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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...




THE BEST PART
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 :-)