Sunday, July 6, 2014

Guest Blogger - Sailing Into Second

Hello sweet friends! I'm Aris Rossi from Sailing into Second and I am BEYOND excited to be guest posting for Lana on her adorable blog, For the Love of Teaching, today! I'll be sharing all about our 3rd grade Common Core Homework!

This year, the 3rd grade team at my school decided to implement project based homework instead of the "usual" homework packets. These projects are closely aligned with the new CCSS that we adopted and are currently implementing in our classrooms. Basically, students have weekly opportunities to take part in a variety of different assignments ranging from science experiments, interactive lessons, art, hands-on opportunities, and family field trips! These encompass all subject matters and help create well-rounded lifelong learners. These meaningful assignments foster independent learning and what our parents in 3rd grade LOVE, choice! 

WOW! That sounds like a mouthful! How is this possible?? How is it working in my classroom?? More importantly, what the heck does this all look like?? Let me back up and explain it in further detail. :)

My students only have one CCSS homework assignment due a week (32 total for the year) and each student has an assigned day of the week that doesn't change all year long. For example, if your homework project is due Mondays...it will always be due on a Monday. Students and parents enjoy this flexibility of having a week to work on their project or starting one a little ahead of time if they know they're going to be busy. I mean, our kids are in soccer, club sports, music, religious school, etc. Families are busy, and we totally get that!
Here is an example of what a weekly project looks like:
This particular week students and families had 4 options: a habitat hands-on activity, family field trip option to the CA Science Center, habitat diorama, or an online research project. Students pick the option that BEST works with their schedule/ability and turn in their assignment on their day. Family field trip options are always a popular choice...and I LOVE that! If my students are spending time with their families and learning at the same time, it's a win-win.

The technology component is embedded into each option. If a student only wants to type up a 1 page summary or paragraph, that's fine. If they want to create a video documenting the activity or field trip option, cool deal. But the ever-so-popular choice in my class has been creating and presenting with a PowerPoint. It's pretty adorable. I love how excited they get when they present their PP presentations...and they're getting pretty good at all the transitions and effects. :)

Student PowerPoint example
Student presentation day!

Another student example of a presentation day

There is also a listening and speaking component of our homework. It’s so important that our students learn how to effectively engage in a range of collaborative discussions with their classmates.  In order to do this, our students need to learn how to plan and deliver presentations on various topics. Classroom “Oral Language” gives them the perfect opportunity to succeed at this lifelong skill. Students prepare and give an oral presentation to the class each week and I fill out an evaluation sheet like the one below.
I found that my students are now able to build on others’ ideas, express their own clearly, and become interactive listeners. It makes my heart so happy to see each student grow in this area!
So far, I think our 3rd grade team hit a home run with this homework model. It's really prepared our 3rd graders to become Common Core scholars and more importantly made homework more than just a daily or weekly "chore" with packets or busy work...it's meaningful and rigorous learning! I hope you enjoyed this post on all things common core homework! I'm hoping to get this homework bundle ready for other teachers on TpT by the end of this summer! :)

I hope you stop by my little blog to get to know more about me and my teaching adventures! Click on the blog button below to follow my Facebook and Instagram!
http://adventureswithmrsrossi.blogspot.com/
And if you're looking for some great activities to do with your students, check out my TpT shop for some fun units, centers, and products!

3 comments :

  1. I LOVED reading about this! I'm intrigued and want to bring it up as a talking point for my team! :) In the past I've done something similar, but it was always optional for families. I was scared to make the leap into calling it HW. I'm glad you had success with it!
    Erin

    Short and Sassy Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like your homework project menu! Thanks for sharing this idea. Also, the patriotic shirt turned out fabulously!

    Smiles,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
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