Eliminate Homework Problems: Monday Made It

Hi, Teachers!

I'm super excited to be linking up AGAIN with 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky party!

Today I'm sharing something I made for a student's brownie meeting. She is working on an organization badge and asked if I'd help out. I happily accepted! I felt so warm and fuzzy that she asked me. 

Do you have trouble getting kids to do homework? There are a few strategies for this that I want to cover in today's short post.

1. Give students a checklist.
I made a freebie for this in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the picture below to download it for free! OH YEAH.

Sometimes all kids need is a little structure at home to complete their homework, and this might help to provide it. Use this checklist to help students become more self-directed at home when completing homework. By working with students individually and modeling how to use this plan, you will help most of them to be more successful at home when it is time to do homework. Simply print, laminate, and cut the checklist and provide your student with a dry-erase marker so he/she can use it over and over again. You may even want to tell parents you are providing students with a checklist.

2. Practice homework at school first.
What!? Seriously!? Homework? At school? Yup, if this is something your kids need to work on, set aside some time to work on it in school first. Once they do things really well on their own, they are ready to try again at home.

3. Communicate with parents.
This might seem like a no brainer, but have you contacted parents? Have you explicitly described your expectations for homework? Parents need to know what their kids are supposed to do. Have kids from families that speak another language? Can you get the ESL teacher to translate your expectations? Make sure to communicate clearly. I have a class website that includes my expectations from week to week. I also included uploads of all documents which are used weekly (reading logs, word study activities, etc.), so that they can be printed out at home if they are forgotten.

4. Give students choice.
I created a choice menu for word study so that students can choose which assignments they want to complete. This makes homework much more enjoyable for kids. If they want to do different activities each week or the same ones each week, I am OK with that.

5. Consider a logical consequence if homework is incomplete.
If I am assigning a reading for students to complete in order to participate in a book club, I expect it to be done. Book clubs are FUN and the kids absolutely A.D.O.R.E participating. If students haven't read and prepared for their club, the consequence is that they cannot participate in their club meeting. Make sure your consequence is logical. If they just need a few minutes to prepare, they can join the club late.

6. Re-evaluate your homework policy.
This might seem silly, but it's so important. Because I teach third grade, I make sure students complete no more than 30 minutes of homework a night, and 20 of those minutes are dedicated to reading. That means no more than 10 minutes of other stuff can happen each night! I follow the grade x 10 rule (third grade = 3, and 3 x 10 = 30 minutes). I think it's a great way in the elementary grades to find a developmentally appropriate time frame for homework completion. Take a step back and notice the patterns in your classroom. Are you asking too much?

So those are my thoughts on homework teachers. These strategies won't all work for every student, but they will help! I promise! What do you do to get kids completing homework assignments? And what are you doing for Thanksgiving!? Comment below!

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