Mocks

Mocks.

That is the word most students in Junior and Leaving Certificate will hear upon returning to school yesterday. The preparation exam, the trial exam, the practice exams – all phrases used to describe the upcoming mocks.

It is a time for students to prepare and practice the study and work they have been doing over the past two or three years (depending on their exams). What students need to realise is these set of exams are equally as important as the JC and LC. They will offer students a chance to practice and time themselves doing the questions and subjects they either love or dread.

However, this is also a time of great anxiety for students. Yesterday, the@IrishTimes released an interesting article on how some of the best behaved students are actually covering their anxiety. To combat this, here a are a few tips for students in the run up to the mocks and the time of doing the mocks.

  1. Know your timetable.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep!
  3. Make sure you have breakfast. If breakfast is something that is skipped (my students or teachers) try smoothies. You can customise them and pack them full of vitamins which will boost your immune system, espically vital with the flu and weather at this time of year!
  4. Make a checklist for each subject. For example, Junior Certificate CSPE – Students are advised to bring some colouring pencils if they plan on tackling the poster questions.
  5. Keep hydrated – bring a bottle of water!
  6. Make sure you have enough pens!
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Apps

Recently, trying to think of how to incorporate web2.0 technology into the lives of students without feeling like it’s always to do with homework or a specific task.

With exams looming on the horizon – I noticed a few apps which were Starbucks pick of the week which could helps students during these next few weeks!

Starbucks pick of the week is free for that week (then usually they go back to their full normal retail price). Due to the app only being free for the week it was a great incentive for students to download the apps that week as opposed to taking their time to downloaded which usually ended up in students not downloading the apps and trying them,

Some of the apps  which the students and myself tasked ourselves to try are outlined as below.


Streaks

It helps you turn the little goals in life into good daily habits. It is a great way for example to get into the habit of practicing a new language for ten minutes each day. I would highly recommend Streaks for anyone who is trying to encourage students to get into the habit of doing ten extra ten minutes of a particular subject which they need work that little bit harder at. 

http://streaksapp.com/

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Pause

Pause has fast become an app that has I been able to use in both in the classroom and outside the classroom. It is a simple, yet very powerful app. It allows you to take a moment to pause, collect your thoughts and start afresh. Furthermore, when teaching meditation this app is a great app for students to download and use at home. Some students have said they feel they are more focused as they are able to take five or ten minutes out in the evening time and meditate. One other great feature about this app if you are pitching it to students is they are following the instructions and light while meditating which will help them to focus if they feel they will not be able to meditate at home. 

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History – Document, Source and Picture Question

Documents, source and picture questions are a key part of any History class and exam. With the mocks right around the corner it is good to remember how to look at a picture in a historical sense.

Study the pictures carefully:  

Don’t just glance at them. Have a look at what they are, and look at the details, you might be asked a question about one of them.

Read the questions carefully:

If you’re asked to give two pieces of information, don’t just give one. If you’re asked to give one piece of information, don’t waste your time giving more.
Timekeeping:

The Picture Questions are worth 15 marks altogether. They can be an easy source for marks, but you must not spend too much time on them. Other parts of the paper carry much more marks with them. You should spend only about 10 minutes on the Picture Question.

  • Primary/ Secondary Source
  • Biased
  • Prejudiced
  • What event is it referring to?
  • What’s happening in the background?
  • Who is in the picture

A few examples which you can use to sharpen the students and it should help with revision with the Cold War Topic.

In this British cartoon from 1948, Stalin watches as the storks fly coal and food into Berlin, but he dares not shoot them down.