Acid Deposition

The topic of acid deposition can be found in the SL section of the acids and bases unit, section 8.5. As a teacher, when I first read this title I had no idea what it meant, but, as with most things in the IB, the title is actually quite descriptive, once you know what the title means. The key word is ‘deposition’. It means (according to the definition in the online dictionary by Merriam-Webster), simply, ‘the act of being deposited’.1 So acid deposition ...

MOOCs, Artificial Intelligence, and Models of Thinking

A little background reading for this post: First, a quick Wikipedia definition of MOOC: 'A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent and widely researched development in distance education which were first introduced in 2006 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.' ...

The Ten-Year Rule

I have decided that, when school resumes in January, I will give my students an assignment in which I will ask them to analyse the IB's 10-year rule and determine if they think that it is a well-reasoned rule. This morning, I was reading an essay by Umair Haque titled What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself? Although it begins as a criticism of the US and its decline in standard of living, especially when compared to Europe, ...

Process Portfolio Checklist

HAPPY 2018! It’s the New Year! If you are in your second year as a DP visual arts student, and are in a ‘May session’ school in the Northern Hemisphere, now would be a great time to review your progress to date: it’s time to check on what you have, and have not, done in relation to all three components (Comparative Study, Process Portfolio and Exhibition). As I hope you know, in around three months’ time you will be submitting all of this ...

6/VACAF, EE/RPPF and EE/CS

(Don't you love acronyms?) I lead DP visual arts workshops, both online and face-to-face, and just before Christmas finished my last visual arts workshop of 2017. It was a category 1 and these are invariable full, packed and busy—so much to cover, so little time to do it in! As ever it was a lively and enjoyable workshop, but a couple of things sometimes seem to get pushed to the back of the line and possibly overlooked—visual arts coursework authentication, reflection on the extended ...

Some Ideas for Thinking about World Literature

I've been poring over some materials I've used in workshops on 'Literature in Translation,' and thought it might be useful to share some of these resources and add in a frequent question about the Written Assignments. These articles are variable in their weightiness, but there are likely to at least be bits and pieces that you may find useful for deepening your own thinking or some ideas to explore in your classes. I like the following for its range of views ...

Some Mathematical Tips for the New Year

Happy New Year everybody! At this time last year I suggested some new year resolutions to help you in your studies. They are of course valid at all times, and if you didn't see them, then have a look now. This time I've got some tips which you might want to note down; they cover specific areas of the syllabus, although they aren't applicable to all of HL, SL, and Studies. Degrees or Radians? Well, it depends on what the question is asking you ...

The Development of the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East before the outbreak of war in 2014 between the Houthi rebels and government forces. Since then Yemen has experienced the largest outbreak of cholera in the modern world and is on the brink of the harshest famine the world has seen for decades. Over 20 million people (out of a population of 28 million) are in need of help. The fighting involves many groups of people and goes back many years. ...

…And One Last Go at Syntax

Here's an interesting set of recommendations about improving your writing through 'conscious syntax' that gets to the issue through a pair of basic sentences.  I like it and maybe you will, too: 10 Varieties of Syntax to Improve Your Writing It is this rich variety of word and phrase order and variation in punctuation that makes prose — fiction or nonfiction — readable. As you review your writing, make sure that you vary sentence structure among these and other constructions to create ...

Teaching the Halogens: Some Ideas

How do you teach about the halogens? I am in the middle of teaching about them and thought it was worth telling you how I introduce the topic. I do like this topic as it provides lots of opportunities to link together parts of the course. Firstly, I will start with some theory, things such as the fact that the halogens are diatomic and are the only group whose members exist as solids, liquids and gases at room temperature. This then leads into ...