Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job


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Teacher Burnout

This week I shared my experience of burnout and the resulting breakdown I experienced with a journalist from the Observer. He’s written a great article on the issue to raise awareness of the issues schools and their teachers are experiencing.

Please do take a read at https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/may/13/teacher-burnout-shortages-recruitment-problems-budget-cuts

Feel free to get in touch if you’re going through similar and want to chat.

On a more positive note however, do check out http://www.teacher5adaybuddybox.com for wellbeing fun.

Best wishes,


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Resource – IBDP Geography Case Study Revision Booklets

After the success of the GCSE case study and exam question booklets, I’ve set out making similar resources for my IB students. So far the booklet/s consist of case study template sheets. As more sample papers and exam papers become available I will start adding exam questions to the booklets.

The booklets start by outlining the case studies and examples required by the IB specification.

page 1

And they are then followed by a series of case study template sheets for students to complete as part of the review and revise process.

page 5

page 12

Eventually exam questions will be added for students to apply their knowledge to.

For a copy of the booklets, click the relevant link below.

Paper 1 Option B – Oceans and Coastal Margins
Paper 2 – Unit 1: Changing Population
Paper 2 – Unit 2: Global Climate

In Progress – Whole Course Case Study and Exam Question Booklet

As I complete the others they will be added.

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Human Rights and Education

HR and ed At my previous school I taught Opening Minds which was essentially citizenship, values and RS. One of my favourite units looks at human rights and education.

As I tidied up my hard drive this afternoon, I thought it would be nice to amend the resource booklet a little so PowerPoint weren’t need and share it with you in case it is of interest to any of you.

The booklet starts with a learning matrix outlining to the student the content to be covered.

matrix

Lesson 1 begins by encouraging students to consider what they know and want to know about the topic. Followed by an exploration of the concept on human rights and the declaration of human rights before students sort the human rights in order or importance for them.

lesson 1

Lesson 2 then looks at access to education in the UK since the 1800’s through the creation of a timeline which I previously shared here.lesson 2

Lesson 3 explores classrooms around the world. Students view the images here  and follow it up by completing the table to produce a comparison of education around the world. As part of the comparison students are encouraged to consider the reasons for the differences. Finally students reflect on what they discovered. I’d throw in a video or two as well.

lesson 3lesson 3 a

Lesson 4 students then investigate Malala’s story using a resource from ‘Lessons from Africa’. This lessons involves comprehension; students read the biography and answer the questions.

lesson 4

In lesson 5 and a bit, students watch ‘He Named Me Malala‘. Each time I taught this topic I had to sit at the back of the room with a box of tissues as I always cry!

Finally lesson 6 students play would you rather with a series of statements from the ‘Lessons from Africa’  resources before preparing for a class debate to answer the question…

“Would you rather put your life at risk for something you believe in, or live in safety but without a voice?”

If you think the booklet and resource will be of any use to you, please feel free to download it by clicking the image below.

download here

If you download and use the booklet, do let me know how it goes. Feedback is always welcome.

Best wishes,

Mrs Humanities

 


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Resource – Paper 3 Question, Mark Scheme and Answer Advice Match UP

Recently I put together an activity that involved my students looking at AQA paper 3 fieldwork questions, their mark schemes and answer advice. The feedback from the students was resoundingly positive and after some recent requests I thought I’d share it.

The card consisted of 6 questions, 6 mark schemes and 6 answer advice cards.

instructions

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Students were given the set of 6 questions from Paper 3, Section B on fieldwork and were asked to try and work out how many marks the question would be worth. Students were thinking about the command terms and the content of the question, their discussions effective at drawing out the purpose of the question.

Next they tried to match the mark schemes to the question.

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Finally they added the answer advice cards.

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We then went through the questions, the marks available and discussed how to answer them before finally answering the questions for themselves.

 

To download an editable copy click here below

download here

 

Hope you can find it of use.

Mrs Humanities

 


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New Post Series – #MyWellbeingHero

my wellbeing heroAs part of the #Teacher5adayBuddyBox scheme, we’re launching a series of posts entitled ‘My Wellbeing Hero’ and we want to hear from you.

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Who inspires you to look after yourself for a change?

Who makes you feel positive on those dark days?

Who promotes wellbeing across the school for staff and students?

Who makes you smile each day?

If you have someone to give a shout out to, get in touch by completing the #MyWellbeingHero form over at Teacher5adayBuddyBox.com. 

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Here are some for inspiration…

My Wellbeing Hero by Lorette Ashwell
My Wellbeing Hero By Mrs Humanities

Hope to hear from many of you soon.

Mrs Humanities

 


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Mrs Humanities shares… 5 strategies for developing independent learners

mrs humanities shares

Are we doing too much for our learners? This question has plagued me a lot recently.

I’ve seen hundreds of fabulous resources that take the hard work out of learning for our students. That remove the responsibility from students to teacher. That take the independence from the learning process. That make them dependent on us, their teachers.

Now I’m sure many people will argue with me that it’s a result of increased scrutiny; the unrealistic performance management targets; the use of target grades etc. Which are all completely valid arguments and I agree, but it still scares me that so many teachers are doing so much for their students. Things that take away their students responsibility and independence in the learning process.

Things like case study guides with all of the content students need, completed knowledge organisers, again with all of the content students need. Completed exam questions, so students can learn to replicate. Revision booklets again with all of the content. It all worries me.

I’ve never hidden the fact that I facilitate learning, that my aim as a teacher is to make my students as independent as possible in my classroom and in their learning. That I want my students to leave school being able to learn for themselves; to be able to critically analyse and evaluate; to design and create; to research effectively; to be responsible for their own learning; to want to continue learning after compulsory education.

I’ve created numerous posts on developing independent learners such as these

Developing Independent Learners – Help Yourself Display and Resource Station

Developing Independent Learners – Seating Plans

Developing Independent Learners – Attempts at Flipped Learning

Developing Independent Learners

Developing Independent Learners – Independent Learning Projects

Developing Independence in the Humanities Classroom

Although my practices have evolved and changed over the last 4-5 years, developing independent learners is still at the core of my teaching.

Some ways I approach ‘developing independence’ are as follows

1 // ‘Help Yourself’ stations

I’m a big believer that students should learn to take responsibility for their progress and learning. That we should facilitate them in any way we can to help and support them but at the end of the day, we don’t sit their exams. That’s down to them.

Here’s some further reading from Tom Rogers if you’re interested

Anyway, whilst I do differentiate for students individual needs I also believe that students need to be able to identify when they need support and should develop the ability to be able to work out for themselves what that support looks like.

Therefore in my classrooms for the last 4 years, there have been a ‘help yourself’ areas or stations. This is an area where students can find resources that can support them in a variety of ways. For instance students can find sentence starter mats to help get them started with a variety of extended writing tasks, topic platemats/knowledge organisers that provide the key content of topics (see below for more details), blank maps, atlases, peer and self assessment sheets, note taking templates, timeline sheets and the list goes on. All of which students can help themselves to in order to help them with the tasks they are undertaking.

Initially I will direct students to particular support and overtime encourage them to help themselves to the resource they feel appropriate. Usually as students start to recognise their areas of ‘weakness’ they can independently select the appropriate support strategy.

Read more on ‘Help Yourself’ stations in my original post here.

2 // Project Breakdown

I start year 7 with a homework project that is broken up into smaller chunks, each with their own deadline. We cover map and atlas skills to ensure all students embark on the rest of their geographical learning with the basic skills required.

Student’s therefore complete a project as homework over the course of the first term on a European country of their choice. Each chunk of the project fits with the work covered in class allowing the students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they developed in the lesson.

The breaking down of the project into chunks develops students time management skills and teaches them to break down a project over time to ensure they do not complete other projects just before the deadline.

Over time these breakdowns are removed so students can independently carry out projects without the haste of

3 // Blank or Basic Knowledge Organisers (AKA Placemats, Knowledge Mats etc.)

I’ve seen knowledge organisers with the entire topic on one sheet. All the content a student needs to know. It makes me question why the student needs to listen, to participate in the lesson, to do the tasks set by their teacher. If they have everything they need to know in front of them, surely it encourages students to ‘switch off’. Some may argue that students have KOs in order to then apply the knowledge, but I fear this reduces their ability to retrieve information.

I prefer to use KOs or placemats as they were originally intruduced to me to provide a basic outline of the content students generally struggle with.

For Geography for instance I often find students confuse the 3 tectonic plate boundaries and find it hard to visualise convection currents.

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In History it tended to be the sequence of events, names and places.

placemat History.png

Therefore I created a basic visual summary for my students to collect if they so desired. These mats would consist again of the very basics to support my learners.

I also encourage students to create their own KOs at KS5 and hope to implement this into KS4 in due course. In order for my KS5 students to do this I’ve created KO sheets with blank boxes, except for a question or statement in which they respond to in order to collate the knowledge they need to demonstrate thus retrieving and revising the content for use later on.

KO ks5

KO ks5 2

4 // Revision

I refuse to give students the content they need to know in the form of a booklet or similar in order to revise from. Sorry, but they should get that from lessons, why else bother going to lessons if it’s not to learn the content?!

Instead for I provide a variety of resources to support my students.

To start with for each topic students receive an AfL grids with an outline of the topic content. At the start of the topic students self-assess their prior knowledge and then at the end their understanding of the topic in order to highlight the areas for future revision.

Then in regards to revision of the content I’ve created how to revise guides to help students to develop an ongoing approach to revision as well as teaching retrieval strategies and exam technique in class.

In addition I’ve created case study templates for students to complete to summarise the case studies and examples explored. To support revision these have been combined into a case study and exam question booklet so students can also apply the content to exam style questions.

gcse revision

All these strategies require my students to do the work and be responsible for their own learning and progress. I’ve provided the resources, taught the content and given them the support they need to succeed but it’s up to them to actually learn what they need to know for the exam.

5 // Inquiry/Enquiry based learning

At my school we have a real ethos for developing inquirers. I love that we do loads of inquiry based learning across the school. Students get to question, research and develop their curiosity throughout.

In KS3, at the start of each unit, my students write down questions. These questions influence my planning, the resources I use and the lesson objectives over the course of the topic. Students are the driving force of the lesson content. I teach the same year group the same topic to reach the same outcomes but the approach varies dependent on the class questions.

Now that I’m settled in my ‘new’ school for a full year, I’ve seen the progression students make through this approach. Enquiry truly develops their curiosity and interest; they constantly challenge me to further my subject knowledge and keep it up to date as their questions get us exploring aspects I’ve missed in the past or thought not relevant when planning schemes of work.

Through their questioning comes exploration, analysis and evaluation; deepening their understanding and I love it.

How do you develop independence in your learners? Feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – How to Revise in Geography

how to revise

Inspired by Greg Thornton’s post on How do we revise for history? which I recommended in my post on Mrs Humanities shares… 5 Epic History Revision Resources I decided to make a resource for my Geography students.

I’ve taken a slightly different approach, giving a range of approaches to revision but thought it might be useful for others as well.

At the bottom of the page you can download a version for GCSE and IB Geography.

how to revise in geography

how to revise geography

page 3

page 4

page 5

Each idea or method has a link or two offered with it that will allow students to access apps or resources to support them.

To download a PDF version for GCSE click the image below.

download here

To download a PDF version for IB Geography click the image below

I’ve also added a generic editable version on TES here – https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/how-to-revise-in-insert-subject-guidance-sheet-11852796

Hope you find and your students find it of use.

Mrs Humanities


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Mrs Humanities shares… 5 note taking strategies

mrs humanities shares

One of my aims for the coming September is to start the school year with my sixth form students looking at different approaches to note taking.

At present my common experience is that students write down the majority of the information on the board whilst adding a few additional notes from our verbal discussion. Not that there is anything wrong with this but I feel confident I can help them to create better notes and use class time more effectively.

Therefore I’ve been doing some research in note taking strategies and thought I’d share a few with you. All of these I will be exploring with my year 12 students in September before helping them to choose a suitable approach.

1 // Cornell method

The page is split into 3 sections, prompts, notes and summary.

cornell2

Prompts – key terminology from the lesson, questions, dates, names etc. that can be reviewed at a later date

Notes – main notes are taken here

Summary – students review the notes and resources after the lesson and summarise. Key points are highlighted ready for revision.

cornell example

2 // Outline method

With this method, students indent their notes with each step becoming more specific. They can split the page into three columns like so.

indent

General information – brief, concise notes on the general content of the lesson

Specifics – concise notes on the specifics of the lesson

Details and examples – facts, stats and specifics to be included here along with any examples or comparisons given

The end product may look something like this…

indent example

or this…

indent 2.png

3 // Highlight and annotate

Before the lesson students will print off the PowerPoint slides or download the PowerPoint to their personal device if they use one. Then quite simply, rather than trying to copy down notes from the board and resources that are provided in advance, students simply listen and annotate them. All too often I find students copying down information that I’ve already provided them with online in advance of the lesson, therefore more time can be spent of using lesson time to deepen their knowledge and understanding through higher thinking tasks, debate and discussion.

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4 // Flow based method

The flow based method requires students to write down the main ideas rather than paragraphs and sentences, similar to mind-mapping. Once initial notes are written down, students connect ideas, concepts and specifics by drawing connecting arrows to associated content, key terms and diagrams. This method forces students to consider the inter-connectivity of what they are learning and bring in knowledge from outside the lesson. This form of note-taking is very personal and demonstrates the students flow of thinking.

flow example

This method can easily be turned into a visual format as well.

5 // During-After method

The during-after method involves students splitting the page into two columns like so.

DA

During – students take notes on the content.

After – students write questions either during or after the lesson to test their understanding of the content after the lesson.

DA example

Final Thoughts

For me the key point of these methods will be that students review their notes after the lesson in some way; whether it be summarising, self-testing or simply reviewing their notes. It’s vital that students use and return to their notes regularly.

Hope you’ve grabbed an idea or two. Feel free to provide further suggestions in the comments.

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My Wellbeing Hero

my wellbeing hero

There are some people you meet in the world that have a lasting effect on you; some positive, others well not quite so positive. To celebrate the amazing people out there helping us all to look after ourselves, I’m starting a short series of #MyWellbeingHero posts.

I thought I’d start with someone that has had profound an effect on me, I won’t say who they are as there are some personal details but they will know it is them.

Who is your wellbeing hero?

We will call her Ms A…. A for awesome.

Give 3 words to describe them.

Inspiring. Brave. Positive.

How have they helped to improve your wellbeing?

This person makes me think. They inspire me to look after my wellbeing and that of others. They’ve helped me to see the impact #Teacher5adayBuddyBox has had and makes the work involved totally worth every single minute of it.

What makes…

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