Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hopeless Homework Struggles.... Answered!

If you're like me- homework can really be a headache! Many times it doesn't come back to school due to lack of help or reinforcement at home. It is a constant struggle between finding something that will really be effective, but also something that the students will be able to complete independently without much help. As we all know- and research proves- it is so important for children to be reading every day and night. After all, practice helps to make perfect, right?!

When I first started teaching, I sent home a simple reading log-- you know the one. Children write the title of the book they read, log the time spent reading, etc. Later I realized and asked myself, what are the kids really getting from this? Half of them weren't even reading anyway! How would I know if they just listed books that were on their bookshelves without even touching them, much less reading them! And let's be real... how many of us really have the time to pull each student aside and conference with them about their homework while we're working with small guided reading groups and performing individual reading conferences from in class reading?!

Then came at home reading journals. Students each had a spiral notebook with lovely little reading reflection prompts glued in the front. Alright- all my problems would be solved! The students would be held accountable for their reading, and they would learn to love it by choosing what they wanted to write about it at home! YESSSSS! Welp- didn't take long for this to be a bust, too. The lovely littles would choose the same prompt every night.... even with me telling them that wasn't ok and implementing a "Write it Once and Done/Week" rule. Little stinkers!

This year, after trying several other ways, I decided to create reading logs based on what we were working on that week. The students shouldn't need too much help since they were practicing the strategies and using them everyday in class. So not only were they now REALLY READING at home, but they were getting reinforcement of the current strategies as well. How awesome is that!

After a few months of using these logs, I can honestly say I have NEVER in 10 years of teaching, seen my students do so wonderfully on their homework reading. So thrilled with these! See for yourselves..... please disregard the wrinkly papers.... Lord knows what they've been through! HA!

If you like these reading logs, they are available at my TPT store by clicking on the link below. :) 

Get my Reading Logs 

Thanks for reading! :)