Thursday, September 25, 2014

Painless Spelling Homework for all

Hi everyone! It's Gina from Third Grade Tidbits Teaching With a Touch of Pixie Dust. Yep... I got a new grade and so I decided to go with a less grade specific blog name. And with it came a new design that you MUST see... but AFTER you finish up here at our grapevine!

Today I want to share with you how we do spelling homework in our class. Spelling is one of those things that we don't have a ton of time for every day but I still want students working with the words. On Mondays we take a pretest and receive differentiated lists (I will blog about this another time. It is absolutely amazing!). Then we learn the skill/spelling pattern. Tues and Wednesday we do a sort or some other activity with the words, but only for about 10 min each (which is why it takes two days). Thursdays we play a review game and then Friday we do a post test. It doesn't leave much time to practice.

Of course I want the kids doing spelling homework. But 3x each, sentences, blah blah is so boring. And the kids get sick of it. I wanted to spice it up a little... as much as you can spice up some spelling homework. So with that, here is what we do...

Mondays, when students get their lists, they glue them into their spelling notebooks on the next blank page.

They use Lisa's Spelling Contracts for homework. (They keep a copy in their homework folder for the whole month.) First of all- they LOVE this. My kids have to do 20 points by Friday.

Here is an example of one assignment one student did...
My students have a few favorites and one of them is this one above. Another is to test their parent/grandparent etc and grade the paper. PLENTY of fun spelling practice each week. And the best part is if they WANT to, they can do the same activities each week or change it up. Completely up to them!

All of their homework gets put in their notebook. Unless it is something that has to be typed or drawn on another sheet. They just staple those in there. Some things require parent signature. For this I told my class to just write the title of the assignment and have their parents sign it.

On Friday they turn their spelling notebooks into the basket below.

I gather up the basket and throughout the day check homework. Some weeks, I just check for completion. Woohoo, you did it all 20/20 points. Some weeks, I check for accuracy. I know it sounds crazy that I am not checking accuracy every week. But just being real- time is of the essence. And this keeps them on their toes. They never know what weeks I am looking for accuracy. (I never told them that I am NOT looking for it... but just in case they figure it out.)

Anyways... so I open their books, check their homework. Stick a little stamp and a score on it. And wah-lah. ONE time collecting homework for spelling. ONE time grading it. ONE time passing out the sheet (unless someone loses it) for the month. And the kids LOVE their spelling homework (as much as a 4th grader can love some homework).

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