I believe that kids need time to be kids, and that families need time together. Therefore, I do not assign work to be done at home for the sake of assigning homework. Most assignments should be done in class. Work not completed in class, when enough time was given, then becomes homework. However, there are three things that are consistent.
- 20 minutes of reading
- It is important that reading not be just a school activity, but that it becomes part of life. Reading at home is essential. (Click here to read more about reading.) Most of the time the reading will be of the students' choosing, but sometimes it will include a specific assignment. Time spent with parents reading aloud to students or students reading to siblings is appropriate reading time.
- A math assignment
- Math assignments will vary depending on math classes. We switch classes for math, but we all have similar philosophies about teaching and homework. After we have done activities and practice together in class, it is important for the kids to have some independent practice. This is a time for them to further develop an understanding of the concepts, and realize where the understanding is breaking down. I do not expect perfection on homework; I expect sincere effort. This is the time to see what was taken from our time in class. If a concept is difficult in the assigned homework, the student should be prepared with a question. There should be notes in the math notebook to help with the assignments. I am also available in the morning, at recesses, and after school for help—or you can email me with questions. We will also have a weekly math page. It will be passed out Friday and be due the next Friday for grading together. I expect best effort on all assignments!
- Math fact practice
- I also desire at least 5 minutes of math fact practice. Multiplication should be the emphasis and is directly related to division. Both are essential to success in 5th grade math, as we work extensively with fractions. It is difficult to simplify fractions and find common denominators without seeing the factors clearly and quickly. The goal is to have at least 60 in 2 1/2 minutes. Often there will be a fact practice on the back of the homework assignment. If there is not, there are numerous ways to practice on the internet, or with the cards we make in class.
Daily homework assignments will be written on the students’ individual agendas and on this website. Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday, unless there are special circumstances. It should take no longer than 40 minutes and will not be busy work: All work done at home will be directly related to what we are doing in class or will be unfinished work when students have been given time to work on it during class.
I expect best effort on all work. If there are questions about homework, after you have checked your notes, call me, email me, or come in early in the morning. I am at school by 7:15 and usually earlier.
Parents can help by providing a conducive environment, monitoring progress, and asking the students to explain what they are doing. Being able to articulate their thoughts will help them understand concepts. Ask them about their reading and their thinking. Have them teach you how to do a math problem. Signing the agenda signifies that the homework has been completed. I also use the agenda as a quick way to communicate with parents sometimes, so please make checking the agenda a nightly habit.
Thanks for the support!