One of the best homework activities is to encourage the children to read to themselves or to a family member each day. The children should be encouraged to read both their own reading book from school and other materials that they find of interest such as computer games manuals or comics about superheroes so that they are experiencing a wide range of texts. Provide each child with a reaching journal so that they can keep a record of times when they have read at home, the duration and any comments. This journal can also act as a dialogue with parents as you can set each child a reading target to complete which can then be monitored and assessed by the child's parents who can record feedback. Use a chart displayed in the classroom to keep a record of how much reading children are completing at home during one week. You can reward children who have exceeded the reading target selected for the class by giving them house or team points.
The children can also use homework time to practise all of the times tables facts until they can recite and recall the facts fluently. You can select a weekly times tables for the class to learn at home. Encourage the children to ask their parents and siblings to test them on the selected table by asking them random questions to see how quickly then can recall the products. The children could also try creating their own raps and songs to help remember the facts from each of the times tables. Allocate some time at the end of each week to hold a quick quiz to test how well the class have learnt the facts for the times table that has been selected.
|Maths and English
You can set a short piece of Maths and English work for the children to complete at home each week. These tasks should arise naturally from the lessons that the children have been covering in the week. The activities will help the children demonstrate their understanding of different skills and concepts. The children should be able to complete each task independently without the support of their parents. Make sure that you allocate classroom time to not only introduce the homework task but to check with the class that it has been completed correctly. You can get the children to swap their completed homework for a partner to check and correct which will cut down on any marking time. Ensure that you review the completed homework so that you can build in activities in forthcoming lessons to target errors and develop understanding.
You cam also set some pieces of homework which will prepare the children for any forthcoming lessons. The children can gather materials and artefacts that can then be used in specific lessons. For example, the children can collect a range of waterproof materials that can then be tested in a science lesson or they could search for some objects around their family home that might help to indicate how people lived in the past as preparation for a history lesson. They can also investigate concepts and ideas about topics prior to a lesson so that they become familiar with any technical vocabulary before working in the school. For example, the children could make a scrapbook listing different types of flowers, plants and trees found in their garden or local park which can then be used an an introduction to a lesson about living things.
Some activities you can select for a homework task will need parental support to complete. These activities can demonstrate to the child's parents some of the curriculum topics that their child is covering in school. It helps the parent to feel that they are supporting their child actively in their education. For example, you could challenge the children to wok with their parents or siblings to make a model of a tower using limited resources such as one sheet of newspaper, a garden cane and 30 cm of string or the parents could work with their child to make some cup cakes and biscuits which could then be sold at a school fayre.