Jewish Interactive are running a competition on their website for schools to win an iPad. The criteria for entry was that children should create a piece of digital homework based around one of the units on their Shabbat Interactive software.
This got me thinking. I (of course) wanted my school to win the iPad so how could I motivate my children to create the best possible digital homework? The answer came to me in a way that meant hardly any work for me and loads of fun for them.
I taught the unit about Havdallah and after a lot of discussion and several activities with the children I told them I wanted them to create a piece of digital homework for me teaching others about Havdallah. They should use the information they had learned from the unit and from what we had discussed in class to base their homework on but that they could choose how they wanted to showcase their work.
They were given no boundaries regarding the presentation of the work other than that it had to be digital.
In class I showed them some iPad apps and some websites that I thought could possibly be useful and reminded the children that although these were ones I thought were good, they might know of other apps and other sites or programs that could be better.
And so, off they went.
Of course a lot of the work was created using the ideas I gave the children but a lot of them thought out of the box as well. I received videos, cartoons, power points, comics, books and more all about Havdallah. The children excelled due to the creative license they were given. They loved being able to do their homework on an iPad, although some complained to me that their parents thought they were just playing and didn’t believe them that it was their homework!
You can see all their entries here. I ensured I received permission from all the parents whose children gave in homework containing identifying information or pictures before submitting it to the competition.
The quality of the work I received from the children combined with the obvious amount of fun the children had creating this work makes me want to run this kind of activity again.
Surely, if the children must have homework (and that is a discussion for another time) then this homework should, not only reinforce and build on the learning in class but should be enjoyable as well!
Our guest blogger Channah Goldblatt (The LK Geek) is a teacher at Wolfson Hillel Primary School in London, using Shabbat Interactive in her Jewish Studies classroom. Thank you for giving us permission to post your blog on our site!