At Williamsburg Northside, homework assignments help students to develop study routines and nurture a sense of responsibility in their own learning. They also allow parents a window into the topics and skills addressed during the school day.
These assignments are carefully planned to serve a variety of functions. Some assignments reinforce in-school lessons by asking students to use a recently taught skill or recall information. Others extend learning by exploring a new facet of a familiar topic or asking students to apply what they have learned in a novel way. Still others preview topics that haven’t been introduced yet, asking students to brainstorm what they already know and building interest in a new project.
In Kindergarten, First Grade and at the beginning of Second Grade, students are not assigned formal homework but may be asked to keep a log of nightly reading, or bring in artifacts that relate to project work.
Halfway through Second Grade, students will begin to receive regular assignments in the form a weekly packet that always includes reading and math work, and may include writing, word study, games or logic problems. Our students tend to be very excited to start receiving homework! Parents receive ample information about expectations beforehand, as well as a chance to meet with teachers and administrators to discuss any lingering questions.
In Grade 3, students begin the year with a weekly packet, and move to daily homework following the April break. They learn to use a planner beginning in January, recording their assignments and planning when they will do their homework ahead of time. Parents check this planner regularly to maintain a home-school connection. On this grade level, work will include reading and math each time, plus a rotating selection including vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, editing and test-taking skills.
In Grades 4 and 5, homework is given Monday through Thursday and is due back the following day. No homework is assigned over the weekends or vacations, with the exception of long-term projects. Students use a planner with growing independence to keep track of their assignments. Assignments continue to include regular literacy and math work, and science and Spanish homework are included each week.
If a student needs additional support, homework may be used to provide extended practice, but will be tailored carefully to those needs in collaboration with support staff and that child’s family. At any age or learning level, our aim is always for homework to be of value to the child and families alike.