Monday, August 2, 2010

Homework Support 1

Homework is one aspect of after-school programming that is of interest to almost all stakeholders. Kids, teachers and parents all would like to have homework completed on time. For the next three days, this blog is going to look at some things that you can do to run a successful homework support class.

In order to help young people with homework, you must know what all of the the homework assignments are. To ensure that you are in the know, consider one of the following three options:
1. Talk with the principal, grade level teacher-leaders, or each of the teachers, and ask them to give you a packet of homework or a list of homework assignments for the week. Let them know that you are eager to support the completion of homework by each student. If the teacher assigns homework based on incomplete work, ask if they can share that information with you daily via a note or email.
2. Designate one student from each classroom to write the assignments for his/her classroom or class, under the teacher’s name so everyone will know exactly what the assignments are. If kids have a packet, determine how many pages must be done each day and include those pages on the list.
3. If students have a planner or an agenda, check them each day. Set up a buddy system so kids can check one another’s planner—both at the beginning of the homework period as well as a few minutes prior to the ending of the homework session.
Paying attention to ensure that you know exactly what homework has been assigned is a great first step toward getting more homework assignments completed correctly and on time.

Not So Usual Celebration…

August 2nd is Sister’s Day. If you have a sister then you know why this is such an important day. Sister’s can be your very best friend, a champion in your corner, and someone who will bail you out when you are in over your head. Of course, a sister is also someone who can personally be angry or aggravated with you (to the exclusion of everyone else) and will take your favorite blouse exactly when they know you want to wear it. There are quite a few famous sisters—Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica and Ashley Simpson, Beyonce and Solange Knowles, Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears, Haylie and Hilary Duff, and of course Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian. These sisters have a great deal in common, but can also see the world as totally different places—probably in exactly the same way as some not so famous pairs.

Activities for Kids…

Have kids brainstorm a list of “famous” sister pairs to add to the list above. Be sure that you have at least one sister for each of the students in your class. For example, if you have 21 kids, you could have the Kardashians + 9 other pairs of sisters. Write them name of each sister on a 5” x 8” card. Sight unseen, have each student come up and get a name of a sister on their back. When time is called, member of the class begins looking for the matching sister. They can walk around and ask questions (with the exception of who am I) until they know which sister they are, and then the student should look for the matching sister. When all have found their partners, have them share the clues they gave to discover the identity of the name on the back.

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