I try to never go into Waterstones as I love it so much. I’m a weirdo that likes science AND reading!! ie. My two highest grades at college were Biology and English. Weird.
Waterstones is like the designer shop of the book world. Everything is either RRP or above unless its going in the sale bin (which even then is still more expensive than online) and i’m honestly surprised it’s still going with all the online shoppers these days. Maybe its because people like me walk in and see an actual book in real life and simply can’t walk away without it. That’s pretty much today’s story.
LOOK AT IT THOUGH. The Palgrave Student Planner 2015-2016 by Stella Cottrell.
I already have a planner for this year that I kid you not has already started falling to bits. So when I saw how thick this was I had to have a look. And my god is there masses of extra information in what is supposed to be just a planner. You could plan your whole life with this planner.
Each month begins with a full page for you to plan our your general to-do list for the month and any notes you want to jot down. The weekly spread contains times, locations and notes for any event you have (ideal for a current student that is also volunteering and working part-time!). There are also really cute ‘tip of the week‘ sections at the top of each week to keep you going and a box of ‘deadlines to meet this week‘, which will really help me keep on top of blogging!
I’m showing you three of my favourite ‘extra’ pages that I can see being really useful as a university student in particular but also any student really! A money planner that forces you to total up all of your expenses down to ‘gifts for others’ so you never stray beyond that student overdraft. Mini reviews on apps about student life! I especially like the idea of maintaining good study habits and will be trying out those ones for sure! Finally, laundry symbols and cooking temperatures. You may all be laughing at me like ‘PAH, how do you not know how to cook and clean!? Typical dirty, lazy student’, but seriously, how many of you know the symbol for non-chlorine bleach? Also, I rarely ever cook anything in the oven that isn’t set at 180’C, so I will learn from this!
I won’t show you everything, but as you can see from the contents page, well over half of this planner is dedicated to all of the external aspects that get you on the right track. It also has all the basics of the average planner anyway any considering it was only 99p dearer than the average wire-bound planner from other retailers, it’s well worth the investment (p.s. it’s even cheaper online!).
I cannot think of a better title for this than ‘Science in Seconds’. It literally does what it says on the tin (or in the title, but that’s less catchy!).
Every two pages in the book opens up into a mini encyclopaedia about a chosen scientific topic. In only a few sentences, the author managed to accurately sum up sometimes very dry and daunting topics into bite sized chunks that are way easier to stay engaged with. Every topic comes with a partnering simplistic diagram or schematic that marries everything together.
It really impressed me how many different areas this book managed to cover. Even within areas such as classic chemistry and futuristic spaceflight, there are a mixture of fundamental concepts and very specific topics. For instance, within the biology category there is a section on simply plants, yet also sections on kidney dialysis and extraterrestrial origins of life!
What’s more is there is a glossary and index at the back where you can look up assumed terms and track down the whereabouts of that pesky concept that you can’t find!
This book masters the art of public engagement with science in writing form, which I am extremely passionate about. It makes science fun and easy, contrary to the dull and elitist reputation it so often receives.
I have also since discovered that this book is part of a series of topics in seconds/minutes, with titles now available in philosophy, economics and psychology to name a few. So if you like the idea of ‘key concepts explained in an instant’ but for some reason think that another subject is BETTER than SCIENCE?!?! Then there are all sorts of other options out there too.
First off, I just want to point out that this nifty 142 page collection of anecdotes is available on both the amazon kindle and ibook store for £3 or you can snag a paperback copy for £6-8 online. Super good deals!
Although this book is relatively short it definitely packs a punch. It is divided into lots of sections with different focuses like behaviour management and how to work with high achievers. Personally, the fact that it goes over coping strategies for high achievers was a big push for me to buy this as lots of people tend to be more worried about low achieving students. Not me! I’m most worried about not knowing enough for those students who go above and beyond expectations. This book is really good at providing short and sweet answers to general queries and sharing some anecdotes about scenarios that the author has come across in the past (great for teaching!).
I think it’s great that the author chose to break down the whole book into ‘idea’ sections. The whole essence is that you can carry this guide around in your pocket or on your smart phone and refer to it when you’re having a rough day or in need of some inspiration! Indeed, the author seems passionate about teaching old dogs new tricks!
Regardless, for a newbie to the teaching game this guide will still be a valuable tool that I will surely keep nearby when i’m starting out to keep my lessons fresh and exciting.