Saturday, August 2, 2014

Homework Routines, Monthly Homework Passes, and a Freebie

As we head closer and closer to the New Year I thought about something I wanted to make this summer to add to my prize box. (click the picture below to see more).

Homework is a relatively new concept for 2nd graders and they are still establishing their skills in this area.  Parents are often looking for tips and tricks to make this a smooth process for their child.  My hope is that I can help to create a supportive system for them here in the classroom. I thought I would share my routine.

1.  What is the homework routine?  Establish a clear location for your students to return and collect their nightly homework.  I use a bin for "Papers to Go Home" and "Papers for the Teacher" (see pic below).  I also have a word study bin where students place their books.  Our students put their nightly word study homework in composition books.  Their nightly homework stays the same each week but changes based on their new words.  We use a small ziplock bag which is attached to the inside of the back cover to keep their words.  At the end of the week their words are glued into their book.
2. Why use magnet numbers? I saw this idea around Pinterest a few years ago (I wish I knew the original source).  I assign each child a magnet number.  When they arrive they and they move their magnet from one side of the filing cabinet to a space that says "homework turned in" (see pic below).  The first year I used numbers from Target that I attached magnets to.  Last year, I switched to Hope King's Subway Art numbers from her Classroom Decor Mega Bundle pack. I love them!  I put their name on a address label and stick it to the back of the number with a magnet.  I use these to help me see visually who has not turned in their homework.  
                                                                                               
3. Where do you get your incentive charts?  After they turn in their homework, they put a sticker on their homework chart.  (see pic above) There are a ton of cute ones out there now.  In fact Carson Dellosa has released sets based on 5 awesomely, creative bloggers (Ericka Bohrer of Ericka's EdventuresCheryl Saoud of Primary Graffiti, Anna Brantley of Crazy for First Grade, Denise Boehm of Sunny Days in Second Grade,  and Erin Klein of Kleinspiration.  I already ordered the Buggy set and a few more.  
4.  What do they do when they fill up a chart?  When they fill up the chart they can choose a prize.  I tell students in the beginning of the year, that they are responsible for their homework chart.
5.  Do you put on the stickers for the kids or remind them?  I spend some time at the beginning of the year reminding them, but after the first week or two I leave it up to them.  They usually do so quite well on their own.  There are a few students that need an extra piece (see my freebie-check-in/check-out sheets) to help them remember their morning routine in general, but they are super motivated when the first student fills up their chart.  :)
6.  What's in my prize box?  One of the things that I find motivating for my students is to use homework passes as part of my prizes.  Despite that I scour Target and Oriental Trading for cute erasers, pencils, and toys my student always love picking up a Homework Pass.  This year I created a pass for each month.  If you're interested you can try out the month of September for free to see if you like it!  :)  Both are linked by clicking the pictures below.  I also use other prizes like; hot lunch line leader (a pass my co-teacher created) and few other goodies.  Hope they are useful!

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