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Messages - Blue Square Thing

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General Discussion / Re: Level 8 Tasks
« on: November 26, 2014, 05:01:01 PM »
You may well be right. I stopped paying much attention to levels years ago ;-)

Interesting to see the potential plans for KS2 assessment reporting btw. Simply:

Above national standard
At standard
Working towards standard
Below standard

I believe.

How could you know what the national standard is?

Yes, I know - that's part of the issue.

But then I realised that in the back of every GCSE spec there's a national standard for A C and F grades. I reckon there's something that's worth thinking about along those lines.

General Discussion / Re: Level 8 Tasks
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:28:04 PM »
You may well be right. I stopped paying much attention to levels years ago ;-)

Interesting to see the potential plans for KS2 assessment reporting btw. Simply:

Above national standard
At standard
Working towards standard
Below standard

I believe.

General Discussion / Re: Level 8 Tasks
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:18:56 PM »
This year a number of our year 9s have been given level 8 as targets and in previous years the highest was a 7A.

We are now adapting our SOWs/resources with L8 tasks, if anyone has any ideas/examples they would be appreciated.

Iirc Level 7 = a C at GCSE?

So I guess an 8 is a B at GCSE - so find something like some old DME papers and train them up in those perhaps?

The street view imagery from Sendai seems to be primarily dating from August 2011 and July 2013 - with some 2014 imagery for sure. I wonder if that might be a good way of seeing what's occurred?

Particularly if you know the precise locations of some of the other imagery.

General Discussion / Re: uprush
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:49:31 AM »
The point about not being able to ask for a definition if the term isn't specifically in the syllabus is a general one that, afaik, applies to all exam boards these days.

General Discussion / Re: uprush
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:28:28 AM »
Ultimately, the 'correct' answer for many will be what the exam boards will be expecting... I'll ask Jon Wolton :)
I've been in examiners meetings where mark schemes have been adapted because "it says <such and such> in <a book> so we'd better let them have it even though it's not really right"... ;-)

I suspect uprush would be accepted and is quite possibly technically correct in that it's part of the whole swash process, although it's not a term I ever used back in the day. Wiki includes it and the definitions look reasonable (  and are sourced - although I've not verified either source. There are certainly other examples of the term being used in published literature - for example - so it's not just something that a geography teacher made up (which, err, happens ime...), There are 40,000 or so g-hits for the search term uprush waves compared to 176,000 for swash waves - so it's certainly less used but still a term that seems technically correct.

I imagine either term is just fine.

General Discussion / Re: Seaside towns - ageing populations
« on: October 29, 2014, 04:14:27 PM »
But still not enough to afford a house in Southwold...
Having looked at prices there just a week or so ago, I'm pretty sure no one can afford a house in Southwold these days...

General Discussion / Re: workload
« on: October 28, 2014, 10:17:41 AM »
Totally agree - none of my job is not necessary.

I suggested teaching fewer lessons and hence less of everything would be a good step...

The only way I'm even near this job anymore is because I work 0.8 FTE. Without my day off a week I'd have been forced out of the job *at best*.

There has to be an acceptance that OK is fine - that good enough on a day to day basis means being satisfactory. And that creating files and files worth of "evidence" is an unacceptable use of time. Start with that and we can find things we no longer need to do - and meetings we no longer need to have (continual reviews of SEFs at departmental meetings is the current thing at my new school - really I'd rather be talking about children and teaching at those and leave the SEF to the people who get paid to write them - although they don't need to be written in so much detail on a termly basis as far as I can see.

Add to that a curriculum that doesn't change so much and it'd be a good start.

Then we can deal with the real problems caused by senior teachers setting up systems that work very well if you only teach 3 or 4 classes in one or two year groups (as they do...) but create massive amounts of work if you're a mainscale teacher. I've had it justified to me that it's "good for me" to have to work through each group I teach by hand counting the number of EAL, PP etc... kids in them - apparently it will help me "know the kids". Despite that fact that the proforma I then have to fill on only requires the number of children in each "sub-group" - not who they are. Took me less than two hours to nail a database where I choose a group and click a button and all the data appears at the printer - with the children identified properly...

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.

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