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Messages - Blue Square Thing

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General Discussion / Re: MAT help
« on: October 24, 2014, 07:33:31 PM »
I guess it depends on what age they are and what they're in to.

I try and ask kids in Year 7 what they'd like to learn (in IT/Computing these days). That's helped me build in different things that aren't in the traditional scheme for example.

If I had to pick something different it would probably involve a GPS device of some kind - a phone would be fine. Maybe. Or maybe using something like AppInventor to make something cool ( But I like geeky things - they might not.

General Discussion / Re: Aqa B Controlled assessment
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:53:30 PM »
Sorry, I have no idea what the task is. If you let me know I'll be able to bounce some ideas around as, err, I wrote the original unit for that in the spec (yeah, sorry about that... - most people do tourism I believe!). Not been involved in the spec for a few years now mind...

General Discussion / Re: Setting up students to fail mocks
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:52:12 PM »
No, 3 questions to answer. Will have only studied 2 completely, the third will have been introduced in the previous week or so

Can you make the 3rd question a map work question or something? So it's skills based? To test their skills - or tables or graphs or so on. It can be about the new subject but be so skills based that, actually, it could be about nearly anything?

General Discussion / Re: Different Marking Strategies (student responses)
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:51:16 PM »
We have stickers which have to be done at least once a half term (twice for core subjects). They have a feedback bit, a next step sort of bit and then the kids *have* to respond to them as well.

I'm an IT teacher these days so it can be tricky - the last one I did was on planning so I won't be planning with that group again for a few weeks so the sticker doesn't make sense to respond to next. My wife, who's a scientist (we now teach at the same school - which is "interesting"...) does them for GCSE homework questions - so the kids then *immediately* make corrections or add points to their answers to improve them. Then they write that they've done it on the sticker with the number of pages away or whatever. That works imo - not just to get evidence for someone else to look at but for the kids as well.

The school had a massive push on it a couple of years ago and they do respond - I sent e-mails to Year 7 to give them feedback on their use of e-mail and they all responded straight away. Although in that case it was "Yes, I'll do that next time" - which, imo, is a less helpful response. So, it sort of depends on what you're giving feedback on how useful it is.

The system does work - but it did take a whole school push on it to get it to happen.

General Discussion / Re: Your time on earth
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:46:53 PM »
Gosh, that's rather lovely isn't it? Very nicely done as well.

General Discussion / Re: Setting up students to fail mocks
« on: October 10, 2014, 07:02:33 PM »
Oh my.

I can immediately think of two words I'd be using in response. This is *awful* system gaming. The sort of thing you'd rather hope the suits would see through in about two seconds - but clearly it's the Next Bright Idea. I look forward to it...

General Discussion / Re: New resources for Geography Teachers - update
« on: October 06, 2014, 05:44:38 PM »
How do you stop lava?

Will be using this with my Year 7's later in the year. Some sort of cartoon strip activity associated with it ....?

There was a very, very old AQA (or possibly SEG - that old) exam paper with some simple resources on that I think. I'll see if I can find a copy next time I'm in the loft...

On the comic thingummy, have you used Comic Life at all? A lovely piece of software that's got excellent potential for developing literacy for weaker ones as well.

I've not replied really at all to any of this stuff before as I'm very unlikely to ever be teaching A Level again now, but this has caught my attention so...

Here are some of the aspects that have been proposed as fundamental to the CORE study of geography which I suspect may cause sleepless nights for many, although of course for others maybe not:

Off the bat, is that the *whole* of the core or are there a bunch of other things in there as well? If there's other stuff then that's a massive core. Tbh a lot of it sounds like the final year set of option modules I had at uni (25 years+ ago...) - but we only had to pick 4 of them.

- economic restructuring and its effects on place
 - place making and marketing

OK, that's stuff that's coming out of the Edexcel spec right now isn't it? Bit meh imo but it's probably OK by itself...

- cultural and artistic approaches to representing place (photography, film, art, literature, poetry
   and drama - so Show of Hands; Country Life everyone please)
 - lived experience of place in the past and present

Ah - now that was my final year at uni :-)

Lovely stuff - Gremlins is a fantastic exploration of the American small town myth (compare how they use the city at the beginning) and is a lovely comparison with It's a wonderful life (which is actually playing in one of the scenes fairly early in the film): the same mythology in both really. My mate did her final project on that on science fiction cities - I can remember us watching Bladerunner together. Me, I looked at Springsteen and the whole American dream thing.

Great stuff - but really not A level imo. Crosses over into loads of different bits and pieces as well - I can remember a lecture we had about painting at one point as well but I can't recall what stuff the chap looked at. Same ideas though :-)

I just wonder how many of the panel, many Professors, would currently be able to achieve an A* grade on what they are proposing for 17/18 year old A level students.

That's an entirely fair point.

No idea what they'll end up with but it can't include all of that stuff in just a human core. Some of it's really, really interesting but it's the sort of thing that might be interesting to be introduced to at uni and then decide to specialise in, not to build an A level around.

General Discussion / Re: coastal erosion modelling idea please
« on: October 04, 2014, 12:48:46 PM »
A really good demo for hydraulic action would be take a very muddy car with baked on dirt all over it and then throw water at it - either from a hosepipe or from buckets. Apply some soap and rub with a sponge (attrition) ideally as well.

Of course, that may not be very practical, but if they've ever washed a car they'll know what you mean I suppose :-)

I can't think of an idea for Alan's 'something', although I keep on thinking that something caked onto a pan or roasting dish might be good.

For the solution one, btw, why not get some chalk bits and leave it in water at the front of the classroom for a while. I'm assuming it'll get smaller eventually - over a period of weeks or months. Which won't be as dramatic as the tablet but is probably a better longer term solution - you could make a point of setting it up during your observation???

Science teachers may have good ideas for this sort of thing btw - or could advise about the chalk solution thingummy.

There are a few graph style things on my website - try the functional IT section as well as geography. They tend to use computers of course and may not always be 100% geography focussed but could be adapted easily enough I think.

General Discussion / Re: Old maps online
« on: September 24, 2014, 11:43:24 PM »
An interesting resource, although not as easy to use, imho, as the National Library of Scotland one...

General Discussion / Re: What do you want to see in new A level?
« on: September 23, 2014, 10:33:57 PM »
I'd *always* want to see an option to study Wildernesses. They were always my absolutely favourite module back in the day - a great shame when they seemed to pass out of courses. Used to fascinate the kids as well - the abstract idea of valuing somewhere for something like wilderness value and the range of places they could find out about.

Not that I'm anywhere near A level of any kind just now...

General Discussion / A positive view of global warming...
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:32:02 PM »

From the ever lovely Savage Chickens

General Discussion / Re: Help needed for Internet Safety (Facebook) assembly
« on: September 15, 2014, 07:05:35 PM »
I'd certainly be interested in seeing it - my e-mail can be found on my website which is probably linked from my profiley thingy I think. Ta.

General Discussion / Re: Minecrafting with OS OpenData
« on: September 14, 2014, 10:09:07 PM »
Denmark's also been built by the Danish OS - including I believe 3D buildings in Copenhagen and stuff. Haven't had a chance to look properly at either yet - but very much want to.

And, I think, the BGS have done something with underlying geology as well haven't they? Not exactly sure what...

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