Homework Planners?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Miss Butterfly, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Miss Butterfly

    Miss Butterfly Rookie

    Aug 14, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Aug 10, 2009

    I'm interested in how other teachers manage homework assignments. How do you "give" homework? Do you have planners for students to write in? Do you make copies of the recorded assignments to students? Is hw assigned on a daily basis? Weekly basis??

    I ask these questions because for two years I taught in a school that purchased planners for students to record their homework in. School policy stated that students grades 3-6 needed to write their own homework assignments in the planner and have it signed each night by a parent.

    The school I'm teaching in now is much, much different. 5th grade students receive planners, but no other grades (3 and 4) do. When I asked other teachers about their methods, I didn't get a lot of advice other than I "shouldn't" be assigning homework on a daily basis--that it was "courtesy" to the parents and children to give a week's worth of homework at once so they could "make good choices" and decide which nights to complete the work.

    I did what was suggested by my veteran colleagues in this new school, and while I enjoy some aspects of it (it's nice putting together an entire packet with a suggested completion schedule on Monday and not worrying about homework again until Friday), but something about it just doesn't seem right to me.

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of giving homework assignments to begin with, unless it directly relates to what we're doing in class and a parent is willing to help the child with it. Research shows that homework is effective only when this occurs. But with this weekly packet thing, I feel like I'm promoting "work completion"--just "git 'er dun" mentality.

    It drives me nuts, because often times I get notes from parents complaining that they tried to do all the math work on Tuesday night, but their child didn't know how to do it--which makes sense, because the lesson for one of the assignments would have been taught on Wednesday.

    I also find it sometimes difficult to gauge just how far my class will get by the end of the week, say, in reading, making it hard to predict exactly what the homework should be.

    My other concern is I truly feel that fourth graders should be recording their own homework assignments--not receiving a photocopied schedule of the work to be completed. I think it should be part of their responsibility.

    I apologize for the long ranty-post, but I'd love to read about what others of you do in regards to this topic before I start another school year. Thanks!
  3. MissBee

    MissBee Companion

    Sep 4, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Aug 10, 2009

    I purchase a regular one-subject notebook for each student at the beginning of the school year to be used as a "Homework Notebook." If they lose their notebook or use it up, it is their responsibility to replace it. At the end of each school day, I write the nightly assignments on the board, and the students copy them into their notebooks.

    Homework in my 4th grade class usually consists of a math sheet that is a follow up of the daily lesson, occasional spelling/vocab practice, and 20-30 minutes of independent reading.

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