A Random Idea About Homework and Review

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 11, 2011

    I was seeing the optometrist today. When I was purchasing my new frames, I told her I was a teacher and she said if she were younger, she would go into teaching. I responded, "Well, besides the FCAT." LOL. She then said she would test the kids early on and hone in on particular areas, writing the parents letters about which skills to focus and possible homework they can complete together.

    Then it was...... BOOM. An idea. Struck. :lol:

    What do you think about having a crate with folders labeled with subjects covered in math class as well as math-related enrichment topics? If kids are struggling, then they can go to that folder to get an extra practice sheet for homework. For example, the "Decimal Place Value" folder would have 10 or so assignments with 5 copies each until they needed replenishing. I would then keep a check-off list indicating which assignments were completed. I would include tutorials on the assignments and probably write some of them myself as well as print out good assignments from reference books. Any other thoughts?
     
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  3. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    I love when those ideas just strike up! LOL Although, I hate when I'm doing something and then later on I can't seem to remember the idea quite as well as I remember it being lol.

    I have thought of that several times, but since I don't teach math I find it hard looking for extra things in social studies to make that work. Although, it can work for English. Why don't you have them work on those after tests, if they finish early, etc. Make them complete a minimum each week. You can create a rack card with dates on vista print!
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2011

    It sounds kind of like the old SRA readers we did as kids.

    I think it makes a lot of sense. It would be a lot of work to set up, but I bet it would work well.
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I love it - and your kiddos seem especially motivated, which would definitely make it work, I think!

    sweetlatina - perhaps you could provide SS reading materials and "test-like" questions from which they could draw the answers. I have noticed that (the kids I know - mine don't test yet), that that, and constructed answers seem to be weaker points. - just a thought.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm going to steal/borrow this and modify it some. What I plan to do is for each essay they write, if there are serious grammar, usage, or structural issues they can complete a small packet about their most common error, turn it in, and then have the opportunity to rewrite the paper for an improved grade. They will have to do the tutorial packet to get the opportunity to rewrite.
     
  7. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2011

    This was sort of like the system I used when I did the homework in a bag approach. Another easy way to customize homework is to provide websites they can use.
     
  8. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I kind of do this with a specific set of leveled books in my room. I have my students at a specific reading level. Each day they grab a book, practice it, then read it aloud to a webcam and make a movie of themselves reading the book. After school, I watch the videos to determine if they've read it well or need more practice. They stay on the same level until they've mastered most of the books on that level.

    I wanted to do the same thing with math, but could never quite find the time to get all the materials together. This would allow students practice the skills they haven't mastered, and move quickly through the items they already know.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I like it. This is sort of what I do in math centers. To begin math, everyday we do a spiral review and I take the data from that to determine what skills they still need to work on during their independent math time (their folders contain work that pertains to their needs only). My advanced kids typically end up working on enrichment as well.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I actually have this set up in my room. I have a bin that has enrichment activities for kids (just one per topic right now). Then I have a bin with extra practice for the chapter that we are covering (this has two per topic). Finally, I have a set of math games that work on many of the skills that the students need to practice and master (these are remedial skills).
     
  11. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I do something similar but in a different way. I have a folder for each student in a crate. I fill the folders with 3-5 assignments that are customized for their needs and even manipulative if required. I don't like my students knowing who is on two digit multiplication and who is on long division. The student completes the assignments and returns the folder on a designated day. When I get the folder back I quiz them on the skill to see if they got it. Their grade comes from the quiz. Otherwise I will go nuts with all those different answer keys.

    The hard part is remembering which student is on what skill. I think I might make a spreadsheet for that next year and staple it on the inside of their folder and keep a master copy for me.
     
  12. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I like this idea. I always have kids who want to do well on a subject and feel that they are struggling. They ask to stay after and let me explain again (which I do), but this might also help alieve their fears. A majority of my students would use it, so I don't think I'd make it a requirement.

    I think I could also "encourage" those who are a bit behind to go to the extras bin.

    I wouldn't call this enrichment, though. I have that already set up--go to PT and look up "brain bubbles". They've got that idea floating around there.

    I don't think it would take much to do. You could even slip in a couple of papers that tell the kids which site to go to for practice with a particular skill. They could take that home for homework.
     
  13. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2011

    SRA makes math labs. Maybe you can save a lot of time/ effort by purchasing an old set on Ebay. Here is the link. http://srareadinglabs.com/math_lab/

    Edited to add: I looked on Ebay, it's pretty expensive but might be worth it. Level 2b is not second grade, the leveling is strange, so look into that first. I think Level 2b is 5th grade.
     
  14. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    I want to do this next year, I hope it works!

    Do you have a large range of abilities in your classes? I did this last year. I had some kids who had an incredibly hard time adding and subtracting and others who could do long division with no problem.
     
  15. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Jul 12, 2011

    OMG! I did SRA when I taught fifth grade and both the kids and I LOVED it!!!:)

    Great idea! This also sounds like RTI...but at home!:) I send home these things with my kinder kids every week. I find that I focus more on reading than math...maybe next year I can add more math activities! I actually use a lot from the Florida reading research online... I have all activities filed and color coded!:)
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 13, 2011

    I have a reading SRA kit in my classroom supplied by the school. The math one looks great! Seems inspiring for many ideas.

    And MandaNicole... FCRR resources are the best! :)
     
  17. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2011

    The spread sheet works wonderfully. I keep it in the front of my folder with the quizzes and answers so that I always remember to make on it. I also mark the date something was mastered so I can see how long it has been for the student to master the skill. This way I know which kids need lots of help and which kids just need a little more practice.
     
  18. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Oh, I meant to post on this earlier, and forgot.

    This year I tried something "new" and it completely backfired. In fact, I had parents who didn't understand at all, and apparently kids who weren't doing any homework!

    I had the parents and kids take home this form that talked about the areas I would provide homework in and what the assignment would be. They switched quarterly. I had vocabulary, spelling, reading, writing, and math fact memorization.

    I then created a packet that was self-paced and would get them through the whole period of time. They were supposed to bring it back on Fridays for me to check, and do it at home with their parents. I would say maybe 1/3 of my class regularly did their homework. They would bring it back and it was clear they hadn't done much.

    But, I had put it on them to do it at home independently. I said do as much as you can each day. You and your parents need to make an agreement about what needs to be done. Now, I teach in a private school, with educated parents with means. This SHOULD have worked. They are always concerned, helicopter parents, who I thought wanted their child to be very successful.

    I thought with the buy in from the parents and kids, it would work better, since they chose their own homework. However, they often didn't do anything, or bring anything back.

    The kids who DID do it, ended up memorizing ALL their math facts this year, did amazing writing, great reading comprehension work, and so forth. The kids who did nothing did nothing. I let the FAMILIES work it out. However, I had some confused parents saying, "why don't they have homework?" when I clearly wrote a letter and they ALL brought it back saying they understood the independence of it and would work on it at their own pace.

    I also ended up having to make other homework for some kids. For example, one girl knew all her math facts, but her reasoning was challenged and just working on random story problems was better for her. Another girl needed fine motor skill practice, and took home cursive homework. Instead of the regular vocab, one boy did a lot of work with the thesaurus, so she could work on replacing those overused words. It ended up being more work for me, with little to no payoff.
     

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