it’s Sunday afternoon the sun is shining at last and my dog is snoozing at my feet, a fairly normal day. Yet my daughter is teaching herself to crochet using youtube clips and my son is trying to understand his maths homework also through watching online help. I am mid way through checking my class homework for the week and reflecting on just how well it is going and yet how different it is to homework we set even two years ago.
Two years ago my Sunday afternoons would have included a large pile of books. Inside I would have found a glued in sheet containing a variety of activities. I would have spent my afternoon reading, commentating and stamping my way through the pile. Books filled with words. Words that only I ever saw.
Today my Sunday afternoon is spent reading my students ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Stories’. Following from our popular Passion Projects last term. Each week, each student is writing a chapter of an adventure narrative. At the end of the chapter she has to give three possible scenarios for the next chapter. As part of her homework she also has to comment on four other student blogs and vote on which scenario their next chapter should follow. In addition I have a group of volunteer parents who are also reading and commentating on a small group of blogs. Add to that the votes of Mrs W and myself and most students are getting between five and eleven votes per chapter. For not only are their peers and parents voting but so are grandmas, fathers, aunties and friends. I can also see students choosing to read each others because they are getting caught up in the writing and they want to find out what happens next.
Now obviously in a mixed ability class we have a mix of narratives, some are better than others. But at my school we work on personal bests and I am definitely seeing many improving personal bests. I can see that our lessons in class on developing narrative characters and how to write using direct speech are being applied. I can also see that my students are motivated. Real writing for a real audience. You can’t get much better than that.
If you would like to read and comment on our Choose Your Own Adventure Stories head to Year6rc to find our student blogs.