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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Some end of year surveys...

Categories: Geography General
Quick post from school.....
s2 Transition survey below

Click Here to take survey

s3 survey below

Click Here to take survey

We'll use these period 6 and 7, as I won't see you again until after the Alps trip.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jungle Shop

Categories: Geography general, s1 and s2
I hope to get through most of the rainforest work with s2 today. I am also really interested at the moment in the idea of the school purchasing some rainforest if possible. Several reputable sites offer the chance to buy a few acres, and I just think it would add to pupils exeprience having some kind of ownership of and therefore responsibility for a piece of land thousands of miles away which may be under threat. In the meantime, I regularly visit this site and click to save a few acres. This works through charitable sponsorship, and has links to other sites such as The Hunger site.
For today's lesson, I want to use a diagram of the rainforest layers similar to the one in the picture but unlabelled (click on the picture for some basic info about rainforests). I aim to use the rainforest dominoes found on the sln site, and as we go round the class with the game, involve people in labelling the diagram any time we have a domino related to the layers. I hope to use this as a discussion point-why are the emergents taller than the other layers? Why do they need buttress roots? What would the forest floor be like? Finally, I haven't decvided yet, but might use a couple of clips from Planet earth.
A quick note on the exams. Int 2 had a couple of tricky questions, but overall, not too bad. I was really pleased with the Higher, particularly as I'd told several pupils that I thought coasts might come up in the RLR section. Biosphere as a choice too, which I know pleased several... a really fair paper. I haven't managed to see Int 1 or AH yet, will have a look soon. Now, time to breath out....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Last chance saloon

Categories: Geography General
Hello all, just back home tonight and got some last minute requests for help for tomorrow. I had planned to write up some posts on the ITCZ, but I know it's a bit late now, come and see me tomorrow morning, I'll hopefully be in from around 8.10 am. I have tried to deal with your requests on the student q&a page of the wiki, hopefully you have managed to see the responses. If not, click on the picture above to link to the page. Best of luck for both Intermediate and Higher!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

(Loud Cheer)

Categories: Geography General

I've just discovered that I can now edit the blog from school. This should a) save a great deal of time at home, and b) allow me to use the existing blogs more interactively with classes. Never managed to update blog last night, so here's today's lessons:-

Higher revision Workshop

I have asked higher to come in today for some last minute revision. I always feel that I am panicking as much as the students at this time of year, so I just want to go over some bits and pieces. Here's the main bits.

1) Question posted on the Higher wiki last night, which I've answered here (bottom of page), which had me thinking I should probably go over this with more of you.

2) I noticed another question on the wiki page about drumlins, eskers and roche mouttonees, which I should probably deal with-I know glacial deposition has been quite confusing for some, distinguishing between till and fluvoglacial deposits and so on.

3) Using SQA material to mark actual past answers, discuss what's good and not so good about each answer and where improvements could be made. I ve always found this really useful in the past, and it gives you something concrete to work with in your preparation of answers.

4) Maybe a little bit on atmospheric circulation (still...)

s2 are taking time out from their rainforest adventures as its Health day in the school. I'm going to do something about the geography of disease- a statement sort or drag and drop of diseases you would expect to find in ELDC's and EMDC's, followed by group mind mapping of why diseases are found in geographical clusters. I'm then going to do a mini version of the health tests we did with s4- heart rate, peak flow, pulse etc to raise awareness of health issues in EMDC's. May get a few running on the spot again...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Yahoo! (Not)

Categories: s1 and s2, Urban, Geography General

Apologies about the fact I haven't dealt with all of the comments you've sent so far to the moblog, my internet connection's been slow all weekend and keeps going down when I'm publishing from my yahoo e-mail. Hope to resolve this soon. By my reckoning, however, still a good two thirds of you yet to comment :-0 Homework takes many different forms, remember... Anyway, never got on to shanty towns exercise with s3, so back to this tomorrow.

I really liked the work we were doing with s2 on Thursday. I am going to ask for a sample of your rainforest survivor stories, and we'll continue with the 'making animals' activity, which got some groups working well and using good reasoning for their choices. I know I was a little grumpy on Thursday :-(, but I want to use the blog to reinforce again how much I've enjoyed teaching both the new course and this s2 class this year. It's been really active and I've been delighted with how you have all participated in the class activities. The range and volume of work which you have produced has been consistently excellent. I was thinking about starting a 'Climatic Regions' wall in the classroom for display work. What do you think?

Finally, s1 are doing some map skills work, starting with a map of your own room. If your room is anything like mine's was at your age, you'll need a good key to show what's on that floor....What else do you think a good map should have? Is the map above one? I think I'll get you in groups to set the criteria for good/bas maps, and then get you to peer assess each others.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is this you?

Categories: s1 and s2
Tomorrow I'll ask s2 to imagine that it is. I want to introduce a sensory aspect to our work-By that I mean thinking about sounds, smells, touch etc that we would find in the rainforest. How would it feel? I'll probably ask for you to close your eyes and imagine. Is this a good idea after lunch, I wonder ;-) Second part of the period will be in groups. I have never tried this before but some colleagues have used a 'making animals' type activity for this topic. Design an animal best suited to cope with the rainforest-we will have already considered the conditions, so this should prepare us relatively well for this activity.I'm looking forward to trying this out, as I can see a number of uses for this type of actvity.
With s3, I actually forgot to do the 'Improving a Shanty Town' exercise( you spend shanty town points as a group),so I'm going to double back and do this after we have finished the mapping. I am struggling a wee bit with s1, as some are away to Paris, some are playing a game and others are just about finished posters, presentations etc. I might use Tony Cassidy's Eurovision exercise as a bridge to some map skills work which I want to do before the end of rotation (two weeks to go and you ar officially s2!).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Feely Box part 1

Categories: s1 and s2
Busy night posting tonight. This is for s2, I have been promising the use of a 'feely box' for a couple of periods now, as we are doing climatic regions. What I'm going to do is bring in a selection of items for the box over two to three periods,and basically, I'm going to get you to guess what's in the box as well as which climatic region you would find them in. Hopefully, I'll remember all my bits and pieces for this tomorrow. One thing I'll definitely be using is this site, a really good way to introduce the basics about the climate in Tundra, rainforest, hot desert and using San Francisco, Mediterranean climates. Anway, better get some sleep...

Moblog task

Categories: Urban

I have been experimenting again with the moblog, really so that I am up to speed for posting from the Alps to the blog. It's actually really simple, and with i-mail on my phone, seems to be completely free as well. I feel more than a little embarrassed that this is what I chose to do on the bus back from a football match (many strange looks too, unsurprisingly), but it's sorted a lesson starter out for me on Monday with s3. I am going to show the photos (may have to adapt this due to school flickr blockage, think I might have a way...) and ask for some comments to be left about location and urban zones. I'm then going to show the locations on the O.S. map, and see if this backs up your conclusions. If so, what evidence? If not, what has made you change your mind? Does this tell us anything about the use of urban models to fit changing cities? Have a look, please (s3,s4, Higher)

Flats (Very...)

Categories: Urban
Just thought this was quite good for Higher if you are revising Urban Geography, again from a post on sln. We were just talking last week as part of our revision about failures of redevelopment in Glasgow, and had a few points about the flats in the Gorbals, some of which are no more. This led us to the conclusion that parts of Glasgow are 'redeveloping the redevelopment'. We concentrated our discussion of high rise around inner city redevelopment, but we also spoke about the building of peripheral estates such as Castlemilk, which had high density housing to cope with population overspill from the inner cities. Here's what happened to some of these:-

Much of the remaining housing stock in Castlemilk has now been renovated, and similar work has been carried out in places such as Easterhouse, Drumchapel and Pollok, some of the other places we mentioned in class. There is also some stuff worth having a look at here, especially in the 'New life' section. I am going to do something with one of my Intermediate classes this week, and it might also be worth your while having a look at this too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So long, farewell, Auf Weidersen etc etc

Categories: Geography General

So it's study leave again, last time in school (barring the exams) for many of you. To those who are leaving, or who are following a different path with their studies next year, very best wishes and the best of luck with whatever you do. For all of you, good luck with the exams-keep the head, put in the time and read the questions-you'll be fine! I'll continue to post anything I think is useful and please remember to pop in-Higher revision class on the 23rd.
Good Luck
Mr O'D

Something for s2

Categories:s1 and s2
A lesson for tomorrow (today). It's far too late, so of there are mistakes, I'll edit them later

Monday, May 07, 2007

Delay is the deadliest form of denial...

Categories: Coasts, Rural, Urban, Biosphere
So a wise man once said. For that reason, as it's the last week of the certificate classes, it's intensive revision to fill in the blanks-please try to fit in a wee bit at home if you can too. For Higher, this site is good for looking at the succession in coastal sand dunes. I thought the activity we did the other day worked a lot better than I feared, with moving lines of students forming sand dunes and plant populations, right up until I asked for group answers on specific dunes. Although several people were thinking through the task, others could have done more to either help their group or improve their own understanding of what has proved to be a hard topic for many :-( Hopefully, some of you benefited from the exercise. I might pick at bits of this site, geared for English Schools revision, but some of the coastal stuff may be of use. Finally, and changing topics completely, there's a good article on the BBC website about China's population, a good current example of how policies have been effective or otherwise at addressing a rapidly growing population. Thanks to the collective sln community again for a few of the links. Might do a twenty question grid for urban or rural with s4 (maybe both?), but we'll really need to do at least one or two past papers as well.I just want to stop s3 for a little bit of reflection on what we've learned about Mumbai-some really excellent movies, debatable end credits for some -you know who you are... ;-)

High scores for Hurricanes...

Categories: s1 and s2

I was really pleased by how inquisitive one of my s1 classes were about Tropical storms last time we met. We should hopefully understand a little more about where these storms are found, why they form, the effects on coastal areas and, by the end of the period tomorrow, what can be done to minimise their impact. We'll start with a quiz as a recap, perhaps the brainpop quiz, complete the questions from the Hurricane Lili video (which should give us an insight into the difficulties in preparing a place like New Orleans for a storm) and then try planning for a hurricane ourselves-remember, ipods and hair straighteners are not really essentials ;) I thought that rather than giving you a formal homework, I'd use the Stop Disasters Game- I've used this more extensively as part of the courses with s2 and s4 for Earth Forces, but I think I'll get you to post on the student blog with your score, casualties/injuries, cost of damage and what you would maybe do differently next time.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Panic attack

Categories: Biosphere, Atmosphere, Urban, s1 and s2

A short post, I'll post feedback on how these lessons went tomorrow. I sent round a 'Panic sheet' for Higher today, and Biosphere came top of the poll. After a little discussion, it's clear that you're struggling to remember dune transects, the sequence of the dunes and associated plants, so tomorrow, I'm going to involve you by doing a kind of massive card sort. I think I'll ask pupils to organise theselves in order of dunes from shore to climax, and then ask 'plants' and 'conditions' to locate themselves within the dunes before doing a requested 7 marker.

With s4, I feel we haven't used the revision websites for a while, so I'll have a look at these. s3 missed the rest of Mumbai movies due to more 'hustings' so I'll slot these in tomorrow. s2 will be given a brief about the project mentioned in the last post, but I want to start climatic regions with a whole load of images-asking key questions-what links certain images, which ones are deserts, which ones have large populations etc There are a few red herrings. I'm also going to finalise this by locating the pictures on maps, before doing a world climatic region map for the jotter. s1 are also using some images to identify extreme weather and weather related hazards-more on this later.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Elections (ours can wait...)

Categories: s1 and s2
I have outlined to s2 a task I'd like to do, but looking at the time we have left, I'm going to have to make the bulk of this off timetable. We are setting up mini production companies who will choose a managing director, will staff their organisation with journalists, researchers, graphic designers and so on with the aim of producing a short presentation or film showcasing people's awareness of environmental issues such as global warming. This will involve creating surveys for peers, parents and perhaps some teachers. I am going to suggest tomorrow that we put aside one period a week to look at how things are progressing and allow the groups to co-ordinate their approaches. Unfortunately, we won't be able to start the task as the year group is involved in a mock 'hustings' for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections, so choosing your own leader will have to wait.
Meanwhile, there are loads of resources which might help. Speaking of elected politicians, I have embedded a clip from Will Ferrell lampooning George W Bush, but it might be worth considering if his alleged ignorance is out of step with the majority of people you survey. There are other video clips and plenty of information on the Stop Global Warming site , including quite a lot of 'Earth to America' snippets from TBS. I'll continue to post more sites as you work through this.

Plea for decent DVD's/Videos?

Categories: Geography general
This is me getting the begging bowl out. I went to a course after school tonight on Clickview, which I have mentioned before. There are some really impressive applications on this which pupils will soon benefit from being able to use, unless I've misread this. I am trialling some of the functions, but here's a list of some of the things that we should be able to do.
1) Upload any recorded video/DVD to clickview (BBC,ITV, Ch4, 5 and SKY soon)
2) Divide this up into chapters for easy use in class or assignments
3) Easily insert a chapter, clip or multiple clips into a powerpoint slide without having to work out how to embed the clip- great for me, but really good for students too as part of presentations
4) Use the schoolbag facility to take clips home
5) Add materials to Clickview to support lessons-word docs, powerpoint, audio etc
6) Upload podcasts and images.
I would really appreciate it if you see/hear/ record anything which you think might be valuable, please inform myself or Miss Greene about the programme. If you have already recorded a programme, bring it in and we'll see about getting it put on to Clickview.