weekly homework

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TampaTeacher, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2009

    Hi, everyone. I'm a 4th grade language arts teacher, and I'm thinking of starting a weekly homework system in my classroom. What do you think of this plan? I don't want to implement something and then realize there was a problem I hadn't considered.

    I was thinking of giving each kid a spiral notebook for homework. Inside the front cover, I want to glue down a list of reader response prompts. On the back cover, I'll glue down a list of vocabulary options such as "use each word in a sentence" and "draw pictures to show the meaning of this week's words."

    I want them to complete two vocab activities and two responses between Monday and Thursday (so, one activity a night), along with 20 minutes of daily reading.

    What do you think? I'm trying to make the homework valuable to the kids, while still simple for me. We aren't allowed to take grades based on homework, and I don't like making lots of worksheets, so I thought this might be a good way to go.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
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  3. TeaRoses4M&D

    TeaRoses4M&D Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2009

    Sounds good! I love that they are able to choose an activity and that the homework is meaningful. Is it due daily or on Friday?
     
  4. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2009

    It would be due on Friday, and I'd return the notebooks on Monday. Is this enough vocab practice, if I wanted to give a vocab quiz on Fridays? We would also have explicit vocab instruction in class on Mondays.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Tampa,
    It sounds good, but I have to ask one question. Will you be dragging all 20-30 notebooks home every weekend to look them over? That many notebooks can get very heavy. Some of the spirals unwind, and can catch on your clothes. And if something comes up over the weekend, and you don't get through them, you will still need to hand them back on Monday.

    This is the reason I don't do homework notebooks. I have my students tear everything out and I staple it each week. It is much smaller and lighter for me to carry, and if something does happen over the weekend, it isn't the end of the world if I don't get them back until Tuesday.

    It is just something to think about.
     
  6. TeaRoses4M&D

    TeaRoses4M&D Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2009

    I really like that it is due on Friday it seems that this would be helpful to students and their families.

    Also I think Rain Storm made a very valid point in regards to the weight of the notebooks. I hadn't even thought about that.

    As far as the amount of practice I have to be honest I don't teach 4th, but it seems as though this would provide enough practice in ways that are meaningful to your students. Possibly this is one of those situations where different classes would need different adjustments. You could start of with this and then see what, if any, adjustment need to be made.
     
  7. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2009

    Thanks for the feedback!

    You make some good points, Rainstorm. I really liked this idea, but for the reasons you suggested and a couple extra, I don't think it's going to work this year.

    Yesterday, I got to really explore our new reading series and discovered that it has homework sheets that correlate directly to the stories and skills in the book. I won't be reading from the book every week, but I'd like to have the freedom to use this homework resource when appropriate. The trouble with my plan is that it locks me down to one type of homework all year.

    I just know if I told the kids, "This week, we will be doing something different for homework ..." there would be all kinds of confusion on Friday, and a good number of kids turning in the wrong work.

    Sigh. I'd as soon just not give homework most of the time, but it's required at my school.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2009

    Tampa,
    I teach 2nd, so it is a bit different (all the subjects) -- but I do a weekly homework sheet. I hand it out on Monday and it is due back on Friday. It is one page, front and back, and it includes everything. I have a spelling menu (there are two choices each day and they choose one -- one is easy and one is more difficult -- this way parents don't complain that it is too easy or too hard...they can help their child choose.) I have a reading log. And then I have daily questions in math, science, and social studies. They have to put their work on notebook paper, and we staple it together at the end of the week when they turn it in. (If they bring it in a notebook, I just tear it out and hand the notebook back to them.) It really works well.

    THe nicest thing for me is that I can't forget to hand out homeowork (I only have to do it once a week.) The nicest thing for the parent is they can choose to do the work ahead of time if their schedule is busy on Wednesday night, etc.
     

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