You can download some sample pages from one of these books here. I plan my math homework based on what the children seem to need to practice the most.
This week, my students needed to work on number formation and writing the numbers from memory, so I gave them a worksheet that would give them an opportunity to practice that. As you can see, each night also has a few instructions for the parents on how to help their child do the assignment. A few weeks ago, I sent home some xeroxed shapes in different sizes and colors and asked parents to help their children practice sorting.
The card tells the name of the book and the copy number of the book. When the children check out their books, they are asked to write their names on the index card.
Then I keep the index cards in a little file box and clip them together by color group.
I give them Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) boards to have their children read, and change them out each month.
I think this really helps some children learn to sound out words more easily because of the continued practice, and it goes very quickly once they get good at it. I do guided reading with my class, and we check out books for them to take home.(We usually lose about two per year out of 25-28 kids due to damage or loss.) If a child loses one, he or she then gets a zip lock bag for the rest of the year instead of a nice bag with a handle.When the books come back, I cross out the name and put it back into the correct book, making sure that the child’s index card number matches the copy number on the book, because every now and then the kids get their books switched.So it’s one of the best time investments that I could possibly make, in my opinion. There are large flash cards to use in class, and small ones that fit on a single sheet that I can send home with just one click on my xerox machine.I send home these small flash cards for the kids to cut apart and practice matching up at the beginning of each word family unit.On Tuesdays, I usually assign a sentence or two for the children to write.Ideally, it should be very close to what we are going to write about in class on Wednesday during guided writing, because this will make my job just that much easier the next day.So when I make my homework, I think about my lesson plans, or visa versa.I ask the parents to help their child write a sentence, such as I did in the Tuesday box above.If a book doesn’t come back, then I call or ask parents at dismissal time immediately for the book.The child cannot get any new ones until the previous one is paid for.