I am going to start by saying, I don’t personally agree with homework. In my soul I believe that students need to be spending their time at home with their families and playing. But I am required, as many teachers are, to give a little bit. So, I had to find a way to make homework easy and fun for my students.
I took the idea of TEAM Homework from Teaching with Madness and created it a little different to fit my needs. Check out her blog post here to learn more about it!
Students are giving a homework sheet on Friday and it is due the following Friday. The front of the sheet always looks the same (find that for free at the end of this post). They have to complete the Must-Do stars every week. They color them in as they complete it. Then, they can do as many of the May-Dos as they’d like. If they do all the stars for the week I always have a random surprise for them. Maybe it will be they don’t have to wear shoes that day or maybe I have some extra prizes from something previously!
Then, I add all the may-do stars up (or just estimate) and that is how many minutes of homework recess we have. So, the more May-Dos the students do the more extra Friday recess they have.
Must-Dos Each Week
*Reading for 20 minutes every night (Monday-Thursday)
*One extra reading session a week of 20 minutes
*The Worksheets attached–I typically will put one math worksheet, one reading comprehension worksheet, and one fun sheet a week. These should take students no longer than 30 minutes to complete (maximum) and can be done at anytime.
May-Do Each Week
*Practice Spelling Words
*Practice Vocabulary Words
*Practice Your Math Facts
*Academic Activity at Home–Students write a short note about what they did. When I explain this to students or parents I tell them I want them to be creative. They could go outside and make their math facts out of rocks, they could play a board game that is academic in some way, they could cook with a family member, etc.
*Online Reading Site–For us that is Dreamscape or EPIC. If students don’t want to use technology I allow them to read extra for this star.
*Online Math Site– For us that is Prodigy or ABCya typically. If students don’t want technology I will send extra math sheets I have home with them.
There are so many benefits to this model, but the biggest one is choice. Students get to choose what they are motivated to do, making the homework more beneficial for them.
Also, they can choose when and where they want to do their homework. This takes the stress off parents to get homework done every night when they just worked all day and have activities all night. Many of my students will do all the worksheets on the weekends for an hour so that during the week they don’t have much stress. This helps homework work for the specific family.
It helps students learn self motivation by getting to choose the may-dos. It also helps them learn time management skills. if they wait to do everything until Thursday night they will regret it.
It teaches students life skills when it comes to studying because they have to actual choose to do the work, it is not forced on them.
What do you do if students don’t do the Must-Dos?
If they don’t complete the Must-Dos then during our extra recess they get to read with me. I will not take away their daily recess, but this is a recess that is earned.
Why do you give homework on Friday?
Some parents would prefer to do homework on the weekends because their weeks are so busy and I 100% understand that. By giving it on Friday it is more flexible for each family to decide the system that works for them.
Do you grade this?
NO NO NO! I am passionate about the fact that homework should not be graded. Some students have parents at home who check everything and make them change anything that is not correct. Some parents don’t look at the homework at all. There is no right or wrong here, but if you grade homework you are grading the way the family completes homework not the skill.
Free Editable Homework
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