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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Monday, December 06, 2010

A thank you note for #s2erupts

Categories: s1 and s2, environmental hazards
Late last night, I sent out a request for help with a lesson today. It was late (despite having thought about it for a while), and I made contingencies in case I hadn't given enough time for a response from people in my twitter network or who read the blog. All in all, between 11ish last night and 10am this morning, I had around 30 replies, with lots of really great questions for the students to start researching.
On arriving at work, I then encountered an unforeseen problem. The class had half the time usually afforded to us, as an extra assembly had been convened to launch the school's mission statement. This meant that, not only might we be struggling for time to do the research, but we probably wouldn't get all the responses posted back. It's with great credit to the class that in the short time we had, they got stuck in to the task. This meant that the bulk, but not all, of the questions were answered and in the period following, I was able to post the students responses, although the students were very aware of who they were writing for. It would have been preferable if they could have done this themselves and also that they could have seen the whole picture, because together, their work represents an impressive display of collective knowledge. I will be able to revisit during the next visit of the class, and also plan to fill the gaps with a couple of twitdocs from one of my other classes (to save other people's twitter streams getting filled).

I was also very pleased and so grateful to see those who took time to thank the students for the answers they provided, and I will be sure to share this with them. The main point of the lesson, though, is that the students should treat every resource as something useful. Only the questions about volcanic plugs and pyroclastic flows needed the internet to help answer them. All of the other responses were either from personal knowledge or, more particularly, from the textbook rersources that students had in class (that are easily dismissed in a pursuit of active learning activities).The pupils had to skim and scan these resources, work to a tight timescale, work with others and present a precise response (developing summary skills) as I had told them of the 140 character chunks we had to reply in. Overall, an excellent effort in so many ways which would not have been nearly as succesful without the help of all the contributors. On behalf of the class, I'd like to convey our thanks for assisting in a fast paced lesson where the students were engaged with their learning throughout.


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