What Are Learning Logs?
These are an exciting approach to home learning at St John’s that the children will enjoy through creativity and open-ended tasks.
Every child in the school from Reception to Year 6 will have a learning log book. Each week they will be given a task or learning objective linked to current or future class learning. The task will be open-ended and there will be no one right form of presentation; it is up to the child to decide the best ways of sharing their learning. It is hoped that they will be creative and imaginative, choosing a variety of different ways to present what they know. We will give ideas and examples of formats that could be used, especially during the first term when they are introduced.
Each week we will dedicate time for the children to share and discuss their learning logs with one another in class. This gives them the opportunity to learn from each other, gain ideas for future learning log entries and to be proud of their work.
Children are asked that their completed learning log fits on one side of A3 (2x A4) paper and therefore will often need to be very inventive, sticking and folding flaps and larger sheets of paper to include all their information.
A good learning log should also be presented well to teach the reader something; as long as the given aim is reached it is otherwise very flexible. This approach also lends itself to all styles of learning and ability.
Why Use Learning Logs?
The work truly reflects each child’s understanding of the objectives we are learning at school.
The work is driven by the children and not the teacher, parent or carer.
The children take the lead role in sharing and developing their knowledge and understanding and displaying this in a range of styles. They are not constrained by a worksheet or limited to what they can show of their understanding of a topic.
The children can learn in their preferred style. They can write words, phrases or sentences, draw pictures, add labels and captions, stick in photographs, type on the computer and stick the results in, add speech bubbles, post-it notes etc. The possibilities are endless!
Children are able to reflect on and illustrate their learning and their ability to learn in a variety of different styles. They use the language for learning to explain ways in which they achieved or approached tasks and to show how they can move on to the next chapter in their learning.
Children, parents, and carers are brought together through discussion and sharing learning.
They are fun and creative!
Suggested Ways Of Presenting Home Learning
The class teacher will discuss ways of presenting work in class and may even put some ideas on display to help your child. We will encourage a range of ideas, for example:
A mixture of writing, pictures, computer generated work, tables, maps, flow charts, graphs etc.
Photographs or pictures printed from the internet or cut out of a magazine.
The writing could be from any genre e.g. reports, recounts, explanations, newspaper headlines or articles, poems, labelled diagrams, lists etc.
Flaps with questions, with answers, information or pictures underneath
Envelopes or wallets of different sizes or shapes which can contain pictures or information. The containers could be the shape of an object such as a book, treasure chest, suitcase or item connected with a specific task.
Fold out mini zig zag books (horizontal or vertical).
In fact, anything goes! Have fun being inventive and creative!
Please remember that presentation methods will vary considerably between the different age ranges in the school!
We hope that the children take real pride in these books
All work should be typed or handwritten neatly (where appropriate)
Please colour or decorate using pencils or crayons. Felt tips will go through onto the next page but pictures drawn on a separate piece of paper can be coloured with felt tip and stuck in.
If items are cut out, these should be cut and stuck down neatly with glue.
Logistics Of Learning Logs
Learning Log tasks will be set on a Friday and we ask that the completed log is returned to school on the Wednesday after the task was set. The teachers will make a brief comment on a sheet at the back of the Learning Log, rather than marking on the page itself.
The books will be shared with other children on Friday mornings and the children will be encouraged to look at each other’s, making positive comments. There will probably be many different approaches to each task and this, in turn, will hopefully support your child by sharing suggestions for future presentations and inspire them to become even more creative!
In order to help you and your child plan creative ways to present their learning, class teachers will give you the learning log tasks for each half term in the first week back after the holidays.
Parents Role In Learning Logs
Essentially, we would like the children to be independent when presenting their learning; however there can be a collaborative approach in which you can support your child with this home learning, especially with Reception children.
You can discuss suggestions made by the teacher and your child in order to complete the home learning and make your own if your child is struggling with ideas.
You can support them with experiments, photography and internet work.
You can guide them with their learning and help them proof read it; however please do not do it for them!
You do not need to provide lots of expensive equipment but it might be helpful for your child to have access to black pens, sharp lead and coloured pencils, scissors, glue, a ruler and rubber.
A variety of paper or card off-cuts would also help the children’s creativity
It’s not always about how much your child writes but rather what the learning shows. Each entry in the learning log does not have to be a work of art, likewise every entry should not be the bare minimum of writing. Encourage your child to be creative and to challenge themselves but the task should not become onerous, otherwise the positive impact of learning logs is lost!
Encourage creativity without adding pressure! There will be “good” times to do this learning, but the last thing on the evening before they are due to be returned to school is not one of them! Help your child to timetable the completion of their learning log within good time.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
For more information and ideas please see www.learninglogs.co.uk