Last week, we posted about some of our favorite planning and assessment materials for the popular EngageNY K-5 math curriculum, A Story of Units. This week, we continue that series by sharing some of our observations and go-to resources for the homework piece of EngageNY.
If you’ve worked with EngageNY much at all, you might just have noticed that the way the curriculum leads students through the conceptual development process is probably not the way your students’ parents and caregivers (and you!) were taught to do math. Right away, teachers assigning the homework component had to become public relations specialists and work to build happy math bridges between home and school.
Two districts created solutions to this early on, and we are so very happy that they have made their resources available online.
Parent Newsletters by Module and Topic.
A team at Lafayette Parish School System in Lafayette, Louisiana created newsletters (choose your grade level and click on the purple “homework support for parents and caregivers” button) for each EngageNY topic. That means they have one for every handful of lessons that explains the learning objectives, vocabulary, models, and concepts for the coming days. We love that they have included illustrations and step-by-step instructions whenever possible to show how some of the models or processes work!
Video Explanations and Homework Pages.
On the other side of the U.S., the Oakdale Joint Unified School District in Oakdale, California has created videos (again, choose your grade level and click on the purple “homework support for parents and caregivers” button) showing how to complete the homework for each lesson! Their collection also includes a completed activity (usually the problem set) and blank homework pages to download in English and Spanish.
Keep in mind, there are other creative ways to address the homework issue! Here are a couple ideas and strategies you might want to consider as well:
Use the Problem Set as a Guide.
If you are unsure about parents (or students) having access to all the completed homework pages, consider having students attach that day’s completed problem set to their blank homework page, so that they have something to reference when they get home. You could also create a finished problem set yourself if you need to provide a model for neatness or showing work.
Keep it at School.
Depending on the lesson, you can usually use the problem set during instruction as guided practice during the lesson, and then have students complete the homework as their independent practice in class. If you do send home math homework, consider giving review work or fact fluency practice from other non-EngageNY sources.
How have you handled the homework aspect of EngageNY? Feel free to leave a comment so others can benefit from your experience!