Sunday, February 05, 2012

Homework in Grade 2

I'm linking up with the Lesson Plan Diva's Homework Linky Party.

First off, I'm not fussed on homework. We are only in week 2 of the new school year and I can already tell who will do their homework perfectly and submit it every week and who will be one who will never hand it in (mostly due to the support they'd have at home).

Saying that, we are required to give our kids homework. I'm really lucky in that another teacher did up the whole years worth of homework sheets a couple of years ago. I adjust them where needed but what a time saver! My homework is given out on Monday and is due in on Friday. It consists of two components - a homework sheet and home readers. 

Homework sheet: 
The top of the sheet has a place for each students individual spelling words (every student in my class has a different spelling list) which consists of high-frequency words, personal and theme/challenge words. They Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check their words or choose another spelling activity (bounce a ball and spell, write on dad's back etc) and write 3 of them in sentences. 

The bottom half of the sheet has various math questions based on the previous week's focus (for review) and often some NAPLAN (Australia's national testing) style questions. Down the bottom, there are 2 fun extension activities which are optional. 
 I love how it's only 1 sheet because we only get a set number of copies each term.

Home Reading:
The purpose of our home reading is for our kids to grow in confidence and enjoy their reading. For this reason, we send home 2 readers which are 2 levels below each students instructional reading level so that kids (and parents) don't get stressed and upset with books that might have a few challenges (Phew, what  long sentence!). I know parents who get upset at their child when they can't work out a word and this puts pressure on the kids and makes home reading a less than enjoyable experience so this seems to work really well.

Collecting and Marking: 
When homework comes in on Friday, we go through the math and extension questions as a class and then I collect to double check, and mark the spelling and sentences. A mum has volunteered to come in and change the home readers (these are held in the school library) each Monday before homework goes out - another time saver!

On Friday, we also buddy test (I partner students up with a  buddy who is at a similar spelling level), I mark, students highlight the words they got correct on their high-frequency and personal spelling lists and then choose the next words on their list that are not highlighted for the next week. It takes a little while for the kids to get used to the system but it ends up working really well.

Here's a checklist I use to see who has handed in their home readers (HR) and homework sheet (HW) each week. It's in word and unfortunately lost some of its formatting in Google Docs, but it's there if you want to fiddle with it after you download.

What do you do for homework? Head over to The Lesson Plan Diva to share your ideas.


  1. Oh goodness, Kylie! This is my first ever week of having to set homework and for this is only literacy! Our whole stage homework (NSW Stage 1 - yr1 and Yr 2) looks very much the same as your literacy... spelling etc... I also can tell after just one week, which students will be bringing in their completed homework...but this would be directly related to the support of their parents / family! I have such a huge socio-economic spread in my class, as well as a varied supportive homelife (which are exclusive categories!!). I love the way you have set up your homework and home readers. Thank you so much for sharing the way in which you teach and program! For a new teacher like me, I am learning so much and am very grateful for the insights into your classroom! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.
    Good Morning Mrs Rubie

  2. Mine is similar to your version - though home readers are changed, recorded and sent home every day (by lovely Mums).
    We also send home Multilit words (sight words) for parents to practice with their child.
    Homework is sent home in a grid format, with suggested activities that relate to the Aust. Curriculum unit that is being covered at school. Homework isn't compulsory so for this Year 1 class it doesn't have to be returned each week (yeah, one less thing to mark on a Friday!!!)
    Have actually noticed over the years one more group to your 2 - those that do their HW, those that don't, and those whose 'parents' do a wonderful job at it...

  3. Tina, I hope your first week of homework wasn't too stressful! And thank you for your kind comment!

    Doobee - I totally forgot about sight words. I do give them to my lower students. Our sight word list has changed for this year, so I'm still re-creating documents to send home!

  4. Yes, our sight word program changed this year as well. From PM to Multilit - and the re-creation of resources begins......

  5. Are you about to share/sell these homework sheets? They look fantastic!

    1. Sorry, I don't think I have them anymore!


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