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.

Just a quick note about spelling for homework

Dear Parent,

1. First Teacher Pre Tests

We are starting with the Dolch List

of most frequently used words.

I am pretesting the children,

so that time is not taken up with spellings they already know.

I have stapled the Dolch List

into the Spelling/Free Writing copy.

 

I am also sending home an enlarged copy

of  list of the Dolch List  home.

You might find it useful to pop it up on a wall

somewhere at home.

 

Dolch List

I would suggest that the class levels at the top of this page

e.g. Pre Primer/2nd Grade are certainly American

and probably date back to the last century

when it was compiled by Dolch himself.

I don’t think it has any relevance to us.

2. Then she highlights the ones that need to be learnt

I have marked the misspellings from the pretests

on the photocopied page with a yellow highlighter.

I would like your child to learn five a night.

When they know them I would like them

to put them in sentences.

 

3. Then the children learn them

Understandably children often ask me

can they put their five spellings in just one sentence.

I would prefer them to write five sentences.

 

One sentence for each spelling helps practice punctuation

i.e. remembering that sentences begin with capital letters

and end in a full stop.

Also putting five random words in one sentence

can result in some very random sentences.

 

I would like the children to work

on the quality of the sentences they write

when they are practicing their spellings

and so avoid very simple sentences

like ‘I am funny,’ ’Where am I?’ or  ‘I am here’.

 

A post about developing the quality

of these sentences will follow shortly.

When a child completes the Dolch List

they can do ‘free writing’ at this time instead,

for a period of time.

 

Reading the ‘free writing’

will be a good starting point for me

for establishing words

that are frequently spelled incorrectly.

 

These are the words that we will work

on when we have finished working on the Dolch List.

 

Spelling Homework in a nutshell:

Learn five of the highlighted spellings a night.

Use the approach to learning spelling

that you were taught last year

i.e. Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check.

When you are confident that you know the five spellings

write five sentences using each one.

Remember capital letters and full stops.

Good penmanship and presentation is also important.

 

Other homework this week:

The other homework this week is Mental Maths as marked

and reading one comprehension piece from

‘A Way With Words’

 

Further information:

Scroll down this link for additional information

about a year’s plan for spelling here:

Class Plan for Learning Spelling 2012

When planning for spelling this year

I came across this very helpful blog:

Johanna Stirling’s ‘The Spelling Blog’

Thanking you, Teacher

 

And to finish:

a quote from Terry Pratchett:

 

“Nanny Ogg knew how to start spelling ‘banana’,

but didn’t know how you stopped.”

– Terry Pratchett, ‘Witches Abroad’

 

I found spellings hard at school and remember the feeling well 🙂

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.

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!