Monday, July 4, 2011

**Homework** and a 4th of July freebie ;)

I've been asked several times how I do homework in second grade. For starters my school requires homework to be sent home each night (except Friday) in math and ELA. Math is easy because we use Saxon so the homework is already done. If I want to extend math I have many great resources by Scholastic and Mailbox that I can photocopy. I try to stick to a schedule because it's easy on me, the students, and parents. It looks like this: 

Monday- comprehension. I make quarterly packets which include both fiction and non-fiction passages. I do differentiate. Most of my resources came from Scholastic's e-book dollar days. 

Tuesday- writing. Here is a freebie. My students have a BEE binder which goes to and from school.Inside the BEE binder are plastic sleeves. One of the sleeves contains the monthly journal prompts. On Tuesdays my students take home their journal notebook and complete a prompt for homework. I leave the number of sentences blank on the document so I can write in individual goals for each student. Easy way to differentiate! LOVE how easy this is to manage too. 

Wednesday- I'm still debating on Wednesday. Last year I did grammar on Wednesday. I probably still will.. Unless I come up with something easier to manage, right now I just make photocopies from a Scholastic grammar workbook that I have. Any thoughts? 

Thursday- On Thursday the students practice their spelling words by using their speller's choice activities for the month. Again, easiest thing ever to manage. I just change out the activities each month in their BEE binder and they take home their spelling notebook to complete the assignment. 

Friday- The students don't have homework on Friday, however, each Monday they have to turn in their reading journal. I require that they write 2 entries a week.. don't care which days. This is another easy way to differentiate. Most of my students have to write at least a 5 sentence summary on 20 minutes worth of reading. My advanced readers have to make connections. This journal stays in their BEE binders at all times because when they choose to work in their journal is up to the student. 

Hope this helped!! Happy 4th of July :) Feel free to share how you do homework. I love seeing how things are done in other classrooms!! 



Lori said...

I love the freebie! Thanks so much! I just have a question for you. I like the idea of having the children write at home, but, when do you find the time to read all the entries?


Ms. Durning said...

Since my class size is 14 it's not so bad. Most of them aren't very lengthy so it take about 15 minutes total. I read them during morning work. I don't comment on ALL of them but I give them a check plus, check, or check minus. If you have a larger class you can just read 5 a day. I guess it's like correcting any piece of homework.

Lori said...

Thanks for the reply! I think I may give it a go this year!

Mrs. Shepherd said...

Wow I absolutely love these ideas. I've follow your blog would love for you to follow mine at

abby said...

This may be a silly question, but how did you make those fancy borders on the monthly writing prompts?

Ms. Durning said...

I bought them from Scrappin Doodles!

Becky Mitchell said...

Hi Ms. Durning!
I love all of your ideas!! You are such a huge help for so many of us! I am looping up with my class going to first grade. There are 15 in my class, so not too bad. In the Bee Binder, how many page protectors are in there? Also, do you think it would work using a sturdy plastic folder with prongs? One more question (sorry):-) We also do Saxon Math. How many sheets do you send home a week for the homework and do you just do the rest of it after the lesson in class? Thanks so much for your help!


Ginger Snaps said...

I do a spelling choice too for HW. I call it a spelling menu! =) Thanks for sharing!

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