I need to admit something. I do not believe in homework. I think that my job is to push students to learn to their potential during the school day. Homework in my class consists of taking home what you didn't finish in class that day. I should also tell you that I only teach reading, language arts, and science. In reading I expect my students to read every night, but I don't really consider that homework. The only subject I make an exception for is spelling.
In fifth grade, we have little to no time in our school day to devote toward spelling. This saddens me, because I consider spelling to be an important life skill. Spelling and handwriting were two of my favorite subjects in elementary school, but today, they are almost extinct. I remember getting points taken off for not having perfectly formed cursive letters. Now, the only standard I have for handwriting is "Can I read it?"
While handwriting is no longer taught at all, spelling has become more of a student-directed skill. My students get their spelling words on Monday, and it is up to them to learn them by Friday. On Thursday they turn in their homework assignment for the week. It is called Creative Spelling Homework. I like this assignment because it gives students some choice. I have been doing this with my students for years, but I was inspired to revamp it after seeing this post on The Organized Classroom Blog. Here's a freebie if you are interested. How does everyone else do spelling instruction in the upper grades?