Friday, August 7, 2015
Homework thoughts and a math menu freebie
I'm teaching 3rd grade this year after 5 years in 1st. I was a little apprehensive, even though I was ready for a change.
So far I love it! The kids can do so much more. They're so much more independent. But they're still funny and love the little things. One little sweetie guy cried because he hurt someone's feeelings and he was afraid she would tell her mom!!!! Maybe not the best motivation for crying, but still...it's that uninhibited raw emotion and feeling of the little ones that is so endearing.
But I feel like a first year teacher again! I'm starting over in so many ways on so many levels.
So...homework. Which side are you on? Do you send home a weekly packet? Is it whatever they don't finish during the day? Do you subscribe to the less is more, or the more lends to higher achievement? I know that research shows that homework aids in education. Disproportionately, too. For example, 350 minutes of instruction + 50 minutes of homework per day is > than 400 minutes. It's a little like the way lifting weights helps burn fat beyond the time that you actually spend on the weight machines.
I say "all things in moderation". 3rd graders are still in the early childhood spectrum. They need to relax, unwind, decompress, read and PLAY after school. We live in a world of worry, panic, fear and anxiety. Why push them into that world ahead of their time? Maybe their homework should be relaxation techniques! That would certainly be authentic for their adult years!
In trying to find the homework balance, I want them to learn their math facts without just using flash cards or writing on fluency worksheets. So I am creating weekly math menus that give them options for fluency practice. Each day they have a different way to play. In this first menu, the students will need a hundreds chart, highlighter, page protector and fluency practice sheet. I get my practice sheets for free from mathdrills.com. It's a user-friendly and free website that lets you print from a myriad of math fact templates.
I'm sharing this menu for free in my store. Grab it here and see if it works for you. My hope is that it gives the kids a fun way to practice those facts that they need at their fingertips.
[Glitterfy.com - *Glitter Words*]