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Homework - lets share and be creative

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bluerose, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. A recent thread about making homework meaningful and actually getting it back etc took off like a rocket.

    leading to this excellent site http://www.learninglogs.co.uk/

    Since so many are clearly keen to develop this approach a few of us thought we should start actually sharing activity ideas and build up a bank of things like last summers excellent S&L resource (if you missed that look in resource bank its great)
    If this takes off im happy to pull it altogether into a clear format of ideas at end of summer

    Some people send out a learning objective for the week with a open task eg

    L.O. to be able to write a first person account.

    Task: Write a diary.

    What to do: First choose who you will be when you write your diary here are some ideas
    Be Yourself: Write about what you did in the holidays or what you did at the weekend.
    Pretend to be someone famous, such as Fern and Reggie and write their diary.
    Pretend to be someone from a film or TV programme such as Pirate Jack or Shrek .
    Make up someone
    Choose someone you know,
    Choose someone from history like Queen Victoria and write their diary.

    Next your diary can be for however long you like. It can include photos, clipart, and pictures. Don?t forget to put the days at the top of each entry.

    Look at the reminder sheet which tells you about things to remember when writing a diary. Good luck and have fun.

    Theres one example thank you to the poster who shared this with me.

    You can come on and post an objective for others to add to or with a complete idea as above
  2. The above homework might take a week or two. Another way of doing this that a poster shared with me is to have a longer piece of homework where you give pupils a list of tasks worht varying points and a minimum total they should aim for. These include a wider range of activities. I think as a school id want to trial both kinds and maybe would use both types at different times of year eg one year group do the firt type in Autumn and another this second kind.

    Example of second kind
    Around life in Ancient Egypt
    For 2 points = Make a list of essential things you would take on your expedition to the pyramids.
    Create a timeline and include 5 events on it from your studies of ancient Egypt
    Draw/paint a picture of something from Ancienct Egypt eg one of the Gods, a pyramid, some hieroglyphics. Write a caption to go with it.
    Write your name in Hieroglyphics or that of someone else in your family

    For 5 points =
    List the advantages and disadvantages of opening up the pyramids
    Create a poster advertising a Egyptian muserum collection. (This can be done on the computer)
    Write a short newspaper report announcing the discovery of Tutenkhamens tomb. (Include a Catchy Headline!)
    Write a diary entry from someone in Howard Carters team
    Dress up as an Egyptian. Have your photo taken and write a caption to go with it.
    Create a leaflet about an exhibit for the museum.
    Find an interesting paragraph about Ancienct Egypt in a book. Make notes and write about it in your own words. Dont forget to write title of book.

    For 8 points =

    Make a 3D model of an item from the war (Gas mask, tank, plane etc?)
    Write a food diary for one day. List which foods were imported and the places where the food came from.
    Find an Egyptian recipe(ancienct or modern). Create this recipe and take a photo to show your creation. (Write the recipe to go with your photo in case others would like to have a go)
    Design a job advert for someone to work on a dig.
    Write your own Egyptian poem.
    Write a description of entering a tomb for the first time. (It was dark with the chink of light from the opening we had made. The aid was stuffy and closed all around us...)
    Imagine you are member of Howard Carters team. Write a letter home to your family.

    For 10 points =

    Write a report on Howard Carter
    Get someone to pretend they were on Howard Carters team or you could be this person. Conduct an interview.Write out the questions and answers.
    With permission, watch a film with an Egyptian theme. Write a film review.
    Write a story with an Egyptian theme, maybe something linked to a curse. This could be present day set in museum or linked to an artefact in your home.

    I think these ideas are amazing they are not mine a poster sent them to me for a different topic and i have adapted (not as well) to this theme as its upto original poster to share on here if chooses to.

  3. L.O. to be able to add to numbers upto 10

    Task: make a game which involves adding numbers upto 10

    What to do: First choose what sort of game it will be
    Will it be a card game or a track game.
    Then if its a track game what will the track board look like (remember there are some blank ones in class you could use one of them)
    Remember it can have a theme eg the game could have pictures on of characters from a story or could link to our Toy topic. The cards could have pictures on too.

    Next decide how to play- you'll need to know what equipment you need (you can get dice and counters from school if you need them)
    How many people can play
    Now write down how to play
    Then have a go at the game- do you need to make any changes?
    When you're happy that the game works well spend some time on the drawings etc and make it look nice
    Dont forget you need to bring it into school for June 5th so we can all play them together.

    (for our parents with homework like this clearly aimed at younger class might have an hour at end of one day for parents to come in and play some games id set up like this so they really understood the task. I know not all would come in but would help a few of those middling ones maybe)

  4. talulabell

    talulabell New commenter

    these sound great however would you do this in Year 6?
  5. talulabell - on the previous thread there are a few ideas for each year group and the www.learninglogs.co.uk has examples from most year groups.

    e.g. LO: To revise xyz.
    You could draw a mind map showing xyz.
    You could draw a labelled diagram of x.
    You could stick in pictures of x and y and group them.
    You could draw a Carroll diagram to sort x, y and z.
    You could invent a 20-questions style game to identify which z the other player has.

    Does that make sense? I'm not in year 6 and have never used these logs before, but they sound great to me.
    giggle. x
  6. Dont see any reason to not use them in y6. Were you worrying that they should be revising as i think the two can work together will go and think of an example.

    Hope the first posts which were comprehensive as they came from posters working this way havent put people off adding. Why not add a learning objective youd like to send home and well see what we can come up with. Or maybe one idea for homework which others can develop.

    eg want something around developing characters
  7. Bluerose, you are very active in this forum. You are obviously very keen.

    What year do you teach?

    I must say i find the ideas i read very helpful indeed. Have you been in teaching long?
  8. Im a HT putting off some serious school work and a housework load that has got way out of control- today was designated as clean up day. Kids are studiously ignoring this too!!!!
  9. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    Wow. Completely inspired by this as i said on the last thread.

    Would you give just one learning outcome a week/fortnight?

    Would you choose which area and vary it? Or stick to the project?

    I think i'd struggle to be creative with ideas for maths but... I could be wrong.

    I think this really is a great idea. I can see me spending a lot of time with the class the first week back explaining this to them, to try to inspire them too.

    Being in a one teacher school and having all the ages and stages in one class, i think it would take a lot more organising and prep than the other homework but I think this would be worth it for all the reasons mentioned by other posters.

    I'll be back! :)

  10. SK think it can take whatever form you like some seem to be doing one a week like the diary example others the half/whole term approach like the egyptian example. Think depends what suits you best. Do all your children to same topic at a time? I think your setting could be perfect for the bigger project model as think you could make it family projects too as to be honest a key aim of this is to get whole family involved so if you had a 5 year old and 9 year old in same family if they wanted to could be a joint presentation at end. Think maths is harder have asked Andrew to add to this. I thought of example with board game as thought made it a bit more intersting.
  11. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    Yes. That is how it could work! OOh i am all excited about this now. I just need to decide what i am going to do for the project next term!! I am actually desperate to start jotting down ideas!! I love it when i get the ispired bug.

    I had better contribute an idea to this thread though rather than take take take.

    Thinking about story characters and developing them in children's writing:

    LO - To think about the characters name and how it suits their character (badly worded, i know)

    Give a couple of examples Hagrid, Weasley, The Trunchbull, Miss Honey etc.

    For the younger children who are perhaps not familiar with how these characters look, get them to draw pictures of the characters using their name as a guide.

    Older children could use books and knowledge of disney characters to link up the characters names to either descriptions in texts, or what they already know about their character (Cruella De Vil - Cruel Devil?) Snow White etc.

    They could all then take this and create their own character, thinking of how the name and their personality can link. The older chidren could then do a piece of descriptive writing on their character (Dahl and J.K. Rowling have excellent examples of this in their books)

    This could then take a dramatic turn as the children could then think about how their character walks and talks, moves, looks etc. - You'd imagine the trunchbull to be very heavy footed, loud, deep voice, manly movements etc - how does that contrast to Miss Honey? The children could then put photos of this into their log.

    Over the term or the next few weeks, You could then take your character and find a setting for them, what could happen to them that you wouldn't initally predict etc to make a story???

    ???????? I dont know. Is this the kind of thing you are looking for????? Perhaps i have it all wrong.

  12. Here's what i did for space- i guess it is like the point system, but it was depenedent on how many of the tsaks the children completed. If i did it again i would seroiusly think about giving tasks and the way that they are completed differnt points.

    The hook was posters around the school grounds and buildings advertising vacancies for Y5 pupils at an astronaut training centre for an undeclared mission into the solar system (this way the parents know what was going on as well). In class all the children were given an application pack containing job descrpition, personal qualities, closing date for application, application form, an addressed envelope for their applications, a blank stamp (they designed a space realted stamp) and a hints sheet on how to complete an application form and write a letter of application (PAAN- purpose, audience and audience needs).
    We completed the application form in school togther and their first homework task was to write their letters of application. I set up a postbox in the school entrance for them to use. Once the closing date had arrived I emailed or wrote to them on whether they had been successful. (At this point several hadn't completed the application, but they soon did when they heard the others talking about their e-mails!) Needless to say all applicants were accepted!
    On acceptance they each recieved a training programme which wsa divided into academy training sessions(school) and independent tasks (homework). They then had two to three weeks to complete the independent tasks.

    Independent tasks (in no particular order):
    * to be able to use scientific vocabulary accurately (they designed games, wordsearches, quizzes which we later played in class)
    * To be able to name the nine planets in our solar system and to know at least 9 things about the planets
    (we had models, collages, basic written research, party plan, posters, powerpoints, bigbooks. Some of the children got together to do this out of school)
    * to use space word association ( we had a 100 square, the children brought in space related items e.g a picture of Freddie Mercury or a packet of orbit chewring gum) This idea was taken the IPC
    * Differnt maths activities such as probability, ordering numbers, data handling, time adapted from Using Maths Red level - Mission Into Space
    * to design a space station for life on Mars (the children started this in school following a session on creating a community to take to Mars. Their space station had to hace certian features to sustain and support this community)

    As the work in class was lonked very closely, the children were really inspired and we could have done with longer, but unfortunately time caught up with us.
    It was alot of prepartion on my part, but well worth it!

    Sorry it's an essay, but just so enthusiastic about it!
  13. yes this is exactly the sort of thing and now looking at this think this would be perfect project to link the two sorts of homework eg give out a new task each week which would lead to one end of term/half term activity eg

    Long term project to create a story
    Task 1 (maybe 2 weeks) To create a character
    What to do :-
    Think about the characters name it will need to fit the personality of your character you might change your mind later in task and give a new name

    Here are some examples Hagrid, Weasley, The Trunchbull, Miss Honey, id include picture book ones for younger pupils here

    Then draw a pciture of your character or you could dress up as a character and have a photograph in the middle of the page.

    Then write words to describe your characters appearance these could be around edge of picture, or in sentences or in one descriptive paragraph. Try to include some good wow words (might include some WOW words for description and/or paragraphs from books about pictures used earlier)

    Remember you could base your character on a real person, one from a story or TV but dont copy mix bits up so its original

    Then you need to think of some words to describe your characters personality (how they behave) these could be added to picture in different colour or as a new set of sentences or another paragraph.

    Think about how your character moves and speaks, act it out at home and get your family to help think of words to describe this eg think about how their character walks and talks, moves, looks etc. - You'd imagine the trunchbull to be very heavy footed, loud, deep voice, manly movements etc - how does that contrast to Miss Honey? The children could then put photos/or drawings of this into their log.

    week 3 ) You need to think of a good setting for your character (here are some examples...)

    Draw a picture stick one in from a book or photograph one. Write some words about this place think about using your senses, what does it look like, feel like, can you smell anything? what can you hear? how does this place make you feel? You could do these as a mindmap (include and example) and then you could write a paragraph about this setting

    Week 4 ) Here are 2 other character bins for you to choose a character from each (one for a baddy one for a goody) Choose the character you want and create a page for each using description about them. If you want you can make your own

    Week 5-6) Right now you have a main important character, and 2 other characters and a setting. You now need to start planning a story. Remember a story has a problem in it that needs resolving. You might already have a good idea about how you want your story to start or end if not here are a bank of ideas that you could develop (include some suggestions of things they could choose eg lost pet etc) You need to plan out a story. You can take a story planner from school or you could plan it as a mind map or as pictures or as a comic strip, you could act it out and take photos to show the key parts How you choose to do this is upto you. All you need to remember is
    1) have a start
    2) develop your character dont forget the personality you gave them
    3) have a problem
    4) have a solution
    5) have an ending

    Then when these come back in you could always use them for further story writing the following term. Lots of drafting etc and a final finished story published at end of term. If logs were good id have a special event to get parents in to see what can be done to inspire them for future.

    This all sounds so good and then i remember our parents and kids and think temper it with realism!!!

    For younger kids might make it more linked to writing a traditional story with a twist eg 3 bears arent bears etc
  14. jcup think that sounds fantastic will be looking at what we do as i know kids love space. As you can see i was also posting an essay this is addictive
  15. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

    Thanks bluerose.
  16. Just a thought for your story writing Shetland-Kate. Try using a circle for their plan. They can then have the same starting and finishing point so that they think about these before they go on the story journey. Can't draw it on here but can email the plan to you if you want
  17. shetland-kat

    shetland-kat New commenter

  18. Ok no problem. will be with you this afternoon.This is getting very addictive!
  19. 666


    I have really liked all the idea so far and they are certainly more interesting than the HW I give out. Mental note to self: must try harder.

    I will get thinking and post back. I would like to mix the idea of :

    'advertising vacancies for Y5 pupils at an astronaut training centre for an undeclared mission into the solar system'

    and the history project from post 1 and 2.

    Maybe advertising for an exploration team of budding archaeologists.
  20. yes there was an 8 point task for job ad so that would fit. Think some of these things are quite adaptable from one topic to another i changed a wwii one to the egyptians not all tasks fitted but most could be swopped. The story topic one could be for a whole school which might encourage families better so could be a half term project when all school were doing something similar around developing characters and settings for stories at their level then parents should in theory find it easier to help and would also be able to see how well or not their child was working if all have similar task.
    Think id want to have a homework club to support this although these have danger of letting some parents off the hook and leaving school to do it all and babysit so would need to think about that as that isnt what im aiming to achieve. In my view homework at primary school at least is not brilliant as often kids who could do it in class rattle through it and what was the point and those that cant need a teacher to help. This type of homework should let all types of parents get involved and research shows that parents who talk with kids about their learning have impact its not about parents being good teachers as such. So for me the aim is for children to see learning extends beyond the classroom and for parents to see they can engage and it can be fun- thats also key to make it really work.
    Im still looking at how to get ours to read regularly any ideas?

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