Do NOT Let the Dog Eat Your Homework!Students will have homework in my class every Monday – Thursday. We will be writing our homework assignments in our agenda every day. I check each student’s agenda to make sure they have written the correct homework assignment, and that they have their homework folder ready to be packed in their bookbags. No one is allowed to get their backpack at the end of the day unless I have initialed their homework assignment in the agenda. If they have forgotten their agenda, they will write the homework assignment on a sheet of paper, which I check, date and initial.
The students will be assigned new spelling words about every six school days. We do not go on a set weekly schedule, as the words are chosen to go along with our reading stories. The assignments tend to follow the schedule below, however, the actual assignment is written in your student's agenda every day.
Day 1 -- sort the words into ABC order, and then write them two more times (3X, ABC)
Day 2 -- Word Sort
Day 3 -- Skill Practice page.
Day 4 -- Sentences -- I do allow the students to pick 15 of the spelling words to use in sentences, not all 22. These sentences are a part of their writing grade - I am looking for 4th grade sentences, like, "I am hopeful that I will have a good snack when I get home," not "baby" sentences such as "I am hopeful."
Day 5 -- Practice Test -- parents should read the words aloud to the student and have him/her write the words. Parents should then check the student's paper. Any words misspelled should be written again three times as practice. This pretest must be signed by the parent and returned!
Students will have math homework most nights, Monday through Thursday. However, if I am introducing something new I try not to give homework until most students seem to understand. Also, I don’t give homework on test days. Otherwise, expect that your child will have either a worksheet or assigned number of problems in the math textbook. Again, the best way to know if they have homework is to check the agenda. Math homework is always practice for something that was taught that day in class.
At the beginning of the year, students are asked to read for at least 20 minutes a night. They must have their Reading Log signed by their parent every evening. This is so that I know the parent has confirmed that his/her child HAS completed the assignment. At the beginning of the third quarter, this expected time will increase to 30 minutes.
Your child will be expected to write a “book report” about any book they read during the week. There are two different forms – one for non-fiction and one for fiction. Your child should fill out the form as soon as they complete the book. They can turn in their book report any day during the week, but it must be turned in no later than Friday. This counts for 10% of their reading grade.
Students will occasionally have other assignments in Science, Social Studies or Writing. Written instructions are given with these assignments, and will be marked in the agenda.
How Long Should Homework Take?
Fourth grade homework should take about an hour of WORKING time (are we working or daydreaming?). This includes reading, math and spelling. At the beginning of the year, as the student is first learning the processes it may take a little longer, but never more than 1 1/2 hours. If your child is truly struggling with an assignment and just cannot complete it all, I believe it is the parent's right to intervene and just write me a note on the assignment that your child did not understand, was taking too long, etc. That way the child will still get their PAW for the effort, and I can be aware of the difficulty. If this happens often, I will ask the parent to come in for a conference so we can discuss what is causing the difficulties and can make some interventions or adjustments. I want your child to be successful, not frustrated!
If there are ever any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call!