homework??

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by teacherSMK, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 26, 2008

    :confused: Do you guys assign HW in kindergarten? If so, please give examples of what a typical HW assignment would be for a 5-6 year old, as well as your procedures on "grading" these particular assignments. Thanks in Advance! :)
     
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  3. mdith4him

    mdith4him Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    In the class I student taught in, the teacher had a weekly homework sheet that went home in the kids' daily folders. There were five boxes with a question in each (one for each day of the week). The questions were related to something the kids should have learned that day. At the very beginning of the year she had questions like, "What is the name of your P.E. teacher?" She didn't grade them or even check off who had done them and who hadn't. She told me she just wanted to get them used to having to do something school related every night at home. Most kids did it, though (with parents' help).

    The only other thing she sent home were "family projects." There were only a handful throughout the year. One was sending home a gingerbread man cut out at Christmas time. The kids and parents were supposed to decorate them with anything they had at home. A lot of them ended up being really cute!
     
  4. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Thanks! Ilike those ideas!~Sarah
     
  5. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Yes, we send home a weekly packet. It goes home on Friday, due back on Thursday. I don't like sending it home those days. Some students end up completing the whole thing on the weekends, but it fits with everything else we do at school. Library books are due on Thursday, and so is the weekly communication folder that our school requires we send on specific days. It makes it more convenient for the parents.

    At other schools, I've seen people send homework on a daily basis, and other schools send home a MONTHLY homework packet.

    We get our homework from various sources. My favorite resource is Teacher's Helper magazine from The Mailbox. In the beginning, our packets are just name puzzles, printing practice, alphabet practice, counting practice, and a reading log. We use Pizza Hut Book It! for most of the year. As the year goes on, we grow with the amounts we give. By the spring, our packets are 12 pages (2 pages a night).

    There are several teachers at our school that "grade" the homework packet, giving points for each "correct" item. They spend 2 hours a week grading it, writing comments. I think some parents appreciate it, and some don't even look at it. I tried it for one year, and I didn't think it was worth it. Now, I look at each page to see if it's done, how correct it is, etc. I also check to make sure the student, not parents or siblings, is completing the work. In my grade book, I write C for complete, I for incomplete, N for not returned (but I leave the space blank for a week, so they can turn it in late), or A for absent (sometimes I forget to pass them out to absent students!) I put an exponent L for late near the C or I if they do turn it in late.

    I spent a lot of time calling parents about homework this year. Thanks to wesite & other people posting their ideas, I discovered VistaPrint this summer. I made cute "I forgot my homework" labels, business cards, and postcards. Hopefully, I won't have to make as many calls. However, the more you hold the families responsible, the better return you will have.
     
  6. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Thanks for this idea as well...do you put the packets in their take home folder? Or are they just stapled together?
     
  7. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    In my folders I have a spot for homework and a spot that I write in titled "Ask your child about..." where I put something they learned. M and W homework is usually something like practice writing your name, practice your phone number, etc. T and H are quick worksheets related to the math and reading we are doing. Just to get the kids used to being responsible for something, and parents to get used to sitting with their children and doing something most nights (they get homework in reading, math and spelling 4 nights a week in 1st in my school-it can be a rude awakening!). Also, if behavior is an issue I put notes in there and parents inital each night. I don't "grade" just star, smile, etc. I don't really keep track unless a student who is doing poorly continues to not turn it in, then I get with the parent because they need the extra help at home. After a bit if they dont' turn homework in they do it on the playground before they can play. That doesn't happen very often after the first time!!

    This year I am starting take home bags. I'll rotate the bags through the kids. Each bag will have a book or two to read with an activity to complete in a journal that will travel with the bag to each house (illustrating something, writing, creating, etc). A coworker did it and it worked well.

    I don't think homework should take long or be new material. It is to practice and to keep parents aware of what is being done in class, and if their child is able to do it independently or if they need lots of help!
     
  8. Lilly4

    Lilly4 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    We have 3 things that we send home each week:
    Poem Book: Take home the poem we read that week and read it to family
    BEAR books: Leveled books at their level- take home and read a book twice a week
    Math Notebook: Each week a new activity sheet from our math curriculum is glued in there for them to do.

    Each of these take less than 5 minutes. We try to minimize homework as much as possible as we are all-day and the kids and parents get tired at the end of the day. None of them are corrected but I remind kids that did not return theirs to send it back. I have optional at-home activities on my website each month if parents want more to do at home- but not many do it.
    We also do family projects each month or so. :)
     
  9. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2008

    My homework "process" is pretty simple. I send home homework everyday, Monday through Thursday. I send home a reading sheet and a math sheet and they are concepts that we have already learned. To me, homework is teaching my students responsibility and they know that when they get home from school, they have to complete it. I don't send home weekly packets because a lot of the students won't complete it until the last night and that defeats the purpose of building responsibility. I send home a reading log where (at the beginning of the year) the students pick a book from our classroom library and take it home for their parents to read to them. Later in the year, the students take home their decodable books to read to their parents.
     
  10. NewGirl23

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    Jul 27, 2008

    The only homework I send are occasional unit activities (ex. All About Me poster, Family Tree, etc), and they bring home one book each week to read to a family member, get it signed, and return.
     
  11. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Hi
    I am not a certified teacher, but I will tell you what my son had as homework in public school kindergarten. The teacher assigned hw on Fridays and it was due the following Tuesday. For the first month the projects were show and tell type of projects (show and tell pictures of your family members or get to know you show and tell). After those types of projects were over there were other assignments such as listen to a book and draw a picture about it, make a rocket out of a paper towel roll, make a collage out of items around your house. The teacher also sent home review type of material for parents to go over with their children (phonics games/worksheets and math games). That was not counted as homework though. The children also did the Pizza Hut Book It program. Starting in March the kids were expected to read their take home books (books in a bag) every evening in addition to their weekly hw assignments and review materials. By the end of the year the children were suppose to be able to read at least through a level 5 (I don't know what kind of leveling system they used though). The teacher had level 1 books all the way through level 19 available in her room. My son was at a level 13 by the end of his K year.

    After a full day of kindergarten the last thing that my son wanted to do was more work. He was so worn out by the end of the school day! It was tough on him to last from 8:30 in the morning until 3:30.

    I hope this helps you in some way!
    Have a great school year!
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2008


    That's why I worry about homework. I don't think that teaching the responsibility of homework should be so important for kindergarteners. When I was in kindergarten, I went from 8-11 every morning and I would come home and play with my mom and brother. Having children spend 6-7 hours in school is enough work for their busy little bodies. Let them go home and play and be 5!

    I plan on sending things home occasionally, though. Maybe a review game or family-type of activity, just to get the parents more involved, too. And when they start reading I'll definitely send home book bags with some sort of rewards system for reading each night.
     
  13. teacherSMK

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    Jul 28, 2008

    I am asking parents to read three books a week with their child...and I guess that would count as "homework"...

    Thank you all for the wonderful ideas...I like the idea of occasional "review" type worksheets, but I also agree with letting them be "5" and "playing" after school...

    I am definitely considering the "please ask your chil about..." in the take home folders...I think that is a great way for the parents to get an idea of what we did in school that day...


    a lot to think about!


    :)
     
  14. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    We are required by the district to send home homework nightly (weekends included) and our P has us send home one math item and one reading/language arts item. I am a believer in the kids being kids, so I usually send home something that should take no more than 5-10 minutes and is just a quick review of what we have been learning during the day...and on the weekend, it is usually a story to read with their child. I do not grade it, I just use a marker or a highligter to check it off or star/smiley face it so parents know that I checked it. I don't get particular unless I have a students that I know I need to check their work if they weren't understanding a concept in class. I'm hoping this year to make things easier by sending home a packet with a page for each day...it would make things easier for me, but I'm not sure if the P would approve or not.... Good luck! I think a lot of it depends on the kids you have...and at this age, the parent involvement!
     
  15. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I don't think homework is appropriate for kindergarten children. I constantly have parents ask me what their child should be doing at home and I tell the parents to read to their children. That's it.
     
  16. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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  17. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2008

    Sue,
    Thanks for the link...I am going to share the info. with my grade level partners and see what they think. This kind of homework is just what they need...no busy work!
     
  18. MissErin

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    I like some of the sample pages but I wonder-- how many parents help their students every night? With some experience I had... parents were not home to help their children with homework or parents just didn't really care. Which is so SAD. But how do you deal with that? During my student teaching I had one child who was working at a 1st grade level (in a fourth grade class) and his mom refused to do anything for him educationally wise. She also seemed to work really late nights and sleep during the day. So half the time he would not come in with homework and the other half was a family member who just did it for him. What I sort of ended up doing is staying a little late after school and helping him complete his homework. Eventually my co-op teacher just stopped sending homework home with him.

    How do you get parents to be involved? It may be less of an issue with me since I'm teaching at a private school that is probably expensive, so I would think that these are parents who want their children to excel academically.

    I don't think I will send home homework by the way, but I'm not sure what is required with me. Reading or looking at books will be my homework, if I have my way.
     
  19. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I am hoping that sending home something that has to be done with the parents will get them involved! I only had two kids last year who had NO support from home...some had older brothers or sisters help, even aunts and uncles, so most of them had someone. I try to make sure most of the homework is review so the kids can do it by themselves if they need to. I think sending this home would give parents that want to get involved something to focus on, and it really would help those kids. Maybe I could just provide extra support to those I know aren't getting it at home...I just hope it isn't half my class!
     
  20. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    MissErin, I have the same problem. We do everything we can to give the best to our students, but the child's success is not just dependent upon our dedication. There is a metaphor that a child's education is like a stool - to balance, it needs 3 legs of support. One leg is the teacher, one is the students, the other is the parent (some of us are lucky, and have a fourth leg - the school administration, but I keep that one a secret). If one leg is missing, the stool falls down.

    I always stress to parents that they are their child's most important teacher. I don't think they understand how important early education is, and how demanding it has become. There are those who think kindergarten is all about finger painting and play dough. I've worked with administrators that don't value the work we do at the kindergarten level. It can be frustrating

    If parents don't get it, put them on the spot. When I conference with them, I ask them what their educational goals are for their children. Do they want them to graduate from high school? College?

    It irritates me to no end to waste copies (and valuable trees) making photocopies for students that don't do the work. I'm tired of the phone calls, so I recently made labels, postcards, and business cards for missing homework through Vista Print. I'm going to try using them to hold parents responsible. I got ideas from this 3rd grade teacher's website:
    http://www.mrsvandyke.com/vistaprint.htm
     
  21. Lilly4

    Lilly4 Rookie

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    I love the stool analogy- I'm sharing that with my parents at Orientation night! Thanks!!
     
  22. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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  23. pinkpotato

    pinkpotato Rookie

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    I follow the Alfie Kohn school of thought, that homework in elementary school is pretty much a waste of time, and not fair to students who put in over 6 hours per day of seatwork. I have students take a picture book home every night and ask parents to read to their kids. They return logs. That's it. I used to do packets, but they were never returned on time, and were sloppy. Ever since I assigned reading, my kids are much happier, do NEATER work in class (!!!!), and love to read!

    Just because most people do something, doesn't make it right. This is true for homework, especially.
     
  24. SueHue

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Pinkpotato, I agree with you. However, we're a half day program. Students are only at school for 3 hours. The extra practice is necessary.
     

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