Archive for January, 2019

Revision Game: Crumple and Shoot

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Crumple-and-Shoot is a simple, whole-class, team-based, revision game that’s similar to the GrudgeBallUk revision game I’ve previously posted.

It’s revision, Jim, but not as we know it…

The main difference between the two is that Crumple and Shoot (or as I’d like to call it, “Bin It to Win It”) is much easier to set-up and play and requires very few resources: some questions, pieces of paper on which to write group answers and the all-important waste-paper bin.

It’s a game devised and developed by Jennifer Gonzalez and you can find a video explanation of what the game involves and how to play it on her Cult of Pedagogy website.

In addition there’s a How To Play pdf file available with a detailed description of the (minimal) rules.

You can, of course, adjust the rules to suit (such as awarding groups points for answering a question correctly as well as gaining the chance to score extra points in the “crumple and shoot” part of the game).

While the game can be played as part of end-of-year revision sessions, the simple set-up particularly lends itself to quick end-of-week / end-of-module revision – something that has the added bonus of encouraging students to see revision and review as an integral part of their GCSE or A-level course.

Methods Mat

Monday, January 14th, 2019
Methods Mat

A generic Methods Mat template that might be useful for both Sociology and Psychology A-level Research methods teaching. 

The Research Methods Tables created by Liam Core got me thinking about how to present a similar level of information in a Learning Mat format (such as Stacey Arkwright’s Sociology Mats, the Psychology Studies Mat or the generic Sociology / Psychology Mat).

What I’ve come up with is Learning Mat template – an A4 page available as either a PowerPoint or Pdf document – focused on a single research method. I’ve included the PowerPoint version for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, if you’re in the habit of displaying stuff for your students it’s much easier to do this in PowerPoint.

Secondly, if you want to edit the template – to create, for example, a worked illustration – it’s a lot less work to do it in PowerPoint.

Although the Mat should be fairly straightforward to use (it includes space to note the Key Features, Strengths and Weaknesses of a Research Method) I’ve added / adapted a couple of sections from the original:

The first is fairly minor: the addition of a way to indicate if it’s a primary or secondary research method).


Research Methods Tables

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

I’ve previously posted a couple of pieces of Liam Core’s work (a Sociology Literacy Mat and an A-level Evidence Bank Template) and since these have proven very popular with teachers I thought I’d tap him up for a few more resources.

Research Methods Table

And, sure enough, he’s delivered.

This time it’s a handy research methods table students use to record key aspects of a range of methods (from questionnaires to public documents). The (Word) format’s easy to replicate so if you need to add or subtract different methods before you let your students loose it’s relatively easy to do.

In terms of completing the table, for each research method students are required to note its:

  • Key features
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Practical issues
  • Ethical issues
  • How you use the table is, of course, up to you but it’s a resource that could be useful for revision, as a prompt sheet for timed essay writing and so forth.

    Methods Mat

    The resource packs a lot of research methods onto a single A4 page and some teachers / students might find this a bit restrictive, so if you decide to use this as a paper-based resource the author suggests you enlarge it to A3 before giving it to your students. Alternatively, if you find A3 materials a little unwieldy, you might like to try this Methods Mat – an A4 document focused on a single method.

    The Cannibal on Bus 1170: Rethinking Moral Panics

    Friday, January 11th, 2019

    In July 2008, 22-year-old Tim McLean was riding Greyhound Bus 1170, on his way back to his home in Winnipeg, Canada, when he was attacked by Vincent Li, a fellow passenger. Li stabbed McLean numerous times before cutting off McLean’s head, dismembering the body and eating some of the parts.

    Li, who suffered from schizophrenia, was quickly arrested and subsequently deemed unfit for criminal prosecution on the basis that, as Canadian sociologist Heidi Rimke describes it:

    “The voices in his head were telling him Tim McClean was going to harm him and everybody on the bus”.

    For Li, therefore, killing McLean and eating his body was the only possible way to save the lives of all concerned.

    “He believed that if he didn’t dismember and destroy the body it would re-constitute and thereby remain a threat to everyone on the bus”.

    The widespread public anger and concern at these events – the brutal, apparently senseless, killing, the cannibalism and the fact Li seemed to “escape punishment” for his actions ( Li was committed to a secure medical facility from which he was released in 2017) – suggested a classic moral panic in the form described by Stan Cohen in “Folk Devils and Moral Panics” (1972):

    “A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible”.



    Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

    If you’re a teacher looking for a free Padlet replacement, this versatile Bookmarking site will probably do everything you need.

    Bookmarking sites can be a handy way for teachers to store and share all kinds of related information with their students and the leader in the field has, for me at least, always been Padlet, www.padlet.com mainly because it lets you organise and display a variety of linked documents (text, video, audio…) in a quick, simple and visual way.

    Recent changes to the site have, however, seen its functionality limited unless you fork out for the “Pro Plans” at around $100 / £75 a year. While there’s still a perfectly serviceable free version that let’s you organise a wide range of different types of information, new users are only allowed 3 free Boards (Padlet’s way of naming grouped information).

    And while you can still cram a lot of bookmarks into a Board, it’s not very useful if you want to categorise information in more than 3 ways.

    Which is probably something most teachers want to do.

    But without the price tag.

    And this is where Wakelet might be a useful alternative, particularly if you just want to store and organise basic types of information, such as links, documents and videos. While Padlet has a few more bells and whistles, Wakelet does pretty much everything a teacher / student might need (although it’s important to note it doesn’t – at least at the time of writing – allow you to directly upload Word or PowerPoint documents. You need to covert them to Pdf first – and although this isn’t an insurmountable problem, it is a definite limitation).


    Instead of Boards, Wakelet has Collections – places where you store related bookmarks. If you want to see how this works, this is a Collection I made earlier. It’s just a set of video links, but it should give you an idea about the sort of stuff Wakelet can do once you’ve familiarised yourself with the interface and layout.

    There are some basic customisations you can make to your Home Page and Collections (adding background images / branding for example) and you can set one of three levels of access for each Collection:

  • Public can be seen by anyone
  • Private, which only you can see
  • Unlisted, where you can invite people to view a Collection based on a link you share.
  • In terms of what you can Bookmark, this currently includes:

  • YouTube videos
  • pdf documents
  • images
  • free text (you can write whatever you like)
  • Twitter links to display a Twitter feed as a Collection (although this requires giving Wakelet a level of access to your Twitter account that you might want to think twice about)
  • Crosslinks that allow a link from one Collection to be added to a different Collection.
  • You can also give different contributors, such as your students, access to each Collection so they can add information to it.

    Overall, while Wakelet is probably not quite as flexible as Padlet, it’s a decent bookmarking site that’s easy to use and which allows you to create as many Collections as you need.

    All for free.

    Happy New Year.