I cannot...can. not. stand the homework conundrum. i mean i hate packing it in their little folder during prep. i hate taking it out of their little folders in the breakfast-attendance-book shopping-lunch count foxtrot. i hate when it's 2:45pm and you see the busses pulling in the lot through your window and you realize you forgot to run the friggin' copy because you had something else to do during prep.
you know what's next don't you? one of two things:
1. run to the nearest file cabinet and hope to the lord on high that there is a stack of extra copies from a copier mishap from the past or
2. have the kiddos pull out a workbook while you do a five minute mini-lesson on "perforated page lines" and hope that they don't rip the page clean in half while trying to tear it out.
have mercy. it's june and i've been on an 8 month maternity leave and i'm already over homework.
must. do. something. new.
at a training last week, we were given an article by richard allington and it was all about what he has learned after studying exemplary classroom teachers for an entire decade!. the part that we all took away from it was the fact that in the thriving classes where the students were growing and performing, the kids were reading and writing as much 50% of the day and not doing the other "stuff" as he states. he says that in the ineffective classrooms, it wasn't uncommon to find the children reading and writing (but like, really reading and writing- not worksheets, not "building background" for a half an hour, just reading and writing) for as little as 10% of the day.
shut. up. tenpercent?
so i naturally started to look at my school day and ask myself about my reading and writing versus crap ratio. not real sure i'm giving them as many opportunities as i can to read and write in the classroom. we do a full readers and writers workshop but i could probably get in even more if i tried...
which brings me back to homework. i got to thinking...how can i transfer that research to homework? how can i get the kids to read- really read and write at home? how can i keep homework simple and predictable because now that i'm a parent, i can only imagine having to fit homework in our already busy schedule- and i only have one kid at the moment! i know a lot of parents appreciate predictable.
so i'm thinking i'll give this a try and see how it works. this will be dependent upon how well and how often i model these activities in front of students. the more i model it, the better they will come back. i'm even thinking about unrolling one skill at a time and building them up to being able to have a choice.
I'm envisioning this in a sheet protector...maybe laminated...at any rate, the idea is less photocopying because we would use this everyday.
check it out and let me know what you think. i think this plus a math practice sheet (no real easy way out of math homework....amirite??) will be an easy way to get kiddos reading and writing at home every night. parent and teacher opinions welcomed.