would you pay RM3 or RM3.50 for it?

Dec 30, 2006

Mathematics Year 5 workbook - can you detect the errors?

In my previous post Buying Workbooks For Your Kids, I've mentioned about a publisher who published poor quality Mathematics workbook.

I was at a bookshop in Petaling Jaya few weeks ago. As I was browsing through some new workbooks, I came across a new series of books published under an unfamiliar name.

Since we are in our 5th year of using Maths and Science in English, I chose their Mathematics Year 5 workbook under the series Infomik UPSR (is there such word as Infomik?). I was completely shocked! I knew the new Year 5 syllabus well because I've just completed writing two new Maths workbooks.

Click on these pictures (including the front cover) and see if you can spot the errors. These are just three pages (yes, there are more mistakes and I'm not talking about typo errors alone). I don't mind if these are just some minor typo errors but incorrect sentences with grammatical errors that pupils might not be able to understand is simply unacceptable.

The most surprising thing is, according to the bookshop owner, this publisher's books got into school list. I hope it's not their Maths workbooks.
At the beginning, I was reluctant to comment about this book, well, since I have to fork out about RM9 (very pricey!) to get hold of this book. But for the sake of the pupils, I couldn't tutup sebelah mata (close one eye).

Dec 16, 2006

buying workbooks for your kids

Schools will reopen in two weeks. Parents will be busy buying textbooks and workbooks for their kids. And this means it's going to burn holes in their pockets. Hence, buying the right books (meaning good quality of books) are important. You don't want to spend your money buying books with lotsa typo errors, incorporating the outdated syllabus and have poor quality of questions.

As a professional (not that I'm good but this is one of my main source of income) educational writer and a private tutor for many years, I'm going to share with you parents on buying workbooks from certain publishers for cetain subjects.

1. Most importantly, get the past years questions (soalan-soalan tahun lepas) from Cerdik Publications. The publisher has the rights to publish the real past years exam papers from UPSR to SPM. Go to your nearest bookshops and they will assist you.

2. Bahasa Melayu - Sasbadi books (both KOMSAS, Tatabahasa and Pemahaman) are the most realiable. You can also use Oxford Fajar Bakti.

3. English - Pearson Longman used to be very good but in recent years Penerbit Mega Setia Emas is doing a good job. If you intend to buy English Literature books for your kids, you can look out for Setia Emas' Baby Steps series.

4. Science - Oxford Fajar Bakti is good. Their reference books is highly recommended compare to Sasbadi. Note: becarefully if you are buying Year 5 or Form 5 Science books. Some publisher did not follow the latest syllabus because it was the consequence of a rushed production. Choose your books carefuly.

5. Mathematics - Pelangi is the expert in this subject. So get their Math books. Note: becareful if you are buying Year 5 or Form 5 Math books. Some publishers did not follow the latest syllabus. For example a workbook published by Oxford Fajar Bakti made mistake in their last couple of chapters. Then there's another publisher called B* Publisher. The writer from this publisher couldn't even form proper sentences and the editor did nothing to correct the mistake. I complained to the owner of Bookway, PJ, and I don't see the book the next day. The bookshop owner told me a school (in PJ i think) actually chose B* Publisher's series to be used in 2007.

6. For arts subjects like Sejarah and Geografi, you can consider to buy reference books from Sasbadi or Oxford Fajar Bakti. As for workbooks, you can trust the books published by the above publishers.

7. As fo science subjects like Chemistry, Physics, etc, you can also rely on Oxford Fajar Bakti's reference books. You can also trust the workbooks published by the above publishers. Marshall Cavendish is okay as well.

How come I didn't mention publishers like Preston, Info Didik, etc? Well, it's not because their books are no good but the publishers mentioned above are more reliable.

Hopefully this simple guideline will help you in getting good quality workbooks for you kids and of course have your money well spent.

Feb 12, 2006

latest workbook: science form 4

My latest workbook co-written with another two authors is finally in the market. It is published under Marshall Cavendish (or better known as Federal Publications).

Practise 'n' Excel Science Form 4 is based on the latest KBSM syllabus in English language.

Pros: SPM-type questions, reasonable price, reliable publisher, good looking cover (different from the typical workbooks you normally see in the bookshops).

Cons: Quality of the paper used, the key points are too wordy (preferably add in more pictures or diagrams).

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