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Having a instructional calendar as the cover page of each homework packet made it so EASY for me to give directions and even provide an extra (non-worksheet) activity for the parents and students to complete together.
Communication with parents is ESSENTIAL to keep homework organized between school and home and home and school.
At the beginning of the year, I send a note home (in the Homework Folder) explaining how homework will be managed at home and school.
When I assigned my students numbers, I simply wrote their number on the top right corner of their folder.
This made it easier to put in number order as I check and returned their folder. Add the student labels once you have your class list. If there is a label on it, there is no question about where something belongs.
Even better, you can check homework quickly because it is always in the same pocket (more on that later)! I usually start with the same Homework Helpers every year…Alphabet Chart, Sight Words, Reading Tools, Phonics, and Reading Log. This is a great way to keep resources available to the parents before they ask for them.
I place a strip of packaging tape over these labels, as well. For example, if you have worked with a 100’s chart and there are skills reinforcing this skill in their homework, you can have the add a 100’s chart to their Homework Helper pocket!I made to sure to give my parents a few tips to help them visualize how homework can be done in their home.I shared some of these in my 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Homework post, but I want to mention them again here.Having an instructional calendar on the front also makes the homework seem less daunting and more official, since it looks so put together…gotta love that!I sent homework home on Monday and wanted it returned on Friday, that meant 4 activities each week for my students…definitely doable!These were the areas that my students always needed a little extra help in, so it worked out perfectly.Like I stated in my 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Homework post, I assigned skills that I had already taught.In order for homework to be organized, you have to have an organizer.I used a folder because it fit easily inside my students’ binders that returned to and from school every week.This made it easier for me to focus on what skills I wanted them to practice home.My activities primarily included, phonics, sight words, writing, and math.