Friday, January 24, 2014

My Fourth Grade Homework Routine

One of the most frequent comments/questions I get from my readers is about my homework routine.  

Last year, I assigned homework M-R and it was usually a sheet of language arts and a sheet of math.  We checked it each day in class.  I really didn't like it.  I hated trying to come up with something each night, checking it took up more time than I wanted. I knew that in order to get all my Daily Five rotations in each day, I had to make a change in my homework routine.  

When I taught third grade, all my homework was weekly.  I sent home a reading log each Monday and it was due the following Monday.  Spelling homework went home Monday and was due Friday.  Math homework was assigned as needed. 
I preferred this schedule/routine, so this year my students are given a homework packet for their language arts homework.  

The first page has their spelling words and their reading log.  

My kiddos are expected to read 60 minutes a week.  Packets originally went home on Monday and were due Friday, so this was twenty minutes a night.  A lot of families wanted the spelling homework/words available so they could start studying over the weekend.  Packets now go home on Friday and are due the following Friday.  Some of my kids also work towards their reading minutes on the weekend too. Most of my kids LOVE reading so it's not uncommon to see reading log minutes in excess of one hundred or two hundred minutes. :) 

The next two pages have to do with their spelling homework.  I'm not in love with our spelling program but it comes with our basal and we are required to use it.  The kiddos earn ten points from my monthly spelling contracts each week and also complete a word sort page with their spelling words. 

The last two pages are response questions for their at home reading that week. 

My students choose four questions each week, they can't repeat questions, to answer on the recording page each week.   It's a great way to get even more practice responding to the texts they read!

I look over the homework on Friday afternoons before I head home.  It's worked out great because we don't loose any additional class checking homework together each day and the additional practice at home with our spelling words and reading have really benefited my students.  

If you are interested in the reading response sheet that I used with my students, I have added it to my Reading Response Questions for Practically any book freebie. 

I just gave the entire file a facelift! I originally blogged about how I use this resource {here}.  To download, just click on the image above or {here}

My partner teacher teaching math and gives some type of math homework nightly, Monday-Thursday.  We both try to not give our students homework over the weekends.  They really appreciate the break! :)

Happy weekend, friends! I'm off to cuddle with my puppies. It's so cold here in Ohio! 


  1. Thank you for this informational post! Our homework routine is very similar! How do you motivate your students to turn in their homework? I have several students who rarely make an effort to turn it in and their parents do not seem to worry.

  2. I really like the response questions. We will be using them. Thanks it looks great.
    Fourth and Goal in Fourth Grade

  3. love this!! Thank you! I am already thinking about how to use this with my kids!

  4. I love this idea! I couldn't stand daily homework either, so I started doing weekly packets. I teach all subjects in my 4th grade class, but this is a good way to incorporate literacy :) Thanks!

    A Little of LiLi

  5. How do families respond to that much homework? I assign homework Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, but it's optional. I struggle with homework because A) I see the importance of reinforcing concepts at home and the fact that homework will become a required skill in later grades so it is good to ease into it and B) the fact that families have so much going on in the evenings already and do I really want kids spending more time with school work in the evenings, a break is important. So, I guess I'm just curious if it gets done consistently by all families. Thanks!

  6. I think weekly homework is the way to go! Families are so busy.

    The Math Maniac

  7. I go back and forth between daily vs. weekly homework. As a parent I love the packets, but there are times as a teacher that I don't get to everything and worry about assigning things that I haven't covered. I also have many kids/families that don't put an emphasis on homework so I've started a monthly homework club where students who completed all of their homework during the month stay in at recess with me for a movie and treat. I'm hoping will help.

    Success in Second Grade
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