Friday, May 3, 2013

The Homework battle...

Dear all,

Greetings and salutations,

I'm back after an extended South Coast break.

Today I'm writing about the challenge of getting your students to do their homework.

Or more explicitly, in this context, the challenge of getting your students to watch videos that you have set for them, for homework.

If you are not differentiating your homework, then I think that there is little challenge in this area; a note home to Mum and Dad early in the year explaining the weekly homework structure should suffice. There. Done. Unchanging.

But.... if you are setting different students different videos to watch weekly, according to the students specific and identified needs, then you have a slightly more complex issue than the one listed directly above.

This has been my challenge for a little while now.

I would be very grateful if all my students just went home and watched (and commented on) their video homework. But all do not. Perhaps 80 percent do. The remainder can be a bit of a 'stay in at recess' battle.

The guilty 20 percent usually do their standard homework!! But they usually lag behind in the video watching.

What’s the difference?

I can only conclude it must be Mum and Dad; or more specifically, the fact that Mum and Dad know that little Jimmy has the same spelling and mentals homework every week, but they are not entirely sure what videos he has been set to watch.

So what to do.... (apart from missing my recess)?

I have previously referenced EDMODO as a learning tool I am using to adequate effect in the classroom. EDMODO has a system by which you can allot each child’s parent a code, so that they can see all work and events that have been set only for their child.

I would like to introduce the parents to EDMODO in this way, so that they can easily see just what is expected of their children from week to week (because in a differentiated classroom homework for each student will be different).

I will keep you posted as to how this succeeds.

Please note: official results based (at least partially) on this new ‘flip’ teaching model I am using are coming very soon. The students are still to sit the second part of their numeracy test, in order for me to accurately compare 2013 results with 2012.

This for me is the most exciting aspect of the whole process; that is, are the students learning more?

I have also started to consult in NSW primary and high schools with regards to flipping (or blending) the classroom. If you are interested in having me come along to speak to your staff, details can be found here: