Today, I was finalising the November issue of the College’s CPD magazine on target setting (see previous versions on assessment and high expectations) and I had one of my little brainwaves… or brain fidgets at the very least!
To say that I wasn’t inspired by @TeacherToolkit ‘s wonderful 5 min plan series at this point, would be a total lie, so I won’t go there! Thank you for the inspiration Ross!
I have always placed target setting in the hands of the students as I’ve seen little point in me handing them a directive; they are far more likely to be motivated if it is led by their own needs. In addition to this, target writing can prove a useful measure of assessing how far students have understood the requirements of the unit and feedback received to date. If a student creates a target that doesn’t match any of the feedback you’ve given them, you know that work needs to be done on reviewing feedback… and so on.
Along with improving target setting, I have wanted to explore accountability much more this year. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a real drop in homework submission. It’s becoming a problem I don’t want to battle with anymore, so I will instead tackle it.
Plan A was to change homework so that it becomes a more fun and memorable process, but also contains the level of learning and activity I want from them. I stumbled across Homeworkopoly and have set up a board. It will be installed in my classroom next week, along with some chance cards made from risk cards that @englishlulu has created (I love being a magpie, me!) Most weeks, students will complete whatever homework they land on. Some weeks, I will select a piece of homework for them, based on current targets in their work. This approach should lead to something a little more personalised too. I shall share more, including all of my street names and activities next week!
Plan B is to use a homework plan. I always set homework in the last of our three lessons of the week so students will now be given a review sheet each to reflect on homework just completed and homework they will need to complete for the following week. I hope that more time given in the lesson to plan the process will a) help them to remember it, b) place more importance on its completion and c) generate more accountability.
I have created a document for my personal tutees to plan for a tutorial.
One for my English classes to plan target setting.
One for my English students to plan their homework.
Please let me know your thoughts. These are in their early stages and it’d be great to get further suggestions. If you would like editable versions, just comment below or contact me via Twitter @hannahtyreman.
After many years battling homework issues, I came to your similar conclusion that students need to see a point in homework, and it needs to fit their needs. Where possible, I set homework as a separate activity to classwork so that it is building on different skills and knowledge. For example, my Year 10 English class will do a range of character activities as homework while we focus on writing an essay in class. I’ve found grids based on Blooms Taxonomy or Learning Styles with lots of student choice are more successful than directives. I really like the homework plans you’ve created! I hope they work in reducing your backload.
Use of Bloom sounds like a great idea. My Monopoly board will have PLENTY of choice so hopefully that will have some impact- let’s see how it goes! I’ll post an update soon.
I am working on creating home works which lead inexorably to the learning in the subsequent lesson ie introductions of new information in order to both save time in the lesson and make home works more meaningful. Google forms is quite useful for this, especially with the video insert facility
I’d love to see what progress you have with this. I’ve become frustrated on a number of occasions when student haven’t done the task as the lesson then has to be adjusted for those few/ many. They seem to have responded better to longer term projects online/ via presentations etc. I have been using Google forms in addition to videos- I didn’t know you could insert a video straight in?! How is this possible?