Question Detail

What are some Homework Schedule options I can implement in my 7th/8th Literacy Classroom?

Sep 2, 2013 2:47pm

I want to provide immediate, specific feedback for my kids' thinking and writing. Is there a way I can schedule or organize my homework (e.g. Readers' Responses, Vocab Packets, Writers' Workshops) so that I'm able to give each of my kids what the feedback they need to improve in a practical-but-excellent way as a teacher :) ?

  • English Language Arts
  • 6-8
  • Engagement / New Teachers / Planning


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    • Sep 29, 2013 3:00pm

      The best thing that we've done at Casals is collaborate--it might not be as easy for you given the structure of your building, but I'll explain anyway. There are three of us who do reading/writing (Becky & I in Gen Ed and Scott in Special Ed). Currently, the students have three books they read for homework (all 8th graders are doing BANG!, high 7th graders are doing Touching Spirit Bear, Lower 7th graders are doing Bluford-The Fallen, and all students who receive SpEd minutes for reading are also doing The Fallen--with some exceptions). We have four classes, so each day we collect notebooks from a different class (where they have done extended response readings throughout the week). The three of us grade them together. It's actually nice to calibrate our expectations. The night they turn their notebooks in, they receive grammar/mechanics homework from me.

      Maybe once a week isn't as immediate as you want--but it's definitely made things more manageable for us... just a thought!

      • Sep 29, 2013 3:40pm

        Thanks Heather!

        I'm the only one in my Grade Level/Subject at Herzl, so unfortunately I can't split the work up exactly in that way. However, the once-a-week like we did in our Residency does sound like the ideal path. I'm trying to figure out whether it's best for my kids to set it up the way Luke did, or whether I need to restructure the timeframe given to groups of kids based on their skills.

        I REALLY like that they have grammar/mechanic homework on nights they aren't writing for reading. That's an interesting idea.

        I was talking this over with my Special Ed teacher, and she suggested I pick 10 kids per class per week to give high-quality, detailed feedback, particularly because all the kids' work is due on the same day. (You've got 4 classes - you know how quickly writing assignments can pile up in one day!) I think this might work out perfectly - just have a list of kids I focus on each week - maybe create a list of objectives or at least "noticings" of those students' work, so that I can track progress through cycles. Maybe turn anecdotals into individualized objectives. Something like this - I'll pull something legit out of this!

        Thanks again for your ideas, and good luck with all the fantastic work you and your colleagues are doing at Casals!

        • Sep 29, 2013 6:13pm

          Didn't Terri make that same suggestion during the residency? :-)

          What kind of HW are you giving your students? I'd love to see some! Are you doing the Calkins Writers Workshop (you said noticings, which is why I ask)?

          I see you're doing the Learning Lab!! Exciting!

          • Sep 29, 2013 7:33pm

            Awwww, man! You're right. She did, because Terri is amazing. I didn't remember it until Melissa suggested it.

            Homework is usually from SI, with them doing whatever Process/Checklist we learned in class. Sometimes it's modified stuff I find from Chicago ELA you told me about.

            And yes! Learning Lab! Excite! LDC makes much sense - just waiting to practice doing it :)