Year 4 Homework

27 February 2015

Posted on Friday 27 February 2015 by Mrs Valentine

This week’s homework is creative and is due Wednesday 04 March:

I can respond to a piece of art.

Your child has been given a copy of a piece of art we’ve been looking at in class – a watercolour by Liverpudlian artist Mike Knowles: Liverpool and Mersey from Hannemans Hospital. The artist painted the art whilst on the roof of Hannemans Hospital (so it links slightly with our Medicine through the Ages time travel topic..!).

The homework requires your child to respond to the art anyway they choose to. Ideas could be:

  • a poem (perhaps about the stormy weather in the painting)
  • their own interpretation of the picture using a different medium (pencil, pastel, chalk etc)
  • a photograph of a view from the top of something (like the top of a slide, a bedroom window or anything else which is safe!)
  • researching other artworks by the same artist and writing a report
  • investigating the geography of Liverpool

Next week, parents are invited to come and see how we evaluate homework on Wednesday 04 March at 2:45pm. This would be a great opportunity to see how we mark and comment upon homework as a whole class as well as the standards which are presented.

I hope to see you next week!

Supporting your child’s maths at home

Posted on Friday 13 February 2015 by Mr Roundtree

This article is a thought-provoking read, and might inspire you to support your child in different ways; in it, Professor Jo Boaler sets out this list of top tips for parents who want to support their child in Maths:

  1. Encourage children to play maths puzzles and games at home. Anything with a dice will help them enjoy maths and develop numeracy and logic skills.
  2. Never tell children they are wrong when they are working on maths problems. There is always some logic to what they are doing. So if your child multiplies three by four and gets seven, try: “Oh I see what you are thinking, you are using what you know about addition to add three and four. When we multiply we have four groups of three…”
  3. Maths is not about speed. In younger years, forcing kids to work fast on maths is the best way to start maths anxiety, especially among girls.
  4. Don’t tell your children you were bad at maths at school. Or that you disliked it. This is especially important if you are a mother.
  5. Encourage number sense*. What separates high and low achievers in primary school is number sense.
  6. Encourage a “growth mindset” – the idea that ability changes as you work more and learn more.
Research shows that children really need to work on ‘number sense’ – the understanding of what a number means and how numbers can be made up.
  • For younger children, the ‘five-ness’ of five and then the ‘ten-ness’ of ten is really important: five fingers, five toes, five displayed on a dice, five split into 4 and one more, five split into three and two…
  • For older children, if they are asked to add up 27 and 16, when they have number sense they can break the numbers apart and use them flexibly – take three from the 16 and add it to 27 to make 30, then add on the remaining 13 to make 43.

Number sense is not something you can get from simply being given an extra worksheet for homework – it develops from play, discussion and observation of number in the world around them.

More homework? No – more encouragement

Posted on Friday 13 February 2015 by Mr Roundtree

We had a record number of parents / carers who attended parents’ evenings this week – thank you to all who showed up.

A small number of parents asked for more homework. Please bear in mind we asked your views about homework in the Annual Survey last year, and the findings were quite mixed: some thought there was too much whilst about the same proportion thought there was not enough. The majority agreed with us: the amount of homework we set is about right.

Taken from our Homework Policy, this is our rationale for giving homework:

Educational experience that a school by itself provides is limited; children benefit from wider, complementary experiences out of school. However, some prompts and guidance from school can direct these experiences and develop greater learning. We see homework as an important example of cooperation between teachers and parents / carers. An aim of our teaching is to promote independent learners; homework is one of the ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.

We recognise the importance of quality family time; this policy should help to promote opportunities to be creative rather than labour over frequent worksheets or carry out activities that pupils and / or parents / carers may not understand.

Whilst homework develops children’s learning and independence, quality family time, play and free time are also important. Homework should not prevent children from taking part in wider activities such as those offered by out-of-school clubs and other organisations. Children develop their interests and skills to the full only when parents/carers encourage them to make maximum use of the opportunities available outside school.

Also in our Homework Policy is this statement:

We believe the frequency of homework set out here provides the right balance for pupils and meets the expectations of most parents (whose opinions we sought in the Annual Survey, 2014). Staff may occasionally provide additional homework; this will amount to two or three extra pieces across the year. As an alternative, staff will be happy to suggest to parents other ways they can support their child’s learning at home.

Please do not expect extra homework for you child to be set as a matter of routine. Governors want to protect teachers work / life balance, but – importantly – we believe extra homework would not be helpful for most pupils.

 

 

 

06 February 2015

Posted on Thursday 05 February 2015 by Mrs Taylor

For all children in Year 1 – Year 6, the homework this week is talk time and is due in on Wednesday 11 February.

I can prepare a speech (School Council elections).

or

I know the importance of voting.

It’s time for children to consider if they would like to stand for election for our new school council.  With two representatives from each class, chosen democratically by their peers, all children at Moortown Primary are encouraged to take an active part in pupil voice.

Elections for our new school council will take place next Thursday 12 February with our polling station and ballot boxes at the ready.  Candidates will have the opportunity to give their election speech to their class on Wednesday 11 February.

What makes a good school councillor has been considered by our current school council.

  • ‘Communicating with others – pupils and adults.’
  • ‘Having good listening skills to know what to contribute in meetings.’
  • ‘Thinking of realistic ideas to suggest in meetings.’

Hints for your speech include:

  • What skills and abilities would a good school councillor have?
  • What are you particularly good at that would help you to be a great school councillor?
  • What do you think would make the school better? What could you do that people would really like?
  • Think of things that are realistic, maybe that you could do yourself, rather than having to ask other people to do?

Thank you to our current school councillors for all their ideas and contributions over the last year.  We hope you have enjoyed this role and responsibility and you are welcome to stand again for election.

Good luck to all children who decide to stand in the elections.  Results will be announced in our assembly on Thursday 12 February.

If you choose not to stand in the election then you should consider the importance of voting.

30 January 2015

Posted on Friday 30 January 2015 by Mrs Valentine

This week’s homework is Practice Makes Perfect and is due Wednesday 04 February:

I can design a webpage to promote a cure.

This homework links perfectly with our English learning of promotions. On Wednesday, Miss Valentine suffered from a terrible bout of ‘bananaritis’ after eating a banana at playtime! Luckily, Mrs Freeman had recently purchased a bottle of Moortown’s Marvellous Medicine which cured Miss Valentine’s feverish temperature, chesty cough, itchy, spotty skin and fatigue.

Your child is required to create a webpage promoting Moortown’s Marvellous Medicine, remembering to include TEARS (ask your child to find out what this means!).

 

23 January 2015

Posted on Friday 23 January 2015 by Mrs Valentine

This week’s homework is Talk Time and is due Wednesday 28 January:

I can talk about different strategies to stay calm.

As our SEAL theme this half term is Good to be Me, it’s important to think about ways we can stay calm and relaxed in a range of situations. Chat with your child about times where they may not have been calm and what they did, or could have done, in order to stay calm.

Please indicate that you’ve supported your child with their Talk Time homework by signing against the notes your child has written in their homework book.

Below is the guidance for Talk Time homework, taken from our Homework Policy:

The purpose of Talk Time homework is to encourage a conversation around children’s current learning. Children shouldn’t spend a lot of time on the presentation of the Talk Time homework.  Instead, children should make notes, which will act as a prompt when it is discussed in class the following week.  For this reason, teachers tend to give verbal feedback during their talk time session in class.  We want our children to be expert talkers, using a variety of sentences and expressions, and able to back up their points or disagree with others in a polite way – this is more important than written notes for Talk Time.  Simply: it’s hard to be a good writer if you’re not a good speaker, so Talk Times using ambitious words, useful phrases, interesting sentences is the best way to support your child.

16 January 2015

Posted on Friday 16 January 2015 by Mrs Valentine

The homework this week is creative and is due Wednesday 21 January:

I can show what I’ve learnt about Samba.

Anything goes with this creative homework! Some suggestions could be:

  • a presentation about facts your child has learnt
  • a music tutorial focussing on drum rhythms
  • a quiz (which could be used to test the knowledge of the class!)

This homework marks the end of our Samba mini-topic so be sure to support your child to show as much as they know!

From our Homework Policy:

Creative

This is where your child’s creative juices can flow!  Creative homework is an opportunity for your child to choose whatever they want to demonstrate some learning.  For example, Y3 and Y4 homework previously has been: I can show what I know about food chains.  Your child could present all their learning in so many different ways, from a diagram with notes to a story or comic strip. Parents’ and carers’ role is to support, encourage, help but (obviously) never to take over and do the homework!  Teachers always look forward to seeing how creative children can be.  If you notice the work has not been marked, please don’t worry.  Teachers will have looked at and celebrated the homework in another way – the work might have been viewed by the whole class using a visualiser which allows the work to be projected to the whole class and a discussion of ‘stars and steps’ will happen.  Peer assessment is also effective – children are very able to share what’s good and what needs improving!  These sorts of verbal feedback strategies are often more effective than a written comment because it’s more instant and it makes sure the child understands (and their work is praised publicly!).

 

09 January 2015

Posted on Friday 09 January 2015 by Mrs Valentine

The homework this week is Talk Time and is due Wednesday 14 January:

I can talk about how I manage my feelings.

This homework links to our SEAL theme for the next five weeks: Good to be Me. Chat to your child about different feelings they may have and how best to manage them. Try offering advice or switch the conversation around by asking your child for advice to manage a particular feeling – it’d be a great way to find out their strategy for managing feelings.

Please indicate that you’ve supported your child with their Talk Time homework by signing against the notes your child has written in their homework book.

Below is the guidance for Talk Time homework, taken from our Homework Policy:

The purpose of Talk Time homework is to encourage a conversation around children’s current learning. Children shouldn’t spend a lot of time on the presentation of the Talk Time homework.  Instead, children should make notes, which will act as a prompt when it is discussed in class the following week.  For this reason, teachers tend to give verbal feedback during their talk time session in class.  We want our children to be expert talkers, using a variety of sentences and expressions, and able to back up their points or disagree with others in a polite way – this is more important than written notes for Talk Time.  Simply: it’s hard to be a good writer if you’re not a good speaker, so Talk Times using ambitious words, useful phrases, interesting sentences is the best way to support your child.

12 December 2014

Posted on Friday 12 December 2014 by Mrs Valentine

This week’s homework is practice makes perfect and is due Wednesday 17 December:

I can recite a poem.

For the last two weeks of the autumn term, your child has been learning about poetry. The homework requires your child to learn a poem off by heart, ready to recite in class. We’ve spent time in class thinking about the poetic mood of our poem and used an advert to help us with the performance:

The Winter Spirit

I am
the dreadful menace.

The one whose will is done.

The haunting chill upon your neck.

I am the conundrum.

I will summon armies.

Of wind and rain and snow.

I made the black cloud overhead.

The ice, like glass below.

Not you, nor any other.

Can fathom what is nigh.

I will tell you when to jump.

And I’ll dictate how high.

The ones that came before you.

Stood strong and tall and brave.

But I stole those dreams away.

Those dreams could not be saved.

But now you stand before me.

Devoid of all dismay.

Could it be? Just maybe.

I’ll let you have your day.

Check out this link to help your child with the menacing tone and performance: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b9Ji7DvsjU

 

05 December 2014

Posted on Thursday 04 December 2014 by Mrs Taylor

The whole school homework this week is creative: children are invited to respond to something from either a cultural or spiritual perspective.

I can show what I know and think about something cultural.

We’d like children to present their responses about a recent book they’ve read, film they’ve watched, piece of art they’ve looked at, piece of music they’ve listened to – anything cultural in fact. We’re interested to read some sort of description (a summary, for example) and then your child’s opinions. This review might include pictures, an interview (your child could write a fictional script between himself/herself and the artist, for example), a letter (eg to or from a character, or perhaps even the author) – anything which might include your child’s responses!

However, your child might prefer to do the following:

I can show what I know about a festival.

Over the course of this term, some children in school will have celebrated a religious festival of some sort. This might have been

  • the Muslim festival of Eid ul Adha, this year in October
  • the Sikh and Hindu festival Diwali, also in October
  • the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, coming up in December
  • the Christian festival (of course, celebrated by many non-Christians, too) of Christmas
  • the Chinese New Year festival which next year will be in February

There are lots of other festivals and celebrations which you and your child together might want to reflect on, from the anniversary of the crowning of Selassie (a festival which might be celebrated by Rastafarians) to the Winter Solstice (a Pagan festival). You can also research more festivals.

We invite children to respond to the sentence above – they might include a recount (like a diary entry), pictures, an interview (perhaps in a script). Your child might also choose to research a completely unknown festival, or they might even think about creating a brand new festival, one that everyone will celebrate.

Whether inspired culturally or spiritually, your child’s homework is due on Wednesday 10 December.