Friday, February 4, 2011

Wunderground-an awesome resource for Geography teachers

Has anyone spent much time on Basically a massive collection of weather data from thousands of weather stations. Do yourself a favour and search for your city and then click on the Wundermap-they have overlaid a Google Map image with data from local weather stations. Click on the icons to get more detailed info from that station. Well worth a visit-pass along to your Geography teachers!

Pretoria page of Wunderground

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mr Campbell-Atkins' English Laptop class-Review Here!

Greetings writers and readers! Mr CA wants you to read one of the books he has recommended and comment on it in the space below. Just click on "Comment" and enter the title of the book you read and what you think of it. Remember that this blog has been set up as a resource to help other students decided if they want to read a book in the library. So make sure you describe what the book is about-but not so much that you give the ending away! Then tell us what you think of the book? Would you recommend it to a friend, or do you think they would have more fun watching reality television?!? Go for it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Symbological shacks and secret twilights...

Koreans and locals playing chess. Boys with iPods tackling algebra. Regulars “dissing” each other about girls, studies and The Journey. In other words just your average late afternoon in the school library here at St Alban’s. So...getting boys to read. Yeah...right. Search strategies, website evaluation, web tools-absolutely. Boys are easily engrossed by anything tech-oriented. But getting them “hooked on books” is a whole different ball game. Four books give me hope. These are:
The da Vinci code
The Secret
The shack
Are your reactions to these titles also mixed? What could possibly link such a diverse and .....interesting....selection of books? Easy-they’re viral. boys wanted to read these books because everyone was talking about them. They were, hands down, the most popular titles in the library over the past three years. Apart from the fact that they don’t have much in common, the other striking similarity is that they are not really the kind of books one would expect boys to be keen on. Symbologists...New Age self-help manuals....romantic vampires-not the kind of thing one associates with boys who want action, adventure and bloodshed.
And what’s more, these books were popular with boys who could be classified as reluctant readers. The bottom line is that-unless a boy has a physical reading problem-he can be persuaded to read. To (mis)quote Lance Armstrong-It’s not about the book. It’s bout the packaging. What kind of context are we creating to persuade boys to tackle a book? Popularity is one draw card, but there should be a host of others. When one teacher recommended Chariots of the gods by Erich von Daniken (aliens visit earth!) I had at least ten boys asking for the book. I know when a teacher who is passionate about their subject waves a book around in class the possibility of boys wanting to read that title increases dramatically. So here’s a blog to create part of that context for reading. Here’s the perfect spot for you to “wave round” something you have read that you think other St Alban’s guys will enjoy. Let the book rave commence!