Copyright by Susan Jones, 2015 . Powered by Blogger.

First Grade Homework For the Entire Year


For the five years I taught first grade I was always trying to perfect the homework process. I wanted it to be simple for me, differentiated for my students, and not be too time consuming for either of us!

I tried many different options (sometimes all in one year - BAD IDEA) and finally settled on a homework packet that I would send out each week on Monday that is returned on Friday. It made it simple for me to prep, copy, staple, and send along. However, each week I would look at our skills we were learning or reviewing, scour through tons of old workbooks, search online for the *best* pages, make my copies, and finally send them on their way. It was WAY TOO TIME CONSUMING! I also knew that having all my students completing the same homework was a disservice to the ones who may not need practice with that skill and the students who may be working below that current standard.

In this digital age I thought there must be a quicker way to find the pages I needed for my homework packet. So I created my own system and my own pages that work for my needs. I know everyone does homework differently and many have differing beliefs on homework in first grade in general but I thought I would share my own system because, well, it is what has worked best for my classroom and may be beneficial for others!

First, I always like to send home newsletters each week to my students' parents! I keep them pretty simple and let them in on what we are learning in the classroom. Some parent read it with their child, others read it by themselves, others don't read it at all. Either way, I like to send em home! It helps me stay organized and can be a great reminder tool for my parents when we have open houses, parent-teacher conferences, and field trips.


I have one template per month and then change the date and wording each week!

Behind the weekly newsletter I send home different homework pages based on all sorts of factors. I like having options!!!! I made at least one page for each topic I teach throughout the year. I have never been a fan of longgggg homework that is too overwhelming and I think students just need *quick* reinforcing practice each night so that played a big role in the way I set up my homework. You can see a little more about the homework pages below.




Again, I like having options and I know most teachers do too! So based on the skills I'm teaching that week, a student's ability level, parent involvement, I will send home what I believe to be a reasonable HW packet for the week. You can do the same for your students!



^^ Again, it's all up to YOU!^^
Maybe you don't send home homework because in your community it doesn't get sent back. Well, these quick check-ins can easily be made into morning work that only takes minutes to complete while students practice their skills.

If you think this type of homework might be for you or you want to try and switch it up this year, go ahead and take a closer look at some of the pages in my unit by clicking the unit below and downloading the preview!



Let me know what you think!

Here are some closeups of a few pages (more to be seen in the preview!):






ORLANDO TEACHER MEET UP!!



Our Teacher Meet-Up is moving to....

Sunny Orlando, Florida! July 13th at 6pm. #2016orlandomeetup

This will be our 5th annual teacher blogger meet up. If you've ever joined us before, you know there will be lots of fun, lots of laughing, and lots of prizes to give away! Thanks to our main sponsor TeachersPayTeachers

Here's a shot of some of the fabulous teachers who came out last year!
{Check out more pictures from our 2012 and 2013 and 2014 meet ups!}


At last year's meet up we gave away hundreds of prizes and this year will be no exception! We have lots of surprises in store for this meet up, so PLEASE join us!




(A peek at last year's prizes. All donated by our awesome sponsors!)
We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!  



What you need to know:

*All teachers are invited to this meet-up! You do not need to have a blog to attend this special event!

*You can RSVP on our official Facebook event page: HERE! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can RSVP by commenting on this post.

*Please don't be shy! Every year we have people who are worried about not knowing anyone. This is a great opportunity to say hi to some of your favorite teacher-bloggers, as well as meet new friends and connect with teachers from all over!

*Please download the nametag template HERE.

*The meet up will be held at The Swan and Dolphin Resort, but the actual conference room number will be posted closer to the meet up. Follow our Facebook event page to get updates on the exact location.

We are super excited for our trip this year and know that this Teacher Meet Up will be the best one yet!!
Here are the meet-up organizers from last year!

Can't wait to see y'all in sunny Orlando!

Story Problems in First Grade


Story problems in first grade can be a wonderful teaching tool - and I'm talking beyond the simple "2 ducks were in pond and one flew away..." type problems. I'm talking the COMPLEX story problems! I really think students need to be able to read and decode a story problem so they can figure out how to solve it! 

I was noticing that in our standardized tests the word problems given weren't "simple" and I don't think they should be. Of course we start there, but students need to push beyond that and solve more challenging problems.

Last year, I created little story problem booklets for each month that get more difficult from August to June. The include the following topics:

Addition
Subtraction
Place Value
Time
Missing Addend
Fractions
Money

I generally begin these booklets in small, guided groups we can go through them together and I can guide discussion. Towards the end of the year, I have my higher group sit and complete them together. They mark questions that they could not figure out and we discuss later - but for the most part they are able to explain and discuss their solutions!

These booklets also let me see where my students are getting stuck so we can use those question types as discussion starters before a math lesson.


You can see some example problems by clicking the image above!

Free St. Patrick's Day Comprehension Passage!

Just dropping by this morning to share a new, free product I uploaded in my store:


Included in this mini-pack is a nonfiction passage about the holiday with a vocabulary sheet and a comprehension sheet for students to answer using text evidence. They questions are set up in the same way as my Close Reading unit.




I also included a silly, fiction poem and response sheet for that as well!



Click on any of the pages above to download your free copy!

This is an example of a growing bundle I am currently working on that  includes comprehension passages, questions, and poems for each of your students' favorite holidays. You can see some of the holidays included below:

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