Homework~ how much?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by 1stGr8, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Nov 7, 2007

    I worked with a first grad eteacher a few years ago and she gave out a spelling packet that needed to be finised by friday, reading (15 min i think) sometimes a math worksheet but it never seemed like overload. I hate when teachers over use worksheets! She also didnt assign any homework during december because she believed that the amily should be doing things together! I liked that! It was only like 2-3 weeks but parents appreciated it and i think it made the classroom time a bit more enjoyabe because they didnt have to go home and do tins of homework on top of family stuff.


    and about the pets ....(and to be honest I still dont know how this factors into the topic) we had to put our 13 y/o lab down last year..it was my dads and it was the hardest thing I have ever seen him have to do! I still miss that dog!
     
  2. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Nov 8, 2007



    Well we have a space on the report card where you have to mark whether or not they turn in homework assignments. If they dont turn it in, it's an X, if it's turned in late or not turned in a lot it's a check minus and so forth. So with that being said, us giving out homework really isnt an option. Since it is recorded on the report card and it is something they are "graded" on, then it's something we have to do. And I agree that kids need to be kids, but being in VA our state standards are very high and not having homework would probably not be a good idea because they need to get ready for the tests even in 1st grade.
     
  3. Victoriateacher

    Victoriateacher Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2007

    I am very glad I work in Canada (BC) where there is no standardized testing.
     
  4. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I'm glad that you brought this up, as this is the first year I've had parents complain about their child having too much homework. I don't grade homework either, but I do believe it is important. Parents need to know what their child is learning, and children need to know that what they are learning at school is important to their parents. Homework is an opportunity for families to work together to help a child succeed academically. I assign:

    Nightly (Mon.-Thurs.): one side of Saxon math homework (5 problems); Spelling/Sight Word practice; 10 minutes of reading

    Tuesdays/Thursdays: leveled readers from reading series (which is counted for the 10 minutes of reading that night)
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 9, 2007

    cm - your homework sounds reasonable and purposeful.

    If anyone has not experienced a first grader being overworked, you just haven't been around long enough yet. For me, it is usually the parents who are overworking the students, because I would not do that. But I have parents every year who smash every bit of enjoyment out of learning because they insist their child must do homework, and they supply it themselves, whether or not I send homework home. Drill drill drill, achieve (ha) achieve achieve. By the middle of first grade I see some children who don't want to be in school anymore. If people would let children be children, they would quickly find that children love to learn and are voracious and inquisitive all on their own. Take away the TV video games, and the computer. Kids will play and learn. They are natural learners. Once the weirdo adults get in there, so afraid little Jimmy is going to miss out on a big college scholarship sometime in the next 2 decades, the joy of learning can get choked to death. That's why I don't give a lot of homework. Kids don't need any homework to grow and learn and have their interest in things snowball.

    I just love it when I get a kid I can hardly keep up with because he/she is just so thrilled about learning he/she can't get enough. I once had a student read every book in my classroom. That was awesome. But he sought out the reading. Neither his parents nor I pushed in any way. He knew where things were for him to use, and kept after all of us with all he was learning. One day he sat at the circle and explained to everyone what a molecule was.
     
  6. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    Idle hands are not the devil's workshop. Free time gives children a chance to play make believe which builds their oral language and literacy skills. More free time is spent with their families and perhaps playing games and doing work around the house which builds responsibility.
    My first graders' homework is to read one book each night (or have abook read to them). This helps create bonding time with the parent and also helps them establish the reading habit. I send home a bag of 10 books with each child each week. We rotate every Wednesday. That way they have books at home to read ( I teach inner-city and often the children do not have access to books at home or means to travel to a library). I also send home a poem with word study activities for the kids to complete 3-7 times a week so that they build phonological awareness and phonics skills while they work on fluency.
    People need to remember that they are 6 years old. They shouldn't be stuck in front of worksheets all night anymore than they should be stuck in front of the television.
     
  7. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    You are so right! Too many teachers assign homework and count it as part of the grade. That is neither ethical or a valid assessment of skills. You don't know what these children go home to. Many live in chaotic families with little to no organization. Many have no parental support; some have all the support in the world. So, to use homework to assess understanding is completely irrational!
     
  8. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I also work with extremely impoverished students. I made bags with 10 books each in them. The kids take the books home wiht them and bring them back each Wednesday. I check the books in and back out each Wednesday during planning and it is a non-negotiable (if I have a data meeting that day, the bags come with me and I tell all the administrators and state reps that my kids can't go a night without these bags or they won't read; they are usually very supportive and let me work on it during meetings). I know you are worried about sending so many books home with one student, but even my least responsible students manage to bring the books back unharmed. The trick is to tell the parents and kids how much the books cost and the guidelines for using them (no leaving it at places, no sharing with friends, no leaving it in an unsafe place where pets or infants may chew the books up, etc.). You should try it! You would be totally amazed at the response you get. Most parents really want to do what you say and help their kids in the ways you suggest; they just don't have the resources.
    I also offer incentives so the less ambitious kids will eventually pick up with us (1-2 months) when they see the rewards that the others receive. Let me know how it works for you!!
     
  9. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I suppose that caring for another living creature doesn't mean much if you have no heart or soul.
     
  10. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    Emma, I'm with you ! Jarenko, or whatever, has no heart! See my response :)
     
  11. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I understand! I have two dogs, one who has seizures. She takes medication to reduce the severity, but every day that I drive home, I worry that I will find her dead from a seizure. She is my best friend; she is actually the only living creature that I have "stayed in contact" with for the last 10 years of my life. She has been there for job changes, new friends, new romances, etc. She is the constant in my life. The only other people I know who love me as unconditionally as my dogs are my first graders. :)
     
  12. Murphy

    Murphy Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2007

    I think the idea with homework, and accountability for it, is that families need to be involved in their child's education. Too many families that I work with believe that it is the school's sole responsibility to educate their child and it's not. All the research shows that, while teachers can make a difference in a child's "sucess" in school, that impact is limited only to the year that the child is with that particular teacher. Ultimately, parents determine this important component in their chid's development. So, we have to teach (train?) parents to place a focus on academic success at home or children will not internalize, over an extensive period of time, the value of education.
    I always assign reading as my homework, along with the word games that come with the poem I send home. That way, I am always sending a clear message that reading at home is key and must be followed,with fidelity, by parents.
     
  13. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Nov 10, 2007

    Emma,

    Your idea of a "Reading Calendar" sound like something I could use. Can you give a little more detail on what it looks like and what you require?

    Thanks!
     
  14. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2007

    Keep your puppies close Murphy...... They are "constant" and they do love you unconditionally.........:):):)

    I hope you have both for many years..........

    Major...
     
  15. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2007

    I believe that its important to have parents involved in their child's education, but homework should certainly be limited. I believe in nightly reading. Any other homework I send are games that my students can play with their families. I send home a math game they can keep for the week, and a set of sight words to work on (through games) for a few minutes each night. I think we have to remember that they are 6 and 7! Yes, we want them to get their basic skills, but lets be reasonable. :3)
     
  16. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2007

    I am my daughter's 1st grade teacher....so I have to do what I assign. They have to read decodable reader to their parents and any work they didn't finish in class. And now I'm adding sight word study...AHHHH!

    When the kids leave at 4:00, and I get home at 4:30/5:00 I want to be left alone....and yet, a little later in the evening even though I don't 'feel' like it, I sit with my daughter and we do the homework (5-10 minutes)...and it is actually enjoyable...more rewarding than missing the re-run of friends.
     
  17. amantevanessa

    amantevanessa Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2007

    educated guess


    Jarenko sounds like a troll. bye Jarenko. :rolleyes:
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 11, 2007

    Last time I checked, stating a different opinion wasn't sufficient grounds to get thrown off a thread.
     
  19. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 12, 2007

    I disagree TG... get out of this thread

    :lol:
     
  20. EducatorForGod

    EducatorForGod Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2008

    I have them read nightly & study spelling words. Our school allows the teachers a lot of free reign. We do much hands on learning & also some textbook work in the classroom. There isn't much seat work involved. We allow the children to work at their own pace. Think Montessori school.
     
  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 12, 2008

    Our district REQUIRES that we give homework 4 nights per week. They even have a required number of minutes it should take (ie 3rd graders should be given 45 minutes of nightly homework, 2nd graders have to be given 30 minutes of homework each night (20 minutes of reading, and 10 minutes of math or content areas). They also dictate that it cannot count more than 5-10 percent of a child's grade. (They don't actually say anyplace that we HAVE to count it as a grade, only that we have to assign it and that it can't count as more than 10 percent.)

    So I give homework! I follow the rules. I give a big fancy check mark! If a child doesn't bring it, I ask them to bring it tomorrow. If they don't, oh well! (99% do bring it.)

    I also tell parents on day one that IF the homework is taking more than x number of minutes, STOP! Send me a note and let me know, because it shouldn't be taking so long. I'm not in the business of torturing children. (or their parents, for that matter.)

    I'd rather reduce the amount of work for a child who struggles terribly with homework than have a parent endure a nightly battle-of-the-wills. I have a couple of children each year that only do the even numbered problems or the odd number problems. So they do 5 problems instead of 10? The world won't come to an end!

    If it were up to me, nightly homework wouldn't start until the 5th grade -- but alas, it isn't up to me!
     
  22. bw1

    bw1 Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2008

    gosh, I've seen 1st grader with a packet of homework daily! And it takes 1 1/2 hours to finish it with someone helping them!

    I would usually just switch days, where one day, I would give at least 2 pages front and back with math problems, the next day, I would give language arts etc.,
     
  23. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I give 1 page of math homework on Monday and Wednesday and guided reading on Tuesday and Thursday. They have to study their spelling words every night, but I don't typically assign a worksheet for that. It takes about 5-10 minutes every night. I take a check mark for turning it in, and if they don't turn it in, then they complete the work during our math tub time. After about 4 times of missing math tubs for the 10 minutes it takes to complete the work, then they realize it would be easier to do at home. I know that some of my children don't have parental support, but I also only assign work that they can complete independently. I am trying to teach responsibility and part of that is completing assignments.
     
  24. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I'm curious. How do you do "guided reading" as homework?
     
  25. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    Jan 13, 2008

    OOPS, sorry. Should have stated that I send home their new guided reading book home for them to read to a parent, sibling, dog, etc. I also send home the current reading strategy we have been using.. for example, taking words apart/finding a little word to help you (may or be in maybe):sorry:
     
  26. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jan 20, 2008

    This is how homework usually looks. Of course, it changes depending on what we do in class.

    Mondays: 1 math page (2 sides), 1 phonics page (2 sides), Spelling Words 3x each, and Read wordlines (from our reading program).

    Tuesday: 1 math page (2 sides), Spelling Words ABC Order, Read wordlines, Read decodable book, answer comprehension questions.

    Wednesday: 1 math page (2 sides), Spelling Words Sentences, Read Wordlines, 1 phonics page (2 sides).

    Thursday: 1 math page (2 sides), Study Spelling Words, Read Wordlines, Read decodable book, Answer comprehension questions.

    Friday: Fix work in Friday Folders.
     

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