Today’s blogpost comes from Papakowhai School.
We are Kauri Whā, a year 6 class at Papakowhai School. We are a BYOD class and our independent learning is organised via a learning contract. We do lots of group work and we sign ourselves up for workshops on things we feel that we need to learn. We are an awesome group of learners and we love trying out new technologies and ways of doing things.
The Tāwhirimatea writing group interviewed several students to find out what it is like being a learner in Kauri Whā. You can visit our class blog at ps2015kauri4.blogspot.co.nz
Q: Can you tell me, what is a learning contract?
Lucas: You get given the entire week’s learning at the start of the week and you choose when you do the work. You have to get everything done by the end of the week. We still have to do our reading, writing and maths groups, as well as extra workshops
Milla: A learning contract is where all your work is for the week and you go to the learning contract to check what work you have to do.
Brooke and Danielle: It’s called a contract because we all signed an agreement to say we would work to the best of our ability to get everything done to a high standard each week. We have to sign off each other’s work each week to say that it’s done.
Q: How is this better compared to the teacher telling you what to do and when to do it each day?
Russell: All the work you have to do for the week is just in one place. It’s easier.
Lucas: Because it helps you get ready for college, where you need to chose when to do things and how to do them. I also like to manage my own time because I like to choose when to do things.
Elijah: It’s more interesting, and we get to decide what time we do things. Also we are not being completely controlled by the teacher.
Matthew M: It helps you prepare for the future because you choose what learning tools to use and you learn how to use technology.
Matthew M: As well as independent work, you have to do lots of group work and sometimes it’s hard to organise your group to meet up because everyone is so busy.
Milla: Sometimes group meetings get in the way of our independent work.
Q: How do you manage your time?
Matthew M: By doing the difficult or long things first.
Lucia: By doing my work and not chatting with my friends.
Andre: I do the work with my learning buddy first, then I do the individual stuff last.
Q: What is your favourite thing to do on the contract?
Milla: Play maths games with my learning buddies.
Elliot: I like to do the maths sheets and the books. I like to have breaks by doing a maths game which is also on the contract.
Adam: I like to write because you can be creative and do what you want.
Elliot: I think that it is much easier to have your own device so that you have everything you need at your fingertips.
Shreyas: You can do your work anywhere and anytime. It’s easier to keep all of your work in one place on Google Drive.
Russell: Having a chromebook means all of your tools are just there in one place ready.
Nicola: It’s fun and faster than writing in a book.
Zara: It is good because you don’t need to buy new books if you run out of pages in your book.
Q: Can you tell me about the collaborative work that you do using Google Apps?
Elijah: You use a lot of apps and digital tools to help collaborate and to help show your learning.
Nicola: When you can’t figure something out you’ve got someone there that may know the answer.
Lucia: With different apps we do things like make videos together for maths or do book reports for home learning together.
Andre: The good things are you can get quick responses and feedback on your learning. Plus the comments people make are always there for you to look at. Also you can fix mistakes in Google Docs really easily.
Q: Would you recommend that other schools try using a learning contract?
Nicola: I would recommend it because when you’re older you need to do lot’s of things on computers.
Zara: Yes I would because it’s simple and easier to do your work this way.
Lucia: I would recommend it because since it’s digital, people can finish their work at home if they want to.
Andre: Yes I would because it’s an easier way of managing your learning.
Elijah: Definitely. After five years of being at school it’s great to get to do something really different. It’s the class of the future.
Interviewers: The Tāwhirimatea Writing Group – Matthew C, Andre, Chalis, Millie, Leonora and Fern.