Homework: The Great Debate

As I'm sure you've all seen, homework has been in the news. The teacher from Texas sent a letter home to her parents, someone posted it, and it went viral.  There has been more publicity with homework because of this, but I have struggled with it for a while. As the RtI coordinator in our building, had a teacher refer a student for academic difficulties, but blamed the issue entirely on incomplete homework. Really? Should homework hold that much power?
Homework is a hot topic.  Here are two options that allow for independent practice AND student choice.  It's just one idea for homework.


Repurposing OLD Literacy Materials

If you are a new teacher, you might walk into your new classroom and find the closets and cabinets full of literacy curriculum materials from the last twenty years (literally).  And if you are an experienced teacher, you might be the one filling those closets!  Or maybe you just inherited some piles when moving classrooms.  Either way, we all know the sight of the hallway just full of books and workbooks lined up next to the doors waiting to be picked up by the janitorial staff.
Have you inherited a mess of old curriculum materials and workbooks?  Here are some useful ways to repurpose old basals, workbooks, and readers in your literacy classroom.
Have you ever thought about how you could repurpose SOME (not all!) of these materials?  Here are a few suggestions.  


Let Me Finish!

At about 4 years old, my daughter started to ask me if we were in a book.  What an interesting question.  At almost 8 years old, she continues to get lost in books, is constantly connecting personal experiences to events in books, and must be reminded often to close the book and brush her teeth!  This love for books is something that we wish for all of our students.

At Nerd Camp this year I met Minh Lê, the author of Let Me Finish.  I realized this book was written for my daughter and all of the other children that we want to get "sucked" into books. This is Minh Lê's breakout book and my, oh, my...there is a lot that we (as teachers) can do with it!