This page is about homework in general.
For TODAY's reminders/homework/updates, please see the DAILY UPDATES page.
As a teacher, I strive to design learning experiences and activities that have built in opportunities for flexbility so as to meet the different needs and interests of my students in as many ways as possible. I firmly believe that students need structure and boundaries, along with plenty of opportunities for choice and flexibility depending on their different situations. I want students to learn that the 'best' successes come from hard work and rising to challenges, but that they are also strongly encouraged to ask for help when they feel they need it. I strive to help my students develop the awareness they need to be positive, effective advocates for themselves and their peers. I explain to them that, in Class 4, they will be given plenty of personalized support, along with many opportunities to develop their independence. In the first week of September, and throughout the year, we talk as a class and one-to-one about our learning goals and expectations for this year. We discuss how all students have different talents & strengths as well as different needs for support & areas for further growth. We highlight the importance of diversity in a learning environment, that 'different' can frequently be a very good thing, that we do best when we use our gifts to help and support each other, and that 'fair' and 'equal' are often not the same thing. We also discuss that while not everything will be fun for everyone all the time (and that doesn't mean we don't have to work!) I also believe strongly in incorporating game-based learning and 'fun' activities whenever possible. One of my mottos is "whenever there's fun, more learning is done!"
NOTES about homework in CLASS 4
In keeping with my educational philosophy, it is my hope that MOST of our learning activities this year can be completed in the classroom, with students learning at their own pace, working together on projects, and taking turns participating in small group or one-to-one instruction with their teachers. If basic assignments are completed, the students will move on to enrichment tasks such as fun games and projects.
As a result of the above plan, the amount of WRITTEN homework should be very minimal, especially in the first two thirds of the school year. This will hopefully allow students to work hard during the school day and the get adequate rest each evening - as well as participate in family activities, sports, and other arts and leisure activities. This should help ensure they are spending most of their evenings refreshing and recharging so they are prepared to work hard again at school the next day. There will still be some homework assignments (inlcuding daily reading, Mathletics, review games and activities, etc.), but formal written homework from me will tend to be more rare, except when it comes to quicker activities like Spelling reviews or Handwriting. With that in mind, I expect students to take it seriously when I do assign homework, and to talk with me in a timely manner if they have a concern or question.
Any homework that I do assign will/should usually be something that:
- the student can do quickly and independently (with the exception of the culture assignment which will be more of a family activity)
- is assigned for the purpose of review and/or reinforcing and/or sharing what they've learned at school that day
- OR is something that we (parent and teacher) have jointly decided the students needs additional work on.
A typical HOMEWORK task in Class 4 may consist of something like:
- "tell your family about what you did in .....today" OR
- play the ......game with someone at home OR
- read for 15 - 20 minutes and talk about what you read with someone at home OR
- teach your family 3 things about ..... OR
- practice basic facts using flash cards, the ..... game, or Mathletics (VERY IMPORTANT TO DO REGULARLY!) OR
- complete 10 questions on Mathletics to build up your points, get some practice, and show what you know
- work on page __ of handwriting
- complete a short spelling review activity
- a little more written homework may be added during the third part of the year, as the students begin to develop their abilities more and prepare to take on more of this kind of responsibility in older grades.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, STUDENTS WILL STILL HAVE "REMINDERS" EACH DAY THAT THEY WILL BE EXPECTED TO KEEP TRACK OF. These will usually be listed on the class "daily update page" and be about school events, form due dates, and other important things. It will be important for the students to become responsible for organizing and keeping track of these. ***Please also note that Class 4 students may also be assigned regular homework in French classes, and occasional homework in P.E.*** Most students should keep track of homework and reminders using their student planners. Some students and parents may prefer to use the school website only. PLEASE NOTE: I will NOT be signing student planners every day unless a student has a particular need for daily parent/teacher planner check-ins. We can discuss this in person if need be. If you need to send me a message, please do so through email, or ask your child to let me know there is a message in the planner for me, as I will not check them all every day.
If you feel like your child needs additional homework to develop their responsibility or other specific skills, or would like homework to be assigned 'as a rule' if your child has incomplete assignments, please see me and we can arrange something that will be relevant and useful for your child and family situation.
If you have feedback or thoughts you would like to share with me about my homework philosophy, please feel free to contact me and we can meet to talk about your specific situation.