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Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2nd Grade Teacher at a school in Melbourne, Australia. My job: push kids to think. My passion: helping kids to tackle the life-long skill of searching for meaning, skills, answers and more questions.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Farewell, Homework - Welcome, Home Learning!

Yep... the boss approved.  Here's a promotional poster that I made for the kids.

Alrighhht! The boss approved of my not-that-crazy idea of abandoning traditional homework.  
4RPB bade farewell to homework last week and began our process of embracing 'home learning'.
I suppose a few people might think this a simple word-play, so I share here the two posters I created in order to demonstrate the difference to the kidlets.  

The first poster addresses the question of  'WHY' I would make this change.

The second poster addresses 'HOW' the kidlets can get this right in terms of an Essential Agreement that we created in a class discussion.  Some of the ideas are repeated, but this document is 'official'.  It is the guideline, the rules if you must.  I much prefer the PYP language of it being an Agreement.

We're not too precious about this.  See anything you'd change or re-word?  Let us know.

Enjoy the posters, but be sure to tell me if there is ANYTHING you think I should add to either one. 
 PYP peeps, don't worry about changing an essential agreement... my kids know that I am blogging this and they wouldn't mind if someone from around the world put their 2 drachmas into the agreement. 

Early next week, I'll show you the difference in diary use since the first week of feedback from me.
Some kids have really blossomed.
I'll be totally honest about the good, bad and ugly of this process so you can get a 'real' perspective. 

Captain's Log: Supplemental

After a terrific suggestion from a fellow PYPeep, I've changed poster number one.  Where before there was a slightly annoying repetition of one idea, I have now made more explicit that this is the beginning of a life-long journey of learning as a successful human being.  Might look a subtle change, but I think it's really important.  Any further suggestions will be equally welcomed.

Here 'tis.  Thanks for the suggestion, Jessie!

Wow.  Much better!  Thanks heaps for the suggestion, Jessie!


elisamaza76 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elisamaza76 said...

This is AWESOME -- I look forward to hearing what sorts of changes you see!

jessievaz12 said...

Just want to say congratulations on getting approval! Great for you! I am a firm believer in HOME LEARNING and couldn't be more supportive of your endeavour! Way to go!!

As for the posters, I like everything I see but something that is implicit in the first one that you might want to make more EXPLICIT is the idea that this is the first step in PERSONAL LIFE LONG LEARNING! Home learning is what everyone does and it's important that students do it too! (I'm a PYP peep by the way!)

Love the idea and look forward to the updates!!


Richard Black said...

Why thank you, ladies!
A fantastic suggestion, Jessie! I've made that change immediately!
I'll be sure to post the changes I see. Had a conversation with a parent last night which indicates this is very positive for her son who had been stressing a lot. More stories to come.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.... and Candace, thank you for not 'going all Martin Luther' on me. ;)

Lindy Buckley said...

Richard, These are great. I'll be sharing your ideas with our homework committee which will be studying the future of homework at our school. I really like the essential agreements you have. Please do let us know how this goes. Will hope to see what your students find challenging about it and if the enthusiasm keeps up. Certainly I agree this is the way to go! Thanks so much for sharing what you have been doing. Look forward to hearing more!

Bruce Ferrington said...

Like the distinction between home "work" and home "learning". Maybe you could improve it by getting rid of the annoying Garfield pics and using something with class - like Tintin!

Richard Black said...

I just bought two Tintin books for the bookshelf, Fezz. Perhaps I shall have a ritual burning in the backyard instead? Play nicely with others or I'll tell your missus! ;)

Alice said...

I am very interested in home learning - as distinct from homework and I'm currently doing my final research for my BA (hons)degree about it. I am finding it's such an emerging theme that not much is written about it. Can you tell me how this is progressing for your students now that you've been using this for a few months? I found an interesting study in California where at the end of 6 months half the parents said they preferred worksheets.
Also would you be willing for me to quote you / your blog? Many thanks, Alice

Richard Black said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Alice. You are welcome to quote anything you see here - anytime. As for the parent feedback, I've had two rounds of feedback from two different cohorts of parents now. The most recent was last week at Parent Teacher interviews. Only one parent mentioned the fact that I set no homework - because the kids are steering themselves. There's more to it... another blog post is on the way about it.
Thanks for your interest. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.