First grade homework: Is this enough?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Miss Kirby, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 6, 2007

    When I taught 2nd I had a collection of books that went home with a stuffed animal that matched the book. I had about 25 of them (I inherited these from another teacher, and passed them along when I left that school.) They would keep the book and there was an activity for it each night.

    Day 1- read the story to yourself
    Day 2- read the story to a silbling or parent
    Day 3- find 10 high frequency words in the story (or rhyming words, or something like that.)
    Day 4- write about what "Arthur" (or whoever) did at your house this week. (Or some other prompt)

    They always came back. The kids wanted a new one each week. I did run out by mid-year, but by then they understood the routine and could do it with any book. They had a form to use.

    I didn't do spelling tests though, so that was one less homework to do. I had each kid make a set of flash cards which they were "supposed" to practice with as well. I did time tests a few times a month to check up, but wasn't great about that. That was all the homework I gave- unless the math curriculum had something that needed to be done for the next lesson.
     
  2. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 6, 2007

    By the way, I agree with the other poster, the amount of homework seems similar to what I give my 3rd graders-- and I'm trying to figure out how to do less!

    I don't assign reading at home- but stress at every conference, open house, etc. how vital it is to make reading part of the nightly routine. I give the parents strategies and tips about reading, articles, etc. I don't make it part of homework because I want them to enjoy reading. I do on occasion send home something we are reading as a group as part of Junior Great Books curriculum, but I don't do this all year, I only do it as a folk tale unit, and do it 4-5 times.

    As far as I know- everyone reads on their own at home. Before a break, we talk about what they will be reading, what they look forward to reading, etc. We have book sharing days, where they share what they read at home. I think this works very well. We build up the culture of reading in our lives, and talk about it like breathing. I share books I read as well as book I loved "at their age." I tell stories about how my mom and dad couldn't get me to stop reading or how I would get a new book and finish it on the ride home from the book store. I feel like this has made a difference in my classes. I can't guarentee they all read at home, but you never can, as stated so many times before.
     
  3. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 6, 2007

    Miss Kirby, I just bought these three books to help with my reading response activities in my classroom. (I'm sure I've bought at least 10 books already this summer). But I'm planning on using these as reproductibles to send home with my kids as a response to one of their books.I read through all three of these books and they are great! Especially the first one & the last one! I think instead of leaving them on their own to complete the response, these worksheets will give a more specific explanation of how they should think about what they are reading. And I think the parents can easily read the directions, and help their child which is what I want. Eventually, I will have the higher kids who are able to do this on their own do it in a notebook. But until then, this homework assignment will give them lots of practice.:D
    http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Indep...0819810?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183743268&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Read...0819810?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183743268&sr=8-3

    http://www.amazon.com/First-Graphic...0819810?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183743400&sr=8-5
     
  4. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 6, 2007

    As far as sending the books home, I always send books home and most of my kids brought them back on Fridays. There were some instances when a couple kids forgot their baggies or whatever, but I give them all incentives for returning their books, and they will bring them back on a later day. I think, instill in your kids early in the year how important it is to read the books AND bring them back on Fridays and I think they will get it. Especially when you refuse to send anymore until they return the ones they had. Give out prizes, stickers etc. to the kids who ALWAYS bring their books back, read! And lastly, choose "take home books" for your class that are not your best set of books. I pulled out "leveled" books that are great to go home, but they weren't my "best" books, so if they didn't come back, it wouldn't be that much of a big deal. I separated them & the kids knew which books were classroom books, and which books were take home books.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    190

    Jul 6, 2007

    We did this as well. Part of our Title 1 program we did running records 4 days a week. They were to take that home everyday have parent or who ever they read it to sign the sheet. When I taught I would send homework home usually on Tuesday & Thursdays. The parents knew what to look for. Our school had a "time" for homework (can't remember off hand but I think around 10mins). Usually Tuesdays was math & sometimes the Family homework I would send. Then on Thursdays it was usually a spelling worksheet to review before the test on Friday. Plus their books for running records & then when we started book it the book it book.
     
  6. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Jul 6, 2007

    Miss Kirby, I was so excited when you mentioned sending home books at the child's level. I think this is the key to getting them to read at home. I was so blessed to have 3 parents (who were also teachers) who helped me out my first year of teaching. They collected used books, leveled them all from an online list, sorted them into tubs, and helped me figure out my system.

    Everyday, each child takes home one book at his level to read to parents. There is a reading log that the parents have to initial each day. The books and logs are kept in a ziplock freezer bag with the child's name on it. I spend time each day choosing a book for each child, but after a while I teach them how to choose their own book and that becomes an important job they do first thing each morning. I check each day to make sure they turned the book bag in so I can keep track of my books. In my years teaching first grade, only 2 books have been lost!

    I begin the year with a letter to the parents that reading is our first priority in first grade, and this is required homework. There are always a couple kids who don't do the work. The parents aren't involved enough to make it happen. The parents/home have to view reading as an exciting thing and find the fine line between making reading fun and making it a chore. For the kids who don't do the work, I try to get a volunteer to come in 3-5 times a week to listen to them read their book. The kids get a sticker for every 5 books they read and it goes on a chart. When the chart is full, they get to go to the box and choose a prize. They are usually very motivated! Soon they are asking for 2 books, then 3, then 5. I had one student who begged for 10 books a night!! (I have to watch how many they take because the books are shared by the whole class.)

    Anyway, the key I think is that when they are taking home books that they are able to read they are more motivated. As they move up levels, they are even more motivated. Even if the "book" is "I see a hat. I see a cat. I see a mat." They get the sticker and start believing they are readers. You can see I am so excited about this - watching the kids progress in reading is what motivates ME on a daily basis! The other key is to stress from day one, "We are a class that reads. Reading is our #1 priority."
     
  7. teach2004

    teach2004 Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    Pattie - I don't want to hijack the thread, but I would love to hear more about your spelling activities. I am looking for an interesting way to teach spelling. You can pm me if you want. Thanks!
     
  8. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I think it is so hard to figure out homework issues - how much to give, which work is meaningful, etc. I just want to add something from the perspective of a parent of a child who just finished 1st grade.

    My daughter's homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was reading (basal stories, phonics readers). On Thursday she was expected to study for her Friday spelling/vocab tests. I felt like those reading stories were plenty of homework. She would come in from school so drained and the last thing she wanted to do was more work. (She would even cry some nights, not wanting to do homework :( ). She was a straight A/A+ student so it wasn't a lazy/non-motivated issue. She was 7, still a baby, and school was wearing her out. Anyway, really something to think about. I agree with others that keeping it short and sweet is the key!!

    Good luck!
     
  9. tutor1982

    tutor1982 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    I am just beginning to be at the stage where my daugher will start school and I still have another child who will be 2 when she starts, then who knows if I will have another child. We read to our daughter every night as part of our bedtime routine. Now she likes to "read" bedtime stories to her sister (she tells the basic jist of the story from memory or tells what is in the picture). That said, I dread having to possibly sit at the table for an hour or more doing homework. We still need family time and like someone said, these early years of school, they are still babies. I don't mind reading to my child every night, and letting her read to me.

    now, all that said, i've also been on the other side of the table where there is just not enough time to do everything in a school day. I wouldn't mind the occasional homework, but i think it is tough to know who will do there homework, who won't do it, and whose parents will do it for them or sign the log without reading.

    I do have an idea for students whose parent's won't (or you suspect aren't) reading with their child - try to have a parent volunteer to come in and read with them 10-15 minutes as many times a week as you can. then the child is not penalized for what their parents won't (or sometimes realistically can't) do with them.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. mathmagic,
  2. Kelster95,
  3. Preschool0929,
  4. SaraFirst,
  5. agdamity,
  6. allaphoristic
Total: 470 (members: 9, guests: 434, robots: 27)
test