homework chalkboard

Folders & Assignments

You probably will hear the term “backpack or backpacking” often at Lower Lab School. It simply means that information or correspondence will be placed in the students backpack to be relayed to and from school. After every school day, parents/guardians are advised to check the student’s backpack for any notes from the teacher or parents, assignments, or necessary school information. Students will have a pocket folder—for corresponding back and forth with the teacher and for bringing and returning homework assignments. This folder is checked every morning by the teachers and should be opened every evening at home.

NOTE: All materials intended for mass distribution (class or school wide) must be approved and initialed by the school principal or parent coordinator.

Monies

Any monies (for field trips, book purchases, ticket purchases, etc.) should be sent to the school via backpack in a sealed envelope clearly marked with the child’s name, class and intended recipient(s)—teacher, PTA, class parents, etc.

Homework Policy & Philosophy

Teachers at the Lower Lab School assign homework to students to both reinforce units of study and to deepen the level of understanding of classroom lessons.  Homework promotes student responsibility, helps to foster independence and helps students to budget their time and organize their work.  Regular and timely feedback is provided by teachers on homework.

The amount of homework that is given increases in direct proportion to Lab students’ academic level.  In the early grades, homework is kept at a minimum.  Kindergarten and first grade students receive homework to help them to develop confidence as readers and to reinforce strong reading habits.  In the older grades, homework is given with the expectation that more time will be spent nightly on short-term assignments.  Long-term assignments are introduced and even some weekend assignments are given.

Homework – Time Guidelines

These guidelines are important for there to be shared understanding between the students, parents, teachers and administration for what is expected of the Lab student.  If your child is taking considerably more or less time than the suggested guidelines it is important to have a frank and immediate discussion with your child’s teachers so that the situation can be modified appropriately.

Kindergarten

Nightly    A maximum of 10-15 minutes, including reading
Weekends    Reading is encouraged over the weekend
* Nightly homework begins in January for Kindergarten students

1st grade

Nightly    A maximum of 30 minutes including reading
Weekends    Reading is encouraged over the weekend

2nd grade

Nightly    A maximum of 45 minutes including reading
Weekends    Reading is encouraged over the weekend

 3rd grade

Nightly    Approximately 60 minutes including reading
Weekend    Reading is encouraged over the weekend

Long Term Assignments: Beginning in the spring, the students are expected to incorporate individual Science Fair Projects as part of nightly homework.  Due dates are provided in order to pace each student through this process. Daily assignments will be adjusted to accommodate for long term projects such as Science Fair or Social Studies projects.

4th grade

Nightly    Approximately 75 minutes
Long Term Assignments:  Examples of long term projects include Science Fair Projects, Social Studies Projects and Reading Responses. Daily assignments will be adjusted to accommodate for long term projects.

Note:  The suggested time for practicing instruments is 50 minutes per week

5th grade

Nightly    Approximately 90 minutes
Long Term Assignments: Examples of long term projects include Science Fair Projects and Reading Responses. Daily assignments will be adjusted to accommodate for long term projects.

Note:  The suggested time for practicing instruments is 50 minutes per week

How can families make the homework experience successful for their children

  • Provide a regular working space such as a desk or table. A quiet environment without T.V. and other distractions is suggested.
  • Provide necessary materials: paper, pen or pencils, library or resource books, markers, scissors and art materials.
  • Establish a schedule or routine for working on homework assignments such as before dinner, after a snack, etc.
  • Arrange an appropriate schedule of extra curricular activities so that your child has time to complete assignments without undue pressure or stress.
  • Have discussions, take trips to museum, parks and go to the library to enrich concepts discussed in class.
  • Assist your child with the memorization of facts and rote learning such as math facts and spelling words.
  • Assist with projects by helping your child locate resources. Children in grades one and two may need help reading difficult material. Please keep in mind that all projects should be your child’s work. You may wish to help your child practice oral presentations.
  • Most short term assignments are given to reinforce and review classwork. Your child should work independently on these types of assignments. It does not benefit the child’s learning process if the work is done for them.
  • Parents of first and second graders might help their child think about how to arrive at answers, but parents should not give their child the answer. Parents might give minor help and at the same time keep abreast of what is being taught in the classroom.
  • Homework should only represent your child’s effort and it helps a teacher know what areas to work on individually.
  • Parents are encouraged to read with their child nightly. Even older children like to listen to stories read aloud. The sharing of literature should be a joyful interaction between you and your child.

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