Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning to set goals

I think I have said it before - I really like Bianca's teacher this year.  Bianca's had really supportive and excellent teachers up to now, but the teacher this year is really going the extra mile with making sure the kids are excited about their learning and will have plenty of opportunity to be sufficiently challenged this year.  Teachers seem to do things slightly different in each class and in Bianca's class the teacher spends a lot of time with Glossary (which is learning new words and using it in sentences).  Since Bianca started doing that, whenever she hears a specific word in an advertisement or in conversation, she will say "glossary word!".  And this teacher is really passionate about maths as well as music.  So much so the teacher is offering free guitar lessons one lunch time each week.

Bianca's teacher also lets the kids do a homework sheet along with spelling words.  This is not a very long piece of homework and would mostly consist of some glossary exercises and maths exercises.  It takes about 10 minutes to do and is really just a bit of extra practice for what they learn in class.  There was one parent who complained bitterly about the homework sheet and so initially the headmaster decided that this would need to be stopped and I immediately decided that that was not good enough.  I WANTED Bianca to get her homework sheet.  I like that she gets the extra practice and she enjoys it and I know other parents feel the same.  So thankfully they have re-instated this again.

The latest addition to homework or home learning is a document that consists of 4 areas - Giving, Physical, Academic and Creativity.  And from here Bianca needs to choose at least 2 goals to achieve and this would be an extension to the learning they do in class.  So some of the options are:

Giving
  • Clear the table, load/unload the dishwasher or help do the dishes by hand, put dishes away at least 5x per term
  • Prepare a sandwich for your lunch 5 x a term (this one Bianca does everyday anyway :-) ).
  • Give to your family:  Prepare one meal or do a job for your family
  • Write a letter and post it
  • Give to children in need eg toys you don't want anymore.
  • Design your own challenge
Physical
  • Plant and care for a pot plant for a term.  Document its growth.
  • Compete in a sport for an entire season eg soccer, netball, martial arts
  • Explore the outdoors and complete a challenging walk with your family
  • Improve your swimming skills.
  • Participate in the weetbix triathlon or similar endurance event.
  • Design your own challenge.
 Academic
  • Read a series of books you haven't read before.
  • Learn greetings and how to count to ten in at least 2 languages.
  • Earn a silver mathletics certificate.
  • Keep a diary for a month.
  • Design your own challenges.
Creativity
  • Learn a new skill - join a dance class / drama group / art class / play a musical instrument, etc for at least a term.
  • Knitting / needlepont - make an item.
  • Learn an instrument or continue with music lessons on a regular basis for the year.
  • Create a painting or sketch of something that interests you.
  • Make a "Healthy Food" poster.
  • Design your own challenge.
The good thing is Bianca is already well on track with several of the goals.  But I think this could be really exciting to focus on and certainly give the kids a good understanding of setting goals and working to achieve it.  I like that there are ideas, but also that it allows for kids to come up with something that is different - after all, different kids will have different strengths and different interests. We are certainly very happy with Bianca's school and teacher.  

2 comments:

amanda said...

WAT N WONDERLIKE IDEE OM DOELWITTE TE HE OP BIANCA SE OUDERDOM EN JA EK GLO SY HET AL DIE MEESTE BEMEESTER. DIS NET DAT N MENS NIE ALTYD REKORD HOU DAARVAN OM VORDERING TE MEET NIE. NOU SAL DIT NET MEER OPWINDEND WEES. DIE ONNIE KLINK BAIE OULIK EN GEMOTIVEERD. SO BLY DAT BIANCA SKOOL GENIET XX

grazesandgroanswithlifesspillsandthrills said...

It makes a HUGE difference when the teachers are keen and interested in your child :)