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❶And reviewing a completed assignment with a child can also be helpful. Post the silhouettes to create a sense of "our homeroom.

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What are their names? Do you have any pets? Tell students to write those questions on a piece of paper and to add to that paper five more questions they could ask someone they don't know. Pair students, and have each student interview his or her partner and record the responses. Then have each student use the interview responses to write a "dictionary definition" of his or her partner to include in a Student Dictionary. You might model this activity by creating a sample dictionary definition about yourself.

Born in Riverside, California. No brothers or sisters. Have students bring in small pictures of themselves to paste next to their entries in the Student Dictionary.

Bind the definitions into a book, and display it at back-to-school night. Ask each student to write a brief description of his or her physical characteristics on one index card and his or her name on the other. Physical characteristics usually do not include clothing, but if you teach the primary grades, you might allow students to include clothing in their descriptions. Put all the physical characteristic index cards in a shoe box, mix them up, and distribute one card to each student, making sure that no student gets his or her own card.

Give students ten minutes to search for the person who fits the description on the card they hold. There is no talking during this activity, but students can walk around the room. At the end of the activity, tell students to write on the card the name of the student who best matches the description.

Then have students share their results. How many students guessed correctly? Patricia McHugh, John W. Set up a circle of chairs with one less chair than the number of students in the class. Play music as the students circle around the chairs. When the music stops, the students must sit in a seat. Unlike the traditional game, the person without a seat is not out. Instead, someone must make room for that person. Then remove another seat and start the music again.

The kids end up on one another's laps and sharing chairs! You can play this game outside, and you can end it whenever you wish. Afterward, stress the teamwork and cooperation the game took, and how students needed to accept one another to be successful.

Reinforce that idea by repeating this game throughout the year. Danielle Weston, Willard School, Sanford, Maine Hands-On Activity Have students begin this activity by listing at least 25 words that describe them and the things they like. No sentences allowed, just words! Then ask each student to use a dark pen to trace the pattern of his or her hand with the fingers spread apart.

Provide another sheet of paper that the student can place on top of the tracing. Because the tracing was done with a dark pen, the outline should be visible on the sheet below. Direct students to use the outlines as guides and to write their words around it.

Provide students a variety of different colored pencils or markers to use as they write. Then invite students to share their work with the class. They might cut out the hand outlines and mount them on construction paper so you can display the hands for open house. Challenge each parent to identify his or her child's hand. Then provide each student with five different-colored paper strips.

Have each student write a different talent on separate paper strips, then create a mini paper chain with the strips by linking the five talents together.

As students complete their mini chains, use extra strips of paper to link the mini chains together to create one long class chain. Have students stand and hold the growing chain as you link the pieces together. Once the entire chain is constructed and linked, lead a discussion about what the chain demonstrates -- for example, all the students have talents; all the students have things they do well; together, the students have many talents; if they work together, classmates can accomplish anything; the class is stronger when students work together than when individual students work on their own.

Hang the chain in the room as a constant reminder to students of the talents they possess and the benefits of teamwork. Your school librarian might have a discard pile you can draw from. Invite students to search through the magazines for pictures, words, or anything else that might be used to describe them. Then use an overhead projector or another source of bright light to create a silhouette of each student's profile; have each student sit in front of the light source as you or another student traces the outline of the silhouette on a sheet of by inch paper taped to the wall.

Have students cut out their silhouettes, then fill them with a collage of pictures and words that express their identity. Then give each student an opportunity to share his or her silhouette with the group and talk about why he or she chose some of the elements in the collage. Post the silhouettes to create a sense of "our homeroom. You can use such cards to gather other information too, such as school schedule, why the student signed up for the class, whether the student has a part-time job, and whether he or she has access to the Internet at home.

As a final bit of information, ask the student to write a headline that best describes him or her! This headline might be a quote, a familiar expression, or anything else.

When students finish filling out the cards, give a little quiz. Then read aloud the headlines one at a time. Ask students to write the name of the person they think each headline best describes. Who got the highest score? It seems as if parents are contacted only if there is a problem with students. At the end of each grading period, use the home address information to send a postcard to a handful of parents to inform them about how well their child is doing.

This might take a little time, but it is greatly appreciated! Pop Quiz Ahead of time, write a series of getting-to-know-you questions on slips of paper -- one question to a slip. You can repeat some of the questions. Then fold up the slips, and tuck each slip inside a different balloon. Blow up the balloons. Give each student a balloon, and let students take turns popping their balloons and answering the questions inside.

Contributor Unknown Fact or Fib? This is a good activity for determining your students' note-taking abilities. Tell students that you are going to share some information about yourself. They'll learn about some of your background, hobbies, and interests from the second oral "biography" that you will present. Suggest that students take notes; as you speak, they should record what they think are the most important facts you share. When you finish your presentation, tell students that you are going to tell five things about yourself.

Four of your statements should tell things that are true and that were part of your presentation; one of the five statements is a total fib. This activity is most fun if some of the true facts are some of the most surprising things about you and if the "fib" sounds like something that could very well be true.

Tell students they may refer to their notes to tell which statement is the fib. Next, invite each student to create a biography and a list of five statements -- four facts and one fib -- about himself or herself. Then provide each student a chance to present the second oral biography and to test the others' note-taking abilities by presenting his or her own "fact or fib quiz. Mitzi Geffen Circular Fact or Fib? Here's a variation on the previous activity: Organize students into two groups of equal size.

One group forms a circle equally spaced around the perimeter of the classroom. There will be quite a bit of space between students. In fact, in just over a third of cases, parents said their offspring often wandered off and left them to slog alone over their text books. The question is what these parents are trying to prove. In fact, the study suggested this was precisely the motive for many parents to get involved. Mr Hobby said one reason parents were taking over the nightly chore was in order to avoid family arguments over getting it done.

The study found evidence that this may well be the case, and that rows over homework often broke out between couples, as well as between parent and child. The causes included the best way to tackle homework, which parent will help out, criticism that one parent is not helping enough, or that they are interfering too much.

One additional reason for the tension, hinted at in the research, could be that the parents themselves find the work too difficult to do themselves.

A quarter of those taking part in the survey said they considered the tasks their children were sent home with were too hard, while nearly two thirds admitted there have been times when they were unable to help because it was too taxing.

Here, the case for homework and how to help your kid succeed. When is it time to look for outside help? Watch out for these factors, which will determine whether your kid needs a tutor. If you don't know where to start finding a tutor for your child, these six steps will help you find one-on-one help. With teachers handing out more assignments than ever, our kids are stressed, sleep deprived and, worst of all, becoming disillusioned with learning.

But many frustrated parents are fighting back -- and winning. When your kid says she can't solve a math problem or spell a tricky word without your help, don't fall for it. We've got a lesson plan to make her DIH. Some kids find it difficult to stay on top of homework after a long school day. Here are 3 things parents can do to make the process less stressful. Getting the job done is about to become a lot more fun and less like pulling teeth.

The kids will love these new perfect-for-home school supplies so much that they'll jump to do those worksheets. After a full day at school, the last thing your child probably wants to do is writing or math. Here's how to help him focus and finish. Is your kid struggling to put effort into school?


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Homework booklet for parents of elementary and junior high school students. Helps parents understand why homework is important and makes suggestions for .

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Nov 12,  · Help With Forming Good Study Habits. Erika A. Patall, University of Texas When kids feel like homework has value and doing it is their own choice, it will seem more interesting and lead to greater achievement. The Homework Parent Trap. Alfie Kohn, author I think “back off and let 'em fend for themselves” is poor advice.

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Should parents help with homework? The answer may not be so simple. Parental involvement in homework. Studies show that children who spend more time on homework get better grades (on average) than those who spend less time. Parents who play an active role in homework are putting their kids in the best position to succeed. What can teachers do to help parents help their children with homework? Just what kind of parental involvement -- and how much involvement -- truly helps children with their homework? The most useful stance parents can take, many experts agree, is to be somewhat but not overly involved in homework.

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3 Things Parents Can Do to Help Kids Manage Homework Some kids find it difficult to stay on top of homework after a long school day. Here are 3 things parents can do to make the process less. Should parents help with homework? And if so, how much? It’s one of the first questions we get from the parents we work with, so we put together a guide that you can use to find an answer that works for your family. Below is a breakdown of when it makes sense to lend a hand, and how to do it effectively.