Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Stuff You Should Know

Commuting, cleaning, cooking... all those things that seem to take so much time yet you don't seem to be achieving much, or having much fun! To make these times more productive (and more interesting, btw I'm talking about your routine cooking dinner rather than baking a nice cake) I like to listen to podcasts.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Desert Landform Videos!

So, each year I really struggle to teach landforms, for rivers, deserts, coastal, glacial - any environment. There are just so many different types listed and it's OK for the first few but then it just gets so tedious having to draw and label and explain each one.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Hydrology Key Terms Speed Matching Game

There are so many terms in the hydrological cycle it can all get a bit confusing. Test your knowledge of the key terms by matching them up to their definitions (click on the image above to get to the game). All you need to do is drag the correct word down to the definition at the top of the list to make it disappear, and you can also time yourself to see how quickly you get all the definitions to vanish!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Plant's Guide to Desert Survival

Water. That's one thing us plants need on a regular basis or else we'll just shrivel up and die, right? If your owner is going away on holiday they damn well better get the neighbour to water us; or get some of those special hydrating crystals!

But did you know that not all plants are like this? Oh no, some plants can survive for yeeeaars without any water... some plants amputate their own limbs to survive! ... Some plants can even come back... from the dead!

How do they do this?! I hear you ask, is it magic?

Not quite, but it's close! These amazing plants have special adaptations that enable them to live right out in the middle of a desert! The last place you'd ever find me!

You can categorise these fellas into four main types. Let's have a look at them in more detail:

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Why Do Students Do This?!

During the first lesson of this term I got all my new AS students to read and sign the Homework Policy - homework always due in on Tuesdays unless stated otherwise; failure to hand it in will result in a contract, a college wide system, which if broken will lead to all sorts of problems involving parents and department heads.

This is what happened to me only 2 weeks in... (names changed to protect identity).

I decide to be extra kind and the only homework I set is to
finish off an 8 mark question that they already started in class.  

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Keeping Track of Geographical Skills

Here's some more organisational resources for you, this time for geographical skills.

When I first started teaching this course I found the sheer number of skills and the requirement to integrate them into lessons throughout the year to be a daunting task, especially because most of the textbooks seemed to skim over them so briefly or even not include them at all. It was hard enough interpreting the rest of the spec and planning lessons for that, let alone ensuring an even distribution of skills throughout the year!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Keeping Students Organised!

It's the beginning of term and once again I'm trying to come up with ideas to keep my students organised! Since the college agreed to provide every student with a folder this year I thought it would help them to have some dividers.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Describing Patterns and Using Locational Knowledge

A common question in the exam is to describe the pattern or distribution of something on a map. 

Many people lose marks on these questions due to poor exam technique. There are two things that can help you:

1. Make sure you know what distribution or pattern means and what words to use

Distribution = the way in which something is spread over an area

Pattern = they way in which something is arranged or sequenced

As you can see they are quite similar. You need to identify whether there is any overall arrangement or repeating sequence or shape to what you are looking at. Good words/phrases to use include:

Exam Technique - How to Describe

So, I thought it would be a good idea to write some posts on specific aspects of exam technique. Having marked many many exam questions over the years I am convinced that knowing what to do in the exam is just as important as revising information. Obviously you need to know the information first before you can apply it to the exam, but just revision alone is not enough for a top grade.

Understanding command words is key. Even the simplest one can be misunderstood. Let's start with 'DESCRIBE'. This is one of the most straight forward things that you could be asked to do. However, many people make mistakes with this command word and end up losing easy marks.

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