Netanyahu is fighting against an eight-party coalition to hold onto power, and the author suggests that a Two State solution has long passed. Are Israelis and Palestinians able to put all behind them for a one-state solution?
We know it is excellent practice for students to write formatively. The down side of course is the huge amount of marking that it creates if every week you have to mark every essay for every student for every class. Say goodbye to your weekend!
For senior classes who need to practise handwriting essays under time constraints in preparation for exams, I get them to write formative essays quite regularly but tell them that I am only going to focus on one or two of the following aspects – and they are absolutely NOT going to be getting ‘a mark’ – they will get comments.
- Topic sentences
- Plan (and adherence to it)
- Specific historical information / examples
- Highlight each place where you used key words from the question
- Highlight / comment where you tried to improve based on comments from last week
- Bibliography – format, academic, used in text etc.
The other way of marking essays is peer marking. Using the criteria used in the exam, get students in groups of 3-4 to mark and comment on each others’, then give feedback. This one is best done with prior warning: it is a great incentive for a little bit more attention if they know their peers will be seeing it. And they are often far more critical on things like handwriting than we ever are! Only after they have had some experience in marking work they are not emotionally invested in do I get them to mark and comment on their own.
As far as questions go, again I structure it from me giving the specific question, to ‘come up with an appropriate question on …’ until towards the end of the course it is even less structured ‘These are the syllabus requirements: you give me a plan of what and when you will be writing essays and what aspect you want me to look at.’
What I am aiming for is a self-sufficiency that will see them able to construct a study plan for when they are at university and the ability to be self-critical. Of course, the last few revision weeks before exams I will mark and comment on everything that they submit.
I hope this gets your students working, and gives you some spare time!
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I had a great lesson today as part of our unit on Australian identity. After looking at Aussie stereotypes I wanted them to go home and find 3-5 amazing Australians they had never heard of. I was impressed with the range of people they came up with and the depth of detail they had written down, so I found a fillable knockout tournament sheet and we proceeded to judge who we thought was the greatest Australian from our list.
Initially in groups of four, two presented their great Australian while the other two decided who they thought was the greater. Any ties was initially sorted by ‘surrender’ (your person deserves to win) or else decided by the classroom’s Final Arbiter (who did not need to be consulted).
The winners of each group found their next opponent and took with them their vanquished first round opponent. This continued through to the semi-final stage, when the last four presented in front of the whole class.
The final was between William Lawrence Bragg (x-ray analysis of crystals, DNA) and Fred Hollows (eye care/surgery, especially in indigenous communities). Representing Bragg was a tall, eloquent, Australian member of the school debating team versus a shy and quiet Indonesian girl who was so excited that ‘she’ won. This was an unexpected bonus out of the activity!
‘The Greatest Australian You’ve Never Heard Of’ – Year 9 History
(How typical is Hollows as a ‘great Aussie’? He was actually born in NZ…)
When I started my first leadership role (Pastoral Care Coordinator) my Principal told me that ‘time is never wasted if you’re talking with someone.’ She went on to tell me that as a leader in the school, I had a responsibility for both staff and students. It was great advice – while my job description talked mostly about my interactions with students, it was obviously impossible to provide pastoral care for 1000 students on my own. I had to have the staff with me. It was a great learning for me on how to balance being a leader of staff, students, captains and also continuing my role in the classroom.
Fast forward a few years and I hit upon the ideal way to unobtrusively provide pastoral care to my team, this time as the Head of Humanities: chocolate! On Friday afternoons, during report writing or just days when the wheels were getting squeaky, out would come the trusty party packs of Mars bars or Cadburys (nut-free, of course… um, even the nut-free Toblerones or Ferrero Rochers!). Those teaching period 6 on Friday? There’s no way they miss out! Most of us taught with an open door, so it was easy to wander in to their classroom with a bag of chocolates, with one for the teacher and a few for whichever students most deserved one at the end of the lesson.
For those in the department who I didn’t share an office with it was also effective. Walking in and saying, ‘Hey, need a chocolate?’ is a very low-key way of saying ‘I know things are hectic, and I appreciate it. But it’s ok – tell me.’ Invariably, these members of the department had positions of responsibility and were near a secretary or two – and every teacher knows who really runs the school! Teachers get one chocolate, secretaries get two is the general rule (‘You’ll need one later’). And if a POR in an office gets the chocolate treatment, then the others who are around also get offered one. There are also often a couple of teachers who have a History/English load and are seated with their English colleagues. English teachers (or their helpers!) make the best cakes, so it was well worth reciprocating with the occasional chocolate!
What’s all this mean?
It is relationship building without forcing it. I’ve often felt it fake or forced when leaders do the rounds of the troops – I’m here, and I’m being seen to be around. (Yeah, I’m terrifically cynical…). But who isn’t bought off by chocolate at stressful times – especially when you work out people’s favourites and dig a dark Toblerone out of a Mars packet? You have remembered what they like, and that means you are listening. But it is even more important to be around during times of high stress.
Perhaps more importantly, when bad news needs to be given, or a quiet word, or a complaint raised, we have a relationship. Which actually has nothing to do with chocolate. We’ve talked. We’ve shared what is going on in our classes. We’ve talked about our kids or football or given each other abuse based on whatever point of difference. But it means the pointed fingers stay curled in our hands, our voices stay (mostly) jokey, or we can express frustration and the other knows the depth of our feeling. And we work out an amicable compromise. We apologise. We buy each other a drink on Friday afternoon. And we continue as effective colleagues. There is no us and them.
Did I set out to be a chocolate leader? Of course not – I’m just a generous sweet-tooth who figured if I was going to get fat I was going to take everyone with me!
The author has no current affiliation to any brands indicated in this post. He is more than willing to accept offers of sponsorship, however!
This series of posts is about the habits of teaching; the things we do every day; the strategies and attitudes that define our default mode. These are the characteristics of lessons that feel outstanding as soon as you walk in… no tricks, no gizmos, just embedded routine practice.
The first was about Probing Questions. This second post is about the general pitch and tone of a lesson. At KEGS ‘Rigour and Scholarship’ is our phrase of the moment, taken from our Zest for Learning jigsaw. It helps us to define the spirit of what we are trying to achieve and where we need to improve. The idea of rigour goes to the heart of what I have described as a ‘Total Philosophy of G&T’. In formal or drop-in observations, it is always true that great lessons are characterised…
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Use pages 58-63 of Pearson textbook to answer Questions 1-4.
Read the yellow box “Spotlight: The biggest estate on earth” on p. 63. Use it, the video above (and the extension video below if you wish [15 min long]) to answer the following question in about 150-200 words: Compare the management practices of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with those of contemporary management in Australia. Assess the sustainability of each.
This is Bill Gammage, who wrote a key book (The Greatest Estate on Earth) about Aboriginal land management. The first Europeans described what they saw as ‘parks’, but they never assumed that ‘wandering savages’ could have made such a thing. It is an interesting and different explanation of pre-European land use and management to what we tend to think about.
List as many words as you can think of to describe ‘environment’ or its components. [2 min]
How do humans use ‘the environment’ – ie the resources of the earth? Classify these resources as Renewable, Somewhat Renewable or Not Renewable.
Refer to this document. Outline how the earth functions as source, sink, service and spiritual.
What are some examples of these not listed in the document?
1. Finish the above.
2. Some ecosystem services are below. Give an example for each, and classify as source, sink, service or spirituality:
- Dispersing seeds
- Places for recreation and reflection
- Purifying the air, providing oxygen
- Moderating weather extremes
- Building and maintaining soil fertility
- Decomposing and dispersing waste
- Providing food and fibre
- Protection from river and coastal erosion
- Filtering water
- Plant pollination
- Providing shade
- Protection from UV rays
- Controlling farming pests
[If time … could you draw this? Feel free to do this if you wish, but no compulsion!]
In Geography this Semester we will look at:
Environmental Management and Change
Key Focus 1 – The human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability
Key Focus 2 – Urban environments: A comparative study of Australian and international eg’s
Geographies of Human Wellbeing
Key Focus 1 – Human Wellbeing
Key Focus 2 – Inequalities in Human Wellbeing
Key Focus 3 – Improving Human Wellbeing
8 groups of 3 to read from photocopy (Oxford Big Ideas – Geo 10, pp 6-12)
1 Place Space
2 Environment Interconnection
3 Scale Change
4 Place Environment
5 Space Scale
6 Interconnection Change
7 Sustainability Environment
8 Interconnection Sustainability
Answer these questions for your two conceptsin the table above:
- What is it?
- Does this concept have different categories?
- What do geographers study in relation to this concept?
- Why is this concept important?
Then, find someone who has a concept you need, and you have a concept they need. Share your answers. Discuss and clarify (go back to the handout if necessary)