Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gr 12 Hardware Upgrade

I made this PowerPoint presentation/quiz for the section on Upgrading for Gr 12. Have a look and use it with your classes, if you wish. You must follow the instructions on the first slide.

Gr 12 Activity 4 on page 104 - Word labels

In the Grade 12 textbook page 104 you have to create labels using Word. This guide may be of help. Also have a look at the other tip sheets on that page.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Value of CAT

I have just had such a nice response from a person at HESA. I will report on that soon on the blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Value of CAT

Learners doing CAT are at such an advantage. The Department of Education and universities have made such a mistake in not making CAT one of the subjects which count for university entrance. In the same way that English or another language counts for university entrance so should CAT. CAT is the language of the 21st century and of academia. I have no idea how they came to regard CAT as not valuable enough for university! I have just started teaching the new Grade 12 work from the Study Opportunities book – wow! I have looked at the exercises in the textbook. That is not university work? Someone has made a major mistake! My learners are angry that a subject where they work at such a high level of thinking is not designated as good enough.
I believe there is a movement among the learners and their parents at my school to petition the HESA Link to the Matriculation Board web site at Have a look at the list of designated subjects on According to the web site the list was finalised in 2005! Did the committee read the NCS? Did they know what they were evaluating? That date was very early to make such a huge decision and I believe it is now time to reconsider. May I propose that the HESA get a selection of textbooks that are being used in the subject and consider them, look at which textbook has market share as that probably has a large influence on the level of the subject; and look at the exemplars and first Gr 12 paper to be written this year. Then re-evaluate the subject.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gr 12

The Gr 12 textbook is so good! My learners are doing the first chapters about Upgrading and Buying a computer. I like the way they have to ‘work’ with the theory and learn by doing so. The questions in the activities are so well written and help with the learning! (Thank goodness the answers/solutions are on the CD.)

And all the PowerPoint presentations – wonderful! When I have finished ‘teaching’ with them I have added automatic transitions and in Slideshow, Setup Show put them onto Loop continuously. They then play continuously on the data projector as I work assisting learners individually in the lab.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Power or lack of it

I think we should all keep a log of power outages showing the time and the class/grades missing lessons. We must make sure that when we have power we WORK. Somehow we must have a supply of suitable paper based exercises that the learners can do in class when we have no power. I have told mine that if they are considering buying a computer for home, it should be a laptop which can be charged and always have 2 hours of available power. We will have to plan how we are going to run tests, and the power goes down. And exams when we have two sessions! Oh dear, I had not thought of this!
Luckily we have our textbooks and the learners can use them, especially the Gr 12 book which has many many good written exercises.
We must also make sure that work is saved on the network AND on a flash drive/removable hard drive so that we can work on it at another place or on a laptop which has power.

Gr 12 PAT Introduction

I introduced the Gr 12 PAT to my learners this week. I used the PowerPoint available here to illustrate my introduction. The learners found the presentation most useful. They now have this weekend to think of their topic and then we will start on Phase 1 due in February. They discussed topics in class. I told them that the topics had to be ones which I understood, i.e. they could not do anything about organising the irrigation system to the sports fields. The topics they will probably select are about dances, tours, elections, managing discipline and detention, field trips, etc. They are most excited and after Omewa really feel confident about doing it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I have been creating the PowerPoint for the Gr 12 PAT. I based my information on the documentation for the 2008 PAT from the documents at National Education. I am so impressed with the clarity of that document. I now really understand the PAT and will be able to explain it to my learners. (The writer of the PAT document must have seen my problems last year.) I must take my hat off to the person who developed the document – they really know how to write! I am reminded again and again that CAT is a developing subject and things will only get better!
My PowerPoint is available here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


All the important documents for CAT and IT are available on the Department of Education's web site, i.e the NCS, LPG, SAG, PAT and Gr 12 Exemplar.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Gr 12 work schedule

In die nuwe SAG wat vanaf 2008 geimplementeer moet word, is 'n paar klein
veranderinge aangebring. Let op dat daar in die derde kwartaal (behalwe die
rekordeksamen) net een toets voorgeskryf word (en nie 'n taak ook nie.)

In the new SAG which must be implemented from 2008, there is a small change from previous SAGs. In the 3rd term apart from the mock exams, just one test and no task is written. The adapted work schedule is available here.

PATs in 2008

Grades 10 and 11
I am looking forward to doing the PAT in Grades 10 and 11 this year. I have had experience in doing it and now know a few things.
I know that the focus of the PAT is solving a problem.
The learners must solve the problem with the WHOLE problem / BIG picture in mind.
The learners need to have tools to solve that problem.
The learners need to know the possibilities of the computer packages they have to use so that they can use them for solving the problem.
Therefore I must wait until the learners have learned to use the packages they are meant to use, until I start the PAT.
Therefore I will only start the Gr 10 PAT when I have taught Word AND Excel. I will start the Gr 11 PAT when I have taught Word AND Excel AND Access.
Grade 12
For the Gr 12 the guide provided by the Department is well written and clear. The learners who did the Omewa PAT will be at a wonderful advantage. I will start doing the Gr 12 PAT in the first term. (I am working on a PowerPoint I will be using with my learners and will upload it later this week.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reflections on the CAT practical exam

This year I was a good girl and set my practical examination papers out the number of marks as indicated in the Subject Assessment Guidelines, 180 for Grade 10 and 200 for Grade 11. I wanted to do the right thing! I did this without thinking of the consequences. Grade 11 was fine. However my Grade 10s wrote the Written and Practical papers on Thursday and the marks had to be ready to submit on Monday. I was not able to complete marking the papers in the allocated time on my own and had to get assistance in marking all 60 learners Written and Practical work. I do not know if I was slow but …

I do hope that those who do the planning for matric marking realise that the Practical papers are now out of twice as many marks as before, and may require more markers and a longer norm time.

Some thing else I will implement in future practical examinations. At our school cell phones are not allowed in the exam venues. I will also ban calculators as so many of the weak learners try to use them in their spreadsheet questions, forgetting that we mark on the computer checking the formulas!

I am looking forward to a rest from school work in the holidays and being able to catch up on relationships and domestic matters.