First Grade Homework

 Swift Creek Elementary  .   A North Carolina School of Excellence  .   A Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Homework News

Starting in February, 2008,  the first grade team at Swift Creek Elementary will be sending home a monthly homework calendar each month instead of the weekly worksheets because research shows that worksheets don't raise student achievement in the lower grades, and research shows that worksheets don't guarantee learning.    There is a notion that homework helps teach responsibility, and with your child completing Home Reading every night and returning their home reading folder everyday, we feel they are learning how to be responsible with that.   Instead of worksheets, which require low levels of thinking skills, we have created monthly homework calendars to create higher level thinking opportunites at home.   The monthly homework calendar schedule is designed to be completed on your family's timetable in a "pick and choose" fashion.   Some of the activities are oral, written and/or research based, and prior to returning the homework calendar for the month, parents must initial or sign the calendar before turning it in.  

My Monthly Homework Calendars

 Homework Calendar Template (doc)

September Homework Calendar 

October Homework Calendar

November Homework Calendar

December Homework Calendar

January Homework Calendar

 February Homework Calendar     

March Homework Calendar

    April Homework Calendar      

May Homework Calendar

June Homework Calendar

July Homework Calendar

Other Monthly Homework Calendars

Science Homework Calendars from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Kindergarten Homework Calendars from

Mr. Lyons' Homework Calendars

Dr. Jean's Homework Calendar - March (more at

Dr. Jean's February Family Homework Project (more at

Other Homework Options

The There are a lot of other things out there, here are few links to some of  the other stuff out there:

Compact for Reading - grade K (100 pages)

Compact for Reading - grade 1 (99 pages)

Compact for Reading - grade 2 (100 pages)

Compact for Reading - grade 3 (100 pages)

Homework Help

Home Reading

The first grade program at Swift Creek Elementary includes an important home component called Home Reading.   Each night, Monday through Thursday, your child will be home a plastic, durable Home Reading folder which will contain two books, a Higher Order Thinking Skills: HOTS fan for questioning, a home reading directions sheet and a reading strategy card.    The first book is a book for your child to read to you, it is a book on your child's independent reading level.   The second book is a Parent Read-Aloud for you to read to your child.   Research shows that reading to your child well after they become a reader increases reading fluency and comprehension.   The Home Reading program would be not be successful without parent help.   Parent volunteers are needed to read and listen to students read everyday from 9:30-11:00am.   

Home Reading Directions Page

Home Reading Givens  

Home Reading Folder Cover Sheet (tape to cover of HR folders)

Home Reading Folders (they last all year)

Nightly Reading Calendar Sheet (from


Connections for Homework Success

Grade 1 Connections - published by Wake County Public Schools.  Creating Good Homework habit section is on page 2.

Elementary Connections - K-5, Wake County Public Schools

Word Wall Words

Phonological and phonemic awareness, spelling patterns and phonics rules are taught in the Word Work portion of the first grade balanced literacy block.    This is an important component of our balanced literacy block because students learn to manipulate letters and sounds so they may be able to create rhymes, blend and segment letters and sounds, substitute beginning and ending sounds, and delete sounds.    Click here for weekly word wall words, order and sequence in first grade.

Common consonant ending blends: -ng, -nk, -mp, -lt, -st

Common consonant beginning blends: bl, gr, st, tw, sp, fl

Common vowel word chunks: ai, ou, ow, oy, ee, ea, oi

Common consonant word chunks: ch, sh, th, wh, ck

High Frequency Sight Words

Click here to see a list of the first 150 words that students should be able to read and write fluently.

Lightning Words

Lightning Words are the 35 sight words from Kindergarten.   At the beginning of first grade, we spend 3 weeks before officially starting first grade Wall Wall Words reviewing and relearning these Kindergarten words.   We call them Lightning words because we want students to know them as fast as lightning.