First Class – If you would like to supplement your child’s homework.

Lost in Thought Patrick Henry via Compfight

1. If you haven’t already, join the local library and visit it weekly.

2. Try an activity from the webmix for 1st class (see below).

In particular there are lots of Maths games on it. (There is some science too).

3. Try games such as scrabble, draughts, chess,

Monopoly and card games

4. Perhaps start an ‘extra work’ copybook.

In it you could …

5. Write a book review or a film review.

What was it? What happened in it?

Was it enjoyable?

What mark would you give it out of 10? Why?

6. Make a bookmark for your favourite book

or the most recent book that you have read.

7. Make a card or write a letter

to a family member or friend.

8. Beginning with the letter ‘A” list in alphabetical order

as many names you can think of.

(Other lists can include: places, animals, foods, sports,

hobbies, jobs people have, things you would find in school,

in the kitchen etc.)

9. Write a story or poem.

10. Compose tune. Write the words to this song.

11. Write down all the things you are good at.

12. Describe how to play your favourite sport.

13. Write down 5 facts about something that interests you.

14. Listen to some music and draw what you see.

15. List as many adjectives or describing words that

you can think of to describe yourself

16. Describe yourself for an alien. Can you write a story about meeting an alien.

17. Who is the person you would most like to meet?

What would you like to ask this person?

18. Design a useful invention.

19. List all the verbs (doing/action activities) you will do today.

20. Paint how you are feeling using colours.

21. What would you do with 3 wishes?

22. Invent your own super hero. Describe and illustrate. Can you put him in a story. What happens? Who needs rescuing? What happens in the end?

Supplementary Homework in Maths

Here are a dozen links to Maths Activities

that you might like to try:

 

Many of these games were sourced from 

Maths Primary National Strategy – Maths Activities

This is easy; practising ‘counting on’ with 

Online ‘Snakes and Ladders’

Snakes and Ladders
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: John Johnston via Compfight

As an alternative to the

Balloon Popping Game to practice tables,

you can practice addition tables on Circus Climber

 

This activity teaches about Data

 

These are more challenging:

Practising computation with

Swimming Lengths

Long Jump

 

Measurement;

Reading measure with Javelin Throwing

 

Measuring angles;

estimating or using an online protractor with Sailing

 

Practicing Addition using ‘Who Wants To Be A Mathionaire?’

 

This is a more challenging game;

 ‘Who Wants to Be A Mathonaire?’

Mastermind
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Steve Berry via Compfight

Like the game Mastermind this is an online game

called Code Breaker

Here is another version from Creativity Games.net

My child is not getting enough homework. What should I do?

Those of you with older children know

how the amount of homework

will build up over their years at school,

but if you feel your child

needs more of a challenge, 

here are some suggestions:

1. If you haven’t already, join the local library

and visit it weekly.

2. On this blog click on the link for ‘Educational Websites’

at the top of the page.

3. Try games such as scrabble, draughts, chess,

Monopoly and card games

4. Perhaps start an ‘extra work’ copybook.

I would be very interested any extra work done

and if your child brings these in will correct them.  

In this copy you could try some of the following:

5. Write a book review or a film review.

What was it? What happened in it?

Was it enjoyable?

What mark would you give it out of 10? Why?

6. Make a bookmark for your favourite book

or the most recent book that you have read.

7. Make a card or write a letter

to a family member or friend.

8. Beginning with the letter ‘A”

list in alphabetical order

as many names you can think of.

(Other lists can include: places, animals, foods, sports,

past times, jobs people have, things you would find in school,

in the kitchen etc.)

9. Write a story or poem.

10. Compose tune. Write the words to this song.

11. Write down all the things you are good at.

12. Describe how to play your favourite sport.

13. Write down 5 facts about something that interests you.

14. Listen to some music and draw what you see.

15. List as many adjectives or describing words that

you can think of to describe yourself

16. Describe yourself for an alien.

17. Who is the person you would most like to meet?

What would you like to ask this person?

18. Design a useful invention.

19. Draw yourself as a cartoon character.

20. Make up to quiz questions you know the answer to

and write them down.

Bring them into school and we will have a quiz.

21. List all the verbs (doing/action activities) you will do today.

22. Paint how you are feeling using colours.

23. What would you do with 3 wishes?

24. Invent your own super hero. Describe and illustrate.

If none of these appeal to you,

read or

read or ….

then again

…. read  🙂

 

Future bookworm
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: talkingplant via Compfight

Finally; some food for thought:

The following link tells the story of a school

that abolished homework and had the children read instead!

The School That Abolished Homework … and asked children TO READ instead.

It would seem to have had a positive effect.

Writing Good Quality Sentences in 2nd Class Room 6

Dear Parent

In a previous post I advised that when the children are writing sentences using the words from the Dolch List, that the sentences should

– make sense

– begin with a capital letter and end in a full stop.

– not be as  simple as  ‘Where am I?’ ‘Here I am’ and ‘I am funny’.

The simplest way to write good quality sentences is to develop the child’s initial attempt at writing a sentence by finding the answers to questions like:

Who are we writing about?

Where are they?

What are they?

When?

Why? or How?

 

But there are other ways of working on a sentence to make it a better one.For example take the simple sentence: ‘I see a cat‘,
and supposing that ‘cat’ is the word to be learned from the Dolch List:
Step 1 Can you think of a more interesting action word to use instead of ‘see’?
I spy a cat.
Step 2 Can you think of an action word to describe what the cat is doing.
I spy a cat creeping.

Step 3 And a word to describe how he is creeping.

I spy a cat creeping carefully.

I tell the children in class, that two or more words beginning with the same letter in a sentence sounds good.

Step 4 Can you think of a describing word to describe the cat

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully.

Step 5 Tell me a little more about the cat. Why is he creeping carefully?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a mouse.

Step 6 What can you tell me about the mouse?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a sleepy mouse.

This may seem very contrived, but with practice the children will do this naturally and this will result in more natural sentences.

Reading, of course and, being read to will enrich a children language and writing style.

To begin with I use terms like action and describing words but the words ‘verbs’ and ‘adjectives’ may be introduced as the children apppear ready for them.

Finally

“Three Rules for Literary Success:


1. Read a lot.


2. Write a lot.


3. Read a lot more, write a lot more.”


Robert Silverberg

Homework Policy for 2012 – 2nd Class, Room 6

INTRODUCTION

This year we will work hard in class. This will include improving

– writing and presentation,

– reading and comprehension and

– maths; computation, tables and problem solving.

When the children work to the best of their ability at school, I don’t like to give the children too much homework.

If the weather is kind I’m sure you agree that it is preferable for them to be outdoors, getting some fresh air and exercise. In this way they have a balance in their lives.

That said, it will be very unusual if your child comes home and says that they have no homework. This is because I would like them to read every single day at home. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Reading assists your child’s language development and their writing style. It also helps your child with their spellings.

To my mind reading homework and number patterns/tables are the most important part of the homework at this time in your child’s school career.

READING HOMEWORK

This first week we will be doing ‘free choice’ reading from the school library.  There will be some reading of comprehension texts from ‘Away With Words’.

This will be followed by ‘paired reading’, with which you are familiar with by now. Homework may involve reading the class readers. Later in the year we will be reading a variety of ‘real books’.

Reading Independently

We are working towards your child becoming a fluent and independent reader with excellent comprehension skills. When that happens your child is more likely to be bringing home a ‘real’ book than the class reader. To help your child become an independent reader, I also recommend that as well as reading ‘homework’ your child should have a period for reading built into their timetable, perhaps the twenty or thirty minutes before ‘lights out’. I know this is a tradition in many homes already.

Even when your child is an independent reader, it is beneficial to spend some time reading with them. I still read with my fourteen year old. Reading the first chapter of a more challenging book with your child motivates and encourages children. It sets them up for continuing with the book. He or she come to associate these good times and closeness with a parent with books and reading.

Spellings

Initially spellings will be from the Dolch List. Plan for Learning Spelling 2nd Class 2012

MATHS

For the time being the maths homework will be from the Mental Maths book. I will be sending home tables as homework from the end of the month. This is because I want to make a good start on them at school, before sending them home. As is good practice initially we will be revising last year’s tables.

EXTRA HOMEWORK

Sometimes your child will be asked to finish something they didn’t get finished in school. This will be clearly marked by me. Hopefully getting extra homework like this will motivate your child to finish work in school. I have also found a small amount extra homework effective when a child is misbehaving repeatedly. Where this would happen the reason for extra homework will be clearly marked in the homework notebook.

TIME

Children have different ways of working. Some have a longer attention span than others. Some are perfectionists and take great care in the presentation of their work. From experience I know that I can set homework that I would expect to take twenty minutes, and that for some it would take ten minutes and for others up to an hour. If you feel your child has worked to the best of their ability and the homework is taking longer than it should, please mark how long it took, sign this and allow your child to stop. I would suggest that in second, homework take between twenty and thirty minutes. Reading and memory work, especially tables are the priority. The written work is less important.

If the homework is taking significantly less than this, please note this in the homework notebook. Check that your child’s presentation of their work is all that it should be.  I can take it from there. For example if this is true of the whole of the class, I can give more homework. If it is just some individuals I can make suggestions as to how they might use the remaining time.

FINALLY

It is my intention that the homework is fairly predictable initially. Our aim should be to have the children able to work on homework independently. That is what I am working towards, though I do realise some children are doing this already. As the year progresses, and certainly by the last term, I intend that the children would do project work at home, but first I want to ensure that we have the second class curriculum in Maths and English covered.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION & SUPPORT FROM HOME.

Reading ‘The Snow Spider’ by Jenny Nimmo

As part of their homework, the children are asked to read four pages a night of their new class novel; ‘The Snow Spider’.

If possible an adult should do this with them, reading every second page.

In this way children ‘model’ their reading on that of the adult, attending to expression and punctuation.

‘The Snow Spider’ is a challenging novel. It may help the children to see extracts from the 1988 ITV dramatisation.

Link to view Snow Spider Part 1

Please don’t leave your child to watch You Tube unattended 🙂

The internet is a portal to the world outside. Children should be supervised.

Information letter for parents 21st April 2012


Dear Parent,

Homework
As I mentioned in my last letter, I would like to vary homework somewhat depending on what I see as your child’s learning needs. I also like to vary the homework in this last term as a preparation for third class where there may be more variety in the type of homework given.

Having said that I am aware that it is the Summer Term and I understand the children will be out and about more after school. I think this is very important and makes for a healthy and happy child.

Our school policy on homework is that it should take between 20 and at the most 30 minutes in Second Class. I trust you know by now if homework is taking longer than that some parents have found it useful, to leave the reading part of homework until bedtime. If you are doing this, just make sure that the reading book makes its way back into school each day.

The Importance of Reading
At a recent staff meeting I was reminded of the importance of reading. Teachers agreed that reading is the key to being a successful student. Encouraging children to read has been helped greatly by the generosity of parents in the school. The recent Readathon raised two thousand six hundred euro. All school library books, including exciting new purchases are housed in the school hall, where over the Easter a most wonderful shelving unit was built. These shelves show the books off to their best and make it easy to see the selection. We also have an excellent classroom library, so we are very fortunate in the amount of reading material available.

Reading for Homework
For homework all children are reading the class novel ‘The Owl Tree’ by Jenny Nimmo. I am requesting that the children not read ahead in the class novel. I understand that if you are a ‘bookworm’, it is tempting sometimes to read ahead. However as we work through the novel in class we do a great deal of word analysis and also we are learning different comprehension strategies (e.g. prediction and visualization). If a child has read ahead, they may find this tedious.

Also there is great enjoyment in reading a book as a group; coming to humorous parts or developments in the plot at the same time and sharing in the drama or the fun. If a child reads ahead, they miss out on this.

I am asking the children to read a chapter a night. It will be the first time they are reading it … so they may be a little shaky. We will read it again in class and we will revisit the chapter to do comprehension. At that stage they should be very fluent reading it.

Homework Folder
I will be sending home homework in the black A4 folder that your child was given on Monday. All children will need to learn the number rap and thus the number patterns 2-12. Each child will work through these at their own pace. As they learn them, they can move on to the next one. As I explained knowing the number patterns really helps with learning multiplication table next year.

Spellings for Homework
For children who would benefit from spelling practice we will be working through a story ‘The Best Thing in The World. This clever story is based on the Dolch list of most frequently used words. Teachers find it is more challenging for a child to spell a word in context i.e. in a sentence, than as a list of words called out in a spelling ‘check up ’/test. I will call out a few lines from the story every day. We will mark any incorrect spellings and focus on learning these for homework. Today the spellings that tripped almost everyone up was ‘there’ and ‘their’.

Additional homework
As it becomes apparent that number patterns and spellings are progressing, there will be additional worksheets or other suggestions for homework in the black folder e.g. maths worksheets or projects (started in school) to continue with at home.

I understand that given the reading and learning off in maths already assigned, a child might need to do a worksheet over more than one evening. As I said I would hope no one would spend over the 20-30 minutes on homework, but I would also hope that everyone would spend at least 20 minutes doing their very best. Handwriting and presentation are important.

In a nutshell then;
1. Reading every night; One chapter from the class novel.

2. Each child needs to learn the number patterns 1-12
We also will learn 11&12 addition and takeaway tables.
We will do this piecemeal over the next ten weeks.

3. Some children would benefit from working on their spellings using the Dolch List story.

4. All children should do at least twenty minutes homework. If a child has finished their homework in ten minutes there will be a worksheet or suggestion in the black homework folder.

Feedback from you, the parent is appreciated particularly in terms of the time this is taking. If you have any comments, suggestions or difficulties, a short note in the homework notebook will alert me.

Standardised Tests
Standardised Testing begin in the first week in May. The results give a ‘snap shot in time’. Children of this age are relatively new to formal testing and have not yet developed ‘exam skills’. Children don’t realize that these tests have any significance and some may daydream or lose concentration after a while. I am caught between wanting them to give of their best and yet I wouldn’t like any child to find testing stressful, though I know they find them tiring. I will be referring to them as ‘check ups’ rather than tests. I was asked today when were the ‘May Tests’. Rumour had it that if one didn’t get ‘nearly all the questions right’ that one would have to repeat 2nd class. I explained that wasn’t the case and that the ‘check ups’ in May are so we can see what children do know not what they can’t.

I consider the copies and workbooks going home give a more rounded picture of how a child is progressing. For that reason please take a look at the workbooks, copies or worksheets that are going home in the bags between now and the end of the school year. I will send a short note home shortly about what you should look for when you are looking at this work.

With every good wish,
Teacher

Great Homework!

This week for homework the children were asked to write number problems featuring repeated addition.

This is some of the excellent work Patrick did.

How many legs have three dragons got?
4 + 4 + 4 = 12


How many legs have four ladybirds got?
6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 24

How many legs have four spiders got?
8 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 32

Well done Patrick 🙂 Teacher is impressed!

Changing Number Facts into Problems to be Solved.

PROBLEM SOLVING
These problems were written by 2nd as a whole class activity over a few days. We turned the number facts they were learning in tables into problems to be solved.
Over the next few weeks the children will be doing this for homework. I will collect the best ones and then get the children to turn the problems back into number sentences.
Writing these short problems integrates with literacy also.

2-2=0
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. How many children were left up the hill?
10-2=8
Emily had a party. She invited 7 girls from Room 6 and John and Edward Grimes.
Jedward had to leave early because they had to spike their hair!
How many people were left at the party?
12-3=9
The Three Billy Goats Gruff,
the Three Blind Mice,
the Three Bears
and the Three Little Pigs
all went ice skating in Storybook Land. The Three Blind Mice found it so tricky, they went home. How many animals were left?
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 animals were ice skating
-3 went home
12 – 3 = 9
How many legs have these 12 animals altogether?
How many ice skates?
How many ears? How many tails?
8-4=4
Eight children went to the playcentre in Zoom. Half of them bumped their heads and went home. How many children were left?
10-4=6
When Teacher was little she had a packet of ten crayons. She ate four of them. How many crayons were left?

Luke’s “Self Portrait”. Well done Luke!