Thursday, March 1, 2012



Sunday, February 20, 2011


Pada 17 Feb 2011  seramai 35 pelajar dari Ting 1 dan Ting 2 telah menyertai Lawatan Sambil Belajar ke KLCC untuk melihat Malaysia International Technology Expo (MTTE) 2011.

Lawatan ini telah memberikan pendedahan kepada pelajar tentang penemuan baru dalam bidang teknologi di Malaysia disamping mereka juga didedahkan dengan cara penyelidikan dibuat oleh para pembentang yang hadir pada hari tersebut.

Pihak SEM  Transkrian mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Cikgu Mohd Fairuz , Cukgu Sai'idah dan Cikgu Aimi telah menjadi guru pengiring , terima kasih  juga kepada pemandu En. Zakaria dan En Zuhairi

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Academies of Inquiry and Talent for the Middle School Years

The work reported herein was supported under the Educational Research and Development Centers Program, PR/Award Number R206R50001, as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. The findings and opinions expressed in this report do not reflect the position or policies of the National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students, the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, or the U.S. Department of Education.
Education can not be for students in any authentic way, if it is not of and by them.  --William H. Schubert, President, The John Dewey Society
When you enter Chisholm Middle School on Friday afternoons, there is an unquestionable buzz throughout the building. The whole building is aflutter with activity and the students seem so engaged. In one room, a group of students are using computer aided design programs to create furniture for the district kindergarten room. In another room, students are studying aquatic culture in order to decide on the contents and habitat for an aquarium that will be placed middle school entryway. These students are participating in enrichment clusters that are parts of an Academy of Interest and Talent Development. Each group includes 6th, 7th and 8th graders with different levels of knowledge and creativity. Both groups of students are enrolled in the Academy of Science and Technology. When they entered Chisholm Middle School, they completed interest surveys, and based on their responses and discussions with teachers, these students chose to enter the Academy of Science and Technology.
Although some of the students do well in their traditional middle school classes, a number of students have difficulty motivating themselves to complete school-related tasks. However, in their work for the Academy, they are motivated and very often exceed expectations for their portion of a project. Academies of Inquiry and Talent Development (AITD) are an outgrowth of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM). Some middle schools throughout the country have used the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Renzulli & Reis, 1997) in order to meet the diverse cognitive and social needs of their students.
The AITD model complements middle school philosophy. Middle school educators are committed to providing a challenging and enjoyable academic experience while, at the same time, maintaining strong support for the social and personal goals of middle level education set forth by the National Middle School Association (NMSA, 1982). Bradley and Manzo (2000) noted that for the past 30 years middle schools have attended to the intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs of young adolescents. It is our belief this model provides opportunities for middle school students to develop their intellectual talents in ways that allow for social and emotional growth as well.
Foundation in SEM
Through a "continuum of services" approach, the SEM provides numerous enrichment and acceleration alternatives that are designed to accommodate the academic strengths, interests, and learning styles of all middle-level students. Rather than labeling students as gifted, the focus is on recognizing behavioral potentials for superior performance and enhancing these potentials by creating an environment where those behaviors can flourish.

The major goal of SEM is to promote both challenging and enjoyable "high-end learning" across the full range of school types, levels, and demographic differences. The model is not intended to replace or minimize existing services to high achieving students, but rather to integrate these services into "a-rising-tide-lifts-all-ships" approach to school improvement.
These are the three major components that make up SEM. The Total Talent Portfolio (TTP) is used to systematically gather and record information about students' abilities, interests, and learning style preferences. This information is then analyzed to make meaningful decisions about necessary curricular modifications and enrichment opportunities.
The second component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model is a series of techniques that are designed to assess each student's mastery level of regular curricular material; adjust the pace and level of required material to accommodate variations in learning; and provide enrichment and acceleration alternatives for students who have, or can, easily master regular material faster than the normal pace. Curriculum compacting and curriculum differentiation are two procedures that teachers use to accommodate these learning differences.
In the third component of SEM, enrichment learning and teaching strategies are designed to actively engage both teachers and students. Although enrichment learning and teaching can be integrated with the regular curriculum, we have found that we can guarantee opportunities for high-end learning by creating clusters within the school's weekly schedule.
Enrichment clusters are non-graded groups of students who share common interests, and who come together to pursue these interests during specially designated time blocks usually consisting of one-half day per week. There is one "golden rule" for enrichment clusters: Everything students do in the cluster is directed toward producing a product or delivering a service for a real-world audience. There are no predeteremined lesson plans and what takes place within an enrichment cluster is analogous to the workings of a real world entity such as a film studio, research laboratory, publishing company, or historical society. All learning takes place within the context of developing authentic products or services for real world audiences. Divisions of labor are encouraged to insure that maximum respect is given to each student's interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression.
Enrichment clusters can revolve around major disciplines, interdisciplinary themes, or cross-disciplinary topics. A theatrical/television production group, for example, might include actors, writers, technical specialists, and costume designers. Within such a cluster, students direct their how-to knowledge, thinking skills, and interpersonal relations toward producing a product or service. Instead of lesson plans or unit plans, they are guided by six questions.
· What do people with an interest in this area—for example, filmmaking—do?
· What products do they create and/or what services do they provide?
· What knowledge, materials, and other resources do we need to authentically complete activities in this area?
· What methods do they use to carry out their work?
· How, and with whom, do they communicate the results of their work? In what ways can we use the product or service to affect the intended audience?

Middle-school enrichment clusters have created newspapers, designed playgrounds, and developed small businesses. While some of these clusters have outlived their original scheduled meetings, there are other clusters whose life was shortened because there was no structure to support them.
The Structure of AITDs
Within AITDs, students and teachers who share a common interest in a curricular area (e.g. science, literature, or math) are clustered over the three or four years that they are in middle school. Middle school students choose one of six or more academies to enter when they begin middle school. Each academy is guided by a teacher/facilitator (this is usually a teacher, but occasionally had been a member of the community) who shares an interest in the general areas of that field. Potential academies might include: The Academy of Literature, Language Arts, and the Humanities, The Academy of Applied Mathematics, The Academy of Social Sciences, The Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, The Academy of Physical and Life Sciences, The Academy of Sport and Leisure Studies, and The Academy of Computer Science and Technology.

AITDs provide a vehicle for sustained and meaningful relationships among middle school students with common interests and with adults who share the same general areas of interest. The AITD plan also respects the strong emphasis that middle schools place on teaming by providing an opportunity for students and adults with common interests to work in real world problem solving situations.
The idea for AITDs grew out of research and development dealing with a component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) called enrichment clusters (Reis, Gentry, & Park, 1995; Renzulli, 1994; Renzulli & Reis, 1997). Our experience with middle school enrichment clusters indicated that middle level students frequently express an eagerness to remain together for additional, and usually more challenging involvement in their respective areas of interest. It is for this reason that we have developed this plan, not unlike the practice of "looping," to keep the same group of students and adults together during designated time blocks for the duration of their middle school years. Figure 2 illustrates the potential enrichment clusters that might be included in the Academy of Social Sciences. This figure also points out exploratory experiences and methodological processes that are designed to motivate students towards forming clusters and to provide them with authentic skills that are necessary for focusing cluster activity on applications of knowledge.
The AITD model was developed taking into consideration middle school philosophy and the unique characteristics of adolescent learners. This learning experience is designed to provide high levels of challenge and to capitalize on special areas of student and teacher interests.
The objectives of AITDs are based on two fundamental concepts around which all learning activities within the AITDs are organized. These concepts are authentic learning and real-life problems. Authentic learning consists of applying relevant knowledge, thinking skills, and interpersonal skills to the solution of real problems. Real-life problems require a personal frame of reference for the individual or group pursuing the problem, they do not have existing or unique solutions for persons addressing the problem, and they are directed toward a real audience with a purpose.
Authentic learning should be viewed as the vehicle through which everything, from basic skills to advanced content and processes, "comes together" in the form of student-developed products and services. This kind of learning represents a synthesis and an application of content, process, and personal involvement. The student's role is transformed from one of lesson-learner to first-hand inquirer, and the role of the teacher changes from an instructor and disseminator of knowledge to a combination of coach, resource procurer, mentor, and, at times, a partner or colleague. Although products play an important role in creating authentic learning situations, a major goal is the development and application of a wide range of cognitive, affective, and motivational processes.
In many ways our view of authentic learning compliments the guidelines Beane (1993) proposes for middle school curriculum. He states one guideline as follows: "The central purpose of the middle school curriculum should be helping early adolescents explore self and social meanings at this time in their lives" (p.18. ) We believe that self-selected, authentic investigations create an important "space" for middle school young people to find points of personal engagement. Beane also states that "the middle school curriculum should be firmly grounded in democracy" (p.19.) He believes that democratic curriculum can only be conceived when all people, both adults and students, collaborate to determine the curriculum. Like Beane, we firmly believe that authentic, interest based, investigative experiences, mutually determined by students and teachers, will provide the most powerful and meaningful learning experiences.
Given the diverse needs of middle school students, AITD provides a structure to organize learning around interests in such a way that the students pursue their intellectual growth while facilitating social and emotional growth.

Beane, J. (1993). The Middle School: Natural Home of Integrated Curriculum. Educational Leadership. 49, 2, 9-13.
Bradley, A., & Manzo, K. K. (2000, October 4). The weak link in today's standards-driven environment, the middle grades are under pressure to produce–and ill-equipped to deliver. (Special Report). Education Week, p. 3-8.
National Middle School Association. (1982). This We Believe. Columbus, OH: Author.
Reis, S. M., Gentry, M., & Park, S. (1995). Extending the Pedagogy of Gifted Education to all Students. Storrs, CT: The University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1997). The schoolwide enrichment model: A how-to guide for educational excellence (2nd ed.). Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press, Inc.
Renzulli, J. S. (1994). Schools for talent development: A practical plan for total school improvement. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press, Inc.

About the author
Joseph Renzulli is the Neag Professor of Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut where he also serves as the Director of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Email:
Susannah Richards is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education in the Graduate School at the College of New Rochelle. Her areas of interest include gifted education, reading engagement, and middle level education. Before completing her doctorate at the University of Connecticut, she taught at the elementary and middle school level for 11 years. Email:
For more information, see the website

Saturday, February 5, 2011

60 ways to use Renzulli in the classroom

1.     Learn about differentiation. Renzulli’s 5 Dimensions of Differentiation – (Content, Instructional Strategies, Classroom Organization, Products, and the Teacher) – are key to understanding differentiation and adding differentiation strategies to your teaching practice.  Renzulli includes a complete overview of the 5 Dimensions, with some helpful videos that give some ideas for how to manage them in your classroom.  Just go to “Getting Started”, and click “What is… Differentiation?”

2.     Have students create graphs of leaning styles.
You can use the Renzulli Profiles to have students create visual graphs representing the learning profiles of the class as a whole.  Read off our list of learning styles in front of the class, and have them raise their hands if they have that learning style in their top three.  Keep a tally for each learning style – “Ten students like games!  Twelve students like peer tutoring!” – and then task the class with coming up with pie charts or line graphs to express the information gleaned from the Renzulli Profile.  This will help them understand learning processes, their class, and themselves – not to mention how to create graphs.  You can do it with interests and expression styles, too.  Teachers who have had the benefit of Renzulli in previous years can demonstrate how to create double bar graphs/historical bar graphs using data from the current and previous years.  How consistent are student interests, learning styles and expression styles from year to year?  Expand this by comparing the results of historical graphs constructed in higher/lower grades.  Are second grade strengths and interests more consistent from year to year than fifth grade strengths and interests?  Why might this be so?  Construct, Read & Interpret Graphs with RLS authentic Class/School data!
3.    Create a gallery walk of student profiles. Don’t be shy about distributing and displaying your students’ Renzulli profiles.  They do not contain sensitive personal information – rather, they identify and celebrate the unique strengths of each student.  Create a gallery walk by posting them in a prominent location in your classroom – this is a great activity for the beginning of the year, as students get to know each other – and for Parent-Teacher conference night, as you spotlight your work differentiating instruction.

Read more .........


Dr Tracy Riley
Massey University
The first step in educating our gifted and talented students in New Zealand is to acknowledge and cater to individual differences. No two students are the same. Each one has unique strengths, interests, abilities, qualities. As the Ministry of Education (2000) reminds us, students are calling out for recognition of their individuality.
A different way of learning is what kids are calling for. All of them are talking about how our one-size-fits-all delivery system – which mandates that everyone learn the same thing at the same time, no matter what their individual learning needs – has failed them (Sarason, 1993, cited in Tomlinson, 1999, p. 1).
Whether teaching at primary, intermediate, or secondary level, it should be the mission of every teacher to seek and support individual differences. For as Willis and Mann (2000) remind us, "without differentiated instruction, any child who varies from the norm will suffer". To do this requires getting to know each student.
David George (1997) of the United Kingdom provides us with a framework when considering individuals. We must take into account the following differences that each student brings to our classrooms:
  • different learning styles,
  • different rates of learning,
  • different activities,
  • different interests,
  • different expectations,
  • different motivation,
  • different outcomes,
  • different abilities,
  • different resources,
  • different reading skills,
  • different tasks, and
  • different levels of parental support (p. 106).
In New Zealand, it is essential we add to this list different cultures. Carol Ann Tomlinson (1999) reminds us that in regard to individual students, "teachers in healthy classrooms work continually to ... see who they really are, what makes them unique in the world" (p. 31). This appreciation of each child as an individual applies to all students, including our gifted and talented students.
Recognising individual strengths, abilities, qualities, and interests in our gifted and talented students necessitates acknowledgment of physical, intellectual, cultural, and social emotional uniqueness. This also means that the regular curriculum might not fit. A mismatch will indeed occur for our gifted and talented students. Our goal in individualisation should be to seek and obtain a better fit or different style, size, design. The buzz word for this tailoring of the curriculum is differentiation.
George (1997) states that differentiation is a "relatively simple" (p. 104) concept. In his words, it is the "process of assessing individual needs and responding with appropriate learning experiences". Tomlinson reinforces this idea, stating that when differentiating, "teachers begin where students are" (p. 2). For gifted and talented students this requires recognition of the unique characteristics and behaviours they bring to the classroom, and as a consequence providing an education which Eddie Braggett describes as "different and appropriate" (1994, p. 21). So, differentiation requires teachers to:
  • build on past achievements,
  • provide opportunities for success, and
  • remove barriers to learning (George, 1997).
These principles are supported by the Ministry of Education as it strives to "close the gaps"; thus, allowing each student in New Zealand to come one step closer to his or her potential.
Gathering momentum toward potential means students must have teachers who stride toward differentiation. Tomlinson (1995) states that differentiation "taps into" student readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles. She also presents a dichotomy of what differentiation "is" and "is not" as presented in the chart below.
Differentiation ...
... is ... is not
provision of a variety of ways to explore curriculum content. making all tasks the same, with adjustments consisting of merely varying difficulty level of questions.
provision of an array of processes for understanding and "owning" information. marking some students harder than others.
provision of options for demonstrating or exhibiting what has been learnt. letting those who finish early play games for "enrichment".
giving students extra problems, extra reports, or "extension" assignments.

To read further about each of these, check out her article Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-ability Middle School Classroom at
Ask yourself, as a teacher, if you practice the underlying principles of differentiation for all students, including the gifted and talented. Contemplate your answers to these questions, adapted from Tomlinson (1999, pp. 9–13):
  • Do I focus on the essentials? Do my lessons highlight the essential concepts, principles, and skills of each area of the curriculum? Do my students find subjects of study meaningful and interesting?
  • Do I celebrate individual differences? Do I unconditionally "accept students as they are and ... expect them to become all they can be?" (p. 10).
  • Do I assess and instruct inseparably? Is assessment used as a tool for growth, rather than for pointing out mistakes?
  • Do I modify content (what I teach), process (how I teach), and product (how I measure student learning), according to student readiness? Do I adapt these elements to suit individual student characteristics?
  • Do my students engage in "respectful work" (p. 12)? Do I respect readiness, expect growth, match essential understandings to levels of skill, and provide tasks that are "equally interesting, equally important, and equally engaging" (p. 12)?
  • Do I facilitate student learning? Do I collaborate with students in their learning? Is my classroom student-centred?
  • Do I balance group and individual expectations? Do I allow and encourage each student to be the best he or she can possibly be?
  • Do I work flexibly in my classroom? Am I flexible in grouping, outcomes, pacing, materials and resources?
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, you are a teacher who is responsive to individual learners' needs. Principles of differentiation, like flexible grouping and ongoing assessment, guide your teaching. The content, processes and products of your teaching are determined according to individual readiness, interests, and abilities. And you might not need to read any further ...
But stop a minute and think. What do you provide for the student who completes her work quickly and accurately? The little boy who masters 18 of 20 on the pre-test for your social studies unit? The young girl who answers your questions and questions your answers? The talented youth whose cultural performances leave shivers down your spine? The student who masters tests of achievement well beyond the norm? The young man who writes his own novel, creates a web page, designs a flying machine? While the principles outlined above apply to all students, in all classrooms, as the Ministry of Education (2000) reminds us, "it is important to look at how to make this happen for gifted and talented students" (p. 35). This requires a close examination of our teaching principles and practices. In the education of gifted and talented students we must further consider the principles in the figure below. These are adapted from the work of Joyce VanTassel-Baska (1994), the United States Curriculum Council on the National Leadership Training Institute on th
Patterson (2000) has written an article for parents in which she focuses upon four of these principles: novelty, complexity, acceleration, and depth. Though brief, it may serve as a useful information resource for parents – and teachers! Link to the article via this address
To incorporate these principles into our classrooms does not mean "more of the same" differentiation. It requires a qualitative shift in differentiation – not a quantitative shift. We must examine the following aspects of our day-to-day teaching:
  • Content – what?
    Concepts, ideas, facts
  • Process – how?
    Methods and strategies
  • Product – why?
Renzulli adds two dimensions to this: the classroom and the teacher (Dinnocenti, 1998).
Roberts and Roberts (2001) state that to plan for differentiation we must:
  • identify the core content (curriculum framework);
  • assess student knowledge of that content (pre-assessment); and
  • identify and plan core and complex content, basic and higher level processes, and a variety of products (differentiation for gifted students) (p. 230).
They sum up these steps in saying that for gifted and talented students "differentiated learning experiences use a variety of products that require the application of higher-level processes to complex content related to the topic and core content" (p. 231).
Additionally, for our gifted and talented students we must ensure the principles outlined by Maker and Nielson (1995) for each of these aspects of differentiation are adhered to. These principles for content, product, and process differentiation were devised based upon the following criteria:
  • They are different from the regular curriculum.
  • They are based upon the unique behaviours associated with giftedness.
Maker and Nielson caution that regardless of the existence of these criteria, "... the curriculum must be tailored to fit the needs of each child based upon assessment of that child's characteristics, needs and interests" (1995, p. 10). This checklist of Maker and Nielson's principles of differentiation may be useful:
Content Process Product
  • abstract
  • complex
  • varied
  • organised around concepts
  • study of gifted
  • study of methods of inquiry
  • discovery
  • open-endedness
  • metacognition
  • higher level thinking processes
  • choice
  • group interaction
  • pacing and variety
  • variety
  • self-selected
  • appropriately evaluated
  • results of real problem
  • addressed to real audience
  • represents transformation of knowledge via originality
Each of these indicators is further explained by David Farmer in the article, Curriculum Differentiation: An Overview of the Research into the Curriculum Differentiation, at this website
Dinnocenti further explores these dimensions, alongside the teacher and classroom in her article, Differentiation: Definition and Description for Gifted and Talented at
Willis and Mann's article, Differentiating Instruction Finding Manageable Ways to Meet Individual Needs, also explains these by giving some practical examples at
Strategies for differentiation highlighted in Willis and Mann's article are further discussed on our website in articles related to teaching gifted students in regular classrooms (under construction).
If you use these principles in your classroom or programme for gifted and talented students please send us your ideas to incorporate into this website!
Essentially, differentiation for gifted and talented students only requires the asking and answering the following two questions for every lesson we teach – whether it's in the regular classroom, enrichment programme, holiday camp, or advanced classes:
  • How do I ensure all students "know" it? How do I determine that the objectives have been met? How do I assess that the core knowledge, skills, and concepts are obtained by all students?
  • What do I provide for those who already have this knowledge, skills, or concepts?
    • Do I move beyond the core content?
    • Do I allow a different path for learning?
    • Do I expect different outcomes of learning?

References, recommended readings, and websites

Berger, S. L. (1991). Differentiating curriculum for gifted students. ERIC Digest #E510. Available from the World Wide Web on:
(This article gives a quick overview of differentiation by examining the principles in relation to curriculum effectiveness. Though some of the references are rather dated, given it is a 1991 publication its foundation is solid and remains relevant today.)
Clark, C., & Callow, R. (1998). Educating able children: Resource issues and processes for teachers. London: David Fulton.
Dinnocenti, S. T. (1998). Differentiation: Definition and description for gifted and talented. National Research Center/Gifted and Talented Newsletter, Spring. Available from the World Wide Web on:
George, D. (1997). The challenge of the able child (2nd ed.). London: David Fulton.
Maker, C. J., & Nielson, A. B. (1995). Teaching models in education of the gifted (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Ministry of Education. (2000). Gifted and talented students: Meeting their needs in New Zealand schools. Wellington: Learning Media.
Roberts, J. L., & Roberts, R. A. (2001). Writing units that remove the learning ceiling. In F. A. Karnes & S. M. Bean (Eds.), Methods and materials for teaching the gifted (pp. 213–252). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
Rossback, J. (1999, Fall). Inventive differentiation. National Research Center/Gifted and Talented Fall '99 Newsletter. Available from the World Wide Web on:
(This article applies the idea of differentiation to the study of inventions. Ideas are given for pre-assessment, as well as web-based resources.)
United States Curriculum Council of the National Leadership Training Institute on the Gifted and Talented. (1986). Programs for the gifted and talented.
VanTassel-Baska, J. (1994). Comprehensive curriculum for gifted learners (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
e Gifted and Talented (1986), and Patterson (2000).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Ibu bapa yang dihormati,

Surat ini diedarkan kepada tuan/puan sebagai satu usaha pihak kami untuk mengenal pasti ibubapa yang sanggup untuk meluangkan masa berkongsi kepakaran, bakat dan pengalaman dengan pelajar-pelajar di maktab ini.

Kami berpendapat bahawa setiap pelajar mempunyai bakat dan potensi. Harapan kami bakat dan potensi ini dapat dicungkil dan diketengahkan. Salah satu cara untuk melaksanakan perkara ini adalah dengan cara memberi mereka sebanyak mungkin pengalaman yang boleh mengayakan diri mereka. Pengalaman dalam bilik darjah, kelas-kelas khas dan program-program lain yang disediakan oleh maktab mungkin telah dapat memenuhi sebahagian daripada keperluan pendidikan mereka. Tetapi kebolehan dan keperluan anak-anak kita adalah lebih dari itu dan ini memerlukan kita lihat peluang-peluang yang terdapat di luar dari ruang lingkup bilik darjah dan sekolah.

Kami percaya minat dan bakat pelajar dapat dipupuk dengan menyediakan ruang untuk mereka bergaul dengan kalangan orang yang lebih berpengalaman dan juga profesional yang mungkin mempunyai minat yang sama dengan mereka. Kami  percaya bahawa pelajar-pelajar yang mendapat pengalaman ini akan menjadi lebih berdikari, bertanggungjawab tehadap dirinya dalam usaha mendapatkan  ilmu, bermotivasi tinggi, serta mampu membuat kajian yang mendalam dalam apa jua bidang yang diminatinya.Maklumat Lanjut

Sekiranya tuan/puan berminat , sila hubungi Penyelaras SEM MRSM  Transkrian) No. Tel: 04- 5941877-212) atau Cikgu Noraini -Ketua JK Social Network SEM ( 04-5941877-217)
atau email

Sunday, January 30, 2011


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