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  • Teachers only

    Dear Paul,
    I know I have been making a nuisance of myself, but without much luck really.
    I am a teacher and now a student. I have set myself the task of learning about Antarctica because I would like to teach my students about it properly. I was wondering if you know of any web sites which might link me with someone who is presently in Antarctica...I know it's May and activity there is probably not high. I would like to establish a correspondence between my students and someone there now. I know it won't be a direct link but perhaps a link through e-mails so that students can compose their own letters and I can e-mail them on the students' behalf.
    I would like a response because in Australia we are currently at the beginning of the second teaching term and I don't want to lose any teaching time. I don't know what's happening in your part of the world.
    Thank you for your time.
    psr

  • #2
    Re: Calling all students...

    Hi psr,

    "How do I contact someone in Antarctica" is one of the commonest questions I get asked that I can't answer.

    Well, I could answer it, but I'm not prepared to give out the emails of people I know are in Antarctica right now. There are a few records on the web of Q&A sessions between a school class and someone in Antarctica, but the scarcity shows how difficult it is to arrange (and how popular it is for people who are south!).

    The fact is that people who are south are too busy or not inclined to spend time answering questions from school pupils. Most of the questions are identical each time or variations on a theme. These common questions are answered on this site - I get others emailed from pupils every now and then, and they go on the list for when I add new pages.

    I appreciate that most teachers work hard for their classes and are prepared to go that extra mile - and more. But if you want direct contact, your best bet is to contact someone before they leave for Antarctica (no I can't help there either - sorry!) .

    I could answer questions according to the timetables of others (usually, they want the answer yesterday), but I have an awful lot planned too, and again most questions are repeats and are already answered on this site (but not always looked for).

    The best realistic way of getting an idea of life for someone in Antarctica now is to see some of the blogs here:

    http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarc...unications.htm

    This might sound a bit blunt, but it's the way it is. In Antarctica, people are about as interested in "outreach" to schools as they would be back home - i.e. generally they're not.

    There's also the issue that I've put myself out to publish something on the site for several people who "need it quick" a number of times with the promise of worksheets, lesson plans, feedback etc. but have never had anything in return.

    I therefore work according to my own timetable. There's more than enough resources here to be going on with for now and as it seems that teachers in general are not prepared to share, it's up to me, so I set the schedule . If it fits yours - great, if not - ask for your money back.

    This is not necessarily all relevant to you psr, but a generic answer that I know will be accessed by many teachers who are looking for free stuff.

    Paul

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Teachers only

      Dear Paul,
      Thank you very much for your quick reply. To say that I am not heartbroken would be a lie. I guess I should have been a little less naive and self-centred. For a while I assumed that the entire world and much of the solar system revolved around me and my class. Well, I know that it doesn't. All I can say is, "Oh well, better luck next time!" I guess if I was there I wouldn't want to talk to anyone either.
      In response to your message, I have actually checked out as much of the coolantarctica website as my fossilised computer will allow, and I know I have only scraped the surface. This is the second year that I teach about Antarctica and I wish I had found this website before.
      I am currently putting together a resource kit for our school about Antarctica including a teaching program for a year 5 class. Please note that I will be naming this website as a must-see link to all things Antarctica!! If you have a problem with that let me know. I will not be using anything from the website because I did read the copyright notice
      I don't think I have anything worth sharing with you as a teacher because you have lived the experience, but if there's anything you need from Australia, please let me know
      I will tell you one thing though. I have never seen my students so excited about learning. They will be putting together a powerpoint presentation as part of the program (assessment), and they can't wait to begin.
      Once again, thank you.
      psr

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Teachers only

        Hi psr,

        I will tell you one thing though. I have never seen my students so excited about learning. They will be putting together a powerpoint presentation as part of the program (assessment), and they can't wait to begin.
        Kids love Antarctica, so it's a great topic to do. I went to my son's primary school a couple of times to do a slide-show and dressed a couple of kids up in my Antarctic gear - they love it.

        I don't think I have anything worth sharing with you as a teacher because you have lived the experience, but if there's anything you need from Australia, please let me know
        Maybe I've not been very clear. What I would like to put on this site is a section of how teachers taught the topic of Antarctica. What assignment titles they used, lesson plans maybe, scheme of work. Not all the bells and whistles or the jumping-through-hoops-box-ticking stuff. But simple lesson ideas and titles that other teachers can use. Now that is something that you do know that is worth sharing. I can guess at it, but I don't really know how this site is used in schools. That's the feedback and "sharing" that I'm really after.

        The fact you're in Oz is even better - as far as I can tell every kid in Australia does a project on Antarctica at least once if not more times in their school career. These site probably receives more hits in relation to population size from Aus and NZ than any other countries. Maybe it's because you can go to the coast - look south and know the next place is Antractica?... Gives an immediacy and mystery at the same time.

        Now here's another thing you can do - seeing as you mentioned it

        I rather rashly, some time ago promised a geography teacher at the school where I teach that I would do a slide-show as they are starting coursework with the topic of Antarctica. I also decided that it was about time I made this easier for me, so in the next two weeks (I'm due to run it on the 18th of May!) I'm going to put together a Powerpoint presentation of the slide-show I have given a number of times. This won't be free, I'm thinking of charging around $25 for it (downloadable from this site or posted on a cd).

        How about giving me some feedback on it? I'll send you a free copy and you let me know what's good and what's bad about it? The first version will be pictures only, but then I'll add text and do a couple of different detail/difficulty levels. So the finished product will be a bundle of different versions of the same thing to be used in different ways as the teacher sees fit.

        If you give me the feedback - I'll upgrade you for free when I finish the product.

        Also, I'm in the process of re-writing a load of informational pages at 3 different levels. The most difficult ones for me to do are the simplest for primary/infant or special needs pupils, so if there are any primary teachers out there who could help in any way, please let me know.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Teachers only

          Dear Paul,
          Well mate, I think you're in luck because I happen to be a primary school teacher. You're right about the Antarctica thing and Aussie kids. It's actually in our HSIE (Human society and its Environment) syllabus. It's to do with our Autsralian neighbours!! The penguins make really good neighbours!
          This is the sharing part. I'm actually putting together a program using a differentiated curriculum approach about teaching subjects like Antarctica. The reason I'm doing this is a Masters which I am currently battling through, and the fact that as you said it's usually bells and whistles. I'm actually really excited about it and I think that's been the biggest motivator for my students. I've called it "Antarctica: A different world" because of the differentiated curriculum idea (real original stuff here!) and it is supposed to highlight to kids the differences between Australia and Antarctica even though it is as you said, so close. It's also supposed to highlight similarities since most of Australia is desert.
          The program will progress to eventually looking at environmental factors once the kids have become totally fascinated (so they'll become environmentalists too). One of the activities will be for kids to build a shelter (using old sheets, twine and sticks!!) and to actually sit in it for a day! It's only week 3 and that's in week 5 so I'll let you know how that goes. It's late Autumn here so I hope we get good weather!
          If you would like a yet to be finished copy of the program I would be ahppy to help. When the powerpoint presentations that the kids are going to do are finished I'll post something up and you can check them out and give me feedback.
          I'm a freebie sort of person so I'll give you feedback for free. Just give me an opportunity to talk...or type in this case!
          I was actually just working on the program and I thought I'll check my mail one last time (I'm kinda waiting for something!) and now I'm all perky again. MInd you it's 2.27am at the moment and the wood heater is looking quite cheery!

          Nice chatting

          psr

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Teachers only

            Paul,
            I am specialising in special needs, so if I can help there as well, I don't mind

            psr

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Teachers only

              Dear Paul,
              I'm really sorry about this, and I know it's a stupid question, but do cocharoaches survive on Antarctica? They can apparently survive a nuclear explosion.....
              I just had to know!

              psr

              P.S. PLease don't fall off your seat when you laugh at that one!!! You have my full permission to use it when you compile your "stupidest questions in the history of Antarctic research!" book.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Teachers only

                Originally posted by psr
                Dear Paul,
                I'm really sorry about this, and I know it's a stupid question, but do cocharoaches survive on Antarctica? They can apparently survive a nuclear explosion.....
                I just had to know!

                psr

                P.S. PLease don't fall off your seat when you laugh at that one!!! You have my full permission to use it when you compile your "stupidest questions in the history of Antarctic research!" book.
                Stupiest question? - you'll have to try harder than that! I've had much worse.

                There are no introduced insects that have been able to survive in Antarctica. Cockroaches are so common, I'm sure one or two must have got down there in some cargo, the environment is just too harsh for all but a few hardy specialized insect species. I guess that makes ice tougher than radiation!

                There have however been a few infestations of research stations with insects, such as this one at the Australian Casey base:

                http://www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=19699

                Glad you're positive about my suggestions - let me get the slide-show together and we can take it from there.

                Australian, primary age group and special needs - looks like I hit the jackpot with you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Teachers only

                  Paul,
                  I don't know about jackpot....maybe the Easter raffle??

                  psr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Teachers only

                    Just come onto the site and seen this thread and thought I might be able to help (if it's not too late..?).

                    I too am a teacher thinking about doing some Antarctic project with my kids towards the end of the school year (ages away at the moment) and as such am gathering stuff in preparation for it.

                    Something I have is a booklet produced for (I think) last year's SATs (standard exams that kids have to do at various points throughout their school careers) which was all based on the Antarctic. It's really rather simple, but it's quite good.

                    Not sure where you could get copies of it either, but it was published by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) whose address is:
                    QCA
                    83 Piccadilly
                    London
                    W1J 8QA.

                    It's called "Antarctic Adventures" and has the codes "QCA/06/1709" and "271482" on the back. I think the first one is the most relevant.

                    Although I can't find much else about this on the internet, there is a link to a Newsround "Diary" from one of their presenters who spent a while in Antarctica which can be found at the following website:

                    http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/wo...00/3289089.stm

                    Not sure how to hyperlink that - copy and paste will work just as well though.

                    Hope that's of some use or interest to someone.

                    Rachel.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Teachers only

                      Dear Rachel,
                      You have come to the best Antarctica site on the net....once you've come you'll never want to leave...a bit like "Hotel California" but in a good way!!

                      psr

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Teachers only

                        Slight misinterpretation - I meant I'd just logged on, not I've just found it. I've been a lurker for quite a while now. Not that it matters much.

                        I like this site for other reasons too as my dad was in Halley Bay in the 60s so it's like reading up on all the things he would (?) have done but possibly not told his daughter about.

                        He's going to be my main source of resources and information when I finally get my after school thing going.

                        R.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Teachers only

                          OH! WOw!! What a cool dad!!

                          I like you term..."lurker"!!

                          psr

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