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Curious: Work Packets Over Breaks
Old 01-04-2018, 08:12 AM
 
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Iím curious and looking to see what other schools do regarding student work packets. I work at a small charter school in an urban area. We are pretty much Title One with little parental involvement, or, parents who donít speak English so their help is limited.

My question is: Are you required to send home student work packets over Winter/Spring breaks and Summer vacation?

My P has required it in the past; however, my VP oversees us directly and gives us more autonomy. I teach 3rd grade. I usually send something home but this time, I didnít. Honestly, in all the years that Iíve worked at this school and done this the students that actually complete it and return it (on time) or with somewhat quality work is minimal.

Instead, this time I made sure my students all had a book to read (I let them borrow from our class library). Most of my students reported back on their own after break that they enjoyed reading and shared.

Hereís my thinking: it seems like there is a lack of balance for kids to be kids. I personally wanted to not have any work and simply spend time with my family. Therefore, I wanted to give my students the same freedom. My partner agreed. I plan on giving something structured (but minimal) over Spring break (as Iíve done all prior years).

Iím just curious whatís expected or required at other schools. TIA for sharing


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I don't
Old 01-04-2018, 08:15 AM
 
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give anything. A break is supposed to be a break, isn't it?
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Yes
Old 01-04-2018, 08:19 AM
 
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I totally agree. Iím glad Iím not the only one who thinks this.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:51 AM
 
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There are no mandates regarding this issue where I work. Some of my students' parents request "practice work" over the break so I send it as "optional practice." I usually get about 75% returned and I give each student who returned the work a small bag of fruit snacks. None of the practice sheets required parent intervention at all.
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We were requested not to give work
Old 01-04-2018, 08:54 AM
 
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We donít give work over breaks, other than making sure they bring their books home to read ( optional, but encouraged.)

We all need down time!



Last edited by Munchkins; 01-04-2018 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:18 AM
 
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My school doesn't require anything. I also don't send anything home over extended breaks.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:34 AM
 
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I teach K. My homework "assignment" during the break was to play games like Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Trouble, Sorry, checkers, dominoes, Uno ... card games with their families. This year I found checkers games and dominoes at the Dollar Tree so I was able to give each student those two games.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:06 AM
 
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We've been told specifically not to send work packets over breaks because it uses up a lot of paper.
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depends on the length
Old 01-04-2018, 10:44 AM
 
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My district discourages it over the shorter breaks, but requires a math packet over the summer (from 5th grade on, I think?) and a grade-wide summer reading assignment (high school).
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Over Break
Old 01-04-2018, 10:54 AM
 
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We don't give anything over the break either. We do encourage them to "read something" over the break but that is an option, of course. They need a break too!


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Old 01-04-2018, 11:20 AM
 
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I don’t work over break so why would I ask the kids to? It’s a time to unwind and decompress. Just like I don’t send home optional activities on snowdays. Enjoy the unexpected day off.

We push these poor kids so hard during the day when we’re in school they need a chance to relax and unwind (as I do as well).
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I agree
Old 01-04-2018, 11:40 AM
 
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Thank you, everyone for your feedback.
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Break Packets
Old 01-04-2018, 12:20 PM
 
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My school does not require this.
Actually, theyíre very much on the ďwhy botherĒ homework train.
I personally believe thereís nothing wrong with a little something as long as itís not required for a grade.

Over winter break only, I provide my students with a page-a-(week)day packet. Itís ten pages maybe. It is completely optional. There is no requirement that they complete it. I accept it only on the first day back...and generally offer some little reward (like a special amount of $$ from our school PBIS economy or a pencil).
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Work over breaks
Old 01-04-2018, 12:27 PM
 
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We give summer reading and math practice. It takes 5-10 minutes a day at the most. I usually send a reading contest home over thanksgiving or Christmas breaks. I didnít send one this time. I feel like my students needed a real break. I like my students to read over breaks, but I need to be sensitive to their needs. My boss doesnít require anything other than the summer packet, so Iím good no matter what I choose.
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Optional
Old 01-04-2018, 01:38 PM
 
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I do an optional "Holiday Homework Challenge". It's a 9-grid menu that has fun, yet educational activities on it, and if they do at least 5 of the boxes, they earn a treat. I make it very clear that it's optional, and I even highlight it in the directions. I typically have one or two kids that do it.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:04 PM
 
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Our school doesn't require anything over breaks. Personally, I believe that the students deserve a real break just like we do so I wouldn't send anything on my own.

There is a ton of research that shows homework isn't really effective in the first place. My admin thought about getting rid of it all together, but decided we needed to send out a parent survey first and the parents overwhelmingly said they actually wanted homework . Our requirement now is 10 minutes per night starting in K and then increasing by 10 minutes every night in each advancing grade level.
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packets
Old 01-04-2018, 03:32 PM
 
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No, I don't send anything home and it's not required at my school. Thankfully!

I agree with you - they need downtime at home just like teachers do. They can learn from things other than packets.... like shopping with parents, reading a gaming magazine, etc... It doesn't have to be a school copied worksheet.

The kids who would do those are the same ones whose parents will read with them in the first place. It's like preaching to the choir.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:44 PM
 
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Some schools are not filled with kids who have books ,games and opportunities for enrichment at home.
Some parents are looking for and hoping for something from school to keep their kid engaged during the break and are grateful for the packets. I cannot send home books and games or over time I will lose these types of materials. My students' parents do not have books at home nor libraries nearby and reachable by bus. If there was,these parents do not have money for a bus ride. I can send paper readers and these families are grateful for that opportunity. The only ones who never do these packet on breaks are the ones that never do homework anyways and I have only 2 families like that. I am happy to accommodate parents who want some activities and practice for their kid. There is a great divide between school kids in this country and it is very apparent in the homes all kids go to at the end of the day.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:04 PM
 
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I sent an optional review packet. That makes everyone happy. ☺️
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websites
Old 01-04-2018, 04:11 PM
 
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For parents that request work over a break (which are few and far between) I resend them a list of websites that we have subscriptions to, or are free. With rare exception, families have access of some sort to the internet, so it works for us.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:04 PM
 
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I don't either. I ask that they continue to read, but honestly, the ones who do, will continue to do so and the ones who don't, won't...so I encourage, model and hope for the best.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:30 AM
 
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I haven't, I don't, and I won't. I don't even assign homework during days school is in session!

I've heard of HS summer assignments due the first week of school in the fall and I think that's nuts.
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