Homework is a time for students to practice what they have been learning in class. Learning to budget their time to practice daily work is also an important discipline for fourth graders to learn, as they will be practicing it in all of their future schooling! Please check your child's homework each night. If you see that they are struggling, feel free to help them, and let me know if you see any areas of concern. Of course, the students need to do all writing, and do their own work, but you are a valuable help to your child! If any questions or problems arise, please let me know. I would like to help you so homework time is not painful for anyone! That being said, students will not have a great deal of homework. Most nights, they should only have math, 30 minutes of reading, and occasionally they may need to finish something that wasn't completed in class.
Assignment Planner and Reading Log
This year, students will receive a planner which is to be filled out by the student each day in class with the homework assignments and signed by the parent or guardian each evening. Monday through Thursday the students will have assignments that review concepts that we have covered in class. It will most often include math and reading.
Students should read silently or to a parent for 30 minutes, Please have students bring their book back and forth to class as this will count toward their 40 Book Challenge! In addition, once every week or two, students will be required to write about their reading in their reading journals (more info at back to school night.)
I recently read the book, The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller, and it transformed my thinking about nightly reading logs and classroom reading. She has developed an idea for teaching children to become better readers by actually reading more! I hope to create a reading climate in our classroom in which we share books, talk about books, write about books, and of course, read books. I think that this will be an exciting year of reading in the life of your child. I encourage you to participate with us by reading more yourself and catching the vision! We can all talk about which books we are reading together!
The main idea of this program is that students are assigned a number of books in several different genres to read and respond to in a reading journal by the end of the year. Students have the freedom to choose which genres they read and when, as long as they finish all required genres by the end of the year. I will give a general reading test to the class, the SRI test, to help determine their reading level and to help the students choose books that interest them.
This is the forty book requirement:
- Realistic Fiction (3)
- Historical Fiction (3)
- Mystery (3)
- Biography, autobiography, or memoir (3)
- Informational (3) (this may include mission books and books on the Gold Rush: 2 major standards taught in CA history)
- Poetry (3)
- Traditional Literature (3) folk tale, fairy tale, legend
- Fantasy (3)
- Graphic novel (any genre) (3)
- Chapter book- free choice (13)
Children will also write me a letter once a week to describe what they are currently reading and how they are progressing. They will also record their current book in a log and desires for future books in their reading journals. Books of approximately 85+ pages will count as 1 book, and 250-300 pages will count as 2 books. More information on this challenge will be given at Back to School Night.
Do you ever feel that your child doesn’t have enough homework? Here are some ideas on how you can extend your child’s homework.
1. Write a book report on a book you have read.
2. Write an advertisement for a favorite book.
3. Make a diorama of a favorite story or theme (Native Americans, early Californians) that we are studying.
4. Research: Choose a topic (alligators, dinosaurs, planets) and write a report on it from several resource books at the library or from the internet.
5. Handwriting practice: Write the alphabet several times in cursive if you have learned all the upper and lower case letters.
6. Write addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problems or find them online.
7. After watching a T.V. program or movie, write a summary of it.
8. Write a letter to a friend or relative.
9. Help a parent cook or bake something. Read them the recipe. Help them measure the ingredients.
10. Make a book report or any kind of report using Google slides. Add graphics, sound, insert photos and videos.
11. At the grocery store: estimate the cost of the bill, how much change you will get back, help decide which brands are better to buy, discuss the measurement amounts/metric or standard measurement?
12. Play games that teach: Yatzee, Monopoly, Boggle, Battleship, word searches, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
13. Go to museums, the library, parks, police station, fire department, zoos, mountains, etc.
14. Go on one of the websites that we use in class. Khan Academy, Arcademics, Freerice.com, Brainpop, IXL reading and math, ZEARN.org for math practice.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION and HAVE FUN!!!