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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Mrs Humanities reviews… ‘Becoming an Outstanding Geography Teacher’.

Mrs Humanities reviews...

In November 2017, I met Mark Harris at a Teach Meet. Since then, I’ve read his book ‘Becoming an Outstanding Geography Teacher’. It’s been an interesting read; much of which I agree with so it’s nice to hear others saying the same thing.

book cover.png

The book starts by exploring the concept of outstanding teaching before discussing planning for progress and lesson design.

As I read the first 3 chapters I found myself highlighting multiple parts to share with my department, to reflect upon or to note for future reference. A lot of the theory I agreed with. In particular I liked the fact that this book recognises that outstanding teachers aren’t outstanding all the time or at everything.

“It’s important to realise that not every lesson you teach will be outstanding, and there is nothing wrong with this.” Mark Harris

Chapter 2 I found of most interest; this chapter explored designing and developing a sequence of lessons. The key focus here is that we should begin with the end in mind to enable us to have a clear vision of the skills and knowledge our students must acquire to be successful. This chapter encourages the reader to reflect on the geographical skills, knowledge and understanding that set the foundations for our subject, courses and curriculum and to consider how assessment can take place.

planning for progress

Figure 2.2 above from page 9 of ‘Becoming an Outstanding Geography Teacher’ summarised effectively the process in which I went through in planning a Humanities curriculum a few years ago. If you are currently renewing or planning a geography curriculum this chapter is really useful.

Chapter 3 then explores lesson planning through a series of stages and highlights the importance of planning for learning rather than how you plan to teach. A key point I never really learnt until my third year of teaching as I designed a new curriculum from scratch. It’s important to learn this early on to maximise the impact of your teaching. New teachers will find this chapter invaluable; improving teachers will find it useful yet the more effective practitioners may find it of little use.

From chapter 4 to chapter 13, I felt this book came into its own with its wide variety of ideas and strategies to develop one’s practice. These chapters look at a variety of good practice associated with questioning, differentiation, geographical enquiry, literacy and numeracy. Later followed by strategies for teaching A level, marking for progress and homework.

Some of my favourites included…

  • the chapter on ‘Marking for Progress’ (No surprise!) and the idea of the progress wheel which pretty much a simplified version of my before and after topic reflection sheets.
  • the introduction to flipped learning and the ‘Flipped Learning sheet’ which could easily be created and adapted to one’s desired uses.
  • the chapter on ‘How to create curiosity and teach geography through enquiry’ which takes the reader through the process of creating an enquiry.

Whilst I felt a lot of it I already applied to my practice. Overall there’s plenty to influence the practice of the newbie teacher or the improving teacher; there’s a lot to be learnt from the book and plenty to inspire.

It’s a book I’ll encourage my department to read.

To grab your own copy click here.

If you’ve read it, share your thoughts.

Mrs Humanities