‘HOMEWORK has almost no benefit for primary school pupils, a parliamentary inquiry has found.’
This headline on the front page of the Herald Sun caught my interest today. Something about ‘Listen up teachers’ instantly made me cringe. Homework has always been a topic debated in primary schools and is often instigated by parents. Surely the journalist could have used a headline less condescending!
I recommend parents read 201 Literacy and maths tips to help your child published in 2011 by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Melbourne) Victoria, Australia. This is an excellent collection of activities parents can use at home to foster learning beyond the classroom.
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My students have been learning to write a procedural text. Using the PM Big Genre Books is where we start. These exemplars enable learners to pull apart a text and develop criteria. After pulling apart the PM exemplars it was time to write their own procedural text armed with their understanding. Topic: How to make a paper plane. Off they went with ‘gusto’ to make a paper plane and write a procedural text.
Once finished, I asked for volunteers to share their procedural text with the class and invited the teacher next door to use one of their procedural texts to make a plane. The first photo is a picture of the plane made following one of the procedural texts written by a student. My young learners learnt quickly that ‘whoops’ they may have missed a few steps and their instructions needed reviewing. The next step was to write a procedural text as a class on how to make a paper plane.
My young learners then wrote a procedural text for making a Chatter Box. Procedural texts are fun!
Have a go! See if you can make a Chatter Box.
Young students require guidence to select learning goals. Setting goals when listening to a student read or conferencing a piece of writing is where conversations happen naturally about learning. It takes time for young learners to develop these skills. My advice is to keep it simple when introducing goal setting and it is the student who sets the goals!
These goals have been written by my students after a conference. They understand what each goal means to them and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
I used the Reading Hand prompts to initiate discussion (on the back of their reading log). Some students have now made their own Reading Hand prompts.