Basics of Homework: VERY IMPORTANT! - Yes, this is VERY IMPORTANT!!
Homework Requirements for Ms. Corbett’s 3rd Graders
Your child will have homework every night. Each day, your child will record his/her homework in the student agenda. Please use this as a record of what assignments are given on a daily basis. You and I may need to initial the agenda every day if there becomes the need to do so. (You can do this every day, if you’d like as a way to show your child you are “signing off” on his/her assignments. You will always see “ Read 20 and Log” in the Reading Section, Any other assignments will be recorded, as well.
The following assignments will be given on a daily/weekly:
Spelling: New Spelling Words will be given almost every week. All spelling assignments and tests will be done on the Spelling City site found under Student Resources on the Grand Island Website. Students will have time during the week to complete assignments and take practice and final tests on Spelling City. If it is necessary, a child may need to take his/her practice test on the site at home rather than at school. The goal of spelling is to understand the spelling rule/pattern and be able to transfer that knowledge to his/her writing rather than just "memorizing" words.
Vocabulary: New Vocabulary words will be given almost every week. These vocabulary words will enhance your child's reading, writing and speaking knowledge and usage. All vocabulary assignments will be started in school, but some students may need to bring home the work to complete at night. Each Friday, there will be a vocabulary test for which your child should review the words and definitions at home.
Reading: Third grade is the last year for your child to LEARN to READ in order to become one who READS to LEARN. So, practice in reading is EXTREMELY important. Each child is required to read for at least 20 minutes per night, including weekends…before bedtime being the preferred time. You may have your child do a combination of the following to achieve his or her required reading minutes:
1. Child may read alone.
2. Child may read to a younger or older sibling (or other relative), or even a pet!
3. Child and another older sibling or adult can “Partner Read” (your child reads one page, then the older sib/adult reads the next page, and so on).
Students must complete each section of the Reading Log EACH NIGHT (time read and pages read). Upon finishing the Reading Log, a parent must sign the log. Logs are generally due the following Monday.
Math: Proficiency in addition, subtraction, and multiplication and division facts is imperative this year. Your child will be required to practice math facts. Your child can practice his/her facts in a number of ways:
1. Flash Cards (Flash Cards can be purchased at the Dollar Tree on Grand Island)
2. Math Fact Games (board game or electronic)
3. Computer Games (IXL, XTRA Math)
4. Math Fact Timed Test practice sheets
When your child is able to achieve 100% on three successive math facts timed tests (in all operations), your child will NOT be required to practice that specific operation again!
In addition, there will be an Envisions Math homework or a similar practice page sent home two to four times per week and, upon completing a Unit in Math, studying for a Unit Test will be required. (Your child will not have a homework assignment and have to study for a major Unit test on the same night!)
Science/Social Studies: All Science and Social Studies work will be primarily done in school. The only “homework” for each of these two subjects would be an end of the Unit Test or completion of a Project.
Speaking of tests…notification of major tests in advance. I will always review for major tests, in class, with your child, and will send home a Review Sheet to use for study purposes. Studying for a major test will only be one to two evenings prior to a test. Math Timed Tests will be generally once or twice per week, Spelling Tests once a week, and an assessment on vocabulary each week. I will not give one week’s notice for these.
Unfinished Classwork: We are EXTREMELY BUSY during the day, and there will be assignments for which your child will be responsible for finishing during the school day. All students will be given sufficient time during the school day to accomplish class work. Each student is EXPECTED to work to his/her BEST ability at ALL times and finish assignments in a timely fashion. Therefore, any unfinished classwork assignment(s) will be brought home with your child in his/her “Take Home” folder and will need to be finished at home that evening for homework. For those students who develop a daily “habit” of unfinished classwork assignments, a parent/student/teacher conference will be scheduled and a Daily Report Card will be put in place. In addition, recess time will be taken away from those students who become “unfinished classwork regulars”. With the regularly assigned homework noted above, your child simply does not have enough time to allow assignments to pile up.
Parent Assistance: Your child will certainly need your help from time to time with an occasional homework assignment. That being said, your child should have a quiet, uninterrupted space and time frame in which to complete homework. You SHOULD NOT need to, nor should your child ask you, to sit with him/her to complete homework. You finished 3rd Grade a long time ago! Homework should be MOSTLY independent (save for partner reading, math fact flash card practice, Spelling word oral practice, oral study sessions for a major test). So the more you encourage your child to complete assignments as independently as possible, would be most preferable.
You may wish to “check/correct” your child’s homework papers, and that is perfectly fine. However, if you ask your child to “correct” his/her work, and your child cannot correctly redo an item after two tries, please circle the problem and leave it blank. That way, I will be able to see what your child needs the most help with. I DO NOT WANT PERFECT HOMEWORK WHEN YOUR CHILD REALLY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND!! If an assignment is simply too difficult for your child to complete, please circle the section/part of utmost difficulty or leave the entire assignment blank, and write me a note on the assignment so I know your child needs help. There may be times when, upon receiving a “please help” note on an assignment, your child really was perfectly capable of completing the assignment (or a portion of) and it will be sent home for your child to complete.
Okay, here’s what you have been wanting to ask…
How long should it take for my child to complete homework? Well, if you take into account the 20 minutes of reading, the periodic math fact practice (10 min. MAX each time), the periodic Spelling Word practice (10 min. MAX each time) **Please don’t do math fact practice and Spelling Practice on the same night, the assigned math paper (which should take no more than 15 min. to finish), and/or study for a test (15 min. MAX. each time), and the periodic finishing of a classwork assignment…all told, OCCASIONALLY, homework may take between 45-60 minutes at the VERY MOST.
However, your child will NOT have to do all of the above every single night!! There will be many nights your child will only need to read for 20 minutes and/or practice math facts OR study Spelling Words/Vocabulary words, which is 20-40 MINUTES for most nights!!
Communication: Every single child is an individual and certainly deserves fair treatment at all times. If it becomes necessary to modify your child’s weekly work, we will meet together to do so. Please be assured I will do everything possible to help your child be successful in 3rd Grade; and I am looking forward to working with you and your child this year. Please take advantage of the open lines of communication available to you. Email is the very best and fastest way to get in touch with me, so please use it when you need to. You can reach me at email@example.com. You may also write to me, send in the note with your child, and I will respond in kind as soon as I can. Or, if you prefer, you can call and leave me a message on my voicemail and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can. My number at school is 773-8850. If necessary, I may call you back from my cell, for which you may see my personal phone number on your caller ID. I would greatly appreciate it if you would NOT call me on my cell, unless arrangements were previously made. (Thank you!)