Monday, December 7, 2009

Comments on the blog

One of the nice things about this blog is that people can comment anonymously. However that wonderful facility has enabled spammers to post their material to the blog. These school holidays I will be away and not able to monitor and remove the spammers' material. So for this holiday, while I am sailing in a felucca and beyond the reach of the Internet, I will remove the Anonymous facility. Now you will have to have a Gmail account. Sorry, but it is only for the holiday period while I am in … (send the place as a comment!). The feature will be restored when I am near a computer. Have a wonderful holiday.

Social networking and Facebook

The Grade 11 PAT for 2010 on social networking is something that I really need to get to grips with. I will use Facebook to help me teach about Facebook, as Facebook is so now. Hopefully the learners and I will learn together with me guiding them and them showing me (up). Oh well! I have so much to learn about Facebook!

I have created the Grade 11 CAT at PHS group where the learners will have to discuss matters about Facebook. (Go to my Facebook called Pam Miller and ask to join the group. You will be able to see it but I will probably remove teachers in January.) I am not sure how I will force the learners to contribute to the discussion – maybe adapt the given rubric – which I am sure we are permitted to do. I have found the page Facebook in Education very useful.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Recommendations of the Minister

I read the recommendations for education on  It is almost too good to be true.  If I interpret correctly:

  • Teachers have the freedom to decide what to do in their tests during the year, as actually spelt out in the LPG and SAG. 
  • Teachers can follow an approved textbook, with its documentation, its order and activities, etc.. 
  • There is only 1 cluster meeting a year. What about moderation?
  • Circulars/documents/letters may only go out once a year in September (for the following year). So we are free from forms for the coming year?
  • One project, i.e. only the PAT as 'the' project.  No more tasks?
  • One teacher portfolio.
  • Role of subject/curriculum advisors still to be specified.
Clarity is required as we are now doing our 2010 planning for next year. Pam

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Value of CAT

Recently I heard some ask 'What is the value of CAT?'  They should look at the Study Opportunities practical papers and reflect if they could do those real life every day things without computers.  And the theory - it is working with computers in real life situations.  Wonderful papers - 'computers part of your life.'

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If you communicate on the blog, keep in mind that EVERYBODY can see ALL messages.

One of the people requesting a password in a message said that she was from a certain school and when I checked, it turned out that there was no such teacher at that school – maybe a learner? Luckily I always check my list before giving out passwords. Sandra

Errata Gr 11 Theory Memo

You have probably picked up these mistakes as well, but if you have not started marking, please note:

5.2.1 and 5.2.2

The answers for 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 on the memo have been swopped around.

6.4 The criteria for Previous_Experience in the memo should be the opposite of what is given in the memo. Please have a look and correct.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Grade Eleven November examinations

Paper 1 Practical

Errata Gr 11 Practical Exam

(Eng and Afr)

Q2.1 c) Should be C69 to C72

Q2.3 i) the spell check should ignore all 'computer' terms – also "MXit"

(Slegs Afrikaans)

V1.5 e) Let mooi op die inlynstelling en oriƫntasie van die teks in elke deel van die kaartjie.

ks vertikaal soos aangetoon.

Paper 2 Theory

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grade Ten November examinations

Paper 1 Practical
Please correct Question 2.3: Page number should be 2 marks on the Marksheet

Paper 2 Theory

Exam papers

My learners keep asking what will be on my exam paper and how do they know if they know the work.  
They should look at the end of chapters and be able to do every thing on the check lists.  Teachers should look at the LPG and cover everything listed per grade.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The internet is wonderful! Last week I could not walk my dogs properly as one is just too old to keep up. Having one dog pulling and one who cannot walk and needs to be carried, is not fun. I recalled what the vet physio had told me to do some months ago to do – buy a pet stroller.
I went online to search for one and found some on Gumtree. I did a further search and found an online shopping site for pet supplies. I found what I wanted on the site. Recalling the PAT and trustworthiness I looked for details - the site did not look ‘smart’ so … I phoned them and a voice replied – yes it was an active site. I had to pay – I looked for signs of security – I paid by EFT although the Thawte key was there. It was delivered to Cape Town and I received a call to fetch (save on delivery costs). Well it costs about the same as a wheelchair, but we can walk. And we have walked! She is picked up and put in the stroller at home, and walked to a quality place to play, where she is lifted from the stroller, for play time. Look at the pictures a friend and I took. She was happy from the first day.
The lesson – get it online!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


My grade 10s and 11s are doing so much better at their PATs than the grade 12s mainly because of me, and because I learned from the grade 12s.

Today the Gr 10s started on Phase 3 and are sailing through it. They are sailing through it because they have everything at hand.

  • All information was collected in a folder (phase 1).
  • In phase 2 they evaluated the information and created a document with cross referencing to help with easy access. In phase 2 I also made them create graphs, copy the graphs into Word, add captions and describe what was displayed in the graph. In the planning document they had to indicate where each graph and picture would be used.
  • Now, in phase 3, they take the planning document and just slide information under headings, drop in graphs and pictures where planned and put it all together.

I have made PPTs as I went along explaining everything so carefully so that next year it will be so much easier. I have spent a great deal of time doing it in class and hope that the investment of time will show dividends next year. The only problem I have had with the rubrics is in phase 1 where too many marks, I thought, were given for the levels of questions.

And the learners have seen the value of doing a research project this way!

The Gr 10 and 11 PPTs which I am using for teaching are available here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ICT Expo

Read about this wonderful ICT Expo at Hoƫrskool Uitsig in The Reeds, Pretoria

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gr 10

At the back of the Gr 10 text book is a section called FAQs. It has some really nice stuff, particularly converting text to tables and so many other cool things. Before exams, practical and written, I will definitely go over all the FAQs.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gr 12 Practical exam

The Gr 12s have just finished writing their practical exam.  Thank goodness we have spent the last 5 weeks going over the 3 old papers.  I just hope it helped the learners.  We will find out in January 2010!

Friday, October 2, 2009

District 9 and Copyright

I was very disturbed to find a copy of the movie District 9 on a learner’s flash drive. Apparently it had been available at a LAN party. It seems that all the advertising about the theft of movies, at the start of movies in the cinema or on video, is just not going into the learners’ heads.
The theft / copyright of movies and computer programs is so similar and we teach that topic in Grade 10. It obviously was not taught well enough or … I wonder if in other schools learners also copy/steal movies. Is it widespread?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grade 12 Practical Revision en Hersiening - Perez

My learners have just finished revising the 2008 Gr 12 Perez Practical Examination paper. Here are the files for the examination, plus the PPT we used for the bits they told me they found tricky.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gr 12 PAT

A PAT is the way in which the work taught in CAT is ‘applied’. It brings together all the skills taught. It is an essential part of the subject.
I am so angry. I have just finished marking Phase 3 of the Gr 12 PAT. The poor marks are not my problem. I taught the PAT well, however many learners spoke through my classes, checked e-mail while I was explaining and just ignored me.
I am going to take the points below and incorporate them in the assessment of the Gr 10 and 11 PATS. And when I make MY Gr 10 and 11 EDITED rubric I will not give ANY marks for ANY things if they are meaningless, i.e. no being nice. I am irritated by stupidity and plain carelessness.
My Gr 10 and 11 PPTs which I am using for teaching are available here.
  1. The graphs must be woven into the story/discussion. The graphs must NOT be in a section on their own. The graphs must help explain the discussion.
  2. A caption of a graph is not a story, and should not pretend to be a story. A caption is a ‘heading’ for an image. You talk about the evidence of the graph in the body of the text as part of the story and not in the caption.
  3. Pictures, if used, must be described or referred to in the text. They should not be in a page or section on their own.
  4. Tables copied from a database or spreadsheets have no place in a report. The material must be synthesized or analysed so that it gains meaning.
  5. There should be no need for any material in the report to come from any web site or copied from anywhere. The report is the result of an investigation into a problem. It is the ‘result’.
  6. The report should look professional! I have seen too many spelling mistakes, and the font in a document should be the same for all sections, and a heading 3 is smaller than a heading 1! Body text should be left aligned.
  7. The conclusion should draw all the findings together and is a summary of all the work, and end with a final sentence giving the verdict (slotsom).
  8. The conclusion must be at the end, just before the bibliography.
  9. Page numbers are required if you have a table of contents!
  10. The rubric/checklist must be read as a guide as to what is expected.

Gr 10 Introduction to Excel

My Grade 10s seem to have difficulty hearing / listening / following instructions. I dreaded trying to teach Excel 2007. I solved the problem by having the learners create houses using Autofill, Alignment, Fills and Borders. Without being aware of it, they learned to read the screen and the features of the formatting pane. When they started ‘real’ work on page 217 it went so well! Have look at grades 10 C and D. My time ‘playing’ has reaped results. (I have saved the files in 2003 as some schools are using 2003.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gr 12 Practical Revision en Hersiening - Birds

My learners have just finished revising the 2008 Gr 12 Birds Practical Examination paper. Here are the files for the examination, plus the PPT we used for the bits they told me they found tricky.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grade 12 PAT Phase 3

I have just been looking at some Phase 3 of the Gr 12 PAT. Here are some general comments.
  1. The graphs must be woven into the story/discussion. The graphs must NOT be in a section on their own. The graphs must help explain the discussion.
  2. There should be no need for any material in the report to come from any web site or copied from anywhere. The report is the result of an investigation into a problem. It is the ‘result’.
  3. The report should look professional! I have seen too many spelling mistakes, and the font in a document should be the same for all sections, and a heading 3 is smaller than a heading 1!
  4. A caption of a graph is not a story, and should not pretend to be a story. A caption is a ‘heading’ for an image. You talk about the evidence of the graph in the body of the text as part of the story.
  5. The conclusion should draw all the findings together and is a summary of all the work, and end with a final sentence giving the verdict (slotsom).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Word Tabs

Important teaching ideas for Tabs
  • Type all the data, then select the data to start formatting
  • Using the tab dialogue box remove default values with ‘Clear all’
  • Only have ONE tab between text/things.


Excel is for clever people who do not like to waste time. I love the following features:
  • Autofill where I can pull down and the program ‘picks’ up and changes the values in the cells and formulas/functions
  • Absolute referencing so I do not have to type formulas/functions over and over again, and it stays fixed when formatted with F4.
Can you imagine doing the kind of calculations we do with Excel now, using a pencil and paper. For most it would be impossible or take a very long time.

PAT - Trustworthiness of sources

How do you assess the trustworthiness of sources for the PAT? Have a look at the PPT I am using with Grade 10. I expect the learners to check every source, not just every type of source. Try my idea and see if it works. Please indicate in the Comments if this is useful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gr 12 Practical Revision en Hersiening Memo

The correct English memo for Recycling will be uploaded tonight. Has been done!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Setting exam papers

Many grade 12 teachers are busy setting papers now. If you are going to set any examination paper please look at this presentation on how to set a CAT paper.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gr 12 Practical Examinations

Essential reading for managing the Grade 12 Practical examination - the September exam should be used as a trial run - Circular E19.
Important reading about School based assessment and NO MARKS - Circular E18.

Gr 12 Practical Revision en Hersiening - Recycling

My Grade 12 learners will be doing the DOE 2008 Practical Backup examination paper (Recycling) as revision - have a look at the Question paper, Data files, Memo and PowerPoint and in Afrikaans Question paper, Data files and Memo but no Afrikaans PowerPoint.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gr 12 PAT Phase 3

Here is a link to the PPT I am using for the Grade 12 PAT. For many of the learners they are now completing a crash course in PATting - this PPT has been useful. My learners have to hand in next week as we start Prelims exams on 3 August. I do not want to upload any examples, as last year my learners' work was found throughout the country!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Holiday in-service training course, PAT and Evaluating sources

I have just attended a great CAT teacher in-service training session here in the Western Cape. It was for a whole week in the holidays. What drew the teachers to attend such a course? – quality presentations where they could learn, as well as great teas and lunches! It was organised by a subject advisor. He also regularly organises a course before the start of the school year every January, as well as every June/July. This July course was focused on Operational Knowledge. Last year the June course focused on Advanced Applications. I estimate that 90% of the teachers in his area attended this July course. Good for him.
With regard to the PAT these URLs supplied by another Western Cape subject advisor are great on checking web sites for trustworthiness - and information in general -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Grade 12 PAT Phase 2

My school is an ex-Model C school, whatever that means. I want to discuss the marking of Phase 2 of the Gr 12 PAT. I have marked 60 learners. I sat with learners and marked their work with them. We had 20 minute slots for pairs of learners.

Access information and determine relevance

Evidence of sources is available - The learners had little ‘evidence’.
  1. Surveys – Most had completed printed surveys.
  2. Copies or screen dumps of websites – They copied the relevant information into a word document under headings/questions with a URL, BUT did not have the ‘copies of web sites’ as required.
  3. Photocopies/clippings from printed media or scanned information from printed media – Two out of 60 learners had pages from the telephone directory, none had anything from a book or magazine.
  4. Evidence of interviews conducted – One had a recording on his cell phone, and one had a paper transcript of the conversation.
  5. Printouts or screen dumps of e-mails – One learner had a copy of a letter sent to someone but no reply – silly.
Data/information found is highlighted/marked/cross-referenced/annotated/linked to the questions asked or to groups of questions – Two of the 60 learners had this done correctly.

Evidence that trustworthiness of different types of sources was checked – Two learners wrote about four lines on this. The rest did nothing. They did not seem to understand it.

Use information – Planning

After having marked the two classes and telling the learners to start working on Phase 3 and the report, and create graphs from the survey, one of my bright learners asked me ‘What is a report?’ and another of my bright learners asked what she must do with the graph. I had not explained what a report was and had not explained that the results of the survey should be displayed in a graph and ‘copied’ into the report!
I then realised why the Planning section had been done so badly, most learners getting 0. I had not taught those basics! I then explained that a report shows all the results of an investigation under headings in something like an essay, with graphs, tables or pictures to show the information.
In the staff room I was told that in English the learners do something about reports, cross referencing/linking to questions and checking the trustworthiness of information, in Gr 9.
It looks as if I will have to rethink the PAT with Grades 10 and 11, and my current Gr 12 s – well, I do not know! I had spoken about what was required and shown them a PowerPoint. I had assumed too much. I have begun to think that the PAT is beyond the mental capacity of my current Grade 12 cohort of learners. Maybe with the Gr 10 and 11 PATs being similar to that of Grade 12 the experience will be useful training for Grade 12.

I wonder how those teaching at less privileged schools are doing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Budget Tours

I was approached for a 'rubric' on Budget Tours. I did not have a rubric but something very different! Well, my aim is to teach so this is how I did Budget Tours.
The learners were given the instructions with marks next to certain sections. The learners were not told how I was going to mark - maybe some read the instruction sheet - well, I only gave marks for certain sections - not every point. And I did not mark the work myself - I have no time. All learners had to put their work on the Internet on a drive that all can see but only the 'owner' can change. I showed the PPT and explained that the sections in certain colours were the areas where the marking would be done. I put the PPT on the network so all could view it. I organised the class so that learners marked particular papers (the learners did not know they were marking each others answers papers). They marked, based on the PPT on the question paper. And then returned the question papers to their owners. So much learning took place! Learners argued about the marks - and came to calm conclusions. I am not a subject advisor and maybe what I did was 'wrong' but it worked for me and the learners learned. I took the marks in to use for the CASS.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gr 10 June exam papers - Theory

Gr 10 June exam papers - Theory

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gr 11 June exam papers - Theory

Gr 11 June exam papers - Theory

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gr 11 June exam papers

Grade 11 June Practical exam papers
Grade 11 June Theory exam papers

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gr 12 June exam papers

Grade 12 June Practical exam papers
Grade 12 June Theory exam papers

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gr 11 Integrated task 2 - Page S14

The Gr 11 s are busy with the Integrated task on page S14, about Utilities and Smartphones.
This is my 3rd year teaching this section and with experience my teaching is becoming better.
With respect to the formatting of the document the learners have to make sure that
  • the font is the same for the whole document
  • there are no hyperlinks anywhere unless specifically added
  • tables they have copied from the Internet look the same as tables they have made, i.e. all tables look the same
  • no tables have shading they may have copied from the Internet
  • all numbering is automatic
  • pages are automatically numbered
  • the document is ONE document with different borders for Mrs and Mr Wannalearn.
Look at the picture of the smartphone with the word document on it. (One of the learners has an 'old' smartphone from a parent who works in the corporate world where they continually upgrade and pass old phones to their offspring.)

Gr 10 Page 46 - Connecting devices

The section on Connecting devices on pages 46 and 47 talk about USB ports. Look at this USB hub. Really nice for those who like gadgets.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Practical examinations

What irregularities/cheating have you experienced during CAT practical examinations? I heard about learners passing around a flash disk, below the desk top, and copying files!
Click on Comments to tell of the cheating experiences in the computer class. Post the comments under Anonymous! Have your say! Maybe another reader will see something they can find useful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Grade 12 PAT

The SABC weather man Simon Gear and his book Going green - 365 Ways to change the world - may give some ideas for the PAT, for those who are starting doing their PAT now (a bit late.) Buy it, browse it! Cape Town teachers - I know he will be at the Cape Town Book Fair over the long weekend (13 - 16 June 2009) and doing a number of presentations. are selling the book at R112 instead of the normal R140.
When I was in Sudan in the Naqa region I saw the effects of global warming - in this temple, built long before the birth of Christ, there are many pictures of cows, cows which must have lived in the area. Look at the area now, cows could not live in the area with that vegetation. Think about how the climate has changed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

PAT - Marking the PAT

I had a long hard look at the PAT and how to assess it. Questions were asked by students about the assessment and doing the work. Have a look at the numbered assessment tool (rubric) and comments on the assessment. I am more and more impressed by this tool which teaches (and assesses) how to find a solution to a problem in a world of info glut. Thank you to the CPUT ACE students who asked the questions!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gr 12 Exam guidelines

The Department supplied a document on guidelines for examinations which I made into a PPT.  The CPUT ACE students found it useful so here it is for all to see.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Excel - How to prevent a formula from displaying in the formula bar

Such a nice feature. I somehow missed it!

How to prevent a formula from displaying in the formula bar.
Caution - This procedure also prevents the cells that contain the formula from being edited.
  1. Select the range of cells whose formulas you want to hide.
  2. On the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Protection tab.
  3. Select the Hidden check box. Click OK.
  4. On the Tools menu, point to Protection and then click Protect Sheet.
  5. Make sure the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells check box is selected.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Exam considerations

I have been looking at old exam papers. Problems come to mind:
  • Our learners do not have bank accounts where they can experience Internet banking. We should teach it using real banking, but keeping our financial details private – tricky!
  • Our learners have not experienced dot matrix printers, something all older CAT teachers know – how do we show it to our learners or how do we demonstrate it?
  • Our learners have not experienced stiffy disks, something all those from affluent schools and ‘modern’ homes do not know – how do we show it to our learners or how do we demonstrate it?
These are all questions which older CAT teachers know and regularly put in examination papers, but have difficulty teaching to our young people.
And found on a paper – May a school … Learners mix it with Can a school … Learners should know the difference between Can and May!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today I turned 60. The learners were amazed that someone of 60, could use the computer. Age is no limit.
  • Age does not influence your thinking ability - Sydney Flowers (Gr 10)
  • Age is nothing but a number - Cindy Julie (Gr 10)
  • You are only as old as you feel - Keenan Sass (Gr 10)
  • Just because computers are new and modern, it does not mean that old people cannot use them - Nicole Fester (Gr 10)
  • You may be old in years but young in spirit - Nadia Khan (Gr 10)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gr 12 PAT - Phase 1

Thank goodness for long weekends. I have finished marking Phase 1 of the Gr 12 PAT and have had time for reflection. What is clear is that the learners did not research their subject, and many created stupid questions. So many had the question ‘What will happen if all the appliances are switched off?’ Well, the answer – they CANNOT all be switched off – what about the freezer and security system? I had hoped that the work would be checked by someone who could think! I had hoped that by the time they reached me basic errors would have been corrected.
Marking this phase took a great deal of concentration and thought, and time. I have changed many many questions, and the learners will have to fix many more questions now in Phase 2. Well I am glad that the learners at least have begun.
It was not a good idea to have marked this with a 'let us see how weak/clever the learners are' attitude as the work is being marked in phases. They have to start and this got them going. My grade average was 66%. When the marks are accumulated the weak and bright learners will be obvious.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Order form for exam papers

Please complete this order form for exams and fax to Sandra. It is so nice to get good exam papers!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pictures from my holiday in Sudan

My Grade 11 learners are busy doing the section on Housekeeping and keeping files and folder neat, page 41. I gave the learners all the pictures I had taken on my recent trip to Sudan. We had a wonderful time looking at the pictures, renaming them and putting them into meaningful folders. A good lesson.
My Grade 10 learners are doing the section on the digital camera and where they work with Paint. We discussed my digital camera and how I used it on my holiday. They fiddled with Paint and the pictures.
I had a grand time showing my pictures and applying skills in a meaningful way.
I have started putting the pictures online - have a look for the link at the bottom of my web page. It is not finished yet!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exam papers - Length

Have a look at the document about the length of exam papers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gr 12 PAT Phase 1

I have started marking my Phase 1. It is obvious that many learners have not done their homework and read about the subject. Some of their questions are wrong, and the places where some find the answers are equally wrong. They seem to use 'survey' as an information source in the wrong places. Grrr!

I note that the rubric does not go into quality of the questions, or if the learners labeled their questions correctly. That is fine. We must stay with the rubric! But we can tweak the rubric and use an improved one with the grade 10s and 11s. At least we have got the kids working! I did like the table format for doing the work.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gr 12 PAT Phase 1

For the PAT you have to find a solution to a local resource problem and present the solution to the local municipality. You need to investigate various solutions, and present them all showing the best solution for the local municipality.
When you do phase 1, you should have done a great deal of background reading and thought of 4-5 possible solutions to your problem. In phase 1 you plan how to get full detailed information about all of the solutions. This information must be proveable, i.e. the name of a person who made a statement, the results of a survey to prove a point, the URL where you found a fact. In order to get enough details to solve a problem you need to ask questions on at least 4 levels.
The application packages are not important yet – they will become obvious as you collect the information. We create clear questions so we do not waste time, so we know that we are investigating things that will help us solve the problem.
Second year students doing the CAT ACE course at CPUT were given the PPTs Information management and the PAT and Phase 1, and the Gr 12 PAT instructions. They had to do their PAT on printer problems in the CAT class using the rubrics from the Gr 12 PAT. Here are 3 examples of their Phase 1 – Shah, Van der Berg and Van Staden. Look at the Description of the task, Main question and then the Questions. All of the examples have good points!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gr 12 PAT Phase 1

I have to help my learners move with their PAT! They need a plan if they are going to do something. They must know what they want to achieve else they will just go round in circles. The planning in phase 1 is so important.
So today I have calm music playing and the learners are calmly searching for statistical data to show that there is a problem in the focus area of their PAT.
They are struggling to create good questions. It is funny to think any person can just go and …
  • search – search for what?
  • collect data – on what?
  • analyse data – on what?
  • analyse data – for what?
  • make graphs – for what?
Hopefully after this calm web/music time they will have statistics to prove there is a problem and improve their questions, and have their phase 1 ready to hand in to me next week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gr 12 PAT Phase 1

I introduced the PAT last week to my class. This week I am going to help them create their Phase 1 document based the following points.
  1. I will ‘talk’ about what is a PAT.
  2. I will talk about points 1 and 2 of page 2 of Learner Section of the PAT.
  3. They will write down statistics to prove that there is a resource problem in their area.
  4. We will look at Phase 1 on page 5 of the Learner Section of the PAT.
  5. I will show them my Phase 1 PPT.
  6. I will show them my main headings/topics on how to deal with the printer in my room.
  7. I will give them the word template linked here, similar to the table in the Phase 1 PPT.
  8. They will enter their headings/topics on the template.
  9. They will create questions beginning with What? When? Where? Who? How many? Etc. to complete the table, to solve their problem, for ALL their headings/topics on the template.
  10. They will create questions beginning with Why? How? Etc. to complete the table, to solve their problem, for ALL their headings/topics on the template.
  11. They will create questions beginning with If, What if? Etc. to complete the table, to solve their problem, for ALL their headings/topics on the template.
  12. They will create questions beginning with Would it be better if? What recommendation? How can I determine? What would be the best way? etc. to complete the table, to solve their problem, for ALL their headings/topics on the template.
  13. They will then indicate where to find the answers for all their problems – they will look in many sources! - electronic encyclopedia such as Encarta, printed media such as magazines, brochures, newspapers, books, etc., opinion polls/surveys, interviews, e-mails, SMSs, telephone calls, etc.
  14. They will then indicate how that question will help solve the problem!
  15. Someone will then check their work.
  16. The learners will check the rubric making sure that they get full marks.
  17. They will submit their individual work.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gr 12 PAT

The PAT is based on the Research Cycle or the Big 6 Information Management Model
The students doing the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) in CAT at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology have created some PPTs to shortly explain the Research Cycle or the Big 6. Please have a look and possibly use them with a class to introduce the PAT. If you use them perhaps you can thank the creator – their email is in the Slide 1 notes page. Please email me PRIVATELY telling me which is the best PPT and why – Thanks.
Barbara Anyster, Johan Barkhuizen, Sandra Botha, Patricia Carelse, Andile Desha, Pumza Dinga, Oscar Lang, Thabisa Matwa, Beauty Mxuma-Nongogo, Nomasomi Nongoko, Tertia Shah, Lindsay Van der Berg, Alexander Van Stade, Dawood Wakefield, Russel Williams

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Designated subjects

Why is CAT not recognised as one of the ‘designated’ subjects for university? Have a look at the official list of designated subjects.
We have spoken about this before, and not had the answers we believe are correct.
We must get our PARENTS and PRINCIPALS to write to the Higher Education South Africa (HESA) board to relook at and revise the subjects required to get access to universities. Their web site is
WHEN is HESA going to relook at and revise the ‘designated’ subjects required to get access to universities? After the election?
Information management is what we teach! University students need information management.

Gr 12 Survey or any other Survey - Evidence

As part of Information Management we must teach learners to make statements based on EVIDENCE collected and processed, not on gut feelings. Their opinion must be able to stand up in a court of law - the evidence for each statement must be there. In their Conclusion or Summary slide for their Survey many learners have made statements that have no relation to what was asked in the survey.

Gr 12 PAT

Have a look at the free monthly glossy magazine called Full Circle. Each month from about June 2008 there has been an article on Sustainable Living. A number of these would provide useful starting resources for getting the learners to start thinking about their projects. The URL is The following URL has an interesting contribution about electricity shortages:

Thank you Peter Davidson for this contribution.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Experience helps

I am getting better at teaching this subject! Experience does help.
  • The Grade 10s have been doing the Integrated Task on pages S8 of the textbook. They are doing it in groups, which has resulted in so much learning, i.e. organising the fonts, layout, line spacing, tabs, borders, and then the information! They were given a rubric which the group used while they were doing the work, and then on which the group had to evaluate themselves. I decide to do it this way as the learners must learn to READ the evaluation rubric and instructions. I will now go through the work and find faults with their work before I jump on them and find faults with their evaluations. This task was due on Friday and the learners are doing their term test on the same work on Monday.
  • The Grade 11s have just finished the Integrated task on page S8 of their books. I made the learners use their own home address for the work. So many cannot write their own address! And creating an agenda is also a problem!I walked the class watching and helping during the task. So much help and guidance seemed to be needed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gr 10 book

The new Grade 10 book has many new exercises which are so challenging. The new edition is great!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Exam guidelines

2009 Exam guidelines from the Department of National Education - Important reading

Monday, February 16, 2009

Competition / Vocabulary

I did say that if nothing was submitted for the competition, from a province, I would indicate as such.
Nothing was submitted for the competition by the Western Cape.
Nothing was submitted from the Northern Cape.

I must check my mail to see if there was anything from the Northern Cape.

Then next is Mpumalanga.

This is rather embarrassing.

Microsoft Office 2007

Have you started using Office 2007? I have found it most frustrating.
I have grown up on the ‘normal’ interface used by XyWrite in the old days, then MSWorks and then various versions of Office until 2003.
We have loaded 2007 on our network as many learners have it at home, and we have to keep up with the (Microsoft) times. It is taking me ages to learn to use this new office software. The frustrating part for me is the different meanings of commands on the Toolbar. Nothing seems to mean the same as it did in 2003.
But in the age of ‘life-long learning’ we must continue to learn.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have gone through the documentation for the grades 10 and 11 and 12 PATs very carefully. I believe the following presentations will be useful:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Exam papers

Exam papers will be available in 2009. Please have a look at the details. How to apply and payment information will be available beginning of the second term - not necessary to do so now. Now you need to plan exam dates. Read the document.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gr 12 Module 1.2

The file Computer Adverts 2009 is available and the solutions to the module.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rules of my room

In all humility I share with you the PPT that I used with my classes at the beginning of the year. Maybe you can get ideas from it and create and use your own.

Friday, January 16, 2009

PowerPoints on CDs

The CDs from Study Opportunities have PowerPoints and lesson plans, etc. as well as data files. Western Cape schools only start next week but training / enrichment workshops are already taking place, during the teachers’s holidays! At a CAT course one of the teachers showed me how she had adapted the PPTs adding text and images. Most impressive!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Competition / Vocabulary

It became apparent from marking the Gr 12 Written examinations in 2008 that many learners have difficulty expressing themselves when answering examination questions and explaining things. In order to improve matters and hence the matric results in 2009, I propose that learners in class be encouraged to verbally define or explain computer terms:
  • In their own words.
  • Clearly and logically
  • Without the use of hands
To further encourage learners I propose that teachers from designated provinces get their learners to practice defining specified words in their own words, clearly and logically without the use of hands, and then create a sound or video file saying it. Then teachers can send me at this file by a specified date as an email attachment to be uploaded and listened to / viewed from the blog.
How cool to have a link to a sound file / video by a learner!

Remember, using quality reference material invariably results in a quality product, i.e. use computer dictionaries, textbooks, etc. to get the correct definitions, but it must be in the learner’s own words.

  1. Any teacher/school from a designated province may send a file.
  2. If no teacher/school from the province sends the file, it will be published that no one from that province submitted a file.
  3. The file must be submitted via the teacher on behalf of the learner and school.
  4. A school may only submit one file (else my mail box may crash).
  5. Teacher guidance is encouraged to attain a good product.
  6. It must be ONE learner defining the word/s and not a group, ensemble or choir.
  7. The name of the learner, school and province must be sent with the file, to be added with the file.
  8. The selected file will be chosen by me and my decision will be final.
  9. There is and will be no payment to the learner/school, and no learner/school will be charged to have their file on the blog.
  10. Learners will lose their rights to the copyright of the material the moment it is uploaded, so must not be surprised to find the sound or video file being viewed across the country.
  11. The work must be in English or Afrikaans, the language of the examination papers.
  12. The file must be less than 10 MG in size.
  13. The sound file should preferably be mp3 format. I have found the free software Audacity, the best for recording and editing sound files.
  14. A digital camera or a video camera must be used for the video clip, not a cell phone.
Here are the words, provinces and dates.
Term – Define, or give the difference between … - Province - Due date
Absolute and relative cell references - Western Cape - 30 Jan - NOTHING submitted
Icon and thumbnail - Northern Cape - 6 Feb
Mailmerge - North West Province - 13 Feb
Memory and storage - Mpumalanga - 20 Feb
Office suite - Limpopo - 27 Feb
Open source and proprietary software - KwaZulu-Natal - 6 March
Server and computer - Gauteng - 13 March
Template - Free State - 20 March
Text file - Eastern Cape - 27 March