Now is also the time that Kindergarten teachers have a much clearer picture of which kiddos need extra help and who is ready to really take off with their reading, writing and math activities. I am not a believer in loading kinder kids with loads and loads of homework each night. I have however found a homework routine that has worked for me for several years though! This routine not only seems to help my struggling learners by reinforcing what we are working on in school.....but also allows my shining stars a chance to work on enrichment activities at home.
This year I decided to try both. So far so good!
In our student planners I mark behavior for each day and the kids complete the focus letter activities for that week. It's pretty repetitive so the kids typically have no problems at all completing the handwriting and activities for the focus letter each week. If I have any quick notes for parents I can include this where I mark their child's behavior for the day.
For the homework journals I actually change the activities each quarter. We start out very simple for the first quarter. It takes us several weeks just to get into the routine of completing and turning in homework!
Now that we are "big kids" we are ready for some more challenging work. Here is an example of what I place on the front of the journal for second quarter......
Obviously it's nothing fancy but it holds up for the entire quarter! It also helps to just put it on the front of the journal...then there is never a question about what they need to work on for homework.
Here is how our routine works:
* Planners are sent home daily and sometime during the week the children are expected to complete the activity for that section.
* Homework journals are sent home on Tuesdays.
* The kids just have to complete two options.
* Options can be repeated throughout the quarter.
* The homework journals need to be returned by Friday of each week. I have several parents with work schedules/times that vary each week. This gives them some flexibility in deciding which nights they would like to help their child with their homework.
The above pic is a bit blurry but you can get the idea of the types of activities that I'm asking the children to complete. The first section includes activities which focus on using a book....either a leveled reader they brought home or even a book they already have. The second section includes activities that do not require a book like writing numbers and shapes.
The second section also includes practicing SELF HELP SKILLS!!! By including items like practicing tying shoes and zipping coats in our homework routine I have seen such an overall improvement in how quickly my students learn to complete these skills independently!!! Yay!!!!
As we dive deeper into this second quarter of the school year I'm really looking forward to watching my little smarties become excited about all of the fun learning activities that take place during this time of the year. What an exciting time to be in a Kindergarten classroom! I hope you have an exciting week rest of your week!