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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Monday, November 03, 2008

Huge, meandering mass (and that's just this post)

Categories: Rivers

This is a bit of personal reflection as I had reason to be frustrated when looking at Friday's Higher work, completed in my absence. I used a random word picker to check river terminology and understanding. The response was disappointing , but highlighted a few things for me, things in truth I knew already:-

1) That when studying Higher, students need to take initiative in terms of personal revision. I can check work, as I did today, which has been completed and completed well, but the knowledge seems to disappear as soon as some have left the classroom. I think one of the reasons for this is the pace of work in comparison to s4, and there is little chance to dwell on a topic. This makes it all the more important to review the day's work at home, as it is not possible for me to go backwards all the time.

2) That all students shouldn't really be treated the same. I had a sermonic (is that a word?) moment today, one which many people deserved, but others clearly didn't. It's sometimes hard to seperate students in situation like this, when so many people are not quite where I would like them to be, and the temptation is to give blanket coverage to concerns. This is something I did today, but should really have let some students just move on and let others take responsibility themselves to catch up.

3) That I should not assume so much of students. I was irked by the number of 'don't know' responses today. I think some of this was from an unwillingness to answer, but I have to ask more questions here. Are there issues with the work, the language and level of difficulty? Have I assumed that students would develop an understanding without a taught lesson? Maybe some of the 'don't know's were genuine moments of confusion, and as a result, I'm going to revisit some of this work tomorrow.

More than anything, I find that this just again highlights how I can't take it for granted that successive classes will respond to the same set of activities that have been successful with others. I feel a bit of evaluation coming on...

Right, if I can get off my soap box, I'd like to use tomorrow to finish river features. I'll use the IWB. I've been messing about with some images in paint to remove diagram labelling. I'm going to put text to drag and drop for formations. This should help sort out any misunderstandings lingering from today. I think for the river profile activity, the model below would be useful (click to link to source).


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