How Much Homework? Using “Take & Play” to Connect Literature and Math in the Early Grades
What’s the most recent and common question from parents & teachers of K-2 age students that I get when giving my Teaching Math using Children’s Literature workshops? Believe it or not it is, “How much math & reading homework should the K-2 student get?”
Well, the short answer, studies have found the homework in the area of math and reading has little effect on later math and reading performance. A few studies also suggest that early homework can have a negative impact.
However, research has shown us that a supportive home-school connection for math and reading is vital. So, how can we, as teachers, develop a supportive home-school relationship? Here’s just one suggestion from my workshop I gave K-2 teachers that I found very useful.
One of my suggestions: “Take & Play” home bags. In these bags, there is a math game or activity and a related book. Also inside the bag is a small reflection journal where the parent and child can record their discoveries. Students can take the bag home on a Friday and return it the following Wednesday or Thursday.
Of course, these activities and games are already familiar to students. When children participate in activities with their families, their self-confidence increases, and using the literature provided in the Take & Play bags will help create a more positive math experience.