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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A reflection at mid-term

Categories: Geography General, Urban, Lithosphere

Hope you all had a nice break. I just thought I'd post on a few links and also a few thoughts about the last couple of days of term. The first piece of news was something that I spotted on Ogle Earth regarding a new YouTube videos layer. In the future, if the school server were to lift the block on YouTube, this would be a fantastic tool-I have been using the Panoramio layer quite a bit in class of late, and this would add another dimension, but I also think it would be great for geo-tagging fieldwork outings. Secondly, I have been reading on a couple of blogs tonight about a new Sim City game. I remember we tried to play the original last year with s2, but couldn't get it to download, so I went back and tried this tonight and had success. I think I'll try this in school-may be blocked as its a games site, but this would be really useful for Urban Geography, as advocated by Ollie. I am also playing around with the Quizmaker option on TeachICT at the moment, really useful as your quizzes are instantly available online. Lastly, a link which has some relevance to climate change/sea level rise looks at how sea level rise will threaten 21 megacities near the coast.

This part of the post is just a personal reflection on some things I found out about my classes last week, which were quite illuminating. I am always a little concerned that, as Higher and Intermediate are similar in content, it will be difficult to sustain interest in some units. It was therefore quite surprising, but pleasing, that many of my Higher pupils identified this as a positive when we were doing our target setting. The general feeling was that, in comparison to other Highers, students felt the transition in Geography was easier, as they felt confident of their basic geographical knowledge in areas such as the lithosphere and RLR.

I was also interested in the feedback that some pupils provided regarding their experiences in class in relation to other subjects. I am pleased that you see the value in some of the group/interactive work we do. One of the pieces of feedback from our pupil surveys last year was that students would have liked more comprehensive notes. I have always been a bit cynical about notes for the sake of it, as I feel it takes away the actual learning process, but I also accepted that some things could have been clarified more in class. I have tried to give more support in this, but don't want to make your time in class passive, and it was heartening to hear pupils talk about the impact of some of the activities we've tried to include . I should probably counter this by saying that an s4 pupil did tell me she doesn't understand a thing I talk about!!!!!!

The main thing that came out of the target setting (s4/5/6) for me was how awful we are at recognising when we are doing well. I am involved in classes where there are extremely capable pupils who only recognise their shortcomings. Once we started discussing attitude to work, test marks, homework and so on, many pupils accepted that they were already working at high levels, and we could then decide one or two small targets to help maintain this, usually centred around study skills. I think it's important to remember what you are good at, there is nothing wrong with having high expectations of yourself-it should help you strive for the mark you want. Hopefully, the target setting exercise has given you a little confidence in how you are coping with the demands of the courses.


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