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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Unfortunate Correlation...

Categories: s1 and s2, Advanced Higher, Biosphere

I didn't think for a minute that my s1 Google Earth exercise was very original, seems that lots of people want to tell the world their favourite places, link courtesy of one of my latest web discoveries, Lifehacker. Mixed bag tomorrow, introducing the favelas task with s1, extensive revision of some rather confused s4 assessments :-0, and moving people as a sand dune transect with Higher if time (will explain later). Rather regrettably,I have been in a fuzz all day about Advanced Higher Geographical Studies. I'm very unfortunately going to have to apply the logic below in terms of how I prioritise the remaining help I give you. For those of you who have handed me your study, I'll do my best to critique it and return with any suggestions in plenty of time for the SQA deadlines. For those of you who didn't turn up today, or didn't submit anything. I'm afraid I can't guarantee the same help, as time is now extremely limited. Sorry to others for using the blog to air a gripe :-(

Monday, April 28, 2008

Psammoseres, Polorix, Past Papers and Plane Crashes

Categories: Other, Biosphere, Geography General

Finished marking last set of (very late) NABs for higher, and they were on the whole extremely good. There are some responses which are picking up full marks by going all around the houses, and we'll need to have a look at how to make your points more succinctly, but I'm very pleased with the results at a critical time. Today was an opportunity to consolidate the work you had completed on soils, and tomorrow we look at succession. May steal a colleague's idea, weather permitting, but last year I used a lot from Val Vannet's presentation. There's an awful lot of detail here, and I think the sections illustrating why certain plants colonise parts of the dune transect are key to writing a really strong exam answer. Don't be overwhelmed by the dunes, plants etc that you have to remember- Practice will get you there with this one...
s4 had the bonus of missing out on my ramblings today as I was attending a course on WorkIT, something I'm having a look at for Work Experience organisation-fingers crossed it makes sending out 300 pupils more manageable! I left some past paper questions and I'll split the class into some groups tomorrow for IT/Written revision.
I have suddenly had that sinking feeling, as I've remembered I have s1 jotter marking which somehow evaded my bag at the weekend. Having had a look at some of your Amazon plane crash stories, I'm impressed (distressed!) by your imagination ;-) More on the Amazon tomorrow, or rather how it's disappearing.
Finally, Advanced Higher students of late have been getting round the recently mentioned IT restrictions in a novel and pleasing way. As students cannot use a memory stick from their own accounts, some s6 have started uploading their Study files to Polorix Uploader, setting them as private and downloading them again at school. This was a host I hadn't heard of before, but there are so many more with privacy options, and as today my higher all registered with scribd, if any take AH next year, I'll maybe pursue this a bit more. 2 days till your final drafts.....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scrambled Higher Homework

Categories: Biosphere

Don't know why this appears as it does, but when you view it in scribd, it's fine. Download the word doc, do the initial drag and drop and then some written responses are required for each of the soil profiles you've studied in class. You can try sending these back by e-mail to my school address, but may need to resort to more primitive methods.

Read this doc on Scribd: SoilProfilesandsoilcatenas

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pet Hate

Categories: Other

I am posting for myself after a week of complete frustration at work. During the holidays the log on procedures on all PC's were changed, which would have been fine if it hadn't resulted in most of the sites I use at work being blocked. Can no longer access blogger, flickr and the sln forum among others. My yahoo mail is again blocked after having several months access, particularly useful as the work e-mail seems to block absolutely everything. I feel that all I do is put in IT jobs, and obviously now I'll have several more. Haven't checked my scribd or del.icio.us yet, but won't be surprised if these are now blocked. Pbwiki already is. I get so frustrated at access restrictions, even on staff accounts. Off to listen to some Joy Division to feed my mood...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Excuses to avoid, resources to exploit and a little bit of (un)happiness

Categories: Biosphere, Environmental Hazards, Advanced Higher

I have been browsing through some old resources as we prepare to look at the Biosphere with Higher. You won't be able to view these at school, and some of the early works are pretty basic, but there may be something among these which will be of use in your revision. There's quite a few soils and sand dune succession powerpoints or word docs, a couple of which we'll probably use in class. There are also excellent materials on the Wycombe High School and Learning Teaching Scotland websites, which will definitely be getting an airing in the course of the next two weeks. We're almost there...

s4 are, indeed, there. One assessment to go, which I'll talk to you about tomorrow, and a tiny bit of recall on tropical storms, before the revision avalanche. Advanced Higher should still be working very hard as the submission date for your work approaches. Tomorrow will be problem fixing with fieldwork results, structure of the study (use the 25 pages) etc, but really I'm just wanting to make sure that you did some work over the holidays ;-). See the cartoon above from the University of Missouri for things to avoid telling me. I've been messing about with the Happy Planet Index tonight. It would appear that my planet is not that happy, although maybe that's something to do with the end of a great two week break fast approaching :-(

Monday, April 14, 2008

Working Holiday

Sea Cave, Catalunya

Just back from a fantastic week on the Costa Brava, part of Catalunya, not Spain, as the political grafitti kept reminding us. This might be why several shop staff etc replied to me in English when I tried to buy in Spanish. Either that or it was my incredibly bad grasp of the language...Some visual highlights of the week were the coastline (great coastline of erosion) and Barcelona, which sadly we did not see enough of. Although I have been in grander cities, the Sagrada Familia is far and away the most intriguing and impressive site I've witnessed in any I've visited. The whole front of the building looks as if the stone is melting, and each place you look has some hidden feature. Never made it to the Nou Camp though :-(
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Anyway, the only reason I'm near the laptop tonight, and hence the reason I'm blogging is because of Easter School tomorrow. I'll be adapting previous materials to suit this year's class, and Miss Green has compiled a similar sheet for Intermediate. If you are visiting the blog to check some of the materials or sites we've used, and there's something I don't cover tomorrow, don't hesitate to leave a comment, or ask a question via the wikis. Hope you're all having a nice holiday, working smart and giving yourself some respite from time to time ;-) See you all soon

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Global Awareness in Google Earth

Categories: Geography General, Population, Development

I use Google Earth a lot in class, perhaps more so this year than I ever have, particluarly with s1. However, I'm constantly discovering new avenues of exploration and found another really top class resource tonight after reading the Google Earth Blog and Ogle Earth. I was initially looking at the Global Awareness layer (near the bottom of the 'layers' panel in the left sidebar) to view some Climate and Forests placemarks from Greenpeace, as we'll be doing the Amazon soon with first year.I had never noticed this feature until Google Earth Blog highlighted the Greenpeace layer. Then, through Ogle Earth, I found a brilliant study aid for Higher's forced migration case study in the same place (USHMM: World is Witness). The 'World is Witness' opens actual accounts from people threatened by genocides, allowing the reader to view their story from its Geographical location in Google Earth, and crucial for your purposes, opens their migration path - in other words, the route they've followed in their attempts to flee persecution. The first few placemarks I opened where in Rwanda, and I really think it would be most worthwhile to have a look at these if you have GE at home.

I was going to blog about starting Biosphere with Higher tomorrow, but I think I'm kidding myself if I think we won't have to more or less start from scratch again after the two week break. Urban revision and general question time tomorrow. Will have a chat with Advanced Higher about progress in the Geographical Study, and finishing a piece of work with s1 anyway. Think s4 enjoyed the Stop Disasters today... Aside from all the work related business, have a great holiday everyone. See you all back refreshed after the break, or maybe, like me, you'll be at Easter School ;-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Reflecting on 300

Categories: Urban

I've been working on an overlay tonight which shows changing residential environments within Glasgow- classic inner city landscape in Drumoyne and Shieldhall, followed by clear suburban street patterns in Hillington and the surrounds. This is not far from the area where much of the Glasgow Harbour development is centred upon, and showpiece riverfront designs such as the Science Centre and the Armadillo are just east of this overlay. We'll use this tomorrow, after finishing New Towns. After that, I think all we have to do is a little bit about transport/ a recap on shopping and that's urban in the bag. This is the 300th post on this blog. It's ironic, but perhaps fitting that, in spite of all the various far flung places I've mentioned here, this post brings me back to our city:-)