What is your homework policy?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by CDOR79, Sep 1, 2018.

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  1. CDOR79

    CDOR79 Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2018

    I would love to hear about different policies that everyone has in their classroom! I’m trying to think of a fair one for 5th graders. It’s for subjects they’ll be having homework in on a daily basis too.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I think homework is highly overrated. My 4th grade team has had a no homework policy for 3 years, except to read a few nights per week, and it has worked beautifully. We are a Title 1 school, with lots of home issues, and the parents are grateful. It has not impacted test scores. If I have a student who requests extra work, I am happy to provide it.
    I know this is not really the answer you are looking for, but just thought I would share our experience.
     
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  4. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    My policy is not to give homework for homework sake. I rarely ever give homework, maybe twice a year if I feel there is a need. All the practice work is done in class and I find that sufficient. There are 10 to 12 formal assessments per year that would require work at home for higher grades but I don’t give homework.
     
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  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    When I taught grade 6, I didn’t give homework for homework sake. If students had homework, it was because they didn’t make full use of their class time and had to finish up at home.
     
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  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Usually, at most, students have a brief math assignment (10 minutes or less), and we correct it together the next day to ensure they get immediate feedback. It's also differentiated so that students who need the practice can get that, but those that need an extension have that, too. Occasionally I send home a different/another assignment, but that's usually only if it's an extremely rich curriculum connection (i.e. science experiment options they can do with their parent(s), walking their parents through the same life skill work that we worked on in class, etc...)

    From day 1, the mindset is developed that reading is not required, not an assignment, and certainly not something you just read for exactly 20 minutes a night and then stop. An environment is created such that students are reading wildly for varied amounts each night, and I want to make sure they have ample opportunity for that!
     
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  7. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    We're supposed to give homework (which I find to be utterly pointless). So I give it on Tuesday, it's due by the end of class on Monday. And it's never a weeks worth of homework (as if I were giving it everyday). It might be twenty minutes worth of work, if that. And it's always either a complete or incomplete assessment (1 or 0).
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My school requires us to give a set amount of homework each night - the amount of time being determined by grade level. So, for my fourth graders, they are required to have up to 40 minutes of homework plus another 15-20 minutes of reading.

    I hate this policy. It requires that we teachers give homework for homework's sake rather than to promote actual learning or engagement. It also makes reading all about minutes rather than reading for the enjoyment it can bring. Last year, my team tried to only loosely follow this policy, but our administration pushed back this year and required all grade levels to submit a homework plan aligned with the school policy. Some parents with the old-school mindset seem to like it, as do a couple of my colleagues. I, on the other hand, wish that we didn't do homework at all - except for reading for enjoyment and rare, meaningful assignments when they come up.

    Anyway, more detail about is policy is that we offer choice on some nights and specific required assignments on other nights. Homework includes setting a reading goal and working towards it throughout the week, math practice and reflection, and spelling practice. It's honestly busy work for the sake of having something to call homework.
     
  9. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Sep 2, 2018

    Up to 40 minutes plus twenty minutes of reading? What if they have after school activities and things to do?? Dern and my students complain about the bit that I give!
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Exactly. I’m with you. Unfortunately, I don’t have a say in it.
     
  11. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Okay so by this logic, if it were to continue up to seniors, would they have up to 120 minutes of homework? But yeah that's just crazy. I like the theory behind giving homework. I just find in application it just fails short of expectations.
     
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  12. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I teach sixth grade ELA and Science and this is my policy as well. Most of the time I have probably 50% to 80% of the students finish the work in class and then the rest need to finish it up for homework. I let parents know that if finishing it up at home takes more than 20-30 minutes then to let me know as that should definitely not be the case. Then I'll know to keep a closer eye on that student to see if they need more help with the work or just needs to make better use of class time.

    I do also require that students read 650 pages for each marking period. They get some time at school to read but generally not enough to do all 650 at school. I let them know if they average 15 pages each school day then they'll be finished with days to spare when the 650 pages is due. They do a written response for every 50 pages in the book and turn those responses in to me when the book is finished.

    My feeling for homework is to keep it to a minimum at least through 6th/7th grade. I get that my daughter in 11th grade with three AP classes and two honors classes is going to have a decent amount of homework. That's okay, but for elementary I just don't see the need, other than independent reading which I think is definitely important and doesn't necessarily fit into the daily schedule. I have my students for 52 minutes each day and I just can't give up 15 minutes of those each day for reading. I do think though that unfinished classwork should be homework.
     
  13. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    At my children's high school I would say most of the kids have 2-4 hours of homework each night. A night with less than 2 hours is considered a light night. Not saying I agree with this amount of work, but with the number of honors and AP classes the kids are taking, this is the amount they end up having.

    In regards to the "10 minutes per grade" I think it's a fine policy if the policy is that's the maximum they get each night, not the required amount. So I think my 6th graders are fine to have an hour each night, but are also fine if they have way less than that if they used their class time well.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2018

    This is my policy with my Grade 7 students. They will also occasionally have to work to finish up long-term assignments, but that only happens a few times a term.
     
  15. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Eh I'd rather have students doing sports and things. But of course I don't teach for the test, either.
     
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  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My problem with doing unfinished classwork as homework in elementary is that some parents assist and others don’t. If the work is too hard to do independently and there aren’t any parents or teachers helping, I don’t like the idea of leaving the student to struggle alone. Also, if I actually wanted to use the classwork as a formative assessment and parents help with it, then it’s of no use to me because I can’t assess what the student can do independently.

    With 504s and IEPs, there is also the issue of extended time. If I send home unfinished classwork to be completed outside of school, then I’d get complaints from parents that I’m not giving extended time in class.

    My preference is to collect classwork at the end of class, no matter how far students get. Ideally, I’d send nothing extra home for homework, but, since I’m required to, it’s something different (and usually easier) than what was done in class - busy work for sure.
     
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  17. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Agreed. My major thing about homework is that it's meant to reinforce the concepts you're learning in class or introduce you to new concepts. Okay that's great. Except if you understand the concept in class, then you benefit by getting the extra practice. But if you don't get the concepts in class, it means you're going to struggle at home, going to get frustrated, and probably just end up slapping down the first answer that makes any sense. Which doesn't help.
     
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  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Weekly reading is the only thing mandatory. I send out a sheet with optional activities if parents want their child to do it, but it's not required.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I agree with this. However, if you never assign homework odds are students are not going to practice the skills they supposedly “learn” in class. They will end up just cramming for tests and forgetting everything after the test is over. That’s what many of our students from public schools tell me and my colleagues when they transfer. They tell me their homework was never collected or graded, so they only studied a few days before the test and goofed off the rest of time in class. For example, we had previous Spanish 2 students tell us they watched Serena and Dora the Explorer in class because they had next to no class work and no homework — and they learned practically nothing.

    Classes become a joke without graded work outside of classwork.
     
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  20. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I think this is another secondary vs. elementary kind of tricky conversation :) Plus, I think it highly depends on the quality of the teacher and what's happening within the classroom; painting with a broad brush might not accurately describe the situation here.
     
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  21. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Sep 8, 2018

    #WaronPublicSchools rages on!!!!
     
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