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Thursday, 18 April 2013

LEARNING LOGS - The best idea for engaging children in reading and writing!

Learning Logs

'I love doing my learning log every week. I get to choose my own research topic and I really enjoy making my pages interactive with flaps, questions and quizzes for my reader. It's so much fun!' Innuka, 8 Years Old, SCIPS, Penang.

Are you bogged down with the daunting task of preparing daily homework for your class? Do your activities allow for creativity, choice & independence? Are you setting homework daily, marking daily & feeling frustrated with sheets/books/sheets/books/sheets/books piling up on your desk, on top of your daily class work?

Learning logs are one of the best teaching ideas to inspire children to write. With a purpose, an audience and independence to choose, every child can present their ideas, thoughts and research in their own unique way. A way to improve this scrap-booking log idea further, children could present their research online by blogging either directly or by posting images of their log entry. Parents love this idea as they get to see their child's work and share with wider members of the family. 

In order to manage your work load at the same time as maximising your student's potential...start using LEARNING LOGS with your class. They allow for creativity, independence, research, variety of text-types, presentation techniques with a mixture of writing, diagrams, pictures, bullet-points, facts, questions...plus...STUDENTS LOVE & CHERISH THEM!

As requested, I have included below a short description of how to set these Learning Logs up in your class.

What is a learning log?

A learning log is a large A3 book with plain paper that your students use to complete weekly research tasks. The first task is to ask your class to design a funky front and back cover which is then protected with plastic covering. This helps the book look attractive; something your students will cherish and will last the year. These research tasks should be completed over a few days, not just in one night. This way your students have a better opportunity to complete each part of the research process in detail, overall producing high quality pieces of work as well as learning how to manage their time. 

How are the research tasks structured?

Research tasks should relate to your class topics. Ours are mostly related to our History/Geography/Art or Science units.

What's included in a research log?

TIP - It is also useful to provide your students with a short task sheet outlining their objectives and research choices when setting the task. This way, they can remember at home and parents will also know what is expected.

What makes a learning log successful?

Teach your students how to complete a successful learning log by sharing your expectations with them.

Communication to parents

In order to get the best out of your students and the time given at home, send a letter to your parents explaining the structure of this task. Something like this...

Peer & Self Assessment Opportunities

The best part of this task is watching and listening to your students sharing their research with their peers. We spend a lesson sharing our research tasks with each other every week. They love having this opportunity to shine and feel proud their efforts. After they share their work, they work in pairs to peer evaluate each other by providing constructive feedback. Take a look at some our feedback framework options below...

"Definitely one of the best things I've done in 20 years. There they all were, these little Y2s, on the playground at 8.45 yesterday comparing work they'd done over the weekend!''

Quote from a teacher contributor from http://www.learninglogs.co.uk/

Remember, there are many great ideas out there for making homework fun, meaningful and useful...this is just one of them! If you have another great idea or thoughts about this one...please share here as a comment for everyone :-)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Message to everyone: A few days left of our Easter break...

Wow! Those 2 weeks flew by :( I could seriously enjoy a further month off by the beach. I enjoyed a lovely weekend away in Bali even though our intended trip was supposed to be 10 days...we kind of spent too much money early on! Oh well...it was a great weekend though! I've really enjoyed setting up my blog and sharing posts with you this holiday. During my teaching term, I will be making every effort to keep this up every week...somehow! My new mission. It's the term of dreaded long report writing again. 

*Does anybody have any great teaching tips to share about this? How to manage your time etc?? Share with me here as a comment, or if you would like your ideas published in the The Staff Room @ www.thestaffroom4teachers.blogspot.com please send an email to me at: staffroom925@gmail.com

It's great professional development, great exposure & completely free...

Enjoy the rest of your break everyone! 

Miss Rix


Please read my article on SUCCESS CHECK POINTS - A great way to ensure formative assessment is effective in your classroom.

Published in the Staff Room @ www.thestaffroom4teachers.blogspot.com

Friday, 5 April 2013

The BLOGFOLIO...have you got one?

The newest word to hit the professional development scene: BLOGFOLIO

With the rapid growth of online social and professional networking platforms, more and more people are connecting and sharing their expertise online. The professional network is huge and I'm still only just getting to grips with twitter, Google+ and Blogger myself, which are only but a few of the networks out there. Long gone are the days where handing a simple CV to an employer would suffice. 

It's become apparent that employers are using these social networking sites to help them find the right person for the job. Do you exist online right now in a professional capacity? If so, how do you come across? Your online profile could be the reason you are successful or unsuccessful in today's employment market. 

It's a dog eat dog world out there with a BLOG vs BLOG attitude...so INVEST IN YOURSELF this year and create a shining online professional profile

As you can see, I have only just created this blogfolio for myself and it's fun. I think I've developed a new hobby and can call myself a blogger. However, even now as I write this post, I am still wondering; what is a Blogfolio? What should be on it? 

Read my tips below on how to create a successful Blogfolio. I will be working on such pointers myself...

1) Choose a quality blog provider

The top 3 most recommended and user friendly hosts at the moment are;

It's the final climb...you've nearly reached the summit!


Great tips on surviving long terms by managing your work/life balance.