Pockets Teeth And Favorite Things Homework

This week’s Monday Motivation is all about Homework!

Don’t you just love homework?

Yeah, right!

Although, when I was little, I think I loved homework.  I lived for it.  I wanted a spiral notebook, a pencil pouch, a Trapper Keeper . . . you name a school supply and I wanted it.  Also, I played “teacher” probably EVERY SINGLE DAY.

But giving homework?  Collecting homework?  Giving an effort grade (on the report card) for homework?


And I do know there is a ton of research on how students in elementary school should NOT have homework.  I’ve seen the posts on Instagram and I have heard that more and more teachers are giving little to no homework these days.


I’m required to give homework so therefore I do.

My whole team does homework packets (review only) and we ALL give the same homework so that no parent can say well, I want Mrs. So and So because she gives very rigorous homework, or so that another parent can’t say Well, I want Mrs. So and So because she hardly gives any homework at all and you know my kids are involved in several after school activities . . . 

Here’s how I differentiate homework–I tell the parents that if a page is too hard for their child, do half.  Or rip it out of the packet and I won’t know because I do not care.

That’s right.  I said it.  I DO NOT CARE.

And here are homework extension ideas for parents who say my child completed the entire packet in one night, practically in five minutes, this packet is just too easy, what else do you have to challenge my child?
Click {HERE} to grab it!

A ton of our primary teachers order folders to use for homework.  They come in a multitude of colors.  They are from Nicky’s Folders.

I really really really like them because you can slip pages inside the front and back which means you don’t have to fold construction paper and make pretend pockets and laminate, or buy cheap folders and laminate, or buy manila pocket folders and laminate . . . you get the picture.

Yes.  They ARE expensive.  Yes.

But you CAN reuse them and we do!

The folders come with a stamp on the front that says PARENT COMMUNICATOR FOLDER and I hate it so when I order, I tell them I don’t want it in the “special instructions” box.

The homework folder template is from Mrs. Winter’s Bliss!

I created the Sight Word Page.  These are the sight words that our District requires first graders to know.  We did just adopt new ELA Curriculum (Benchmark Advance) so I’m sure these words and lists will be changing so that’s fun.  🙂  #sarcasm

We use pages from the following packs (below) from TpT to create our homework packets.

Click on the pictures for more information!

  1. Handwriting Practice from Jen Ross (Teacher by the Beach) – we just go in order of the alphabet.  One page per week.

2.  Phonics Reading Passage from A Teachable Teacher – we pick one that goes with our weekly phonics skill.


3.  Text Evidence Passages from Miss DeCarbo.  These get harder as the year goes by!

4.  Read Rhyme and Remember Poems from A Teachable Teacher – these are seasonal and fantastic!

5.  The Write Spot (from me) . . . in the beginning of the year, we have the sentence starter for them, towards the middle of the year, we choose the tiered sentence format, and at the end of the year, we just have blank lines.

6.  We include two pages of math but they come from our enVision 2.0 program (not from TpT).

Typically, the packet is 7 pages long.  Most of us send it home on Monday and it is due that Friday.  However, one of my teammates does it Friday to Friday.  I can’t get my act together to send home packets on Fridays so if a family needs more time, I just allow them to turn it on Mondays.

I’m seriously the most lax person about homework that I know.

It’s first grade, people.



Is that obvious yet?


The inside of Nicky’s Folders have the stamps “Return to School” and “Keep at Home”.  So the packet goes on the left and then on the right, I put any tests, assessments, writing pieces, etc that I want the parents to see.  BUT IF I DON’T EVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN, it goes on the right.

Most of the time, the right hand side of the folder is empty when it’s returned, but some parents keep a great collection going and I just add to it.

I am NOT cleaning it out for them.  It says keep at HOME.


As far as “grading” homework goes . . . it’s just an effort grade on our report card.  So I take a quick glance and that’s about it.

It’s then filed into the circular file, if you know what I mean.

Not one parent in all these years has ever asked for a homework packet back.  I guess no one wants to keep them.

And there you have it.





Filed Under: Monday Motivation, Uncategorized

Favorite Medical School Items

Pocket Medicine: The Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine (Pocket Notebook)

This is without a doubt my number one recommendation for books for 3rd and 4th year.  I remember when I heard about this book as a second year right before I started third year.  I went to buy it at the bookstore and was shocked this little book was so expensive!  Trust me- this book may be small, but it is mighty!  It has literally everything you need to know as a medical student and it fits into your white coat pocket.  Get it.


Maxwell Quick Medical Reference

This book is just as much a necessity as Pocket Medicine.  It fits into your white coat pocket and has everything you need for writing admission notes, discharge summaries, calculating anion gaps- it’s the bomb.


BRS Gross Anatomy (Board Review Series)

I really love all the BRS books and I used them for almost every single standardized exam, but the anatomy one really saved me.  The questions at the end of each chapter helped me cement what I had read and the format of the book helped organize everything I had to learn.

Favorite Ophthalmology Items

This book is a must have for ophthalmology residents!

My favorite pens for note taking.

And for taking notes in textbooks, these are a must:

Some of the links posted are affiliate links which means if you purchase something using the link, a percentage of that purchase will go back into this blog.  I truly appreciate your support!

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