After a very long day, just finished the new work on GCSE rivers - upper, middle & lower course using our major river - La Garonne - as the focus for the study. Proved to be quite an interesting journey researching the exact location of the source and using a shared Google map that Paul Sturtivant kindly showed me how to do earlier in the week. Plenty of maps, videos and imagery to use with the students in class. Hopefully they'll find it more interesting than a generic study of one of the places in the OCR B textbook.
Since arriving in France, I have made a big effort to include as much local geography in the syllabus as possible to develop the students sense of place - something I believe to be particularly important when helping the students integrate into their new surroundings. This has worked well for me too as it has forced me to go out exploring (actually, not much forcing needed at all, I love it!) I am very keen for the students leave their little bubbles and willing to venture out and about. In this part of the world, outdoor pursuits possibilities are numerous with the Pyrenees and coastal areas being within a reasonable distance and we make the most of this in our geography trips every year. It's pretty good for their language acquisition too!
On geographypods you will see many examples of local French geography in the Toulouse and south western France region. Not much use for most people but an alternative that can be adapted.
Y11 parents evening tomorrow so having an evening off and well away from any computers!!
Link for the work is here: http://www.geographypods.com/river-features.html
Just put some new work together for the Tundra - Tropical Year 9 unit with the outcome being an assessed piece of writing.
I have in the past asked the Y9's to to a Rainforest Essay looking at issues of sustainability in a chosen forest area but am fast becoming tired of that. I have wanted to explore the issues behind Palm Oil production for a while now and found a nice mystery linking Palm Oil & Orangutans. Although I couldn't access this without paying a fiver for the PowerPoint and a further fiver for the worksheet, I am going to try to make up my own inquiry based on this subject. I have found it hard going resourcing it today and am not happy with the layout or progression but will have to play around with it again when I teach it later this week.
http://gorgeousgeography.wordpress.com/about/ has helped me a lot in researching the work so thanks to Melanie Richards in Greenwich.
Right. Home time. More later.
After a productive two days in the mountains clearing the mind and enjoying the deep snow, I have added to the iGCSE Settlement unit on shopping here http://www.geographypods.com/shopping-patterns.html and put some further ideas down for the soil degradation SOW for IB Patterns & Change here: http://www.geographypods.com/soil--change-4hrs.html I have also added to Y11 OCR B floods here: http://www.geographypods.com/river-flooding.html but need to add more before the lesson later this week. Computer and internet speed have prevented a lot of work tonight. arrrrghhh!
Target for this week is to further develop OCR B Rivers & Flooding resources for LEDC & MEDC as well as tidy up the rainforest Y9 work and the Y7 hazards SOW. I also have a Y11 parents evening hot on the heels of the Y13 parents evening last week.
Should be a busy one then!
Never resourced the geographypods site (not had the time tbh) with rivers work before as I've always used Rich Allaway's GATW site. Still dipping in and out of this but have put together a couple of lessons on the hydrological cycle and drainage basins using Tony Cassidy's pop up drainage basin concept lesson. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Just reminded all Y11's via their Facebook group page not to forget their workbooks tomorrow so that they can be stuck in and then opened and closed in their full glory!
Work here: http://www.geographypods.com/river-processes.html
I will only be teaching this stuff once then transferring it over to the iGCSE part of the site where I will integrate it into their scheme of work ready for the current year 10 later this year. Finding that the students have done a lot of hydrological cycle stuff in science so really just revision then straight into drainage basins.
Right, time for dinner.
Just added some work to the Y9 tribes of the rainforest piece of work (Tundra to Tropical) entitled "What if the plane had landed?" - This asks the students to consider the implications of first contact on remote and previously uncontacted tribes. Got some really good work in from the Year 9 on their art task.... but will post details and photos tomorrow when they are marked. Maybe the best examples I have seen so far. They certainly put my drawing skills to shame!
Also, just adding to the IB Higher Interactions work on Political Outcomes and Nation States/EU. Found that the Greenfield Geography wiki is really useful for getting a grip on the issues and is great for the students to study first before getting their teeth into the case study.
Lastly, our local area has been quite severely affected by flooding last weekend. Here is a picture of the river before (taken last Spring) and during (on Sunday) the flood event. We had very fast snow melt coupled with an extremely wet week. I am reliably informed that the last time it was this high was in the 1970's. It got to within 10cm of overtopping the leveé and the whole town was on alert! A lucky escape indeed.
Just completed a couple of lessons worth of work on Unit 3 of the Patterns & Change. Will need to develop the temperature changes and Milankovitch Cycle over the weekend for teaching next week. Can be found here http://www.geographypods.com/atmosphere--change-4hrs.html
Really like this presentation from Alan Parkinson that has just come through today. Well worth looking through and pinching some of his wonderful ideas!!
Have been busy updating the IB pages to reflect new work for Global Interactions - Environmental Change - Agro Industrialization and Food Miles. I am going to add some new work on Fukushima and nuclear energy in the next week or so then go on to polluting industries and homogenization of landscapes ... an area that I always enjoy!
Gradually changing things over to the new iGCSE course that I am teaching this year. There is a fair bit of cross over between OCR B and iGCSE although I have got a huge amount to add to this site in the coming months.
More soon ....
After several weeks with this as my view and spending more time in the sea than on land, the reality of starting work again begins. First up is resourcing the new iGCSE geography specification to replace the current OCR B one. My hopes of a reasonably quiet year have been dealt a blow by Mr Gove and co. and so I now find iGCSE being the only realistic option for my learners based on a 39 week year in France. Here we go then ........
It's been a busy few weeks in school with end of year exams in IB geography, GCSE geography and invigilation and field trip planning. It was great to see that the geographypods site was used extensively by students (at IST) and further afield in the build up to the SDME and terminal exams. At the peak, it was getting nearly 6000 hits a day .... a record!
I have spent the last few days digesting the news about the forthcoming GCSE's are to be changed and have decided to jump before I am pushed and leave OCR to return to iGCSE. This is a real shame as the OCR B course is well structured, controlled assessment works well at IST and the students actually quite like the SDME! Three years of planning and preparation have gone into resourcing the course only for it to be changed.
Having used the OCR B ning extensively for the last three years, I have decided to set up one for iGCSE (Cambridge). These nings are invaluable for support especially in schools where teachers work in a department of one. I have been most impressed by the OCR B ning set up by Liz Smith and if the new iGCSE one is half as successful, it'll be a great resource.
Thanks to Alan Parkinson for coming on board and publicizing it through his living geography blog. We are up to 10 members already and hope to add more soon.
That's all for now. Heading to Conwy this weekend then a fieldwork weekend to Barcelona with Year 10 & 12 t
Author of geographypods.com.