I am not a fan of homework. My dislike has nothing do with whether or not it is beneficial...it basically comes down to management. Coming up with assignments for 3 grade levels each night, copying the work, getting the assignments written in an agenda, all just to have maybe 1 student do it. Then what? Do I go over it when nobody did it? Should I punish the kids who didn't do it or just reward the few who did? Who has time for all that?!
*As a side note, my students generally come from lower socio-economic families and all of them have learning difficulties...you probably have a higher homework completion rate.
Because of all this, I stopped sending homework home. Do you know what happened?
I so wanted to send home the piles of blank homework from all of those kids with a note saying:
"When you finish all the work you DIDN'T do so far, I'll start giving homework again."
But I didn't.
I came up with a system that works for me, the kids, and the parents. It's super easy!
Homework is the same 3 things each night:
1. Journal Writing
2. Read for 20 minutes
3. Math activity
Each week they get a new bookmark in their folders
I had these printed, cut, and bound with that sticky stuff at the top so I can peel off each book mark (like a notepad). I asked parents to initial next to each colored star to hold everyone accountable.
Each month, I put the new journal in their take home folders.
I use these journals from Miss Kindergarten. I like the list of monthly words at the beginning of each journal.
At the beginning of the year, the kids and I made math bags full of games I found for free on TPT. We made dice, I had everything laminated and it took forever. Then kids moved, new kids moved in and more than half the class lost their games in about 2 weeks. Nobody every did the math games! This year I am using these for the math activity:
They are from Teachers Clubhouse. I'm just waiting on the 3rd grade set and I'll have one for each grade level :) If someone loses these, it's easy enough to make up more. I am going to add these to my math stations as well so the kids know how to play the games. I also use reflex math in the classroom so that is always another option. I will probably make up a card of math game websites to add to their game rings.
I made these posters to encourage kids to do their work. We colored in a star for every star of homework the class did. I'm going to be honest...I only used this the first 2 weeks of school. Nobody was doing the work so I just stopped.
Why I love this:
Easy prep...I can print everything over the summer and just add a new journal to the folders each month. The parents who want to work with their children can but it's no pressure for the parents who just can't fight their children every night to do more work. I don't have to check anything but journals occasionally so it doesn't waste my class time!
You can grab my posters and book marks here for free!
How do you feel about homework? What does it look like in your room?