My first few years teaching I went back and forth on reading homework to give my students. I teach in inner city, title 1 schools so the majority (if not all) of my students to not have access to good books to read at home. So, I knew I needed to give my students something to read and respond to, but I wanted it to be purposeful and meaningful homework, and a plus if it was aligned to the common core reading standards.
Since I couldn’t find anything already made, I decided to spend the time (it took months!) to create a Common Core Reading Homework that would improve my students’ reading and help them master the standards.
I have been using this all year so far, and I have to say that this common core reading homework has been a complete life saver for me this year. I have not had to worry about reading homework at all. And the best part is that each week I know that what I am giving the students for homework is meaningful and common core aligned.
This new type of reading homework is helping my students so much that I wanted to make sure and write a detailed post explaining each component this new reading homework “system”. This is something you can recreate yourself (using free passages online and following the steps outlined in my post) or purchase my ready-made sets to save time.
In each bundle (there is a 3rd grade bundle and a 4th/5th grade bundle), there are a total of 9 sets, for a total of 36 weeks of homework. Each set focuses on specific common core reading skills and can be mixed and matched to fit any pacing guide.
These sets are broken down like this:
- 4 reading passages that focus on a specific common core reading skill(s) (1 passage a week)
- several options for daily assignments to use with the passages
- Thursday text dependent comprehension questions that allow for further practice of the focus skill (and other Common Core skills as well)
- answer keys and specific common core alignment for the comprehension questions
Here is the passage we used this past week.
My school does not have a copy limit, so I am able to copy a page for the students to record their daily assignments. In addition to marking the text, most of the assignments require written responses. If you are limited on your copies, a piece of notebook paper, the back of the passage, or even a notebook would work! Here you can see an example of a daily responses:
Finally, each passage has a set of text dependent questions for the Thursday assignment that require evidence from the passage, and the questions are aligned to the common core reading standards. Since my students have spent all week reading and analyzing (through the daily assignments) the same passage, the text-dependent questions on Thursday are a “breeze” for them.
How do I decide which sets to use when?
I use the first two weeks (there are four in all) for a reading skill the week after we have learned and practiced the skill. The other two weeks in the set are saved for later in the year to keep the common core readings standards continually spiraled and reviewed.
Could this be used for classwork practice of the common core reading standards?
I use this for homework, but I several people have said they are using it for classwork or even during reading workshop (guided reading or independent reading work).
How do you support your students to give quality responses?
The first few weeks that we use this homework, we spend a lot of time discussing what makes a quality response to the daily tasks. For some classes, we may even complete the first week in class together while I model appropriate responses. This does take time up front, but it makes a huge difference in the quality of their responses. For more information on how I support my students with constructed response reading questions, click HERE.
There are plenty of passages available online that you can use and create your daily assignments and question sets for. However, if you need something more ready-made and aligned to the common core reading standards, I currently have a 4th/5th grade combined set and a 3rd grade set in my TeachersPayTeachers store.
If you are currently using any of these sets, leave some feedback and let me know how they are working in your room!
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