Can't take away recess

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Flanny108, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Flanny108

    Flanny108 Rookie

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    In the past my punishment for not completing homework was to have the child miss recess. I am not allowed to use this as a punishment this year. What do you do for the kids who don't do their homework? I teach third grade and I don't think they really care about how it will impact their grade. I am new to this school, and apparently there's not a lot of parent support so I'm not sure how effective it would be to send a note home.

    Any ideas???
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Taking away recess is "heavily frowned upon" at my school, so I don't do it either. You could have them do the homework during a preferred activity time in class. A lot of our teachers do "Friday fun" where students get to participate in a fun afternoon activity if they've completed all assignments. If they haven't, they have to spend the time finishing. That way you're setting up both a reward for completing the homework and a consequence for not completing it at the same time. You could also try other rewards for bringing it in. When I taught gen ed I got little sticker charts and had my students put a sticker on for each assignment they brought back. When their chart was full, they earned lunch with me (I'd also bring in ice cream treats for the lunch). I still didn't get everyone, but it did motivate some kids.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    We couldn't take away recess at my old school, either. I could take away their choice of activity though ;) It didn't allow them time to complete their homework, but repeat offenders would have to walk silent laps for a portion of recess. I made them catch up their work during a 'fun' time.
     
  5. Busy Bug

    Busy Bug Rookie

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    My sons teacher took away fun activity time like on the computers. As a parent I agree with not taking away recess. My son does worse in the afternoons when he used to miss recess. He didn't get his energy out and couldn't concentrate or sit still in the afternoon.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I really agree with this line of thinking. If you can't take away recess, you have to do what Waterfall does and create fun activities to reward those who do homework. I would like it even better if it is daily. A simple 15 minute game or fun activity each day. Those who do homework participate, those who don't do their homework, do their homework during this time in the same room. It is a logical consequence. Those who don't do their homework end up still having to do it. I tried a similar thing when I taught 3rd grade and found it worked well.
     
  7. eeyore330

    eeyore330 Rookie

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    Something that I have seen, but not tried yet (I'm a new teacher), is to have the kids go to recess but they cannot play. They must walk around the court or along a line. This is so they are still getting their exercise but it is still a punishment because they cannot play.
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I, personally, don't favor taking away recess anyway. Surely, as teachers, we can find some way to get work done without making kids sit in a room when their bodies need a break and some fresh air. I know, not a popular position, but lets leave recess as the respite it was always intended to be.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    We can't take away recess and we can't give "fun, free time" either so I can't use that as a reward or missing it as a punishment. Basically, if they don't do their homework, I call home but it almost always accomplishes nothing.

    Sorry, I have no advice, but I feel your pain.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This!
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I know as a sub for PE years ago teacher's would send kids to finish their work. Kids would sit & get instructions...when it came time to do they had to finish & then could join....
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Whose Fault Is It ?

    Punishing students for things not directly controlled by the teacher can promote a dislike for academics not to mention a negative attitude towards learning and school.

    Homework is done at home and parents are in charge. Some students come from homes where parents are involved in their children's education. But not all. In other homes and for whatever reason(s) parents are not available for support and making schooling a priority. Is it fair to punish a student because he/she comes from a non-supportive home? Essentially, the child is being punished for not having involved parents.

    Consider: take a look at The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn. He examines the research along with long-held beliefs regarding HW.
     
  13. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Let's first define homework. If it's work you send home for the sake of giving your students extended practice, then I'd encourage you to scale back. Research suggests that there is little value to homework and times have changed.

    Collecting homework might give you an idea of what the students are understanding but in my region, we aren't supposed to mark it because you can't be certain it was done by the student. All our assessment is done in the classroom only.

    "Homework" in my class is anything that was assigned during class and unfinished by the bell; though I try to give enough time for it to be completed ahead of the ring. (Students who work efficiently will rarely have any take-home.) Since I tend to go over that work the following day, if it's not done when it's due, I send the students to work on it in the hallway. They miss what the correct answers are while the rest of us are taking it up, and the onus is on them to see if their work is done correctly. Track the incomplete homework too, and share it with parents - at least then you've done your job.

    Keep in mind, you miss your recess too if you have to keep kids in...so it's a dual punishment of sorts.
     
  14. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    How about a silent lunch? I have students come back to my classroom to eat in silence. They then go out to recess. This is very effective because they highly dislike eating in silence.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    So this is pure punishment, since no homework is being completed during lunch?
     
  16. live

    live Companion

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    At my previous schools, there was no recess and we also weren't allowed to give free time. So at the end of the week, I'd set aside some time and students who did their work that week would play an academic game. They loved those games! Students who didn't do their work, had to work on it during this time.

    (Now I'm allowed to give free time, but usually the kids will ask if they can play their favorite math game for a reward instead. Makes a teacher happy.)
     
  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Taking away recess would punish me at least as much as it would punish the kids. No thanks.
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If any homework is given which requires parent help, I agree with you 100%. If homework is given that is work that is learned in the classroom and then given for homework to be done independently, then all students can finish their homework. In order to master an instrument practice is needed, to master a sport practice is needed, to master dance practice is needed, to master subjects as needed, yes practice is needed.

    I agree missing recess is not the best way to handle missing homework. Although, if there is no consequence for missing HW through grades 8...children will be in for a rude awakening in high school.
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Do they work on their homework during this time?
     
  20. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    No. They eat lunch. Homework is to be done at home. Allowing them to do it at school defeats the purpose.

    Punishment is the imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.
    Having a child do homework during recess is punishment.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You can tell me about your nuances, but it feels like a punishment to me. Not my cup of tea.
     
  22. Organic Poppy

    Organic Poppy Rookie

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    I teach first so it is different than upper elementary. I don't punish for no homework. My kiddos are 6 and 7. If their parents are invested in the homework most of the kids won't be either. I do a little reward at the end of the week for those who bring in their homework everyday. Honestly, last year was my best year for homework. I almost always had 100% completion.
     
  23. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I guess I'll have to agree to disagree. The purpose of homework is additional practice. If it doesn't happen at home then time needs to be found in the school day for that practice to happen.
     
  24. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    For me, homework is not the responsibility of the parent but the student. I do not assign anything that the child does not know how to complete at home.
     
  25. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    It's difficult to imagine any teacher (maybe?) assigning hw they know can't be completed at home. And since teachers generally assign stuff they know students can complete why is hw such an issue in so many classrooms? Could it be something is going on in the home the teacher has no control over?

    It's also difficult to imagine any teacher not wanting students to be responsible for hw. Demonstrating responsibility should be straight forward - take hw home, complete it to the teacher's standards, bring it back in timely fashion. If this is the case why do so many teachers call parents to tell them their child didn't complete hw? Why do a lot of teachers have a policy of parents signing-off on hw?

    Calling hw "bad" may be a little harsh as a descriptor. Perhaps many on this board and elsewhere are suggesting an examination of hw versus merely taking it for granted.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm sorry, but I've known teachers assigning book reports to kids who can't write a complete sentence independently. I've known teachers assigning math problems to children that don't know all of their numbers yet. I've known teachers who assign work sheets with directions that can't be read by the student because the student is not near the grade level required to read the directions.

    Most teachers I know assign the exact same work to the entire class regardless of the level of the student. The only differentiation I have ever seen is with spelling words or when students can choose their own book. Aside from that, it is usually entire class homework.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    My first grade son comes home with homework that he could/would not do without myself sitting next to him setting the expectations, reading the directions, and helping him with the work.
     
  28. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    My daughter would get zeros if she didn't do her homework and that was in 2nd grade. It didn't phase her until I FOUND out about it.
     
  29. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Yep. And many teachers take credit for hw completion under the guise they taught to closure, therefore students should be able to complete at home something they mastered in class when, in fact, many students are bringing back hw they completed with help from someone at home.

    I don't think teachers get up in the morning thinking how they can make life miserable for their students by assigning hw they can't handle. Most are doing the best they can with whatever education, training and experience they bring to the table.
     
  30. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Don't forget that sometimes it is out of the teacher's control. We teach Saxon Math. My first graders have a homework sheet every night. And some of them can't read the directions and so a parent's help is necessary. I hate it, but it's the way the program is designed, so that's that.
     
  31. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    You've "known teachers" who did that stuff? What about school districts that REQUIRE teachers to do all of those things.
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    The bad homework thread and this thread have me confused. If there is recess at school then why can't homework be sent home? Certain people are arguing that kids should have free time at home. But they already had free time at school (recess) so the argument that kids aren't having any "fun" during the day doesn't stand.
     
  33. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Is recess always fun? I know a lot of both kids and adults who would say no.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Well, recess is free time. What they do doing their free time could be fun and people say they shouldn't be given homework to do at recess. Then the same people are saying don't send homework home. When did it stop being the teacher's choice what to do in class (work, recess, whatever) and what to send home? I'm just confused but maybe I'm just confused because what certain people are saying is just ridiculous and makes no sense. Yeah, I'm going with that.
     
  35. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oh, kids get twenty minutes of recess? Clearly that means they don't need any free time at home!

    Kids get recess for the same reason why virtually all workers in the US get a 15 minute break in addition to their lunch break.
     
  36. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Here is what I do for homework accountability.

    First, I establish a reliable line of electronic communication to each parent. Right now, it's email. My guess is that in a few years, it will be Facebook or some other social networking platform. You might say "but my kids parents are poor and they don't have computers at home." That may have been true 10 years ago. But nowadays, if they are poor, it probably means they have given up their land line and have a cell phone instead. And even the cheapest flip phone has text messaging. Most likely they have data plan of some sort where they can have email.

    You could also use some sort of system where you send text messages.

    But whatever it is, it has to be something that when I post the homework, their phone beeps, or some visual icon appears on their phone, tablet, or computer screen. Simply maintaining a class webpage does not cut it.

    By 4:00 each day, I send out a short message containing that night's homework.

    Here's the thing. If the parents know their kid has homework that is due tomorrow, they will be the ones making sure it gets done.

    But that's only if they KNOW their kids have homework. And they have to know it, without having to look for a "homework folder" in their kid's backpack every night or get on a computer and go to a class web page. But a brief, timely, text message that says their kid has homework will generally move them to action. Oh, I also send the message to let parents know if we DON'T have homework.

    Remember: You need to make their phone beep

    I also make it abundantly clear to both parents and students that I NEVER collect homework on the same day I assign it. In other words, if a student somehow finds time to finish their homework in class, they still have to take it home and show it to their parents. I do this in order to avoid the following conversation in the car on the way home from school:

    Parent: So do you have any homework?
    Kid: No.
    Parent: Why not?
    Kid: I finished it at school.
    Parent: Where is it? Can I see it?
    Kid: I turned it into the teacher.

    This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and has probably allowed millions of lazy elementary and middle school kids to avoid homework since ancient times. I went a month in third grade without doing a lick of work using this ruse. Of course, the jig was up and it all came crashing down at parent teacher conferences because, while I had developed a reasonably good poker face and could get away with telling some pretty big whoppers, I still had the foresight of a 9 year old.

    Bottom line: Kids will do homework if their parents know their kids have homework. But they have to know early enough that their kids can finish the work well before bed time or even dinner time. The only way they will know it is if the teacher can tell them in a direct manner that does not require investigation on their part. A class web page, student "planner" or "homework folder" just won't cut it any more.
     
  37. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's quite a system you have there, Sarge. It seems like there could be no excuse for homework NOT being done. You're doing everything on your end but what about the parents who whine that they don't want their kids doing homework because they're too busy at home? Do they have to finish it the next day in school?
     
  38. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Honestly, I get very few of those. And none at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    The purpose of homework is to support the students meeting the learning goals set at school. If a student is meeting those goals without doing homework, and the parents are good with that, I generally let it go.

    If the parents aren't concerned that not doing homework will somehow make their kid less responsible when they get to high school, I'm not going to try and change their mind. Those dice will fall where they fall.
     
  39. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Also, as far at kids being "too busy" for homework, I tell parents that whatever homework I give should not require more than a 20 to 30 minute effort. If, after, 30 minutes, they are still struggling, then call it quits and write me a note. And that includes 20 minutes of reading. No math paper should take more than 10 minutes.
     
  40. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I also believe that if a district were to adopt a "zero homework until middle school (or even high school), those kids would do just fine when they got to the grade level where homework was required.
     
  41. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Indeed. This is an important specification worth consideration with any hw at any grade level. A work ethic trait to watch for both at home and in the classroom is learned helplessness. As you know some kids can become quite expert at the "I don't get this!" ruse to either get out of doing the task or hooking the adult to do it for them. The key concept here is "effort".
     

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