I have such mixed feelings about homework, but this is what works well for my classroom. Fortunately, I work in a district with pretty good parental involvement. That means I usually have 95% or better turn in their homework. In all honesty, I think if there weren't such great parental support I wouldn't even assign homework. It's one of those things that you just have to gauge and see. Who knows...I may have a year where homework isn't effective or necessary.
BUT, here's what I've found works best for me.
I assign WEEKLY homework. I send it home on Monday and it's due back mostly on Friday. The reason I assign it weekly, instead of nightly, is because it makes grading/checking easier for me. I can take the weekend to look over it if I need to and get it back in a timely manner. I used to do nightly homework and HATED IT. Plus, the main reason I do weekly homework is because it's better for the students and families. Between music lessons, sporting events, dance class, etc., some nights are just crazy and hectic for families. I have a MUCH better turn-in rate by doing it weekly. I used to have kids miss nightly homework all the time because of busy schedules. But doing it weekly has allowed them to do it at a pace that works for them. Like I said, I get about 95% (or better!) turning in their homework. If parents have questions, they know they can e-mail me and I'll get back to them pretty much right away (that's why it's nice to have my e-mail connected to my phone). I send home an explanatory packet at the beginning of the school year that pretty much answers all their questions. I rarely have homework questions in all honesty.
I give each kid a homework folder that they bring to and from school every day. I stuff them with homework on Mondays and then send it back on the day it's due in the same folder. These are folders that our 2nd grade team uses and they are AWESOME! I've been using them for 2 years now and they're amazing. I haven't had to replace a single one and I've NEVER had one rip or tear. You can click on the picture to go to the site.
The first thing that goes in is math homework. We used to use Everyday Math. I would staple the Homelinks together that we would be covering that week and they would be due on Friday. This year we are switching to My Math and I plan to do the same thing. (By the way...SOOO excited about My Math!)
Then I put in spelling homework. It's a front and back sheet that I created that goes along with Reading Street. It's also due on Friday. I don't necessarily like the workbook pages, so that's why I created my own homework. It has 3 activities. The first activity is always Rainbow Words where the kids write their words 3x with a different colored crayon each time. The second activity varies per unit. It's anything from Word Shapes to an Unscramble. The third activity is always a practice test that they can do with a family member.
I have 1st and 3rd grade homework available in my TPT shop. I may work on 2nd grade this year if there's interest, but I guarantee it won't be done by the beginning of the year. :( Too much on my plate right now and these bad boys take a long time to create! :( Once again, just click on the pics to find them in my TPT shop!
1. It spreads out my grading/checking a little more.
2. It gives families a chance to read over the weekends. :)
That's basically how I do homework in my 1st grade classroom! :) It's very easy and I have it down to an organized system that really works for me.
The last thing I'd like to share with you is a new seller I think you should check out. She is a 2nd grade teacher in my building and she's wonderful! She has the sweetest dog that she brings in occasionally to visit her students and they LOVE it! She has taken some GREAT pictures of her dog and mixed them with her love of reading and literature. If you love dogs or have a dog-themed classroom, you'll love her! She's got more stuff in the works, so you'll want to keep checking back. :) Click on the picture to go to her "'Paws' to Read!" set!
I mean, really, how cute is that?!?!?!?!?! Here's the link to her store: Michele Rankin
Have a great week, everyone! If you're closing in on the new school year, good luck as you prepare!