FAQ: Homework and Worksheets

I have gotten a bunch of questions lately about my homework system. I have also gotten some questions about what worksheets are in my independent language binders from my fluency station. I basically use the same system for selecting worksheets for home and binders.

Here is my system:

Any worksheets I find that I like – I print. Even if they don’t exactly fit the students I have at the moment, my classroom is always changing and you never know what level your new students will be at. I organize all of my worksheets into binders. I generally organize them by concept and level (ie. easy comprehension, hard comprehension, easy matching (pictures), matching with words).

I highly recommend investing in a heavy duty 3 hole punch (if you school is like mine and doesn’t have any fancy copier capabilities such a hole punching). For some reason – I dread putting worksheets away and I realized it took so long because the holes were uneven from different packets. The industrial 3-hole punch to the rescue! Ahhh… pretty much embarrassing how happy that made me …

When I make homework packets for kids, I make enough for about a month or 2. I look back through my lesson plans or a cheat sheet like this I made:

… and select which worksheets are appropriate. I want homework and independent work to be mastered and doable but not way to easy either. I make copies all the appropriate sheets for each kid and then make a big assembly line of worksheets and choose 2-4 worksheets for a packet and staple them!

Worksheets get stored in file dividers according to student:

Each student has a homework folder:

When they get to school in the morning, the first step in their AM Routine is homework.

They submit their homework to the finished bin and then put a new packet into their folder!

Pros and Cons to the system: It takes a LONG time to set up all the packets but once you are done – you’re done! For my higher students, this system runs itself.

I make a lot of worksheets but no need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to! I also print a lot of worksheets from online. Here are where I get some of these lovely worksheets:

I have found some easy writing/spelling worksheets here:

Math worksheets:
Tracing worksheets:
https://www.handwritingworksheets.com/ (make ones with names of kids)

Matching worksheets: (good for kids with limited writing skills)
I also use news-2-you for homework- it’s an online weekly newspaper that is adapted for children with special needs. There are 2 different levels of difficulty and a TON of supplementary worksheets/ activities. You need a yearly subscription – but you could always ask your principal! I think it’s worth it! https://news2you.n2y.com/. We read the newspaper in class and then I’ll send home worksheets for homework.
For my language binders: I basically follow this same system of recently mastered work except only for language arts worksheets.
Since it is sectioned I usually do one section of wh- question worksheets, one vocabulary (so match word to picture type sheets), one section of grammar rules worksheets (so correcting sentences etc.) and then the other section depends on the students – some of mine still really need to work on handwriting so I sometimes include those types of sheets, I have also done alphabetizing, rhyming, word sorts, and freewrites. Basically anything independent that applies to their language arts IEP goals and/or is a area of their needs based on ABLLS, Fountas & Pinnell Reading Assessment, and Words Their Way Spelling Assessment. Here are a few peeks:
I know what you are going to ask! What about my students that can’t read/write?? What do they have for homework or an independent binder? Stay tuned until tomorrow….

 


16 Comments

  1. I love your blog and all your creative ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Ahhh I love your blog. I was so loving that site news 2 u until I saw price .grrr. Looks awesome!

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  3. I am so happy I found your website. I have been teaching for 3 years, and this is my first year teaching special ed. I am always looking for ideas and resources! Thank you for sharing what you do.

    Sarah

    The Eager Weekend
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  4. Thank you Sarah! That means a lot! Hope your first year in special ed is going well!

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  5. I know! Super pricey – hit up your principal! Mine surprises me sometimes by what he is willing to cover! Worth a shot – you could sell news-2-you as a way to help your classroom work on Common Core Standards!

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  6. You’re welcome Joanna! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  7. Thanks for all this, its not not first year teaching and hopefully won’t be my last, all your ideas and resources are super helpful. Now, if only I could be as organized as you, things would/could be a lot easier:) Thanks again for such as awesome and helpful blog!!

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  8. Thank you so much for reading Claire! I really appreciate the feedback! Have a great week!

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  9. thank you you have lead me to a great ideas that i was searching for .. thank you

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  10. Thanks for reading! Glad the ideas are helpful 🙂

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  11. I love all of the orgnaizing and set up tips you have on your blog! I am truly impressed everytime I read a post! I like how you keep all of your worksheets in binders and how you organize them (holy binders!). I have the issue that I never know whether to keep the worksheet with the unit (i.e. matching and word searches with a Dr. Seuss unit) or categorize them by type (word searches in a word search binder) like you have done. Do you do both or do you just keep them organized by unit/theme in the binders?

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  12. I know – I have a binder problem!! haha. I kind of do both! All of my thematic unit things – I keep separate organized by theme. But other worksheets (that aren’t thematic)- I sort by type (matching, rhyming, sorting, word searches, follow direction, etc.). It’s hard to find anything thematic when you need it if it’s organized by type (I have found!).

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  13. Have you ever tried sending home a week’s worth of homework at one time? I was thinking I would create a packet to send home on Monday with about 5-10 worksheets. Then the student returns it the following Monday. I’m trying to make this an efficient process and it’s my first time with a student who would benefit from having homework.

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  14. Have you ever thought about making bundles of your worksheets available by mail? I don’t know what legalities would be involved….

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