In an effort to support and foster the home-school connection and build executive function skills for the students, the teachers and staff have begun some new practices and routines this year.
One of the teachers’ first priorities was to establish an open communication channel with each family. The classroom teachers began that channel by reaching out by phone to every family in the classroom during the first few weeks of school welocming you to the 2018-19 school year, inviting you to Back to School Night, and sharing some good news about the first few weeks of school.
We have also introduced the orange home-school folder for every student in grades K-5. The folder serves as an organizational tool for your child, too. As children develop executive functioning skills, it is important that they practice consistent routines. At the beginning of every morning students will empty this folder, turning in any homework and/or notes or forms from home. At the end of every day the students will also pack their folder with homework, notes, forms or corrected homework from the teacher. We will be working on this end to practice and reinforce this good habit and ask that you set time aside to make sure your child has shared any notes with you. You should also be able to see what homework they do have. As a general rule students complete 10 minutes of homework for each corresponding grade level, so second graders would receive about 20 minutes and fifth graders could expect between 40 and 50 minutes. We also ask that your child spend time reading independently everyday. Of course our little ones will need help from a parent, caregiver or older sibling. Homework is expected to be a priority. Should your child struggle with finishing homework assignments, the classroom teacher will be in touch. Of course, we are still at the beginning of the year, so many students may have not received any homework or lighter amounts of homework at this time.
Lastly, our students in grades 3-5 have new Hunnewell Agendas for tracking homework assignments. Again, this agenda is to help build those executive functioning skills, similar to a do-list. In the agenda, there is a place for you to make any notes to the teacher and for the teacher to write a quick note to you. If your child struggles with a piece of homework, encourage your child to communicate that to the classroom teacher. This will promote self-advocacy and ownership skills.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates about what is happening in the Halls of Hunnewell!