Managing Homework and Book Bags

Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
Managing homework for kindergartners can be a nightmare if you don't have a system.  Throw book bags into the mix and you could have a huge disaster on your hands.  I have a system that puts the majority of the responsibility on the students. Before you ask can 5 year olds really do this, yes they can.  In fact, the other day my favorite substitute was in my room and said this is the best and easiest thing she has ever seen!

To start, each of my students have homework binders that travel to and from school daily.  They also have a book bag that goes home on Monday and is returned on Friday.  The bag contains 5 books. 1 for each day of the week.
Many teachers think the daily homework is too much so they give out packets.  I dispose the packets!  They get lost, the kids do them all in one day, or they wait until the night before they are due and then it becomes a huge issue at home.  My homework is simple, it is review and it is gives them practice of the responsibility of doing homework and returning it daily; something they will need to know how to do as they move up the grades.  My kids begged me for homework at the beginning of the year.  Many have older siblings and they wanted to be all grown up.  Having it in their binders makes them feel grown-up.
  Here is how our Daily Homework Routine works.
Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
We are ready to begin our day!
On Friday it is a little different because they also have their book bag to turn in.  My students enter the classroom to find their homework already on their tables. I call their name in the order of my book bag chart. When it is their turn, they bring me their folder and their book bag. When they bring me their bag, I turn the card over in the chart to represent the bag has been returned.  If they don't have their bag, then I place a stick in the pocket to show the bag is still out. I also place their binders in my containers in the same order as I have called their names.  This process takes us abut 5-7 minutes.
Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
Later during lunch, prep time or after school, I rotate my book bags.  I move each book bag card over one pocket on the book bag chart. If the pocket has a stick, then I skip that pocket.  I deal with those as they come in on Monday.  NOTE: I rotate the entire bag and its contents through each child.  One week Jose might have bag 7 and the next week he might have bag 23.
Getting the Book Bags into the Binders:
Because I collect the bags in order and their folders are in the same order, it goes rather quickly.
Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
Bright Ideas Blog Hop- Homework and book bags
I hope I helped you to understand how I deal with the handing out of books bags, binders and homework.

For some more great ideas stop at Swimming into Second to read Courtney's Bright Idea!


Anonymous said...

GREAT post! I've been mulling over changing my homework routine....I think I'm going with your idea! Can you tell me about your book bags? Where did you get them?

Tiffani said...

Hi Christine, You can read about my book bags here My friend made them 3 years ago for me. they are made out of oilcloth.

Maryann said...

Hi Tiffani!
I appreciate your quick response about the DVD covers! Thanks! Now I need to work on organizing the pictures! I hate to keep bothering you but a question about the book bags. Any chance I could purchase one from you to see how they are made? I am having a hard time visualizing how to sew these. Your help would be greatly appreciated, again!
Thanks for the wonderful blog and ideas to use!