How Do You Feel About Homework in Kindergarten? A play-based approach
Updated: Jul 27
A play-based approach to homework in kindergarten.
I don’t really care for homework if it's a worksheet that the kids will not get much out of. I don't want to make it and I don't want to grade it! Who has time for that? Not me 🙅🏽♀️! HOWEVER, I do have families who want to know how to support their children in their learning and I would like to empower my families to reinforce what we are learning in school and students to be able to start to be metacognitive about their own understanding of what we are learning in class.
My philosophy is that I would like to have families come together and do something fun so the kids won’t even realize they are doing homework and families will enjoy helping their kids instead of dreading homework just as much as the kids do. I do want to acknowledge that there is a privilege in being able to take the time to work with students if this way, some families have work commitments, family commitments, or language limitations that make this difficult. With that being said I have yet to meet a family who didn't want to support their children so my goal was to make “homework” as easy as possible for families to implement, and I do not check-in or have a requirement for how long or often families should be doing the activities I send home.
But Lara, what are you sending home?
I am a firm believer in creating resources that will last me a long time and that I can use again and again. Not just because it's less work, but the kids don't give me the dreaded “I’m donneee!” It's a pet peeve of mine for sure, anyone else? When using worksheets, I find that some students finish quickly and some take a whole math station rotation, and I imagine the same would happen at home. I don't know about you, but my students' favorite time of day is math centers and I try very hard to make it feel like all of their stations are games and they love it! So I created a game (homework) packet that I send home at the beginning of the year with most of the materials that families will need to play that covers every Core Curriculum Standard for the year. Depending on how you communicate with your families you could send a message through a texting app or newsletter suggesting certain games they can focus on according to the way you have mapped out your curriculum for the year
What’s in the Game Packet?
⭐️ 36 Games to address the Kindergarten Math CCCS,
including games that require no materials at all!
⭐️ Teacher Printing and Preparation Tips
⭐️ Family Letter and Family Preparation tips
⭐️ Numeral Tracks with and without dice
⭐️ 5 Frame
⭐️ 10 Frame
⭐️ 20 Frame
⭐️ 100’s Chart
⭐️ 1-20 Numeral Cards
⭐️ 1-20 10 Frame Cards
⭐️ Shape Cards
⭐️ Graphing Chart
⭐️ Comparison T charts
⭐️ Game Board
⭐️ Weekly, Monthly, Game Board Progress tracker
The additional materials needed are a deck of cards, two dice, and 20 items that can be used for counting.
Most games have variations and options for families to make the game easier or harder depending on their child’s needs. All family-facing materials and instructions are in English and Spanish.
This packet does require some initial prep, but the benefits for families and the amount of time it saves, in the long run, is invaluable. I would suggest that most materials be printed double-sided except those which need to be cut out and laminated for longevity.
You can purchase the games on TPT!
Examples of some of the games
Race to 100
For this game you will need a deck of cards, a paper, writing utensils, and counters. Begin with the deck of cards between you. Each player will turn over a card and write the number they have. Then they will turn over another card and add those two numbers together and write the total. Continue to flip cards and add them to your total until one player reaches 100! This game might be a challenge at the beginning of the year. You can begin with a race to 10, 20 and increase as the student gets more familiar with larger numbers.
Under the Cup
You will need a cup and 5 pennies or counters. Player 1 will hide some or all of the pennies under the cup while Player 2 covers their eyes. Looking at the pennies that are still visible, player 2 will need to figure out how many pennies are under the cup. (Fingers, counters, 10 frames can all support this game if need be) Then, the players switch jobs where player 2 hides the pennies and player 1 figures out how many are under the cup. Once combinations of 5 are mastered, you can move on to play with 10 pennies.
If you’d like to look closer, you can do that here.
How do you feel about homework?