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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Currently, Diabetes, and Turning in Homework

Happy October! I can't believe it's already October! New month means new Currently from Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade!   So here ya go...

One of my favorite treats is a delicious caramel apple.  I love caramel with almost anything but something about caramel and apples just make my taste buds dance!  I also LOVE caramel apple lollipops and here in San Antonio I can only find them at Target and only during the Halloween season. If you haven't tried one you must! 
One of my favorite fall books (which was new to me this year) is The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg.  Here is South Texas we don't really have 4 seasons... well, we do according to the calendar but not according to the weather or the change of colors in the leaves.  Before Texas I lived in N.J., N.H, and Mass. so as you can imagine I really miss the real fall season.  However, luckily for me, my dear friend Stacey (who works with me) has a cottage in Vermont where she spends her summers.  She also usually goes for a quick trip in October.  This year when she went for her yearly October visit she brought me and my class a bunch of beautifully colored maple leaves. What made the leaves even more special is that Stacey came to our class and read us a story by her favorite author, Chris Van Allsburg called The Stranger.   Stacey first shared some fabulous pictures of the incredible foliage that surrounds her cottage and the lake where the cottage sits. Then she told us that she had a story to share with us.  She turned her book upside down and zillions and zillions of leaves fell out on to the floor.  Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but the book showered fall leaves. My classroom was full of oooohs and aaaaahs.  Stacey read the story and pointed out clues that would help us guess who "the stranger" was.   We were all so into the story and absolutely hypnotized  by the illustrations.   After the story the students were told to pull out their Reading Notebooks and write down who they thought the stranger was and some of the clues that made them make that guess.  Then Stacey gave them their very own Vermont Maple leaf to tape under their writing.  You would have thought she was passing out $100 bills. Some of the students didn't want to tape down their leaves but instead put them in a baggie to take home and share with their families.    I am so sad that I didn't take pictures to share with you but it's something I will never forget.  I plan on doing this same activity with my students every year.... which means I'll be asking my dear friend Stacey to pick me up a leaf or two on her annual trips :)

Now that I share with you that I love caramel apples and caramel apple lollipops I will share with you that I SHOULDN'T be eating them. You see I have type 2 diabetes.   In early November, I will be participating in the Diabetes Walk here in San Antonio.  If you live close to SA I would love you to join me.  If not, you can still show support by making a small donation under my name to the American Diabetes Association by clicking HERE.  Thanks in advance for your support!

I'm curious about homework...  How much do you assign each night? Do you grade it and put it in your grade book? How do you collect it and check it?  I use this pocket chart to collect my homework. It is part of my morning routine for the students come in the classroom, unpack, turn in  homework, etc.  I numbered the pockets with numbers but you can easily label them with the students names.   I can see who didn't turn in their homework with just  a glance.  I only use this for homework and other items that are to be turned in from home.   The students turn in their daily classroom work in a basket. Comment below and share how you deal with homework.

Have a frogilicious week!


  1. I am visiting from Farley's blog! I love caramel apple lollipops too! I actually forgot about them. I love Candy Corn the best!!! Yumm!
    I have Type 1 diabetes and have for 6 years! Thanks for participating in the walk. I haven't done that yet. :( I'm lazy!

    Kindergarten Korner

  2. For homework my students get it out as they come into class. Then when they are working on morning work I check it off. Then they correct their homework with me, stamp it, highlight their name, all before they turn it in to the in box. I look at it and write necessary comments.

    1. Oh, the kids usually have a math assignment, spelling, and reading homework each night. They have to practice their math facts, work on ixl, and have a reading log entry that they work on throughout the week. It's supposed to be an hour per night for 4th graders in our district.

  3. Our fourth grade team puts together a homework packet each week covering concepts from each subject. They have their spelling words, a writing assignment, a math page, a reading passage or two, and for the next 3 to 4 weeks they will also have their science fair project that will have deadlines for certain parts each week. The packets are due on each Friday...we check over them and at the end of the six weeks if they have completed them all we replace the lowest minor grade with a one hundred.

  4. I seriously need to start getting into this Currently business! Now to find the time...

    I despise homework. I've worked in a lot of Title I schools where it simply doesn't get done. There is no way I could expect it. However, I DO expect students to read at least five days per week. Lower grades should be reading 15 minutes and the upper grades 20. Now - don't get me wrong - I do send homework home from time to time. I guess my current theory in 6th grade is that you will have no/minimal homework if you use your class time wisely. If you mess around, take it home. :)

  5. Oh my goodness! Caramel apple lollipops!! YUM!!

    Love the blog!

    Second Grade Nest>

  6. I love the Currently. Seriously going have to check it out! As far as homework, I don't like to assign too much. Math is about 2 times a week and they read their story at home throughout the week. I have a tall rolling cart with several drawers that they use to turn in their homework. I don't grade it, but I do look at it to see how they're doing. If they turn in homework, they get a chance to play homeworkopoly, which they LOVE! They are still ALL turning in their homework on time!!

  7. I give a spelling/vocabulary packet each week that is the same activities, just different words. So, they have that each night. I also give a math assignment, and either social studies or science (whichever we are studying at the time since we switch off). Plus they need to read 20 minutes and have their parents sign off that they did. I have about 10 parents complaining that it's too much homework and 10 complaining that we should give more homework. Can't make everyone happy!

    For checking, I have a student at each group who checks for completion each morning. We check correctness as a class during that subject. Then, they turn it in and I check it off in my grade book (no score, just complete or not).

    A Place to Thrive

  8. I give spelling tic tac toe weekly and then 2-3 sheets a night. Usually 2- one math one RLA but sometimes it ends up being two RLA. I don't collect homework. I check hw each day and anyone who didn't do it gets their number crossed off on my number chart (to keep track of who gets to play homeworkopoly on Friday). If they have two nights of not doing hw they owe me some recess time. We go over it together most days (sometimes I just choose select questions to go over to save time) and then they take it home. If for some reason we don't go over it, I collect it, but I never grade it. Too many parents do the work for the kids these days.
    Third Grade Tidbits

  9. Wow, that looks like a VERY responsible student!! ;)

  10. I think that's a great idea for self-contained classrooms.

    I'm departmentalized. I do a hmwk packet on Monday and it is due on Friday. This is my 1st year to do this and I ADORE it!! This 6weeks I begin assigning differentiated hmwk. We'll see how that goes. When I collect it on Friday, I go to each table and do a "check list" of who has what. I don't grade my spelling, instead I an incentive program. If their parents signed all 3 of their squares on their choice menu, then they put their name on a slip of paper and put it into Sponge Bob (formerly an Easter Basket) and the name I draw gets a FREE 100 on their spelling test and gets to go to the classroom library and read from my special box of books. You would think they won the lottery! I do this b/c I had a lot of students last year who didn't study for their tests and this way I hold them accountable but it's less paper work for me;)

    This Little Piggy Reads Alll the Way Home

  11. I use that very same pocket chart in my room for my kiddos to turn in their work. I LOVE it. We check homework together, so there is no need for me to collect it anymore. :) Happy Weekend!
    Fourth and Ten
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  12. Yes Lorraine, you are absolutely right. Time is running so fast that we didn't know it is already Christmas. Currently, I am enjoying visiting Teacher's blog and read great posts so I can learn from other teachers too.

  13. I send a homework packet home on Monday. It is due on Friday. Pg. 1 is a Boggle board, #2 & 3 are cursive handwriting lesson, #4 & 5 Guinness Book of World Records Reading passage practice, and the last page is a blank word study page. We fill in the last page together with 10 pattern words and 7 high frequency words. They have to come up with 10 more pattern words.

    With the exception of two students in my homeroom, everyone has been turning it in.

    I give a completion grade.