Archive for the ‘Teachingideas’ Category

Geography for a pound…

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

IMG_0715 (800x658)

Thank you if you attended the workshop yesterday. A particular thanks to Alan Parkinson (who basically organised me and the workshop- it should have been his name under the title.) and John Sayers who were my co-presenters, thereby making sure I didn’t have too much time to humiliate myself.

The aim of the workshop was to consider informal collaboration of practitioners, as a way of developing approaches that aid student learning and engagement.

Alan will be collating all the resources on his blog at a later date. During the workshop I briefly discussed some areas of collaboration from my own practice.

Two (hundred) heads are better than one: the power of collaboration. from TonyCassidy

I then referred to an article (again via Alan!) by Isbella Wallace about her use of poundstore pedaogogy. Adapting this idea for geography, I asked colleagues to devise some approaches using five items from the Tesco’s Handy range. The results can be viewed in this Google presentation.

Not bad for five minutes thinking. If you would like to add to the presentation please let me know. I also apologise if I have missed your idea or attributed it to someone else.

Thanks again.

Pixar Pitch

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

I spent part of the half-term reading Dan Pink’s new book ‘To Sell is Human’.

Don’t be put off by the title. Pink’s message is that selling is no longer the preserve of the salesperson; everyone is now in sales, including educators. Each day we sell our message to students.

One of my favourite chapters is about pitching. There are a number of ideas that could be used with students, particularly when summarising knowledge.

One that I’m going to have a play with, and is mentioned in the video, is the Pixar Pitch. The idea is based on the format of stories told within a Pixar movie. This week I’m going to try adapting it as a plenary activity.


I’ll let you know how I get on…

Urbanisation with Lego…

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I currently have my Year Ten Friday afternoon for a double, which is challenging enough; but I’m also trying to reduce my teacher talk and encourage more independent learning. As a result I’m trying to incorporate more kinesthetic activities within my repertoire… 

I wanted students to consider the changing pattern of urbanisation, and as a result begin to consider some of the contributing factors. It was also an opportunity to begin to develop students’ ability to describe patterns.

Each group was given a sheet with data about the ten largest cities in 1900, 1950 and 2012.


Using a base map each group had to locate the cities and then construct a graph using Lego. We used a scale of one square block to represent one million people. Students then used the support sheet to begin to describe the geographical distribution of the cities.


This was then repeated for each of the given dates. The results were quite impressive, and visually I think it helped students describe the pattern in the shift of urbanisation.


With reflection I think I should have encouraged students to make a prediction for a future date, one for next time…


Clouds via cotton wool

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I love clouds, nice idea by the creative factory that is John Sayers. A display by my Year 9 class.


How geography influences the school day…

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Boardworks have republished some lessons ideas that I wrote for them, considering how geography influences the school day. Now included are some handy display headings to be used in the classroom when displaying the outcomes of the activity…


Remember the snow… Landform features.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

It was only a week ago since this…


Until this happened.


I set my Year 10 the task of producing snow stack formation as a voluntary homework. I set an example by having a go myself.


It also gave me the opportunity to test out the IMotion time-lapse app.

A couple of students, working in groups, rose to the challenge.







Which is your favourite? Please tell us below.

Building form group rapport

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Not geography but I would appreciate your help. I’ve been providing some input lately about the role of the form tutor. One difficult question that came up was about how the the form tutor develops rapport with, and within, the group.

I’ve started this GoogleDoc to collate some ideas. Thanks to those that have already made suggestions. I appreciate your ideas.

Your school day and geography…

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

A couple of transition ideas that I jotted down for Boardworks that may be of interest.


River profile

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Olympic style… Might be be a useful topic starter.


Landscape in a box…

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Thanks to Alan Parkinson for reminding me about his landscapes in a box, after watching Noel Jenkins at TMClevedon. Both legends.

Reminded me of the collaborative 101 ways to creatively teach geography presentation. One to revisit for inspiration.