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.
You can see the 3rd grade set by clicking HERE and the 4th/5th grade set by clicking HERE.
If you are currently using any of these sets, leave some feedback and let me know how they are working in your room!
Those look wonderful! I'm looking into using them next year for homework 🙂 Do you model the first week for the students, so they know how to do it on their own? Thanks!
Smiles and Sunshine
Jennifer Findley says
You definitely could model it. I use them the week after I have introduced the skill, so that helps. And we go over the assignments together so I make sure they understand the directions. We do spend some time talking about what appropriate responses are, so they write more than just two words. 😀
Live, Love, Learn in Fourth Grade says
I purchased the fourth and fifth grade bundle this past summer. I LOVE THEM. I just use the passage and questions as homework while I'm teaching a specific skill, then we go over it as morning work to get a little extra practice on that skill in. Also, I sometimes use them as a test when I finish teaching a specific standard. The only thing I added was in the text structure set, I created a document where my students had to identify the text structure for each paragraph and include key words or a written response on how they knew which text structure it was. I highly recommend this product to anyone remotely considering it. The text complexity is great and I love knowing that they are aligned to the common core standards. Thank you so much for taking the time to create this awesome product!
Jennifer Findley says
Thanks for sharing how you use them! I may have to add a graphic organizer for the text structure. That is a great idea!
If you made this for 6th I would be all over it! I have been trying all year to teach some of these skills and it had been a hard adjustment for my kiddos! I may just buy the 5th grade ones to get started 🙂
I love how they align with all the skills so I could easily do this after we teach skill or even as some extra practice for kids that need help next year! I'm add these to my wish list – they look great!
My Shoe String Life
I teach 5th and I have purchased quite of few of these (and keep going back for more!). I use them for morning work, also for center TDQ activities, and sometimes for homework! I LUH-OVE them. Thanks so much for providing them.
ALEX cool says
I’m glad you like it!
I have loved this product! I use it to help me teach the skill throughout the week before they take the "District required" test on Friday. It has helped a lot!! Thank you very much!
Sarah huyck says
I have a question regarding this resource. It looks awesome and I definitely want to use it, but I am concerned the lexile range may be a bit high for my kiddos. I teach in an urban context and most of my students are a grade or two behind on their reading levels. I think this will be exactly what they need in terms of skill practice and making sure they have meaningful homework that will equip them to succeed, but it won’t be helpful if the text is too complex for them to comprehend. Thanks!
Jennifer Findley says
Hi Sarah, I completely understand your dilemma. I also teach in an urban setting and I find that I have to use my 3rd grade set for part of the year. If you want to see a sample of each grade level, send me an email at [email protected] and I will send them to you to review.
I’m very interested in purchasing the 4th/5th grade bundle. I have many of your other products and you never disappoint! I love your work. Do you find that children lose or “misplace” this packet throughout the week? Also, do you find it hard to manage in terms of correcting each day and returning back to the students? Just curious as to your thoughts! THANK YOU!
This is the perfect way to break down this inrfmoation.
Do you have a set for 2nd grade? If not I’ll get the 3rd grade set for the 2nd half of the year.
Jennifer Findley says
Hi Linda, I don’t but thanks for asking!
Hi Jennifer, do you check these daily, or do students just turn the whole packet in at the end of the week? Thanks!
Jennifer Findley says
Hi Laura, we review it daily. Before reviewing, I have homework checkers who highlight any blank answers. My students know to complete it while we review, but I can still see on Friday who didn’t do their work. You can read more about my homework management here: https://jenniferfindley.com//2015/09/5-ways-to-simplify-homework-managemen.html
I love the process that you have laid out here. Unfortunately, I’m on a bit of a budget crunch right now as I’ve spent the summer creating science and history curriculums from scratch. Do you have any suggestions on websites or resources where I could get similar passages with comprehension questions, at least to get me started until my first check comes at the end of September 🙂
this is a grate website