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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Easter break!!!!!!!

Wishing you all a happy and well deserved holiday-here's the plans for tomorrow. With Higher, I want to start using the wiki, and will hopefully have created a basic one for Intermediate too. I thought the Higher might like a look at the political_compass-this was a site that was sent to me ages ago and that I had forgotten about completely. A discussion in one of my classes today about Stalin of all people reminded me of this-I tested myself again, and seem to fall somewhere around Ghandi and the Dalai Lama! Aside from the novelty aspect of this quiz, it does cover some important aspects of values and citizenship which we incorporate into the course in areas as diverse as population (migration), atmosphere (climate change), and many others. I also have a mystery activity and supporting work from sln related to population. s4 have their pre-easter school/exam revision plans to formulate. We will use the course arrangements to aid this. I will hopefully introduce their wiki during this period too, as well as seeing the last of the movies,technical hitches now rectified(?). Last, but not least, s2 will be working on another idea sourced on sln around the bbc's '50 things to do before you die', with a geographical look at their favourite activities.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I have been looking at a discussion about the use of Wikis in schools and education in a teachers forum. Anyone who has performed a search on the internet will probably have come across wikipedia pages, where people have collaborated to post information about topics on the internet. Some teachers are using these to share links. I feel that these could be used to involve students in their own assessment, and as such I am working on a wiki for higher at http://higherex.pbwiki.com/. This can be used by students to share answers to exam style questions, editing and adding to each others responses. So far I have the home page with links to topic pages set up, and a couple of past paper style questions in the atmosphere section (simply because this was the first page to edit). I hope to put useful links on each page also. I should point out that only students with a password will be able to access this mini-site, although all will be able to view it.
A special mention to my s4 today who made some outstanding movies on environmental hazards, which I enjoyed very much. I have already asked to put some of them here, so these should hopefully appear soon. Two or three to see tomorrow to finish off what has been a very successful exercise, one which I am sure has enhanced students knowledge of their exam case studies. A nice Mount St Helens movie or two among these, which gives me an excuse for the picture....

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mind movies for s1

I am starting this post with my s1's for a change. We will be introducing settlement tomorrow by using a mind_movie exercise from Geointeractive . I used this with the last rotation to very good effect. We will maybe get a chance to do a settlement sorting exercise and (probably not this period) a look at settlement function.
s5/6 seem very reluctant to play their excellent sand dune commentaries to a wider audience, but I will try to use my powers of persuasion here. Tomorrow, we are heading into the revision rundown-starting with 'traffic lighting' the can-do check-lists from the arrangements docs. I want to use this to identify areas of the 'Human Environment' section of the course to involve groups in improving each others mind maps.
s4 should be ready to show their movies tomorrow, but also have the audio exercise from Friday to complete. I wonder if s4 will be as bashful about their efforts as Higher?
Finally, s3 will hopefully have access to one of the ICT rooms to finish today's work, but no matter if not. From MEDC cities to LEDC-and a spot the LEDC starter. This will be followed by a mapping from memory activity for typical urban models in LEDC's, followed by a compare and contrast exercise drawing on the knowledge of previous models. I am sure there will be a movie activity in here somewhere....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Edits and Audios

La Defense

Some of you may have tried the wordmat link in the previous post and then discovered that this was the same mat I originally posted. Apologies,only realised on Friday that I had pasted the wrong link. Both this post and the previous post should now link to the correct resource. Was very pleased with Friday's audio exercises, particularly the coastal dunes one. After initial hilarity and cringeing at their own voices, the quality of work was actually very good and exhibited a good understanding of the topic. I will finish this tomorrow with Higher and hopefully post a few of the results, although the s4 topic may take a little longer as the environmental hazards movies are being shown next period. Remember to save your movie file, and not just the project. For s3 tomorrow, to finish off our Paris case study, a similar audio exercise. s2 have the classroom in a box to finish the Tokyo projects tomorrow and we will supplement this with our environmental issues work. s1 are completing their map skills and weather assessments before moving on to settlement on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bits'n'bobs and audio

Several things to post tonight for Friday. Higher will need this_powerpoint for an idea adapted from a different use of audio with images on Digital_Geography. Basically, I am hoping that by recording audio over stages in a sand dune succession, students can play this back when revising. I am hoping to see some movies from s4 today, which with permission may appear here later, but I have a similar exercise to the higher one with my Bits'n'bobs_audio_revision task . I will ask for these to be saved so that I can have a check over them. I am also eventually posting the finalised Rural Land Resources wordmat. I hope to use this after we have decided our criteria for a good answer through discussion with the group-we will then attempt a past paper using the wordmat and our criteria. s2 continue their Japan environmental issues groupwork.
Image above from geographypages.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Web links

I have added some web links to the blog, as I am finding myself using this more and more often in class. These are the sites I use frequently for the excellent resources that they share, but there are also student pages on sites such as Geography Pages. This will just make things a little more manageable if all the links are on the one page.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Retrospective posting-Succession

I am posting this after trialling it with Higher today. We had just finished soils and I was looking at how to introduce plant succession on sand dunes(see image on left from www.geography.ndo.co.uk ). I gave out a small piece of paper and put up this image to determine why a tree was growing on the roof of the building, and asked students to write down a response.There were some expected answers and we somehow got round to talking about the guttering in my house (!), but I was very pleasantly surprised at the geographical nature of most responses, and from that we were able to link into the next resource, a (kind of) mind map on plant succession. There is a link on the powerpoint, but if using this it may work quicker if the second resource is just saved and then opened. We then had a little summary discussion from which we were able to add to the labels on the mind map. Tomorrow, we will follow this up by using a powerpoint on sand dune succession by Val_Vannet from the Geointeractive website.

Part 2 of the prelim for s4 tomorrow and s2 will finally get to Fling the Teacher, before looking at environmental issues in Japan.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Paris riots mystery

....is here. The mystery is 'Why is Hossam going to Court?'. Timeline and extended writing exercise activities to complement this given in class.

Paris Riots-Urban Change and Migrant communities

Paris riots 2005

Watch the video
I was watching the news at the weekend and saw that there were riots in Paris over a new employment law and this got me thinking about the riots of October/November last year in the same city. S3 have just begun their look at the suburbs of Paris and Urban Change, and I thought that this would be a good linking movie for Urban Change and Immigration to explore reasons why the riots began in the suburban areas. I aim to post a mystery here to complement this if I get time tomorrow. Music by Kaiser Chiefs.
I want to include a timeline and extended writing exercise, so it may be useful to post these links in advance:-
I have still to post the updated wordmat for Rural Land Resources, tomorrow we will do walkabout/talkabout for Podzol/Brown earth/Gley for Higher with blank profile templates, so will probably look at Tuesday for use of completed template.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fling the Teacher

I am aware that there have been some problems opening the contentgenerator games. that would be because I accidentally saved them as text! I have tried this one out and it seems to work at home. This is for s2, a little Japan quiz here. I will upload the others again.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Soils resource s5/6

This is for tomorrow-I struggled to find a good diagram for showing all three soils, but this should help supplement the work we are doing in our booklets. I would suggest saving this link for the document I have created(right click, Save Target as...) and working on it, then saving your own copy. You could also open a word doc to take some notes re: each soil profile. Here_we_go.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thursday Games

Have been experimenting with some of the FREE software at www.contentgenerator.net to create a couple of games for use on the whiteboard. The first one is for s1 Weather, where I have produced a Fling_the_teacher game. For s3, I have created a Paris_match_up exercise as a period starter-we are slap bang in the middle of the case study at the moment. This may be better accessed from here. If you are going to use these, please right click and 'Save target as...'-they will be much easier to open. We might do Paris word or picture association to complement this-pupils to nominate next response! I have some terms to put on the s5-and s6 of course- Wordmat (see previous post), collected today, will update over the next couple of days. Have been impressed with some of the resources collected by s4 for movie and powerpoint presentations on their hazards case study choices, so may host some completed examples here in a couple of weeks time. Keep up the excellent work on these!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

s5 Environmental Interactions Writing Support

We have been looking at ways to improve the quality of writing in these questions both in terms of the geographical content e.g. terminology and appropriate use of language, and also in how the answers themselves are structured. One idea is to use a Wordmat for revision purposes and I would like to use this in conjunction with past papers both at home and in school. Basically, the idea behind this is that we collate as a class a definitive list of terms alpahabetically, and then students can use this as a quick reference point when answering questions. The purpose of using this is to a) move away from relying too heavily on textbook style answers which people are producing for homework, but are finding difficult to replicate in exams, and b) making response more 'geographical' instead of vague generalisations by using appropriate geography vocabulary. I have produced a template here for Rural Land Resources questions which refer to Upland Carboniferous limestone, with some key terms already listed. I will post this again, with a fully updated Wordmat after students have completed the exercise. We will then use this to trial with past papers and can compare the results to previous efforts-not just in terms of the overall mark, but hopefully in terms of the fluency and accuracy of the answers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Japan Google Videos for s2

Have just been searching for some video footage which s2 can put into their Tokyo projects. There is a nice video called Tokyo Racer by Danny Choo which shows a drivers view through Tokyo from the edge of CBD into a throng of pedestrians which you can get here. There is also a much longer video clip from Third Millenium which can be accessed by this link.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Soil Profiles

This is the soil resource we used in class today, mix and match and then drop and drag onto soil profile. I will post the answers at some point for this, but your Biosphere resources and class notes should help you have a fair go at this.

S1 Weather and Japanese words

Weather effects

Watch the video
s2 might want to use a little of the language in their movies- Picked up this link from sln forum, you can write your name using this.

If its Monday, it must be Paris....

Paris zones Movie

Watch the video
We start today in Tokyo with s2, who are making their own movies. s1 withstand the weather to watch the movie in the next post before doing a little supporting work on Weather and People. s3 make their way to Paris and use the movie and the above link to start our discussions on Urban change. s5 are digging in the dirt after their prelims as we tackle soil profiles (links posted in previous post).

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Video time

....and a way to host video. I think there is a way where I can just create a thumbnail to make the blog a little more visual, but this is the link for the climate change video I showed to s2/s4 as a movie example to help with their own attempts

Trying this out.......

Have found a way to host some of the files I've been using in class. Here is the 6x6 which we used to write our eye witness/ news report of the Muzzaffarabad earthquake
Was able to do this through

The same file was also hosted by Tony Cassidy, who has added some activities where you can make your own movie, something a couple of my classes are experimenting with

Monday, March 06, 2006

Your CBD

Create your own Monopoly board at http://uk.mymonopoly.com/downloads/MyMonopoly_Planner_v5.pdf
I am going to use this when we look at the CBD in conjunction with a Glasgow Street map-idea from Alan parkinson at www.geographypages.co.uk . Should be interesting to see how people decide on the value of a street.

For s4 Hazards Word mats-Try http://www.pbs.org/wnet/savageearth/, excellent for two of the three Hazards studied. May be able to add to the vocabulary already on your mats from class discussion, text and notes.

Biosphere, General revision and World Cup Geography

Starting Biosphere today with Higher, and here is the best link

This comes from the excellent website for Wycombe High School. Some parts of this are only accessible if you are a school member, but several of the links and animations can be used at home. Try it out http://www.school-portal.co.uk/GroupHomepage.asp?GroupID=23107

I have also finished doing a wee World Cup Geography Exercise, which I am trialling with Int2 today. It has links to Population, settlement site, Urban Land Use Zones and Development. There is a google tour with links to information and images of each of the stadiums. The google tour has a couple of glitches-Places like Leipzig and Kaiserslautern are just red blobs up close, and I had to navigate the roads to find the stadium site. This is why I have included the links. I have this on disc, and, again, if anyone wants a copy of the tour, accompanying powerpoint, worksheet (or perhaps just the tour) then feel free to take a copy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Google Glasgow Tour-Again!

I have found out that this file was embarrassingly easy to save after all! I now have it saved at school if anyone should want a copy for their own viewing. Will do the same with any other tours.

Border Dash

And just for a bit of light relief, here is an image I used with s3, accompanied by the story of one woman's desperate attempts to cross the Mexico-USA border-ties into migration, particularly obstacles to this

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More Tropical Storms links

Here's another link for Tropical Storms-The one we used today with the Katrina Powerpoint. The video clips that wouldn't work in school should work at home. The animations are good revision.

And as promised, here's a couple of the poems........

Tropical storms are formed over sea
Right up the warm air rises to where the storm will be
Over and above the sea the rainclouds will form
People see the signs of the coming storm
In spirals the air begins to spin
Clouds move and the rains begin
Above land the storm is nigh
Later on we'll be in the eye

Strong winds and the storm surge destroy people's homes
To the site of the hurricane, aid does go
Orleans was wrecked a few months ago
Round streets and buildings the floodwater flowed
Morale in this city was definitely low

Poem 2

The formation of a tropical storm
Happens when the water is warm
It rises in the air
and then brings very low pressure
It forms heavy rain clouds
and then the air begins to spread out
Cold air sinks down to create the 'eye'
This is the formation of a tropical storm in the sky

This was on the back of the 'mapping from memory' group exercise showing the formation of tropical storms