Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homework Problem: missing materials & getting started in class

Do you have students who have trouble getting started in class? I have done my own version of laminating a list, but my list has been the first 5 and last 5 things students do the classroom. These work well with RSP students or students who seem to struggle getting started in class. It's amazing how a student is able to keep up with the class just after a few weeks of following the list. Hope it helps! 

Here is a sample of what my lsit looks like:
1. Get out agenda/planner
2. write down homework
3.  get out the opening activity (Do Now, Sponge)
4. answer the opening activity
5. get out your homework

Missing materials is another common problems brought up by parents with kids who are struggling in the classroom. I like the ideas Stowell Learning Center lists here for students in the classroom:

Homework Problem: 
Missing Materials


It happens far too often.  Math book, spelling words, science notebook, reading folder, vocabulary worksheet; at least one of these necessary things fail to make it home after school with your child so that homework can be completed.


It can be soooooooo frustrating!  You sit down to help with homework only to find the book, the paper, the chart, or some other vitally key element is not even there...it's still at school.  Grrrrrrrr!


And then the scrambling starts.  Do we race back to school on the chance that the teacher is still in her classroom?  Do we call a friend?  Or should I just send my child to school tomorrow knowing that he'll get another incomplete homework assignment?


Homework Solution:
"Binder Reminder" 
Most teachers are more than happy to help with this solution as long as you make it easy for them.
Here's what to do:  Make a list of any and all of the materials your child may need to take home from school and write them on an index card. 

Next, laminate the card or wrap it in clear packing tape.  Then, ask your child's teacher to attach the card to the upper corner of your child's desk and help to implement a simple routine.
When homework is assigned throughout the day, ask the teacher to use a dry erase marker to circle the item your child will need for that assignment.  When it is time to pack up at the end of the day, your child should erase the circles for each item ONLY after he places it in his backpack.
This will not only help your child to develop independence, but save you from any more after school scavenger hunts!

Set the Stage for Success
WHERE will your student do his homework?

There can be many places in the house that work for doing homework.  Making the decision NOW as to where the homework place is will help when school starts.  Take some time to evaluate different locations in your home.

Specifically, you are looking for a place that is: 
  • Comfortable for reading and writing
  • Well-lit
  • Quiet
  • Free from distractions
  • Clear of clutter
  • Stocked with all of the materials needed
Having a clear work space with all necessary materials at hand, such as pencils, ruler, and lined paper reduces the need to get up and waste time or get distracted looking for materials.

Work together with your child.  The more your child is involved in the process, the more he "owns" it.  Stocking his own desk with his homework materials can be fun and motivating.

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