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Home : 2001 : Jul : 5

    By phyllis

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    I give daily homework because the middle school teachers told me that the biggest problem they have with my students (when they move up to the next level) is not doing homeword. Here's what I do (and now the next level is reporting success)!
    I take those paper pcket folders you can buy for each subject....and make a tag "HOMEWORK" and glue it on the front...and laminate them. You need an exacto knife to slit the pockets. I use the same color for each they know to get their green homework folder. I give simple homework each night. Easier for lower grade levels harder for higher grade levels. It's usually some type of reading or math homework that they should be able to do without much or any help from mom and dad. I have a reward system for those who do their homework. We have a marble jar and when you bring back your folder finished you put a marble in the jar. When the jar is full we celebrate with a "JUNK FOOD" party. Each child brings their favorite junk food to share with the class. We watch a video and eat junk food. Now the jar has to be small at the beginning of the year so that they earn a junk food party pretty quickly like the beginning of Oct...and see how much fun it is so they can earn another one... for the next one use a bigger jar so it takes longer to earn it! If the child doesn't do his homework? I take away recess....and I don't ususally have to do that more than once or twice.

    I also have a reading contest...and everyone can participate. I buy two cool there's a first and second place winner. Last time I used animals stamps and ink pads...big hit! Then I make a reading sheet on the computer. It's pretty simple...has the days of the week and minutes read and a place for parent signature. I do this for each marking period...So you have to buy 8 prized total...The child and parent fill in the number of minutes read each day and at the end of the week send it back to school with the parent signature....not valid without it...the child gets to put a marble in the jar for each 15 minutes read and then I place their sheet in a folder. At the end of the marking period I total up the hours read and declare a 1st and 2nd place winner. the kids love it. I've been thinking that this year I'll make a graph board so the kids can graph their time reading and then it's a nice visual for them to see where they are. It'll teach graphing too.

    This program works very well for me but I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year teaching the expected homework the kids who do it I make a really really big deal about and I'm very firm at recess when they don't. They can't talk....can't look around the room,,,,have to put their heads down...I try to make them miserable so they don't want to do it again....also if they forget I double it and they ususally don't forget kids have been pretty honest about coming in and admitting when they didn't do the homework or the recess time and I didn't catch them.

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