Homework at Emerson
Homework expectations have changed drastically in the past few years. The days of practicing math problems over and over and reading a story and answering questions at the end of the chapter are behind us. Current research has guided the decisions we make regarding homework expectations for Emerson students. I have attached two articles that have guided our our expectations for students in the following ways:
- Purpose: Supporting the instructional program at Emerson is the number one purpose of homework. Reading at home, becoming a more efficient mathematician, and practicing spelling and/or vocabulary at home are all great ways to support the work we do here.
- Efficient Practice: Spending LOADS of time on homework is not best practice. Daily homework practicing spelling, math facts, and reading their chosen book(s) consistently are the best things you can do.
- Creating Competence: We all want to see them build on their successes. Students should be working on things at their level and not feeling overwhelmed. It is important to share what you see at home with your child’s teacher. This may mean backing off or trying to support in bolstering skills as needed. Communication is the key!
Words Their Way
Words Their Way is the spelling program we are implementing school-wide. It focuses upon word patterns, and student’s homework involves exploring these patterns. Word study practice loosely follows the following guidelines:
- Monday: Word Sort - Sort the words into categories that match the heading cards. Don’t forget to read each word aloud. Explain to the adult who helps you why the words are sorted this way. After one sort, sort them fast a second time!
- Tuesday: No-Peeking Sort- Do a no-peeking sort with an adult. Have them lay down the header card from each category and then read the rest of the words aloud. Tell them where the word goes without seeing it. They will lay down the card where you say it belongs, but you can move it if you think it is wrong. Repeat if you make any errors.
- Wednesday: Word Hunt - Look in a familiar book for your words and others that have the same sound, pattern, or both as your words. Try to find two or three words for each category.
- Thursday: Writing Sort - Have an adult call out the words in a random order and you write them into categories. If you miss any, have your parent call them out to you again.
Each grade level has a recommended amount of time students should spend on homework. Emerson’s expectations are as follows:
- Third grade - Approximately 20-30 minutes a night
- Fourth grade - Approximately 40 minutes a night
- Fifth grade - Approximately 50 minutes a night
- Sixth grade - Approximately 60 minutes a night