Nightly Homework


I wanted to let you know a little bit about homework expectations to start the year.  Homework typically follows the rule of ten-minutes times the grade.  So, in third grade student should spend thirty-minutes doing homework.  This may vary depending on what gets done during the school day.  Students will bring some unfinished classroom work home.  
Currently, nightly homework (school nights) should consist of 20 minutes of independent reading and 10 minutes of writing in a journal and 5 minutes of basic math fact practice.    
Students should have a notebook that they can write in each night. This journal is not a diary!  I would like for you to read and respond to their writing on a fairly consistent basis.  Students may write about anything.  The goal is for them to actually write for ten minutes on a topic.  Spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure isn't important here.  I have included some links for topic ideas.  Writing can be list making, writing notes, letters, lists, stories, describing something...
Practice on penmanship can also be worked on during writing time.    I have hand writing paper and great links are on our website.  
Basic math facts need to be automatic!  Please help your child become very fast in addition, subtraction and multiplication.  You can do this in many ways.  I find flashcards to be the biggest bang.  Go through the stack of flashcards and make two piles-what they know, and what they are working on.  Pull 7 cards from the "know" pile and 3 cards from the "working on" pile.  Rotate new facts in as they are learned.  Only practice for 5 minutes often.
We will have assignments (projects) throughout the school year.  When students have other assignments to work on they may record in their journals that they were working on other specific homework.  For example, an entry in a journal may read: 09/10/2010- tonight I spent homework time working on my math assignment.   Note: Students may substitute writing in their writer's notebook for 10 minutes, just please have them note that is what they worked on.
I want homework to be meaningful!  I believe reading and writing are extremely important and should be practiced daily.  We work very hard during the school day!  I don't want them to be doing hours of homework EVERY night!  You can help manage this by talking to me if there is trouble keeping up. 
Lastly, Don’t forget to allow time for your kids to do a couple chores.  It builds self confidence and a sense of responsibility and belonging.  
Please, if ever you have questions do not hesitate to email me!
Thank You,
Celeste Spooner