In our small group class we work very hard during the day so homework every night will be done by student choice. At this age it is recommended that homework should not exceed 40-50 minutes (10 minutes/grade). As a mom of three, I am well aware that evening schedules can be hectic. Getting a chance to sit down, plus do homework, plus meals, plus bedtime routine…life gets in the way of living. I would like for my students to think outside of the box, be creative, make their own homework. I have explained our homework policy to the kids already.
Homework for all segments (ELA, Reading and Math) will be the same.
Students always have a choice of three things to do:
1) Read. Read. Read. I do not mind if they are reading the cook book while helping make dinner. Maybe reading the exit signs on the freeway on the way to sports. Perhaps reading through the non-kids menu/dessert menu at a restaurant. I’m ok with them reading to a younger sibling a book that is “too easy” (this will help with fluency). I would love if they read out loud to you and if you have also read the book–have a mini book club/dialog discussion. Review plot, main idea, a summary or main characters. Discussions of how the characters were feeing or what were they thinking would be extremely beneficial for all students. We have had a discussion about which books feed their brain in a healthy way and in a junk food way. Picking the right book is key and we are working on that skill so that they can be getting the most out of what they are reading.
2) Symbaloo page. I have a symbaloo link attached to the page section of this blog. Once you have clicked on the blog link and selected “add webmix” you should be able to access it from then on without having to approve the page again. I suggest saving it to the toolbar or adding to favorites. All passwords you might need to access sites should be on the blog page as well. Please let me know if there is ever a difficulty accessing a site.
My rule with technology is to always ask for parent permissions before logging on. Everything that I have put on the symbaloo is “safe” but you never know where a link can lead. We have had an internet safety discussion in class so that everyone understands how important it is to get adult permission.
What on earth is a symbaloo?!? It is simply an organized dashboard with quick links to learning sites. The page looks like a cell phone or an iPad home screen. This is a living document and I will add more links quite often. Students are always allowed to suggest a site to be added. Perhaps they found a great learning site or a new game?? I will review everything before I post and I am always excited to add whatever makes their brain happy. The more engaged they are, the more they will want to play and the more they will learn. I will also link videos, tutorials and websites that we used in class. This way if you were raised (like me) to only know how to multiply using the standard algorithm aka the “old way”, you can see a video on how to do the big 7 method or column method for division.
3) Out of the Box. If there was no access to technology they can still do homework. This is where the out of the box thinking comes in. Problem based learning-solving real world questions to get answers. For example, For example, there is a quick stop at the grocery on the way home from sports or school. A mental word problem while waiting in line to pay might include a conversation like: There are 8 hotdogs in a package but 10 hot dog buns in a package. How many of each type would you have to purchase to not have any buns or hotdogs left over? That sort of thing. Maybe we talked about phases of the moon for fractions in math. Making sure they try and see what the moon phase is that night and tell me all about it the next day (assuming it’s not cloudy 🙂 ) I mentioned that they could look at the numbers on the car dash board and add, subtract, multiply or divide. Ex. It’s 7:32, 7×3 is 21 and 21×2 is 42. Making it fun and silly engages their minds MUCH more than sitting at a table getting frustrated because “they don’t get it”. If you already engage in this type of support with your child, thank you! Keep it up, I appreciate you!
** I am always willing to assign extra homework if you feel your child needs it. We can discuss as a one-on-one basis as requested.
Please let me know if you have any questions. : )