This week I have re-introduced an idea we have used before, personal checklist sheets. We have long had our routine for the day pasted on the board so the children are supposed to know what is coming next but for some reason I am often the only one who looks at it. Therefore it is always me telling the children what they have to do next. I know what is required and what they have to do but the children don’t seem to despite the fact that I thought all was clear.
In my attempt to address this problem I created an excel spreadsheet with the days of the week across the top and the subject headings down the side. Where they are not required to do that subject for the day the box is blanked out. In each box that is required I have specific information, ie. Maths- complete 2-3 pages, History- Read about pyramids and complete 2 notebook pages of information. Once the children have completed the work they colour in the box. The carrot? Computer time, one day’s work equals one hour of computer to be redeemed every second day.
The benefits? Well I am finding that it is encouraging far more independent work, a long held goal of mine, the children clearly know what is expected and have to do it, it has lifted the burden off me to be always the one ‘driving the engine’. They are accountable to the sheet and not me, for some reason this makes a big difference, and it isn’t allowing the children to skip the subjects they would rather. The added benefit of all this is I have far more time for the younger ones and I and they are enjoying that immensely.
Writing out the specific amount required on weekly sheets has also clearly shown PC and I which areas the children are doing sufficient work in and what areas need more required. This week will see greater expectations for the children as last week showed that they are more than capable.