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Showing posts from January, 2009

Climate Change and a death-defying stuntman

In the spirit of using my own geographical experiences here's a lesson linking to climate change. The aim of the lesson is to consider the evidence for climate change. To allow pupils to develop critical evaluation skills as they watch parts of An Inconvenient Truth.

I tell them that I am a death-defying stuntman shortly after saying that the world is without a doubt getting warmer. 'Yeah right, we want proof!' they all shout. So, I set about proving the point with this:



There's the proof that their teacher is a death-defying stuntman. What do you mean no???



Reinforce the point. We then have a look at the proof presented by Al Gore for climate change - with some nice pauses to ask 'Is this convincing?'. Pupils group the evidence into 'I'm convinced' and "I need more information'.

The idea that science is not always black and white, especially when it come to climate change, is a vital point to make to pupils. This PPT links the parts together. …

Groundhog day

I love Groundhog Day - what a film! Was watching it on my way home from the conference yesterday when an idea materialised. Tested the idea out today as Year 9 are exploring Climate Change. Linked to Ruth's Living Geography session - how should we be tackling climate change in the classroom?

If you were stuck in your own 'Groundhog Day' what would you do differently?
To be more sustainable?To experience more risk?What would you prepare for and how?

Lots of possibilities and positive feedback from pupils and staff.



Will be followed up by linking to Copenhagen 2009 . If our politicians commit us to an 80% reduction your like will have to change. If you had today again what would you do to help out country meet its commitment? Lots of links to Citizenship and moral responsibility. Why is 2009 a critical year?

Living Geography conference

Great GA conference yesterday. Living Geography is all about keeping the subject alive, dynamic, linked to young people.

Loads of great ideas came from the day, and I'll post about them as they are worked up for use in the department. Staff think I'm nuts, but there we go!

Camping priorities

Just tested out a nice bit of kit for a camping trip. I love my coffee in the morning, although when camping (and wild camping) I usually have to make do with instant. Not good. So, got myself a nice expresso boiler stove top type device to take camping on my next trip in February. Probably heading to either Dol Gam in Capel Curig or to Wasdale Head.

Citizenship and Geography

Geography is the perfect subject in which to consider the citizenship agenda. At the moment I'm working on a project for Folens.

But how do you make geography overtly citizenship? Simple changes are all that is needed. For example a change in language to use rights, respect and responsibility. an;t go into too much detail - you'll have to wait for the book ;-)

A classic example is the inauguration of President Obama. For example, why did he use his middle name? Hussien? What message did it send out?

I am a great believer in suspending the usual curriculum when big events happen. All KS3 classes will have a lesson on the topic while KS4 will spend 10-15 minutes considering the impacts.

ObamaView more presentations or upload your own. (tags: geographyobama)

This video flagged up by Cliotech:



I used this youTube video to illustrate one of the ways in which we are linked to the USA within popular culture:


Thanks to Dan for the declaration of interdependence idea
Hat tip to: Kenny and Clio…

OCR B Controlled Assessment

I will slay the dragon! Attended the OCR B 'Get Ready' inset training last week. Although the sessions were a little disorgainsed some key questions were answered. I think that many of the worries people have about the new specifications (and especially controlled assessment (CA)) can be resolved by ready the specification document carefully.

I was also a little disappointed that Hienemann got in a long sales pitch for their 'spec matching' 'partnership' titles. I believe that this approach leads to overreliance on text books and a rather dry curriculum that is unable to react to current events.

However, it was great to get my hands on the sample CA questions and other support material. It was also good to get hold of some planning ideas.

The link at the bottomof this post will take you to my thoughts so far. These will be shared with the department on Monday and will probably change. Also, they shouldn't be relied upon for your own planning!

you will find:
A pl…

A sense of Place - Thailand

Year 8 are exploring tourism issues in Thailand at the moment. sin inspiration from Ollie and the RGS units the first lesson was spent exploring the country. I used flickr to display a slideshow of images (thanks Ollie!) together with a live feed from a Bangkok radio station from this site. Bananna FM anyone?!? Lots of discussion sparks by this activity.

The lesson then moved on to consider the location of Thailand and then onto exploring some development data. Here we used the atlas and then the excellent CIA Factbook (last updated for most countris in December) to compare the UK and Thailand.

Behaviour and teaching

A recent post on the SLN forum linking to this article has caused some cogs to turn. I do believe that by planning lessons well and using a variety of tools and methods causes behaviour to improve in MOST pupils. There are always exceptions but I do find it annoying when the teaching profession can't be 100% reflective. 
If I think of my own practice I know there have been times where a nightmare of a lesson in terms of behaviour has been caused by poor planning on my part. Another argument is that every lesson can;t be better than 'good' and I completely agree. I would estimate that the majority of my lessons hit the 'satisfactory' mark - however I do try to vary the activities and spark interest.
I'd be interested to hear what other people think

Blog tagging

Am slowly getting back up to speed after a relaxing but full holidays. 

Alan has tagged me in the blogging -tag game so have put together my response. The aim is to tell readers of the blog 7 things about me that they may not know. So as a distraction from publishing deadlines and school work I have racked my brain in order to find something vaguely interesting! If not just have a laugh at the old photo of me!

1. I could fly a plane before I could drive a car and almost joined the RAF as a pilot.

2. I failed Welsh (2nd language) very, very badly. Probably my biggest regret in life.
3. I was once very very good at Welsh folk dancing. Well, I was 9.
4. My greatest sporting achievements have been in target rifle shooting during my time in the Air Training Corps
5. I have a 7 year old sister who is great!
6. The most scared I have ever been was when the Cook Islands refused to let me leave the country because I couldn't pay the $15 departure tax. Luckily a friend came to the rescue.
7. I will…