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Things I Can Do For Time?


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#1 Cyfer

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:18 PM

Hi, I usually find in most subjects that the teacher does not provide a sufficient workload for the lesson and I am left staring into empty space. The teacher is too preoccupied with elping other students to set me more work so I do not know what to do.
I was thinking of bringing in History books on the topic we study and reading through them whenever I have a moments free time but I've realised that that is impractical with the amount of subjects I find myself in this situation.
I really don't know what else I can do, for some subjects there is a clear solution; ex. bring in some lectures to read for physics which do not take up too much space.

Any suggestions? Should I just bring in some extra work for myself?

P.S: I've tried reading through my textbook but I get through the topic I am reading about too fast.

On a second note does anybody have a good source from which I can just practice source questions? And would anyone be willing to mark them in brief? I feel I have fallen dramatically in the quality of my source questions since last year.

~Cyf

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:03 AM

Speaking as an old teacher, there are two possibilities why you are finishing early.

Firstly, are you sure that the work you have done is of maximum quality. I have taught many clever pupils in my time who have claimed that they are faster than the rest of the group, but when I check the work is untidy, rushed, lacklustre and often incomplete - they have understood entirely, yes ... but they have not put their deep understanding down on paper. before you start claiming you have finished, make sure that you have finished EVERYTHING at a consistently high quality.

Secondly, however, there is no doubt that you are very intelligent, and that therefore you are going to be finishing early.
In this situation, it is your teachers' responsibility to have things planned to extend and develop you.
It is called 'differentiation' and - just as they are supposed to plan the lesson to help the weaker pupils in the class understand the material - the teachers are required to plan the lesson so that it extends the most able in the class.
If they are not doing that, then it is a failing lesson - simple as...
You (or if they won't listen you, your parents) must contact the teachers, tell them what's going on, and ask that they negotiate with you/set you work opportunities to extend and develop your skills and knowledge in their subject.

If this does not work, what about coming to an agreement with all your teachers that, if you are finished, you will ... whatever (e.g. read a book, study an astronomy book, research the Holocaust etc.).



As for sourcework questions, what topic.
There is a corpus of basic questions which you can ask about ANY source:
  • What can you learn from this source (extraction and inference)
  • How valid/ accurate/ reliable is it
  • How useful is it
  • Why was it produced
so if the worst comes to the worst you can just find random sources and make up your own questions!

#3 Cyfer

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:57 PM

Speaking as an old teacher, there are two possibilities why you are finishing early.

Firstly, are you sure that the work you have done is of maximum quality. I have taught many clever pupils in my time who have claimed that they are faster than the rest of the group, but when I check the work is untidy, rushed, lacklustre and often incomplete - they have understood entirely, yes ... but they have not put their deep understanding down on paper. before you start claiming you have finished, make sure that you have finished EVERYTHING at a consistently high quality.

Secondly, however, there is no doubt that you are very intelligent, and that therefore you are going to be finishing early.
In this situation, it is your teachers' responsibility to have things planned to extend and develop you.
It is called 'differentiation' and - just as they are supposed to plan the lesson to help the weaker pupils in the class understand the material - the teachers are required to plan the lesson so that it extends the most able in the class.
If they are not doing that, then it is a failing lesson - simple as...
You (or if they won't listen you, your parents) must contact the teachers, tell them what's going on, and ask that they negotiate with you/set you work opportunities to extend and develop your skills and knowledge in their subject.

If this does not work, what about coming to an agreement with all your teachers that, if you are finished, you will ... whatever (e.g. read a book, study an astronomy book, research the Holocaust etc.).



As for sourcework questions, what topic.
There is a corpus of basic questions which you can ask about ANY source:

  • What can you learn from this source (extraction and inference)
  • How valid/ accurate/ reliable is it
  • How useful is it
  • Why was it produced
so if the worst comes to the worst you can just find random sources and make up your own questions!


I'll take the example of today:
1) Teacher tested our interest/knowledge in World War I Trenches by asking us to label ten things on a worksheet. While others struggled because we haven't done this before and had no knowledge whatsoever my friend and I knew all of it, got it done in under half a minute. My friend, being the extremely polite person he is, sat there quietly, waiting for the next objective. I, however realised that the teacher had to many people with questions to give me something to set so I simply read my textbook, trying to memorize various things about the Battle of Somme.
2) Our teacher ran a short presentation, I had a question with my hand up for about 4 or 6 minutes, eventually realised this was futile and wrote down the question in my book. After realising the teacher was just going over what I had read in the textbook I read a further page or two in the textbook.
3) Our teacher outlined the project and what we should be aiming for, the class was too much of a distraction and the teacher had to stop at various points, so I continued reading on in the textbook.

I would rather not contact my school, this happens in at least 3 or 4 subjects. With some diminishing such as Geography where the teacher, after a full term has finally grown 'accustomed' to the class. :(

Thank you for the suggestion, the textbook is getting rather dull. Do you have any good books you could recommend regarding World War I and the Trenches?

Sorry, I just realised I missed a point. The quality of my work. Because it is incredibly hard to judge myself and I have no knowledge I will refer to another subject and the marking system. We are taught by the Head of English... for English. He sets us challenging essays twice every week. While the friend who I was referring to earlier (I will give him as an example because we are the top academic achievers) will write three pages for this task, I will write one or two, and will get a substantially higher mark. Consistently. The same goes for another friend, who tends to write tens of pages (At this point, I am not exaggerating). Yet I seem to have the higher mark.

Although this may not be the same for history, I have no other way of determining what you are asking. What I do seem to be doing is going for the subtle novelist theme and not giving concrete sentences such as 'Some may conclude that' and so on, which usually gives me a half mark off.


Sorry for my dreadful and quite stupid mistake about the sources. Yes, I'd like to ask questions myself, but is there a pool hidden in a secret cave, hidden in a dark cove on the beach of far, far away containing these sources?

~Cyf

#4 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:55 PM

You seem in a terrible plight, and you have my sympahty.
My father got into terrible trouble at school because he had always finsihed before anyone else, and he was continually getting wrong because he was sat doing nothing - the teachers accused him of being lazy!


For a great book, try to get hold of a copy of Eye Deep in Hell by John Ellis - you can get a copy on Amazon for under 2!


For an exposure of the myths of WWI, try The Smoke and the Fire by John Terraine - you can pick one up on Amazon for a 5.

I also like Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur - also available for 5 on Amazon - it tells the history of the war by the people in their own words.

And anything by Lyn MacDonald.

#5 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:52 PM

Thank you for the suggestion, the textbook is getting rather dull. Do you have any good books you could recommend regarding World War I and the Trenches?
~Cyf


'Tommy' by Richard Holmes which concentrates on the British Army. For a different approach looking at the conflict as a 'World' war see Hew Strachan 'The First World War: A New History' origianlly published in 2003. The First World War is a very dynamic area of history at the moment and both these books incorporate the latest research.

The others Mr. Clare mentions are all good and show different approaches. Very good for developing your understanding of differing interpretations of History. I read the Terraine book when I was a bit older than you and it proved very influential, although I think you will probably read it with a more analytical eye than I did.

#6 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:58 PM

And if you want something a bit more populist as well as more modern, try
Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War by Gordon Corrigan
which addresses the myths of the Great War in a lively way.

#7 Cyfer

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:33 PM

You seem in a terrible plight, and you have my sympahty.
My father got into terrible trouble at school because he had always finsihed before anyone else, and he was continually getting wrong because he was sat doing nothing - the teachers accused him of being lazy!


For a great book, try to get hold of a copy of Eye Deep in Hell by John Ellis - you can get a copy on Amazon for under 2!


For an exposure of the myths of WWI, try The Smoke and the Fire by John Terraine - you can pick one up on Amazon for a 5.

I also like Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur - also available for 5 on Amazon - it tells the history of the war by the people in their own words.

And anything by Lyn MacDonald.



Which one would you say help me best in my understanding the differences in trenches for all armies?

Thank you for the suggestion, the textbook is getting rather dull. Do you have any good books you could recommend regarding World War I and the Trenches?
~Cyf


'Tommy' by Richard Holmes which concentrates on the British Army. For a different approach looking at the conflict as a 'World' war see Hew Strachan 'The First World War: A New History' origianlly published in 2003. The First World War is a very dynamic area of history at the moment and both these books incorporate the latest research.

The others Mr. Clare mentions are all good and show different approaches. Very good for developing your understanding of differing interpretations of History. I read the Terraine book when I was a bit older than you and it proved very influential, although I think you will probably read it with a more analytical eye than I did.



And if you want something a bit more populist as well as more modern, try
Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War by Gordon Corrigan
which addresses the myths of the Great War in a lively way.



#8 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:23 AM

I'm not sure ANY of them address differences between different armies' trenches.
Give me a couple of days to have a search round and I'll see if i can come up with anything.

In the meantime, why don't you just google "German trenches", "French trenches" etc and see what you come up with.

#9 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:17 PM

Which one would you say help me best in my understanding the differences in trenches for all armies?


You may find this quite difficult to research, but I know you like a challenge.

There is lots on British trenches in the Richard Holmes book: it is very well-indexed. However, I think an even more useful book would be 'War on the Western Front' edited by Gary Sheffield, published by Osprey Publishing 2007. The section you need to concentrate on is written by Stephen Bull and looks at developments in trench warfare. Let me know if you need any more pointers.

For anyone reading this thread in the future, you will also need to have a look at this thread.

#10 Cyfer

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:30 PM

Which one would you say help me best in my understanding the differences in trenches for all armies?


You may find this quite difficult to research, but I know you like a challenge.

There is lots on British trenches in the Richard Holmes book: it is very well-indexed. However, I think an even more useful book would be 'War on the Western Front' edited by Gary Shefield, published by Osprey Publishing 2007. The section you need to concentrate on is written by Stephen Bull and looks at developments in trench warfare. Let me know if you need any more pointers.

For anyone reading this thread in the future, you will also need to have a look at this thread.


Thanks, I'll try to get those books today. Seems like I have a lot of research to do :)




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