There is just something so new and fresh and exciting about a new year! It's about improving and starting new and making changes. The classroom is no different! Every January, I make changes in my classroom whether it's something big or just some small tweaks!
This year I decided to go big!
Go big or go home, right?!
I've always been a believer of homework. I believe it builds responsibility for our kids.
I have never believed in grading homework or penalizing students for not having or doing their homework.
Then I started reading some recent articles and research about homework. More and more research is supporting not giving our kids homework because there is no benefit! This article from Alfie Kohn has some great points!
So....my new procedure is no more homework!
Instead of daily homework, I am encouraging parents to do 3 things:
1. Ask their child about what we learned at school. I use the Remind app to communicate with parents. Each day I sent out a Remind notification and tell parents one or two things we learned or worked on at school. I then ask the parents to talk to their child about those things!
2. Read with their child daily. And have them listen to their child daily. We send home books weekly so our students have emergent readers they can read. They can also read their library books!
3. Practice sight words.
My principal is supportive of my plan and we're going to monitor data for 2 months to see if there is a noticeable effect in the positive or negative!
My other new procedure is more music!
During writer's workshop I play music from Rock A Bye Baby while the kids are writing. It adds such a relaxing, refreshing atmosphere to my classroom.
So...now we're playing the music anytime we're working! During centers/workstations, writing and anytime we're working independently the music is on!
I started this last week and found that the kids loved it and it made a difference in our focus and made for a much for comfortable work environment!
You can find Rock A Bye Baby on iTunes and Pandora!