Monday, August 20, 2012


Homework is one of those things that no matter what you do, it's really hard to make everyone happy.  I definitely don't believe in bombarding students with tons of homework.  I know how I feel when I get home from school, and the last thing I want to do is spend hours on extra school work.  I want my students spending time with their families, participating in extracurricular activities, and just playing at home.  Furthermore, I really don't have time to check hours of homework either.  However, we are under the lose expectation of giving about 30 minutes of homework a night (10 minutes per grade level).  My grade level plans together as a team so that we can try to be as consistent with our homework as possible.  The only actual homework assignments that we send home are for language (grammar) and math, and everything else is for students to either to study or read.  I've broken down our expectations for each subject area.  I check all homework but do record give grades on homework.  If I see that a student struggles with a particular skill, I make a point to meet with the student individually to review the skill.

Spelling-We send home spelling words on Monday and test students on Friday, and I'm happy to give parents ideas and handouts such as Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe boards that they can use to practice at home, but I don't require anything to be turned in.

Reading-Our only reading homework is a nightly reading log.  I think reading logs are one of the most controversial homework topics among teachers, and I can definitely see both sides of the argument.  I'd be okay with skipping reading logs altogether, but the majority of my team likes them, so I go with the flow:)

Science/Social Studies-The only thing we send home are study guides for science and social studies tests.  I occasionally offer projects that students can complete for extra credit, such as the 3 Branches of Government Project.  I'm thrilled that my students AND their parents LOVE these projects.  Some of them go way overboard, but as long as they're having fun and not stressing over, I say go for it!

Language/Grammar-This is a work in progress.  My plan is to create a spiral review worksheet similar to the math worksheets below.  I'm still working on developing a new pacing guide for the Common Core Standards, because I never want to give my students homework on something they have not practiced in class.  For now we are using a a combination of different skills practice worksheets.

Math-I send home a spiral review worksheet every Monday.  I start the year with very basic second grade review.

 Then as the year progresses, the questions gradually increase in difficulty.

As you can see, the worksheets are a combination of basic skills practice.  I tried to keep these worksheets focused on the skills that are essential for students to practice regularly. 

This is actually one of my oldest and most frequently revised products in my TpT Store.  I originally made these as a fourth grade teacher and then revised everything when I was moved to third grade.  This summer, I changed the questions again to align the worksheets with the Common Core Standards.  I've also added additional weeks, so there are now 26 weeks worth of homework assignments (assuming you send home one a week).  If you're interested, you can view the packet by clicking on the picture below.


Jen said...

I teach sixth and have the hardest time finding math reviews for my students. I would be willing to make them but haven't figured out how to add the operation signs ( +, -, division sign, fraction bar). Would you be willing to share how to do these or what program you use to create your reviews? Thanks!

Marne Thorson said...

Thanks Ashleigh! I will be anxiously awaiting the grammar review!

Melissa said...

I love the concept of a weekly review for math. Thanks for the idea!!!
;0) Melissa

Ms.Lee @ Calling Plays in 2nd Grade said...

I am so happy I found your blog. This is a great homework idea. This is my first year in 3rd grade. These will be so helpful to me. I'm hopping over to your tpt store now to add this product to my cart.

Jojo P. said...

As a math teacher in order for the students to love math subject is to mix up with interesting ways of learning not just number solving for them not to feel bored. Let's find ways to make learning interesting especially most students hate math. Homework idea's makes our learning fun and easy.

Jojo @ math worksheets for kindergarten

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