Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meaningful Homework

Amy here! As I sit here finishing up my "homework" to prepare for the week (lesson plans, prepping for Parent Night, etc.) while watching Bill Maher and enjoying my favorite treat in the world, Diet Coke, I realize that there are several reasons I assign homework to my students. It teaches time management and responsibility, as well as providing important practice and it keeps parents informed of what their child is working on and the progress they are making on those skills.

Unfortunately, those important purposes for assigning homework often get lost and forgotten when gathering homework materials. All too often, homework is sent home and parents and students sit at the kitchen table (for way too long) struggling over completing work that the student is not ready to practice and therefore, parents are forced to reteach skills and battle their child to complete their work.

This is a vision Mollie and I try to keep in mind when we assign homework. We do not want our kiddos or our parents spending the better part of their night battling over homework, and we certainly do not want parents to be forced to reteach material in order to complete the homework. We feel good about what we are currently assigning and we work hard to constantly reevaluate what we are sending home and why we are sending it.

We ask that our students read every night and we encourage them to talk or write about what they read. Providing parents with some prompts or questions that can help get the conversation started is a great way to encourage talking about books.

We are currently using this WONDERFUL resource from Forkin4th:

It gives students a week worth of activities surrounding a provided text. The activities are relevant and interesting and it includes a piece to get parents involved by asking them to listen to their child read.

Our math homework asks students to complete a limited number of problems surrounding one skill, as well as to reflect on how they are understanding the concept using a rubric. Here is an example of what we send home:
This allows us to share with parents what we are learning, give students some practice, gather feedback from students on how they feel they are progressing in learning a certain skill, and all of this can be done without frustrating or overwhelming our kiddos or their parents!

We would love to hear about what meaningful homework you are sending home with your students! Leave comments and links below!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Molly and Amy! I just found your blog and I am so excited to be a follower! :)
    I was wondering if you also had a 5th grade version of your self evaluation formative math assessments. I teach a 4/5 multiage class. Thank you again for creating a great blog! I'm excited to read your future posts!