Homework.  It is definitely a love-hate relationship that I have with that word.  On the one hand, I think the practice time is incredibly valuable for the students.  On the other, I know that with after school activities and the fact that the kids spend 6 + hours at school, they need a break.  With this in mind, I have formulated a homework plan in my room that is quick, to the point, easy to follow, and, most importantly, useful.

For me, as I am sure is the case with many of you, homework consists of pages that I *would* assign during class if time allowed.  It is not busy work.  It is useful items that I believe provide consistent and necessary practice of skills that we are learning in class. 

So what do I assign?

Nightly, the students have the following.

Read for 20 minutes.
Complete a reading log response for the reading.
Math Review Page
Paragraph of the Week
Root Words

I know...looks like a lot.  But it actually isn't all that much.  Let me break it all down for you.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Log-for-Thinking-and-Responding-193324Reading (25 minutes a night)

My students read for 20 minutes each night.  They can read anything they wish, as long as it is something they enjoy.  Then, they have to fill out a reading log response.  This isn't a simple fill in the title and mom sign it log.  The kids have to actually respond to their reading.  There are 5 different response to choose from each week, asking the kids to use their comprehension skills and strategies to respond in a meaningful way.

Math (10 minutes a night)

I have written about my Spiral Math Homework many, many times.  This is a 10 problem, cumulative spiral math review that I have written for my students.  They practice a problem or two from the lesson that day, but more importantly, they practice everything else that they have learned over the course of the quarter/year.  It is truly something I am passionate about.  I believe with the whole of my being that my students outperform others on state tests because of this homework.  No matter what grade I teach, it is this homework that carries me through.  Math is just better because of this constant review.  

Comprehension (10 minutes a night)

I have the students practice the test taking strategies we learn on this page nightly.  I pull from many different sources, but lately I am really loving Readworks.org.  The passages are free and are based upon skills and strategies that the kids need.

Paragraph of the Week (5 - 10 minutes a night)

I assign one page a night to the students.   The pages progress each day of the week to create a clear, cohesive paragraph by Friday.  Each day, we go over various strategies that they can use to make their paragraphs better.  The sheer repetition of it all has made my kids better writers.

Root Words (5 minutes a night)

We start a section of this trifold in class each day.  The kids then finish it at home.  We review the next day.  It is an easy, fast way to get the kids thinking about the roots and word structure of vocabulary words.

What is KEY about all of this is that in class EVERY.SINGLE.DAY we review the work.  It is worked in to my schedule that we go over the homework.  That way, if students don't understand something, we will have a chance to review it.  They also then see that homework is an important part of our school day, since I am making it a part of our school day.  It isn't just busy work that will never be looked at again.  Kids know that it is necessary for our daily routine and class structure.

What does your homework assignment look like?  How do you incorporate it into your day?


  1. I use your Spiral Math homework. That is the only homework my kids have aside from reading. Their reading log is just a fill in the title and sign it but I know who reads and who doesn't from the work we're doing in class and grade accordingly. It also helps that we have a 100% homework club each month and those that don't do their reading logs don't get to participate. It really helps keep them accountable to read at home (although it's really a bummer that I have to bribe some of them to pick up a book).

  2. I have a math homework assignment, read 10 minutes a night with a fill in title log (though I just purchased your reading thinking sheets!) and sometimes a spelling assignment using spellingcity.com. Do you have any problems with students returning work? I teach in a mid to low income area and about 9 of my students have little support at home. I don't like to assign much because it becomes a bigger headache trying to make them catch up later. Just curious. Thanks!

  3. My homework was something similar, instead we had a weekly packet due on Fridays (but sent home the previous Friday) that allowed the students to complete the packet throughout the week. 1 math sheet was completed each night and reviewed the next day in class.

    Fishing for Education Blog

  4. you have the best posts! Thank you so much for your homework post, this is something I struggle with as a teacher as well !! :)

  5. Thank you so much for laying out what you assign for homework. I was wondering if you do the root words in place of vocabulary/spelling words. Do you have kids practice spelling words? Do you test on the vocabulary/root/spelling?

  6. That's so good information.

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