Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trying to make homework easier (for me). . .

and more meaningful for them!

Throughout my years teaching how I've done homework has changed drastically.  In the beginning, I would give long lengthy assignments in both reading and math.  Then check it the next day within the block which would take 15 minutes because I would check to see if they did it then go over it with them.

The passed few years I would just give a worksheet for math and one for reading on either the skill they've done that day or previously, and sometimes a new skill.  Last year, I started doing more at home/school assignments over a few weeks.  But finding the time within the day to check it was becoming more difficult.

This year I've created a homework calendar for each month, because research has shown that they ability in reading or math doesn't improve a noticeable amount with homework and that it is more important for that family time at home or doing other activities.  And if you think about it, when the parents get home (5 or 6) there's dinner, family time, getting ready for bed, soccer, etc... life.  And now that Susie (my daughter) is almost going to be in school, I can't imagine having to get all that done before bed time, which is 8:30.

But on the other hand, I think it is important for them to be responsible for something and to keep their mind sharp so TA DA the homework calendar.  Monday through Wednesday is a math word problem aligned with what they are learning at that time in the curriculum.  Thursday is a reading response question because reading 20 minutes a night is VERY important! I will check their math question first thing in the block and discuss it as an activator or transition to get ready for math thinking.  On Friday, I will collect their homework journal, read them and pass back on Monday.

Oh, did I tell you I am gluing them inside those small soft composition notebooks to be their homework journals.  No worksheets to lose, no waste of paper.  I hate wasting paper!  Next project is how to go a week without making new last minute copies, or no worksheets at all, just what's in the room.  But that's another post.  I am still trying to figure out how to implement my "Save the Planet One Teacher at a Time."  We use so much paper!

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