How much and how often?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by pwhatley, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Do you send homework home? Do you grade it? Here's what I do, which is, admittedly, probably too much, but I've had very few complaints, and lots of student growth!

    Each Friday, I send the next week's packet home. It is generally due the following Thursday. It grows as the year progresses, and eventually includes:

    • weekly newsletter, in which I line out the skills being covered in the coming week.
    • weekly ela words & definition sheet
    • phonics practice page(s)
    • copies of the weekly comprehension, decodable, and other stories
    • grammar practice page(s)
    • a tic-tac-toe homework page of activities for spelling and high-frequency words
    • spelling, high-frequency, and robust vocabulary word "flash cards" (copied on regular paper)
    • math practice page(s)
    • daily reading log (20 min. per day)
    • other items as needed by specific students and/or requested by parents
    At the beginning of the year, I inform parents of homework policies (and re-inform as the year goes by). I find that first graders LOVE homework, and if given the chance to "get a jump on" the spelling words and stories for the next week,they do it (most of them). I explain that I do not expect students to work on math that we haven't covered yet, so they should "pace themselves" with the work in the packet. I've honestly had very few problems! (Other than the scramble to get the packets put together for Friday!) In fact, I've had parents call me on Friday evening, wondering where the packet and newsletter were when it was late going home!

    The only grade my students receive for homework is a completion/turned in conduct grade: on due date = A, 1 day late = B, etc.

    I'd love to read about your homework policies and practices!
     
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  3. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Wow. I don't think I would be able to do as much as you. I send homework each day except Fridays. I do not grade it at all. I just put a check on it and if they got something wrong I have some extra time during morning announcements to call the student over quickly and tell them what they got wrong. Some of my students never turned in homework and I did not really care. I mean I did but I know some of my students and their parents. Very young parents who are working a lot and do not have time or do not care to help their kids.

    I would allow the student to do their homework as morning work.
    Yes first graders love homework. I normally send home math-monday- tues-something with reading-wed-writing-thurs-either science or social studies.

    Now I think I will send homework in addition to a sight words extra practice something.

    The students also have to read nightly. They get books that they keep for the week to read.
     
  4. goingtogigi

    goingtogigi Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Holy cow! I feel so inadequate. Our entire team assigns similar homework. The assigned homework is noted on our weekly newsletters which goes home on either Friday or Monday. All homework is due on Friday.

    1) 10 minutes of nightly reading to be recorded on monthly reading calendar

    2) 1 math worksheet to practice the skill we are working on

    3) sight word practice (varies)

    Last year I added a Homework Menu of some higher level homework activities for students and/or parents who want more work.

    Even with this little homework, I found myself overwhelmed with the grading at times. I would like to hear from others on this subject too! :)
     
  5. Miss.W

    Miss.W Companion

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    Jul 25, 2010

    I've been told that the amount of time students spend on homework should correlate to the grade they are in. Since I teach 1st grade, I assign homework that should not last longer than 10 minutes. The parents are told that if their child is taking longer than 10 minutes on the assignment to send me a letter and I will work on the concept with the child.

    Homework gets sent home Monday through Wednesday, and rarely on a Thursday. Depending on the concept/skill that is being practiced I may or may not grade the work. I had a wonderful turn out with homework this past year and the parents loved it because they used it as a way to keep updated with what their child was doing in school.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2010

    I never said that every student completed their homework every time, LOL! I have had parents keep the folder until Friday so their students could finish the work, though! It definitely shows who IS doing the work by their progress, though, don't you think? gigi - do you use storytown? I get a lot of my homework stuff from http://www.pcboe.net/les/elderweb/First Grade.htm
    (I also get tons of other stuff from there, lol!).
     
  7. goingtogigi

    goingtogigi Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Miss W. I too have always been told the amount of time should correlate with their grade.

    My homework should last no more than 15 minutes a night and that includes the required 10 minutes of reading each night.
     
  8. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2010

    This is correct.
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2010

    My packet doesn't start out with much, but it does grow as the year goes on!
     
  10. goingtogigi

    goingtogigi Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Yes, our district has purchased StoryTown. I use it as little as I can get away with. I took a quick look at the link you posted. I'll have to check it out. I really dislike having to use a basal, but that seems to be the way our school/district is going. Hopefully that site will help me become more comfortable with it. Thank-you!

     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Our district just bought it 18 months ago (imagine adopting a new basal in the middle of a school year!), and they are determined to get their money's worth out of it! (Don't tell anyone, but I supplement like crazy!)
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I send spelling words home on Monday with the newsletter. Monday-Thursday they get one reading worksheet and one math worksheet to complete in addition to learning their spelling words (I don't specify how they have to practice). I simply put a check that it's done, circle any errors, but not grade it per se.

    I also send different homework to different kids based on their needs. I haven't had much luck with the packet method-but since my kids are GT, they are either highly motivated and finish it in one night (which I don't think is as beneficial) or put it off until the last day and finish it in one night! ;)
     
  13. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2010

    We used to give homework out each week and remind parents of assignments on the weekly newsletter, which usually included a handwriting page, their spelling words, a math word problem or concept worksheet, and to read for 20 mins each night.

    This year we have decided not to send homework home. They will only be expected to read for 20 mins each night.

    We have stopped spelling; our district doesn't believe traditional spelling is beneficial. In January we will start the Fountas/Pinnell buddy study though.

    We will, however, send home a packet each month that gives the parent activities they can do with their child that correlate with what we're doing at school. I will not collect the packet. The only thing I will check for is that the kids read every night.
     
  14. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Most of what I send home can stay at home - the word study cards (on paper, card stock is too expensive), the stories, etc. The actual work that comes back to me is less than my list makes it appear.

    Why do I feel like I have to explain/defend it?
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2010



    Can I come work for your school?;) We are required to send homework Pre-K through 5th Grade and I really don't think it's very meaningful to the kids-I do it because I have to. I love how you just send the packets home for parents, because some want direction on what to work with their kids on, but then you don't even have to keep track of it. Sounds like the ideal plan. :thumb:
     
  16. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Each night my students have a phonics/reading worksheet. We use Saxon Phonics. As a district we ask the students to read 20 minutes a night. But any and all homework counts towards the 20 minutes. We have also told parents that educational computer games will count toward their 20 minutes as well. I use Spelling City, so I encourage them to use that as part of their time. They could be reading a magazine, cereal box, or newpaper. It doesn't matter what they are reading as long as they are reading. At the beginning of the year, I tell my parents that reading to your child can also count for this time. I always send home at least one story a night to help fufill this time as well.
     
  17. ilovetoread

    ilovetoread Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I send home a guided reading book on the days the child's group meets with me (3-4 days/week). I also send home a math page 3-4 days/week. I expect students to practice math facts on their own. I don't grade the math pages...I collect and make a mark in my grade book if it was turned in and that's it! I don't get overly worked up if it's not turned in...it's not always the child's fault for not getting it done. However, I will comment at conferences and on grade cards if homework is not consistantly done.
     

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