July 2017 - Top Floor Teachers

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    The Homework Debate

    Why is homework synonymous with a feeling of dread? We have both had our share of parent concerns over the past decade regarding stress with homework.  We have noticed that across the nation, teachers are starting to become more aware of this fact and cutting down or eliminating homework.  For us, we agree that our students work extremely hard during the day and homework can be seen as a chore. How can we make homework seem more fun and meaningful? How can we get parents involved without the fighting and crying?  We decided to create a monthly choice chart that would include math, research, and enrichment opportunities. For our 5th graders, we still wanted to teach responsibility and accountability without the monotonous review worksheets.  We created a reflection form that would be used for each month where the students would write a little about what they took away from each activity.  

    The feedback from our students and families were overwhelmingly positive! Below is one of the comments a parent shared with us when she posted about her son baking a pie for homework!  

    It felt as if a lightbulb had gone off when our kids were begging us to do more than the minimum we asked.  They were doing engaging and meaningful activities at home related to math, reading, and writing.  As an added bonus, we received a lot of pie samples for the September Choice Chart! We have created an entire year’s worth of monthly choice charts and each one is centered around what happens in that month.  

    Since our school still gives an effort grade on homework for report cards, we also gave students feedback forms which easily gave them some feedback from us.  We usually had a huge share out at the end of each month and let the students talk about what they learned (great for listening and speaking skills!).  

    We’d love to share our September Choice Chart with you! It’s a great Back to School “homework” for the new year.  Our personal favorite for this month is the one where they interview a grandparent.  They ask about what life was like for them as a child and so many parents and kids loved this one. One of our students created a Google Slideshow about his grandparents and learned so much.   

    Click the link below for a free copy of our September Choice Chart.  If you enjoyed this and would like a whole year’s worth of fun homework, please check out our product where we include the self reflection form, teacher feedback form, and all the months including an editable file in case you need to make changes to suit your class.  We’ve taken the “work” out of homework and made it fun! Please comment below and let us know what you are doing for homework in your classrooms!

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