An Apple a Day: HOMEWORK!


I'm super sad I missed the link up last week while on vacation so I'm going to give a quick shout out to Daily 5 to cover the Small Group Instruction link for last week!  I was catching up on blogs and found a post about Daily 5.  The blog author had just read this for the first time and was super excited.  That was me last summer!  I have been amazed this year at how using this model has helped my overall instruction in the classroom.  It's all about PURPOSE and the kiddos get it!  It also allows for small group instruction because everyone is busy becoming better readers!  I have a student teacher starting with me this year and I am excited to introduce this model to her!

OK....topic of the week, HOMEWORK!  There are about a million different ways to look at homework and every teacher has their own opinion about how it should work. These opinions fall into these 3 categories. 
  1. "Old School"-  Nightly homework due each morning when you arrive at school. 
  2. Weekly Packets- A packet of work you can do on your own time, due on Friday. 
  3. "Special" projects- homework assigned only when something is needed to be finished at home. 
Since I am a first grade teacher I feel the "Old School" approach best benefits my future teacher buddies.  In my opinion it is my job to teach these kiddos responsibility and the value of turning in a nightly assignment.  I also feel that sight words should be a huge part of this.  You know, the learning to read and all thing we have going on in first! :)   

Now that being said...I DO NOT feel like homework should be a punishment for parents. 

I'm a mom. 

I hate homework. 

I worked all day and I want the little time I have with my own children to be quality time and not an argument over homework.  So my homework is predictable, simple, and SHOULD BE done independently.  If anyone ever complains about it, I have their child come in and complete it in front of me (and the parent) to show them they are totally capable of completing it within 10 minutes on their own. If you are cooking dinner, your kiddo can sit right there and complete their homework before you have the ground beef browned!  Easy Peasy!

So here is an example from my homework packet I created last year.  Don't judge the cover.....I have since then figured out a lot about the creating process and have yet to go back a redo these.  
 Monday:  We take a pretest for our spelling words on Monday and we grade them together.  I really focus on "being your best" and being honest with yourself about what you need to work on.  They circle the words they need to work on write all of the words 3 times each for homework. 
Tuesday:  Sitton spelling is designed to have review words every week and only introduces 5 new core words each week.  I love this, and they are all sight words.  On Tuesday they write a sentence using their 5 new words.  (My parents don't like this one, it's pretty hard at the beginning of the year but boy oh boy do they get good at it!)

 Wednesday: Wednesday is always a little different but deals with word work we have been discussing in class.  Word families, homophones, synonyms, long vowel/short vowels etc.  
 Thursday:  Thursday is ABC order day.  I start the year out only with the 5 core words but by the end of the year they are putting the whole list in ABC order. 

If you have any interest in checking these out in my Tpt store you can click on the item below:

Spelling Homework Unit 1-9 

I've finished units 10-27, but I haven't posted them in my store yet.  I guess I need to do that! Good thing for blogging or I might have never noticed that!

In addition to this I use a math review page and copy it on the back so my kiddos get a little math and a little spelling each night.  They turn these in every day when we return to school in a basket and then I can review them at my leisure (in front of the TV....usually Wednesday or Thursday night!)  I love reading their sentences they write and the phonics activity usually involves making lists of words so it's always fun to see what they come up with!

Here is a pic of our turn in spot....

It's right by the front door so they have to turn it in along with their BEE book each day.  If you would like to read more about my BEE books click HERE!

So that's it!  I've almost always run my homework this way whether I was teaching Kindergarten, 5th grade, or 1st grade.

So don't forget to link up with Leigh at The Applicious Teacher and share your ideas about homework AND check out the other blogs in the link and share a little bloggy love!

For now.....I've got my feet up because summer is fast coming to a close!  Happy Relaxation! Heather