Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Summer Homework

A great organizational technique that the teacher before me started is homework folders. If you don’t do them, start. It decreases the chance of papers being eaten by backpack monsters and increases communication with parents about homework and assessments. I like to prepare homework folders before the school year begins; one less thing to do in hectic September. It’s a task that can be done at an outdoor table while still enjoying summer.

We use these folders for the entire school year. At the beginning of each week, I send the folder home with my students and they bring it back to me on the last day of the week. Many parents say how much they enjoy seeing that week’s homework at the start of the week. Then they can plan accordingly since all of the homework is not due until the last day of the week, unless I state otherwise with advance notice for special projects.

The folder has 4 page protector sleeves. The first sleeve is for that week’s homework schedule to slide in and out. I have students check off the list as they complete an assignment and their parents/guardians sign off on it.

The second sleeve is for work to be completed at home. This is where students can keep the leveled reader book they are working on, the sight word flash cards they are practicing, or any additional sheets you would have them complete at home.

The third sleeve is for assessments or quizzes that I want parents/guardians to see and sign. It comes back to me signed in this sleeve.

The fourth sleeve is for work that we are finished with in class and needs to go home…to stay. Be gone paper bulges and wads of old schoolwork! You belong on a refrigerator door…or dare I say, the recycling!

When the homework folders come back to me at the end of the week (* post to come on how to motivate your students to bring it back on time) I put them in ABC order mark and record the work completed that week. Then move it to the “Keep at Home” sleeve. Check that all assessments/quizzes have been initialed and move it to the “Keep at Home” sleeve. Then I change the homework schedule and work to the next week’s and it’s good to go.

Here’s what I use for each student:

Duo-tang, 4 clear page protectors, 6 white sticker labels, and a sandwich zipper bag or library pocket.

If I’m teaching a split grade I colour-code the folders so it’s easier to sort when I get them back at the end of the week. For example, grade 1 gets yellow and grade 2 gets blue. Plastic duo-tangs work best. These ones lasted through out the year so when I my grade 1 students returned for grade 2 they were able to reuse their folders. I just switched grade 1 to blue and grade 2 to yellow.

If you’re interested in trying out these homework folders, I’ll help you get started. Click on the picture below for a FREE template. Happy Organizing!

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