Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job.


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Mrs Humanities shares… the 10 most viewed posts of 2018

2018 was quite an incredible year for me, it went from being offered a book deal to appearing on BBC Breakfast. In 2016, when I went through depression and a breakdown, I could barely envisage a future in teaching, to be able to use the experience to help others has been life changing for me. But I’m not here to talk about that but you can read more in my review of 2018 here.

What I am sharing in this post are the top 5 most viewed posts of 2018. They were bloomin’ popular. So here goes…

1 // Resource – GCSE Case Study and Exam Question Revision Booklet

In this post I shared a revision booklet to facilitate student independence in the revision process. Designed for AQA Geography but easily adaptable for other specifications.

The booklet provided students with a list of case studies, templates to summarise the case studies and exam questions to apply the content. With over 5,000 downloads of the booklet, I hope it’s helped students (and teachers) across the country.

2 // Resource – How to Revise in Geography

Creeping in just behind was the ‘How to Revise in Geography’ guide. 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. It clearly hasn’t just been of benefit to my students, with almost 5,000 downloads of the document I’m hoping it’s been of help to many young people beyond my own classroom and school.

3 // Mrs Humanities shares… 10 Great Geography Revision Resources

I’m starting to see a theme now. Clearly revision has been on the minds of many this year. Perhaps it’s the pressure of accountability measures, maybe the tougher nature of the new 9-1 exams or maybe teachers just want to improve their student’s approach to revision, either way most popular post number 3 was another revision one. This time I shared and highlighted the work of a range of Geography teachers from the Twittersphere including
@teachgeogblog , @Jennnnnn_x , @InternetGeog , @GeoNewbz  and other. Many of these I have made use of in my own classroom.

4 // Zombie Apocalypse Atlas and Map Skills SoW

This one is always a popular post. In it I have shared resources to the scheme of work I produced to develop and embed atlas and map skills through the scenario of a zombie apocalypse. I’ve taught it a couple of times and every time it has been loved by the students.

I’ve seen it (via twitter and emails) used in classrooms across the world, which is incredible. It’s been adapted into other languages (Welsh and Chinese) and has been download over 40,000 times since I first published it back in Autumn 2015.

5 // Resource – Differentiation Strategies CPD

Next up was a resource I produced to support teacher training on differentiation. The presentation provides a variety of tried and tested strategies for differentiation and scaffolding to support and challenge students. You can even download the ready-to-go PowerPoint presentation.

6 // Mrs Humanities shares… 5 Whole Class Feedback Examples

Unsurprisingly the next few most read posts of 2018 are associated with feedback and marking. In this one, I shared 5 examples of whole class feedback to support teachers, departments and schools making the move from marking to feedback.

7 // My Marking and Feedback Toolkit

Since publishing this post in January 2017, it’s been a popular one. In this post I share the strategies that make up my marking and feedback toolkit. I tried and tested a range of strategies over a couple of years to find what worked best for me, my style of teaching and most importantly my students. In that time I changed schools and had to start again with the narrowing down process but it didn’t take me long to find what worked. This post goes on to highlight those 5 strategies.

8 // Mrs Humanities shares… 6 Epic History Revision Resources

Back to revision again, this one shared 6 epic resources for revision in History. I no longer teach history but I do like to keep up with pedagogical developments and resource sharing just in case I ever return to it. This post needs up-dating as I’ve seen many more fantastic resources since I first posted it, that will happen in due course I promise.*

*but please don’t hold me accountable if I do completely forget 🙂

9 // Marking, feedback and DIRT

This is one of my first posts on marking and feedback from way back in June 2015. The area of interest has come along way since then, but it’s a great post for those new to the profession or those being introduced to the idea of #feedbackNOTmarking.

In the post I share a range of strategies I’d tried in order to improve feedback but reduce workload. These then made up part of a CPD session for new and current staff at the school I was working at. The post also provides a downloadable resource with all the strategies included.

10 // Mrs Humanities shares… 10 fantastic displays for the Humanities

The final most popular post of the 10 was this one where I shared 10 fantastic display ideas for Humanities. The post shared 10 great examples of displays I’d come across on Twitter from the likes of @mrsrgeog @sehartsmith @MrJPteach  @EduCaiti and several more.

And that sums up this post on the 10 most popular posts of 2018. Hope you’ve found something of use and inspiration this year. Thank you for the continued support throughout 2018.

Best wishes for 2019.


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Resource – GCSE Revision G.Y.M

This is a project I’ve been meaning to do for a while now to support revision and recall inspired by Jen Monk’s ‘Geog your memory’ resource.

The idea is that through the use of a mail merge you create a variety of ‘geog your memory’ resources which can be used at the end or throughout the course.

It’s nothing fancy but super easy to do.

First create your template in word.

Next create your spreadsheet and collate your questions in whatever order suits you and your needs. I’ve done it mixed to support revision with my year 11 class. I’ve used the sample paper questions and created some of my own to test student knowledge and recall.

Next is the mail merge. These are super easy once you get the hang of it.

Here’s a step by step guide.

Step 1 – Data Source

Open up your template in word. Go to the ‘Mailings’ tab and click on the ‘Start Mail Merge’ icon. Select ‘Normal Word Document’. Then go to ‘Select Recipients’ as shown below. Select the option ‘Use an Existing List’. This will open up a the ‘Select data source’ window. Just find your excel spreadsheet in your files and select OK.

Step 2 – Inserting your data

Next you want to add the data to your mail merge. Place your cursor where you want to insert information. You can see I’ve clicked in the first definition box. Once your cursor is placed, click on the ‘Insert Merge Field’. Then from the dropdown list select the data option you want to insert.

Insert the fields into the remainder of your document.

Step 3 – Finish and Merge

Once your data fields are inserted into the template document you’ll want to merge the data into the file. Click on the ‘Finish & Merge’ icon. From the drop down menu select ‘Edit Individual Documents’.

When the pop-up opens, select ‘All’ and press OK.

This will open up a new document with all of your data inserted into several versions of the original template.

And there you have it, a whole selection of ‘Geog your memory’ sheets for students.

If you don’t want to make your own, guess what I made some for you to download and amend. Download the Word Template, the Excel Spreadsheet of questions for AQA Geography and the document with 30+ GYM sheets ready-to-go by clicking the button below.

Hope you find the resources and tutorial useful.


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Mrs Humanities shares… Simulation Games for Geography

I was recently searching for GIS resources when I came across an old document I had about the use of simulation games in Geography. I haven’t used them for a long while (since my PGCE) so thought I’d take a look at what is out there now and share some useful ones with you. 

Disaster Master

Suitable for Key Stage 2 and 3.

Each disaster starts with a comic strip style introduction before a question is asked and a decision is to be made. Depending on the option chosen, students earn points. 

The game takes students through a range of scenarios and solutions, giving them insight into the hazard and management. 

Stop Disasters

Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.

This game is provided by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Through a range of scenarios and levels students develop an understanding of the risks posed by natural hazards.

Students can choose between tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods. 

Once a hazard has been selected players can choose a scenario from numerous regions of the world allowing students to compare countries of different stages of development. 

The game then takes the player through a scenario in which they have to respond through careful planning and preparation. With limited funds students have to consider how to spend the money effectively. 

2050 Energy Calculator

Suitable for Key Stage 4 and 5.

This is an interactive game created by the Department for Energy and Climate Change that allows students to explore scenarios to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. 

Students explore supply and demand as well as energy security, air quality and costs in this simulation. It provides effective insight into future energy challenges. 

FloodSim

Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.

This simulation aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding flood policy and management. During the game students are put in control of flood policy in the UK for three years. They must decide on how much money to spend on defenses, where to build houses and how to keep the public informed all whilst remaining in budget. 

They are required to weigh up the pros and cons of flood management against the potential impacts. 

Climate Bathtub Simulation 

Suitable for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

A very simple interactive simulation game, the climate bathtub simulation teaches several principles regarding the dynamics of the global carbon cycle and climate change. It helps students to understand how changes in carbon dioxide emissions will affect levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Energy Saving Game

Suitable for Key Stage 2

In this game students explore the home for potential energy efficiency improvements and answer quiz questions to lower a house’s energy use.

Other games I’ve not tried

Fate of the World  – Climate Change Simulation

ElectroCity – Urban Management Game

Eco – Decision making game 

EarthGames


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Mrs Humanities shares… Education Room 101

After speaking to the lovely Kate Jones (@87History) I was inspired to write a Room 101 post. I’m sure many of you will remember the show; celebrities get to banish their pet hates to room 101.

Definitely can be applied to education. So here’s 5 things I would add.

1) Marking Policies.

There are the ridiculous, the absurd and the downright extensive. Triple marking, a myriad of colours, extensive dialogue… the lists go on. Marking needs to be meaningful, manageable and motivating. In fact, the focus should move away from marking and promote feedback in all its forms. #feedbackNOTmarking

2) Fieldtrips

I know, I know… fieldtrips are fantastic for students. They develop skills, confidence and application of knowledge. But… they are so stressful and time consuming. They literally induce panic in me, even when I’m not the trip leader the stress and anxiety is unbearable.
I guess this one should really say paperwork for fieldtrips as actually I love seeing students in a completely different setting. I love seeing them apply what they learn in the classroom. I love seeing them work together, challenge each other and support one another. Could we do them without all the paper work and responsibility? If we could I and many others like me would find them far less anxiety inducing. 

3) The trad vs. prog debate.

Most teachers don’t even know the debate exists. It’s pretty isolated to the EduTwittersphere. Why do we have to pick a side? Can’t we all just do what works for us, our students and our context? What works for one person, won’t for another. Let’s agree to disagree. Easy really.

4) Teacher Guilt

Teacher guilt, it’s inevitable. Whether it’s a permanent reminder of the career you have chosen or something that comes and goes through the school year (lucky you if you’re the latter), teacher guilt is experienced by everyone at some point. Teacher guilt is exhausting. If you allow it to start, it can take over every waking minute. You have to block it out. Making the effort to give yourself a break from the list of things that you could always be doing is hard. It takes willpower but in the end your students will benefit more from a healthy, happy teacher than a burnout, unenthusiastic one. You have to be the best you can be for your students and yourself. Take time for you and lock the teacher guilt away. 

5) Wellbeing days/CPD

Wellbeing, it’s a focus for many of us. I’ve heard from numerous leaders that if you improve the wellbeing of your staff and the rest looks after it self… or something like that. That’s great but do we really need ‘wellbeing’ activities forced upon us? Why waste an hour after school or a whole CPD on it? I just don’t understand it, yet I keep hearing of more and more events like this. Make those days or meeting productive time for staff to get the things done that they need to rather than forcing them into activities that should improve their wellbeing without the time to get the important things done. 

If you want to improve the wellbeing of your staff it starts with workload, simple as. Remove the unnecessary admin and record keeping. Reduce the data drops. Amend the reporting policy. Give autonomy to departments. Create a centralised reward and sanction system. Minimise workload so teachers can focus on what’s important, the teaching, that’s how you improve staff wellbeing. 

 

What would you put into Room 101? 

 


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Resource – Learning to Revise Guide for KS3

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work on revision and recall; primarily this arose from a number of concerns students expressed last year about not knowing how to revise. 

To support my students,  in February 2018 I was inspired to create a ‘How to Revise in Geography‘ booklet for Key Stage 4 and 5 students. I have two versions of the booklet one suited to AQA GSCE Geographers and another for IBDP Geographers. 

Last year I also covered a few different revision techniques with my form group to help them prepare for assessments. However I didn’t think to make them a ‘how to revise’ guide until more recently. 

I was spurred on a when a colleague mentioned that another might be in contact soon to discuss revision support for Key Stage 3. Consequently I figured a booklet for Key Stage 3 might be of use. 

The terminology is similar but less technical and it has far fewer strategies than in my GCSE and IB version but I hope it will be just as useful for suggesting suitable strategies for Key Stage 3. 

Click the download button to get an editable copy.

Hope you can make use of it with your students. 


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Update: Thank you for voting

Update: Voting has now closed. Thank you for voting.

I’m super excited to be nominated for the UK Blog Awards for the third time. In order to make it through the finals, I need a little help from you lovely readers.

If you wouldn’t mind from now (14th November) until the 21st December could you please take a moment or two to vote for Mrs Humanities. The entry is under my ‘real’ name Victoria Hewett.

To vote simply click here, find my name (Victoria Hewett / Mrs Humanities) and click on the red heart. If you like you can read my entry information by clicking on the “i“.

*Please note, there is only one vote per person per category, so pick me (please) 🙂

UK Blog Awards #UKBA19 #UKBlogChat #UKBlogAwards #MrsHumanities

A massive thank you from me in advance!

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Welcome to GCSE Geography

Yesterday I shared this post on twitter and since then I’ve had a number of requests for a copy of the document.

I’ve amended it slightly to make it more generic and adaptable for other schools to make use of.

welcome to GCSE Geograpy #AQAGeography

You can download a copy by clicking the button below.

download here

Don’t forget I’ve also uploaded a range of revision materials for students and teachers to make use of.

Resource – How to Revise in Geography
Resource – Assessment for Learning Booklet AQA Geography
Resource – GCSE Case Study and Exam Question Revision Booklet
Resource – AQA Revision Booklet adaption by @MrTomlinsonGeog

Hope you can make use of this resource and the others.

Best wishes,

Mrs Humanities

 


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Resource – Engaging with Research Action Planning Sheet

engage with research (1)Recently I put a shout out to see if anyone had an action plan template to support teachers to engage with research. After having little luck I decided to make my own.

sheet.JPG

To start with the user should consider what they want to achieve exactly to develop the ‘big picture’. Next link that to the school or subject development plan.

Baseline indicators are anything that would provide a base line to measure from such as student starting points, progress data, attitude to learning scores/grades or confidence levels. Anything that helps the user to measure success or impact.

The measures of success are simply what the user will measure afterwards to demonstrate an impact.

This is followed by identifying areas of further investigation such as theories, case studies or ideas. This section encourages the user to consider who may be able to help them find out more and the variety of sources that could be used.

The final section is the research journey an outline of what will be implemented, tested and how it will be carried out before an outline of the expected results.

Here’s mine for my PD research this year:

Example.JPG

If you’d like a copy click the download button below.

download here

 

Hope you can make use of it.

Mrs Humanities

 

 

 

 


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Resource – Lagos Redevelopment DME

resourceA simple activity that stimulates students abilities to make informed decisions in preparation for AQA Paper 3. Students are given resources on the redevelopment of the waterfront of Lagos in order to make a decision on whether the waterfront redevelopment should take place. After discussion students answer the exam style question.

tasksources

There are a wide range of videos that could be shown to the class alongside the resources to develop their understanding of the redevelopment.

Some suggestions include

EKO ATLANTIC Lagos Nigeria. Whats Inside??

Residents of Nigeria’s floating slum thrive

Lagos: Evicted slum-dwellers demand right to return

Download the resources by clicking below.

download here

 

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Be the IDEAL Geographer

resourceAt the start of the academic year, in the first lesson I like to give a brief introduction of myself to my classes, a little about me and my expectations of them. The register is taken and then straight on with setting them up for learning.

One of the things I go through in my introductions are expectations, those I have of them and that they should have of themselves.

I haven’t changed my introduction for the last 2 years so thought I’d change things a little, thus came up with ‘Be the IDEAL Geographer’. I’m figuring that across the key stages I can make reference to it regularly, are you being an IDEAL Geographer?

Be IDEAL.PNG

Any way, it’s one of those resources that can easily be amended to suit your school or other disciplines, scientist, historian, mathematician etc. So here is an editable version for you. Click on the image below to download it.

download here

Please do share your recreations of it via twitter or share a link to it in the comments.

(Note: The comment on inquiry questions is associated with the IB curriculum. More info on ACE discussions/questionning here)

Mrs Humanities