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Fourth Grade Homework Log

A few posts ago, I wrote about the blog of Angela Bunyi, a fourth grade teacher from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Ms. Bunyi then write to me:

Thanks for sharing my article under Scholastic (Homework: Applying Research to Policy) and my note from the homework page on my class site. I wanted to add to your readers ongoing discussion about reading logs. I did away with them this year. I also did away with a specific reading time at home.

Why? First, I don’t want students reading to the clock. The thought of seeing “30 minutes” read for child after child in the daily reading log is really, really sad if you think about it. My goal is for students to get “lost” in their homework.

Second, I did away with reading logs because they were a pain for all involved. When I did use them, I found my best readers didn’t fill them out. Now I just meet with my kids during reading conference time to talk about their reading habits at home. When a student was on page 35 the day before and they are on page 75 the next morning, why push a log? I can do the math! The proof is with the pace of finishing books in your room each week.

Posted in category Success Stories, Teachers Speak Out on March 20, 2009 at 8:37 am
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My Fourth Grade Homework Routine

One of the most frequent comments/questions I get from my readers is about my homework routine.  

Last year, I assigned homework M-R and it was usually a sheet of language arts and a sheet of math.  We checked it each day in class.  I really didn't like it.  I hated trying to come up with something each night, checking it took up more time than I wanted. I knew that in order to get all my Daily Five rotations in each day, I had to make a change in my homework routine.  

When I taught third grade, all my homework was weekly.  I sent home a reading log each Monday and it was due the following Monday.  Spelling homework went home Monday and was due Friday.  Math homework was assigned as needed. 
I preferred this schedule/routine, so this year my students are given a homework packet for their language arts homework.  

The first page has their spelling words and their reading log.  

My kiddos are expected to read 60 minutes a week.  Packets originally went home on Monday and were due Friday, so this was twenty minutes a night.  A lot of families wanted the spelling homework/words available so they could start studying over the weekend.  Packets now go home on Friday and are due the following Friday.  Some of my kids also work towards their reading minutes on the weekend too. Most of my kids LOVE reading so it's not uncommon to see reading log minutes in excess of one hundred or two hundred minutes. :) 

The next two pages have to do with their spelling homework.  I'm not in love with our spelling program but it comes with our basal and we are required to use it.  The kiddos earn ten points from my monthly spelling contracts each week and also complete a word sort page with their spelling words. 

The last two pages are response questions for their at home reading that week. 

My students choose four questions each week, they can't repeat questions, to answer on the recording page each week.   It's a great way to get even more practice responding to the texts they read!

I look over the homework on Friday afternoons before I head home.  It's worked out great because we don't loose any additional class checking homework together each day and the additional practice at home with our spelling words and reading have really benefited my students.  

If you are interested in the reading response sheet that I used with my students, I have added it to my Reading Response Questions for Practically any book freebie. 

I just gave the entire file a facelift! I originally blogged about how I use this resource {here}.  To download, just click on the image above or {here}. 

My partner teacher teaching math and gives some type of math homework nightly, Monday-Thursday.  We both try to not give our students homework over the weekends.  They really appreciate the break! :)

Happy weekend, friends! I'm off to cuddle with my puppies. It's so cold here in Ohio!