First Grade Homework for the Year!


Homework in first grade... here are my thoughts...

I like homework as additional practice and as a responsibility I think my students should learn to have at a young age. As they get older they will certainly have more demanding homework and the idea of homework is nothing new, so I want them to understand that homework is part of the school process and that learning doesn't end at 3:30 when they walk out of my classroom.

That being said... sometimes homework is WAY TOO DEMANDING for little firsties and I really feel like student ability, parent involvement, and after-school activities need to be taken into account as well. I never want my homework to be too time-consuming or too difficult and that can be really hard to manage with a class of 25ish students. So after 5 years of experimentation I finally found my system that works for me and I thought I would share it with you!

After 5 years in the classroom I finally settled on a homework packet that I would send out each week on Monday that is returned on Friday. It made it simple for me to prep, copy, staple, and send along. However, each week I would look at our skills we were learning or reviewing, scour through tons of old workbooks, search online for the *best* pages, make my copies, and finally send them on their way. It was WAY TOO TIME CONSUMING! I also knew that having all my students completing the same homework was a disservice to the ones who may not need practice with that skill and the students who may be working below that current standard.

In this digital age I thought there must be a quicker way to find the pages I needed for my homework packet. So I created my own system and my own pages that work for my needs. I know everyone does homework differently and many have differing beliefs on homework in first grade in general but I thought I would share my own system because, well, it is what has worked best for my classroom and may be beneficial for others!

First, I always like to send home newsletters each week to my students' parents! I keep them pretty simple and let them in on what we are learning in the classroom. Some parent read it with their child, others read it by themselves, others don't read it at all. Either way, I like to send em home! It helps me stay organized and can be a great reminder tool for my parents when we have open houses, parent-teacher conferences, and field trips.


I have one template per month and then change the date and wording each week!

Behind the weekly newsletter I send home different homework pages based on all sorts of factors. I like having options!!!! I made at least one page for each topic I teach throughout the year. I have never been a fan of longgggg homework that is too overwhelming and I think students just need *quick* reinforcing practice each night so that played a big role in the way I set up my homework. You can see a little more about the homework pages below.




Again, I like having options and I know most teachers do too! So based on the skills I'm teaching that week, a student's ability level, parent involvement, I will send home what I believe to be a reasonable HW packet for the week. You can do the same for your students!



^^ Again, it's all up to YOU!^^
Maybe you don't send home homework because in your community it doesn't get sent back. Well, these quick check-ins can easily be made into morning work that only takes minutes to complete while students practice their skills.

If you think this type of homework might be for you or you want to try and switch it up this year, go ahead and take a closer look at some of the pages in my unit by clicking the unit below and downloading the preview!



Let me know what you think!

Here are some closeups of a few pages (more to be seen in the preview!):






End of Year - One Little Word


Hi Blog Hoppers! This is Mel from From the Pond. 

I am in Australia and not currently celebrating the end of the school year, but I am about half way there and will soon be on winter break. The school year certainly does fly by and is filled with so many wonderful and special memories. 

I headed back to the classroom 5 days a week this year, after several years of part-time teaching. I can say with complete confidence that there is nothing quite as special as having your own class. To say I am enjoying my time with my class is a serious understatement.

I made a fun little activity for you to help celebrate the end of the school year!

The printable is in my TpT store and can be adapted to any class as the students have to write in their grade. It is similar to the one I did for New Years

Students can think of just one word that defines their time in class this year.

Brainstorm some examples and talk about how one word can encompass memories and feelings. 

Students can use the letters on this page and the bonus letters page to create their word. Copy some in bright colours for a different effect. I pasted mine to bright paper for a nice background.




Have a wonderful day and if you are about to embark on summer vacation - enjoy!

- Mel x


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Hey guys!

It’s Krista Wallden from Creative Clips Clipart! I’m so excited to be sharing about an amazing product called the HUE Animation Studio!


Now let me start off by saying this is not a paid review or anything even close to the sort! In fact, I was the one who reached out to HUE Animation because I was so excited about their product. The creative possibilities are endless!!

I first heard about HUE Animation at the French Lick Blogger Meet Up. *Side note- if you have not heard about the French Blogger Meet Up that the amazing Holley Ehle organizes each year- you have to check it out! Here is a recap about this year’s awesome festivities and networking! Mark your calendars for next year!

HUE Animation is a fun and easy way to integrate technology into your classroom and give your students a lot of creative freedom- while STILL sticking to those challenging standards! The kit allows you to create videos with stop motion animation. You can add text, sound effects and so much more to your videos as you get more fancy with your skills! I started out with the basics!

First off, I am NOT a “gifted technology” person. I make lots of clipart, but my technology smarts stop there. So when I tell you how easy and clear the directions are for creating with the HUE Animation Studio, I mean it!

Here’s what you get with the HUE stop motion animation kit: HUE HD Camera, the HUE Book of Animation and HUE Animation Software. 




Things I absolutely love about it:
- The camera is very compact and easy to set up. Not to mention it is lightweight to throw into a tote bag if I wanted to take it with me to Starbucks and set up a little animation studio there!
- The HUE Book of Animation is bright, engaging and perfect for beginners! It provides step-by-step instructions for installing the software, setting up the camera and getting inspired for different types of projects. It is also written at a level that kiddos could read and follow, too.
- I have a short attention span and no joke- I had the camera set up and was playing around in about 20 minutes of opening the box!

I couldn't wait to create my very first video and I decided to start with something I know well- Clipart! I started by picking out some images to print that I wanted to showcase in my video. Summer is on my mind, so I ended up with these (free) Rainbow Fish and a few favorites from my Ocean Animals set.


With the software, it makes it easy to see your video evolve as you make it! I created the short film below by taking a series of pictures and moving the clipart slightly across the camera area each time. I think it’s pretty good for a first try and definitely shows how easy it is to get started with the HUE Animation Studio!

Check out my little video {HERE}! HUE also makes it super easy to upload your finished videos to YouTube, save as movies or upload them to their Creatubbles database.

You can add sound effects, text, music etc. to the videos too! I wish I had this technology in my classroom when I taught second and third grade!

Here are just a few ways that this camera could be integrated into other lessons/content:

- Have students create a video with the steps of solving a math problem. Students can demonstrate it in multiple ways by using manipulatives, drawings, etc. and capture it all on camera! They can use the voice capture option to explain their thought process
- Students can create an informative video to summarize their research on animals, places, etc. They can include real photographs in their video as well as drawings, writing pieces and artifacts.
- Have students identify the problem and solution in a story and have them recreate the scene in the story where the problem is resolved.
- Students can show character development by creating a video explaining how a character changes in the beginning, middle and end of a book using pictures, words and page captures from the book.

If you want to check out even more of the HUE product line, click {HERE} to zip over to their website! I can't wait to explore even more with the HUE Animation Studio! Stay tuned for more Creative Clips Videos!!

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