A note on homework:
Math - Students will typically have one sheet of Math homework Monday-Thursday. These assignments provide students with opportunities to practice the strategies and internalize the concepts that are taught in class, and review topics from earlier lessons. Students are expected to show work to reduce the likelihood of errors and help me better understand their thought processes so I can provide appropriate feedback.
Spelling - Spelling homework is typically given Monday-Thursday with each week’s words tested in class on Fridays. Rather than memorizing a list, students will be given various types of assignments designed to help students learn the words in context while bolstering their reading comprehension.
Independent Reading - Research has repeatedly shown that there is a powerful correlation between reading ability and overall academic achievement, and that strong literacy skills are associated with higher levels of self-esteem. In other words, students who spend time reading books at their instructional levels* are more likely to be successful in all academic subjects and have greater self-confidence. Consequently, students are expected to read for at least twenty minutes four days a week.
*How can I tell if a book is at my child’s instructional reading level (i.e. not too hard or too easy)?
Have your child read a page out loud and hold up a finger for each word she or he doesn’t know. If there are five or more errors, then help your child find a book that is easier, and repeat the process to confirm that it’s a better fit. For more information, see http://www.readingrockets.org/article/selecting-books-your-child-finding-just-right-books
Other Assignments - Students will be assigned at least one project during the course of the year to be completed outside of school. Prompts for these assignments will be given at least two weeks before the projects are due. Additionally, some students may choose to work on Reading or Writing assignments at home if they are concerned about due dates or want to be proactive.
Homework Grades and Adult Support - Homework grades are almost entirely determined by effort as I want to emphasize the importance of homework as a medium for students to practice using strategies and thinking critically without stressing about wrong answers impacting their grades. Consequently, I encourage guardians to check in with students on their homework, but please do not do it for them, as this will make it more difficult for me to determine what your child’s strengths and challenges are and plan instruction accordingly. Instead, ask your student to explain what he or she knows about a problem and, if he or she is struggling, offer suggestions to guide him or her.
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