Homework! A much debated topic among teachers and children. How much homework do you give?

Here’s my homework strategy:

Maths: Last year, I used Mental Maths for homework.It is an excellent book but I think it is better suited to the classroom. I now give the children ten minutes to do Mental Maths in the morning. Instead, I give homework based on whatever topic we are learning about in school. I know some teachers give both, but I don’t. So for example, this week we are doing lines and angles in maths. On Monday, I gave the children a worksheet with the following questions:

- Draw a parallel, perpendicular, oblique, vertical and horizontal line.
- Draw an acute, obtuse, right, straight and reflex angles.
- Draw an angle of 80, 160, 75, 340 degrees.
- What is the missing angle in this triangle if two of the angles are 65, and 43 degrees respectively?

I also use the maths enrichment book which comes with the ‘Cracking Maths’ scheme, or just questions from their Cracking Maths text book.

English: English varies. I give a cloze procedure once a week. I use the Prim Ed cloze procedure disc and print them off that. They are challenging and the children really dislike doing them but I think one a week is really good practice for them! I also give writing.We have been doing recount writing for the last while, so their homework has been to edit, draft or write a recount.

Spellings: I was giving ten spellings a night and ten sentences based on the spellings, but I have recently lowered it to six spellings a night and six sentences. I may put it up again, not quite sure at the moment.

Gaeilge: I give a page of Irish reading a night, and an activity based on the reading two nights. The others days I usually give verb work, such as writing sentences using new verbs, or new vocabulary.

SESE: I don’t always give SESE homework. When we do projects (every second week) their homework is to research the project area, so last week it was France.

I do differentiate homework for some of my pupils, and they have a different system again.

Regarding copies, the class have two homework copies. So when I am correcting one set, they have the other. It works well for me and ensures I can keep up to date with corrections. If the homework is of a very high standard, I give a sticker. If a child reaches 20 stickers, he or she gets a homework pass.

That’s it! Not a lot but enough to let me see if they are keeping up with the teaching and learning in the classroom.