Brain Builders

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					       Brain Builders
An new approach to providing effective
           homework at
       Wessex Primary School
                Our aim
• To improve the quality and effectiveness
  of homework tasks
• To extend learning by linking homework
  to activities completed in the classroom
• To make homework something that
  children can take control of, actively
  engage with and take pride in
The benefit of thinking skills



        Scan 1, act of memorising (visual images).
        Scan 2, act of recall


        Scans 3 and 4, Processing information,
        comparison, decision making.


              The results of the experiment were reported in November 2000
        What‟s so great about
         Brainbuilders….?
• They encourage individualism and independence
• They enable you to see the world from the child‟s
  perspective
• They‟re fun
• They are driven by the child and not the teacher
• They challenge the children and bring them together
• They develop and extend children‟s independence of
  learning
• Children take control of, actively engage with and take
  pride in their own learning
   How will we achieve this?
• Children will receive their Brain Builder and then
  have a week and a half to work through the
  task(s)
• Brainbuilder tasks will still be supplemented by
  regular reading, word and number work
• There will be opportunities during school time to
  review, share and discuss Brain Builder tasks
• Brain Builders will be high profile and high
  status in school
        So, what does a
    „Brainbuilder‟ look like?

This system is used in many schools up and
 down the country with huge success and
 positive comments from children, parents
  and teachers….they are as good as the
         children want them to be….
Year R
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 4
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6
      NAME: ________________ DATE:
   This Week‟s
    Reading:
                           BRAIN BUILDER                           This Week‟s Words:
                                                                   1
                                       PARENTS:
 Session   Signed?                                                 2
                     •   Familiarise yourself with your child‟s
10 mins                  „Brain Builder‟.                          3

                     •   Attend a meeting that explains about
10 mins                                                            4
                         the Brain builder and what it means:
10 mins              •   14th September at 3.30pm and 6pm.         5

10 mins                                CHILDREN:                   6

                     •   Cover your „Brain Builder Book‟ in a
10 mins                                                            7
                         way that tells us the important things
10 mins                  about you. Make it your own and make      8
                         your name clear!
                                                                   9
 Parent Comment:                     THINK ABOUT:
                                                                   10
                     •   Photos, words, pictures, memories,
                         clippings, what you do / don‟t like,       Predicted   Actual
                         family, pets, etc…but make sure it will
                         last!

This Week‟s
Number Work:
        What will it involve?
• Brain Builders will come home on a Wednesday, to
  be returned to school a week and a half later (on a
  Monday), when they will be shared in class and
  seen by teachers
• The Learning Objective(s) will be clearly stated and
  linked to the learning happening in the classroom
• Some suggested activities and ways to approach
  the task will be offered – this will be at a level that
  reflects the age and needs of the individual child

        The rest is down to you and your child!
Brain Builder
LO: Learning to tell the time

Make something that someone else
 could use to learn to tell the time.
 It could be a clock, a game, a
 poster, a leaflet, a set of
 instructions or anything else you
 can think of.

Bring your work to school by Monday
  of next week
   How can you support your
            child?
• Give children time to talk about what they
  have to do – just the process of explaining
  and discussing the task will help your child to
  understand.
• Offer ideas on how to present the work.
• Give children a space to work which is away
  from other distractions.
 How can you support your
    child? (continued)
• Give homework a high status in your house and
  make it a priority.
• Try to set aside specific homework
  times/evenings – and make time to work with
  your child.
• Ensure that some days are homework free.
• Reward excellent work.
• Remind your child that there may not be a
  „finished point‟
     What can we include?
• We will be encouraging the children to be as
  creative with their homework as possible.
• They can complete these tasks in any way they
  want to as long as it is broadly based on the theme
  of the Brain Builder.
• The children can do as many or as few of these
  suggestions as they wish, or they can make up
  their own.
               They could…
• Draw pictures                • Interview a family member
• Label them                   • Make a collage
• Take photographs             • Cut pictures out from
• Write lists                    magazines
• Stick in food labels         • Make a model
• Research from books or the   • Draw a diagram
  internet                     • Draw a graph / pictogram
• Write a poem or story        • Conduct a survey


            …or anything else
            they can think of!
• They can display their work in their book
  however they wish – painted, coloured, in
  different types of writing implement (e.g. gel
  pens, biros), in collage, …
• They can include any work they would like to
  – poems, stories, information, plays, facts,
  instructions, interviews with family members,
  lift the flaps, pockets with letters in, pictures
  cut out from newspapers and magazines, ...
     How much homework
     should my child get?
                       RECEPTION
•Children in the Foundation Stage are not included in the DCSF
guidelines for homework and therefore formal homework is not
given.
•The main focus is on the enjoyment and thrill of developing
reading techniques and the learning of phonics (sounds) of the
letters and words.
•This work is judged on an individual basis and is normally most
successful when the teacher and parents liaise closely as to the
next step.
             •To develop this further, some Brainbuilder tasks will
                                    be set as the year progresses.
        YEARS 1 and 2:
          90 minutes
• Children in these year groups will get a
  suggested range of homework to include
  reading, phonics activities and
  Brainbuilder tasks.
• The suggested amount of time for this
  should equate to about an hour a week.
          YEARS 3 and 4:
             2 Hours
• The range of homework will include
  regular reading and Brainbuilder tasks.
• The suggested time for these year groups
  is about an hour and a half per week.
• Little and often is best practice – reading
  and spelling will still be a constant
  feature.
         YEARS 5 and 6:
            3 Hours
• The range of homework should still include
  regular reading and comprehension questions
  to extend understanding of the text and the
  purpose of the author, as well as Brainbuilder
  tasks.
• Working on these throughout the week is good
  practice and preparation for secondary school.
     What about spellings?
• A list of age expected spellings is in the front of the
  book
• Encourage children to check the list for words they
  need to spell or look in a dictionary
• Specific spelling patterns or topic words will be added
  to the brainbuilder sheets
• Encourage your children to practise their spellings
  using the Look, Cover, Write, Check method, and writing
  sentences to include the words or drawing a picture
  also helps to check understanding
   What if we are stuck for
            ideas?
• Borrow books from the local library
• Use the Internet if you have it (or your
  child could ask to use it at school)
• Look at the world around you
• Ask another parent from your class
• Ask your child‟s class teacher!
• The aim of this work is to encourage our
  children to become more independent
  learners, be motivated in their own learning
  and also to enable them to make links in their
  learning.
• Adult input is encouraged but please don‟t do
  the work for them! Rather; prompt, guide,
  suggest and help the children to research.
    What do teachers say?

''Definitely one of the best things I've done
   in 20 years. There they all were, these
   little Y2s, on the playground at 8.45
   yesterday comparing work they'd done
   over the weekend!''
    What do children say….?
• “Hello. my name is Mason. I like doing my learning log
  at home and I persevere with it when the going gets
  tough. I'm really proud of the work that I did on plants. I
  Made a bee that moves from flower to flower carrying
  pollen.”
• “Hi. My name is Reneece. I like doing my homework in
  my learning log because it's fun. I can stick lots of
  things in and use lots of colour. I'm really proud when
  my teacher tells me that it's good.”
• “You can make them bright and colourful. It makes it
  more exciting and you want to do it.”
              What Now?
• Brain Builders are a partnership between
  school and home. For them to be effective
  everybody needs to be working towards a
  common aim. Good quality homework will help
  us to achieve „success for all‟
• Pupils will be given a Brainbuilder book and
  their first task will be to make a cover for it……a
  unique book for their unique learning journey
          Working together
• There will be an opportunity for parents to feedback
  their thoughts about Brain Builders later in the year so
  that we can measure the impact on learning
• For some children, it will take a while to adjust – please
  encourage them during this time
• If staff feel that there are additional tasks that your
  child needs or if there are any concerns, we will discuss
  this with you
• If there is a demand for it, we may offer a „Brainbuilder
  Club‟ for pupils to be able to do some of their work after
  school
• If you have any questions in the meantime please ask!!!
    SKILLS FOR LIFE

      Children will:
•Be proud of their learning
•Be eager to share
•Develop learning life skills

				
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posted:12/4/2011
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