We're now on the other side of the hill, on our way toward Grade Four. In order to prepare the boys and girls fully for the workload and demands of being a Junior student, we've started to move away from Practice Pages and instead to "assigned work". Sounds a lot like Practice Pages, I know, but I want to change the students' mindset about how homework works in future grades.
Practice Pages are handed out, assigned by me and there's a lot of "hand-holding" with respect to what is expected.
To help the students to become more independent, homework on Tuesday and Thursday nights will start to include work that's part of a bigger task (e.g. "complete the web for a paragraph"). It will also include unfinished classroom work. I'll always explain the assignment to the students, but gone are the days of reminding them to write neatly, in full sentences, etc. They'll need to apply this on their own and accept the consequences when they don't. It'll be more about acting as an independent thinker than it has in the past.
We're not done with Practice Pages, I'll still assign those from time to time, but in order to set my students up for success in future grades, this progression is essential. This also puts a higher level of responsibility on students because there is a chance that without completing their homework (or bringing it back to school) the work period the following day could be effected.