Monday, June 17, 2013

Homework Routine (Maybe)

Let me start by saying that I hate homework. H.A.T.E. I don't like making copies, taking it up every morning, grading it, and then rewarding or punishing depending on who turned it in. I think it is a hassle for busy work. I know that the homework debate is a hot one, and I don't really want to open that can of worms. If you like giving homework, more power to you. I think that homework should be reserved for 6th grade and up because those kids are old enough to manage their time. Ugh. Oh well. 

The reality is that I have to give homework, so I have been working on a routine. I wasn't happy with my homework routines last year...

My current plan is for each student to have a homework folder. Take a look at the components:

  • 3 brad folder
  • notebook paper secured in the brads
  • a few page protectors for the homework guidelines pages

  1. Students will be responsible for their homework folders from Monday to Thursday.
  2. On Monday, they will take their spelling pretest on a piece of notebook paper inside their folder. We do a pretest and check it together. This will be their list for the week.
  3. Homework for Monday: Read for 30 minutes and write a response.
  4. Homework for Tuesday: Practice multiplication facts and do a spelling activity.
  5. Homework for Wednesday: Read for 30 minutes and write a response. 
  6. Homework for Thursday: Practice multiplication facts and do a spelling activity.
  7. I will model how I want these done on notebook paper. I want them to write on the front and back of each paper, so we don't go through notebook paper like crazy.
  8. Students will turn in their homework on Friday morning.
  9. I will check it over the weekend and have it for them on Monday.
  10. Everyone that does all their homework will get bonus money (see my classroom economy resources).
  11. If I am satisfied with their efforts, they will have a lottery ticket waiting for them on Monday morning. 
The best part about this plan? No copies every week and the responsibility is on the students. I like it.

Click HERE to download Mon & Wed's homework.

Click HERE to get my spelling activities.

This is not my creation, but it is a great idea! Renee at Living, Laughing, and Loving is sharing this resource for free. Here is how she describes it:

Each student gets their own copy and starts working on memorizing the first fact family or table.  When they can say it to their parents in 30 seconds or less, the parents initial under that table.
At a designated time during the day, each student with a table initialed will bring it to me and recite it again in 30 seconds or less.  Then I initial, and he/she moves onto the next table… all the way up to the Twelve Family.

Click HERE to get a copy!

These are the lottery tickets I was talking about:

I added the "Maybe" in the title because it is an untried idea. I haven't used this with students yet, so I don't know how it will work. I will be rolling this out in September. Unless I get a better idea between now and then.  :)

What do you do for homework? Do you do a routine or just decide day by day what you will send home? I don't like sending home textbooks, but if you do, what is your procedure for that?

Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts!


Holly Grass said...

This is very similiar to what my daughter's teachers have always done. My boyfriend teaches high school. He never gives homework because he hates grading papers. All of his grades come from in class activities.

Mary said...

I like your idea for homework! I also hate copying pages,(and extras for those students that lost it or forgot it)grading it, and figuring out how it affects the students' grades. Thanks for sharing your idea.
Teaching Special Kids

Miss Foote said...

I despise homework! I would like to assign only reading, but my grade level team always has two responses. 1) Kids need to start homework habits early. 2) If we have no homework in early grades, 4th grade is too much of a shock.

Chickadee Jubilee

Laura said...

Same boat - HATE homework. What a hassle to put together and then check it. I've toyed with 2 different things so far this year, but still not happy with the system. I never include it into my grades, as it's meant to be a review of things they should already know (in my school), unless working on a project that can't be completed in class time. I only mention in their report comments about their work habits.

I like your idea - might take it away and tweak it to suit my kiddos and school needs.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I agree-homework=UGH! However, I think it's a necessary evil, especially for some students who need the practice. My daughter is in Special Ed. (she is Autistic) and I think that in elementary school especially, that extra practice was absolutely critical.

I teach 2nd grade and have done homework packets for years. On Monday, they get a packet that contains 4 sheets of paper. The top paper is colored and has the weekly spelling and vocabulary words (with definitions) on the front and an addition and subtraction timed test on the back. The next page is a double-sided math worksheet that goes over LAST week's skills as a review. In this way, there is no dreaded, "We haven't done that in class yet this week...!" conversation! :-)

The next page is a vocabulary worksheet on one side and the focus skill for the week (compare/contrast, author's purpose, etc.) on the back.

The final page is a spelling worksheet on one side and spelling sentences on the other.

The entire packet is due on Fridays completed. If it's not done, my students work on it (or get a new one if they didn't turn it in at all) during our "Fun Friday" time.

The majority of the parents like this. The high kids get it done on Monday and are free for the week. The kids who need more time have that flexibility, too.

Oh, and I don't grade homework. Ever. I grade enough papers during the week and homework is supposed to review, not introduce, what we're doing in class. Once the parents know that it's their responsibility to work with their child on it (and once they see the consequences), the system works really well.

And there's my 2 cents!

ara Ahmed said...

I just wanted to say I don't like homework either. I don't find many people who feel the way I do so I had to comment and say "hi"! :D

Susie Malnar said...

I use a similar method for homework and I am going to use this information when I tweak my procedures for next year! Thanks!!

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