I'm linking up with the Lesson Plan Diva's Homework Linky Party.
First off, I'm not fussed on homework. We are only in week 2 of the new school year and I can already tell who will do their homework perfectly and submit it every week and who will be one who will never hand it in (mostly due to the support they'd have at home).
Saying that, we are required to give our kids homework. I'm really lucky in that another teacher did up the whole years worth of homework sheets a couple of years ago. I adjust them where needed but what a time saver! My homework is given out on Monday and is due in on Friday. It consists of two components - a homework sheet and home readers.
The top of the sheet has a place for each students individual spelling words (every student in my class has a different spelling list) which consists of high-frequency words, personal and theme/challenge words. They Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check their words or choose another spelling activity (bounce a ball and spell, write on dad's back etc) and write 3 of them in sentences.
The bottom half of the sheet has various math questions based on the previous week's focus (for review) and often some NAPLAN (Australia's national testing) style questions. Down the bottom, there are 2 fun extension activities which are optional.
I love how it's only 1 sheet because we only get a set number of copies each term.
The purpose of our home reading is for our kids to grow in confidence and enjoy their reading. For this reason, we send home 2 readers which are 2 levels below each students instructional reading level so that kids (and parents) don't get stressed and upset with books that might have a few challenges (Phew, what long sentence!). I know parents who get upset at their child when they can't work out a word and this puts pressure on the kids and makes home reading a less than enjoyable experience so this seems to work really well.
Collecting and Marking:
When homework comes in on Friday, we go through the math and extension questions as a class and then I collect to double check, and mark the spelling and sentences. A mum has volunteered to come in and change the home readers (these are held in the school library) each Monday before homework goes out - another time saver!
On Friday, we also buddy test (I partner students up with a buddy who is at a similar spelling level), I mark, students highlight the words they got correct on their high-frequency and personal spelling lists and then choose the next words on their list that are not highlighted for the next week. It takes a little while for the kids to get used to the system but it ends up working really well.
Here's a checklist I use to see who has handed in their home readers (HR) and homework sheet (HW) each week. It's in word and unfortunately lost some of its formatting in Google Docs, but it's there if you want to fiddle with it after you download.
What do you do for homework? Head over to The Lesson Plan Diva to share your ideas.