HOMEWORK: Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'General Education' started by CFClassroom, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I've really been reflecting on homework this summer.

    As a parent, I feel like it takes away from what little family time we have on weeknights.

    As a teacher, I feel like it is a waste of time and paper.

    I'm trying to come up with some fresh ideas and solutions that will be beneficial to the kids and meet the requirement that homework be issued. I have some thoughts in mind, but would love to know what others are thinking.

    So...

    How do you feel about homework as a parent, a teacher or both?

    What age do you teach?
     
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  3. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2011

    How do you feel about homework as a parent, a teacher or both?

    As a parent, I do not LOVE homework, but like the practice the my daughters have, plus when they are doing homework, I can sit with them and reflect on their learning. However, some nights the homework is overwhelming, or useless. For example my 6 year old who reads like a 4th grade had this sight word book that she was supposed to read every night and have my initial the book. we rarely read the book just because she could already read all the words, and to me, it was not time well spent. At the end of the year, her teacher made sure to make her know that she had the fewest parent signatures in her notebook of the whole class. This made her feel (my daughter) really sad. Something a teacher might do is make more homework multi-level - like in this case.

    As a teacher of Kindergarten, I keep the homework very light. I ask parents to read with their children as much as they can - but do not ask for a log of books because I feel that is a waste of paper/time. I send home a monthly calendar of enrichment activities that get done by 75% of the kids.

    When I taught second grade, I did the regular routine homework each night, spelling, one math sheet, and reading. I gave less homework that most of the other teachers just because I did not see the need for it.
     
  4. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 25, 2011

    did you talk to the teacher about that? I am sure she could have arranged something for your daughter.


    Personally, I don't give a lot of homework...no more than 20 problems a night for a maximum of 45 minutes spent on homework, some nights it takes as little as 15 minutes to complete the assignment. If it's a friday I give about 50 problems because of the weekend.

    oh, i teach 8-12 math in case no one knew.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    As a teacher, I try to consider my student's families when assigning homework. I never assign it over the weekend or on Wednesdays (most families in my area have church Wed. nights). The other nights, I usually assign some short reading assignment such as write a summary of the chapter you read tonight, or list three connections you can make to your book, etc. They may or may not have to finish an assignment they didn't get finished during class time.

    This was for 5th graders. I understand the argument that homework helps reinforce learning and prepares them for high school when they will have more, but most of my students do not have parental support at home for homework, or are busy being the parent to their younger siblings because Mom (most came from single parent homes) was busy working 2 jobs to provide for them.

    This year, I am switching to a more affluent district where the parents expect more homework. I'm not sure how I'm going to address that because I don't want it to be busy work.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I am very mixed on my feelings. It seems like there is a lot of contradictory research out there. Sometimes it can be beneficial, other times it can be bad for the student. I believe the homework begins to have a negative effect is when it becomes too time consuming, and just too much for the student.

    Personally, I do not give a whole lot of hw for that very reasons. My students do have math homework about twice a week (pages are front and back to save paper, and each is to review a lesson we learned in school...we learn 4 new lessons a week), another page or 2 in their language arts hw book (these will often have only 5 problems on a side, and do not take students long to do at all), and then reading for 15-minutes every night.

    My daughter always has a ton of homework and I find it very frustrating.
     
  7. montanadreaming

    montanadreaming Rookie

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    My school has sop's that address "Homework" and as teachers we are not allowed to deviate from those policies. Here are some of those policies:

    K-6
    A homework log will be sent home every week and posted online, students should keep a copy in their binder.

    Homework is defined as - any and all assignments, project preparation, and any assignment that requires writing something down. It is not -reading, reviewing, studying or test/quiz preparation.

    The total time a student should spend on homework is:
    K-2: 60 min per night for defined homework, 30 min per night for additional reading/studying, (this is for 5 nights every week)
    3-6: 75 min per night for defined homework, 45 min per night for extra reading/studying

    We also have a "No Late Homework" policy if a students does not have their homework there are consequences that they will receive such as no recess, lunch detention, Sat. School etc.

    We also do not count spelling and vocabulary homework into a students grade. It does have to be completed or will count as a missing assignment and the student will receive the consequences mentioned above.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Seriously...TWO hours of homework every night for grades 3-5!? I would certainly find a way to work around this policy if I worked in this district. As a parent, that's two hours of quality family time taken away from us.
    What happens to the children who can't keep up this pace?
     
  9. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    Homework is helpful reinforcement, for most students. I give the same amount as the Fonz, about 10 to 20 problems every two days during the week. (I see my students on a block schedule). For some, the work can be completed within 15 minutes. For others, can take as long as an hour.

    I don't have any answers. I have seen where homework truly does work, and others where I try to figure out what went wrong.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    60 minutes, plus 30 more minutes for reading seems like an awful lot to me. What happened to the 10-minute per grade-level? Has that recommendation been done with?

    Is your school's policy based on any research findings? Just curious. I feel our students end up with a lot of hw because they have hw from their English teacher, Spanish teacher, and sometimes other teachers (like PE, which I don't get)...
     
  11. mwil

    mwil Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I teach 5th grade, and I only give brief homework assignments each week. They are expected to finish anything that was not finished in class - many students who didn't finish their work are simply the ones who were goofing around, or they just need a little extra time.

    Last year, I required three short journal entries each week, and they were given time to complete these in class but often worked on them at home, as well. This year, I think I will require one journal entry each week for writing, and one reading response entry. They do not have a reading log. During the last half of the year, as we prepare for our state assessment, I do give a daily math homework assignment and make parents aware of it. They are given a packet on monday, and turn it in on Friday. Each day they have 10 problems, but the problems are separated out so that the more time consuming problems are mixed with the very short problems, such as rounding numbers.

    Anything that I give strictly as homework cannot be graded, and the math homework I require them to ONLY do at home. These are strictly computational problems, and help refresh their memories about how to solve different problems. I send a note home to parents letting them know that it is required and expected to be done at home, but students should circle any problems they don't understand and I'll go over it with them in the morning. On Friday, we review all problems and their goal is to do better than they did the previous week.

    Hope that helps!
     
  12. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2011

    For math (5th grade) I usually do less than 10 problems per night because I want to be sure that I am able to at least review them all the following day or collect them for a grade.

    For language arts (5th grade) I usually do a 10-15 night write and questions or vocabulary words. They do have spelling, but it is assigned as a packet on Monday and not due until Friday. They have plenty of time to complete the packet without a problem. This upcoming year we are also adding in a reading log. We want students to be responsible for keeping a log of what they're reading and how long they read for.

    We are allowed to assign 10 mins of homework per grade (meaning that 5th grade can have 50 minutes of homework).

    I like giving homework as long as I know I will be able to grade it or use it in class. It's not fair to the students to assign homework if it will not be used in some way.
     
  13. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I am not a parent so I can not give you that view point.

    As a teacher, a majority of my kids do not do their homework. It has been recommended to give homework at least once a week. It is hard when the return rate is 10%, but I do it anyway. Last year, I had a hard time, giving homework every week. The kids get homework about a total of four times a week from the math and language art class. This year, I will be given light homework and make it more meaningful to their learning rather than to fill the once of week quota. The kids are not allowed to bring textbooks home, so that is another issue that I trying to overcome. I used a lot of edhelper worksheets last year that related to the work that we did during the week. However, I will make homework more specific and meaningful to the kids. Something they can relate to their everyday lives.
     
  14. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I use to give a homework packet on Monday to be turned in on Friday. The homework packet had 1 side of spelling and 1 side of math in it per night (front to back).

    This year, I am going to change things a bit. Students will have 1 sheet of homework with 5-10 math problems to focus on the current skills we've been learning in our classroom. Students will also be required to read at home for 20 minutes each night.

    I don't have any kids of my own, but I do know it is hard for families to complete a ton of homework each night. I believe homework should be able to be completed by the student without help from the parent. I think it is great if the parents want to help, but it shouldn't be required. I also feel that students need additional practice outside of the classroom, but that they are kids and also need time to play, participate in activities, etc. I've always had a difficult time assigning homework. Some parents want tons of homework while others do not. It's a fine line I guess, and I'm starting to realize you can't make everyone happy. For those that want extra homework, I will provide online resources for their students at home.
     
  15. montanadreaming

    montanadreaming Rookie

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    It is a classical college prep school and I am not sure if they have looked at research. Also that is the most a student should be spending on homework and includes all subjects.

    We do many things that used to be done in education - we require cursive starting at 3rd grade when it is introduced and it is mandatory by 5th grade.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    During student teaching, I rarely gave homework unless it was to finish something we didn't have time for in class. This was my cooperating teacher's policy as she felt the kids never did the homework she assigned. During student teaching I think I gave homework maybe 6 times.

    I will be doing things differently now as I have an A/B block schedule and will definitely assign some homework, especially since they will have two nights to complete it. I teach 8th, 10th, and 12th. I can't imagine not assigning homework as I know how it was in college! If I hadn't learned time management in high school I would have been totally lost :eek:
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I only teach English, but give very little homework for the sake of homework. The students may need to spend time on on-going assignments and do some personal reading, but that's it from me.

    As a parent, I'm dealing with the high school student who regularly has upwards of 3 hours of homework per night--not acceptable.
     
  18. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I used to give homework, but I started thinking about a few things.

    First of all, it's not an accurate assessment of my student's abilities. Many of my students cannot do homework independently.

    Many of my students live far away, over an hour. School is hard for them. They get home, eat dinner, and are exhausted.

    Most of my students don't have appropriate social skills. They aren't going to learn them if they are inside doing homework all the time.

    I do give some homework, but it's rarely.

    I do have one class where students earn regular high school credit, instead of special diploma credit, and I assign homework in that one.
     
  19. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I'm not giving homework this year. I am going to come up with a list of things to do at home instead of homework, if parents want to enrich their child's life a little.

    Since most teachers barely check homework- or not even grade it, it's kind of stupid. I got so sick of homework last year, it was the biggest hassle and I know parents don't REALLY want it. It didn't count for anything, anyway.

    Now that I am moving to second grade, I think I won't do it. Really, we work so hard in class, there is no reason for them to do anything but READ at home.
     
  20. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    My students main homework assignments are finishing whatever was not completed in class. I always give plenty of time in class for students to complete their work. If a student has a lot of homework, it is because they didn't work in class. The exception to this is math. We had a new math program last year, and I found that the lesson took the entire class time, so the practice pages had to go home to be worked on, but the pages never had more that 12-15 problems (if that). Students have to do 3 spelling activities from a choice board, but they are not due until Friday, and they are allowed to work on them in class when they have their other work completed.

    My students do have to complete a reading log each night. They are required to read 30 minutes a night. Occassionally I assign a project, but students always have 2-4 weeks to complete the project. I usually give them a calendar to help them keep track of what they need to do. Projects include book reports, social studies and science projects. While book reports are given, the students are given time in class to read their book, and I have given them time in class to write their reports. The project part of the book report is usually a home assignment.
     
  21. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    I've struggled with whether or not to assign outside homework, work that must be completed at home, every year. In the past, the only homework students have had are things they haven't finished during class. I've received some wonderful ideas and documents from members here about outside reading, and I think I'm going to use this as homework. I won't require a huge amount of time, assigining pages or a deadline geared towards their reading level. IDK, maybe it will work, maybe it won't. I'm excited to give it a whirl. For the last two years, my partner teacher has assigned TONS of homework. We're talking five pages of math per night, so I always felt a little guilty "assigning" homework. I have a different partner teacher this year, thank the heavens above, so I'm anxious to see if that makes a difference.

    Beth
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I am required to give 3 pages of homework 4 nights of the week. I can send it all home on Monday or each night. I prefer to send it home each night. That's in addition to the reading log. Last year I sent a monthly reading log home, I found that some parents colored it all in & tried to send it back the first week. Other parents didn't bother doing it. At least some parents were honest.

    It is a grade on the report card.

    This year I'm putting the reading log on the back of the behavior log. So it will be a weekly grade.

    I usually do a math sheet, a phonics sheet & maybe handwriting practice each night.

    I don't send homework home on short weeks (shh, don't tell!), the day of a field trip or the night of a program. I will give extra credit for participating in the program.
     
  23. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    This is a really interesting discussion, and I see we have many differing views. As a parent, I can't stand how much hw is given out. I am busy with work the whole day, as my DD is busy with school the whole day, and when we return she is still busy with massive amounts of hw. It's absolutely crazy. I think extra practice is good, but when it becomes such a tedious, time-consuming task, it takes the joy away from school. I have seen this with my own daughter.

    I have already posted what I do about hw in my own class. I do believe in some hw, but there has to be a balance.
     
  24. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    I'll be teaching 8th grade, so I'm not sure how much homework I will be giving. When I student taught 7th grade, my mentor teacher had a routine of giving hw Monday, and it was always due on Friday. She also had a little competition between the 4 classes that really made students want to turn it in more. I think I will definitely give more than one assignment a week though.
     
  25. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    As a teacher I personally dont like to give homework... because then I have to go back and check it and leave comments etc. Then do record keeping for homework. I think the process is tedious and takes time away for children to have more downtime and family time at home.

    I do see the importance of it... 1. I have to remain consistent with the grade level and school homework policy. 2. It does let parents see what they are practicing and working on at school. 3. If there are some leftover work that has been incomplete in class I will let it go home as homework.

    For me the task can sometimes become redundant with the type of homework they are working on.

    Next year I'm going to have a homework notebook where I type on the computer on the mailing labels and place it on the homework page. This will cut down on the amount of copies I make and it will make for easier storing. That way for conferences I can pull out the notebook and flip through it.

    I will definetly continue having the students read 20 minutes nightly and reflect on it. Incorporate some math and language and call it a night with their homework.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My kids have a 20 minute rule. At the end of 20 minutes, done or not, they can close their notebooks.

    If everyone had a problem finishing, then it's my problem-- either I assigned too much or need to reteach.

    If it's just a few kids, then I expect to see them at extra help in the near future.

    They're also allowed to miss, and make up for full credit, up to 3 homeworks per marking period. Sometimes life gets in the way of homework.

    As a math teacher, I think homework is incredibly important. It's kind of like student teaching-- a chance to brush up their skills "with a net" before an error will effect their grade.

    As to my own children, I'm fine with homework that makes sense to me. But some of the assignements my kids have come home with have left my head spinning.

    Like the time Brian was given a 45 page "optional" test prep booklet to do over February break, that was never even checked for completeness.

    Or the assignments or projects that have occasionally come home because a teacher wants to give us more family time together. That leaves me very annoyed and confused, since the homework is what's getting in the way of the family time.
     
  27. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Well, I don't have any kids so I can't comment on that. I don't generally assign homework because my students would never do it. There are parents out there who expect and want their children to have homework...but I think that is a generational thing.
     
  28. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    We have the '10 minutes per grade level' policy at my school. In grade 1 we send home one homework sheet per week - it has some maths problems, some literacy activities and spelling and sight words to practise. The children also take a book home each night to read. It should take the children no longer than 10 mins (plus reading) per night and usually is less than this.
    I like sending a weekly sheet as I know different nights are busy for different families and it's no problem if they miss a night. We also send it home mid-week so, even though we don't officially give weekend homework, the option is there if it suits families.
    I hate homework for the sake of homework so we always make our activities review and consolidation of skills covered in class.
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I send a weekly packet home... on the dreaded Friday, and due the following Thursday. It looks like a lot more than it is. It includes my newsletter, pre-printed high-frequency word flash cards, the spelling list, the stories for the week, a couple of math pages (with not much on them), and a page that gives the students options as to which activities to do for spelling (tic-tac-toe). My students also have a reading log in which they are to read 20 min. per night, and have an older person (sometimes I have to allow for an older sibling) listen to the reading, and complete the log.

    My reasoning behind doing it weekly is: (a) if a student chooses to get a head start over the weekend, they are free to do so, but not required, and (b) the students are learning the responsibility of keeping up with the packet for the week. I tell them "I don't want it until Thursday," and some keep it in their backpacks, while others keep it at home.

    I also send a "how-to" letter home at the beginning of the year so my parents know what is going on with homework. There is a predictable pattern to the packet, and I have had very few (2/15 students last year) students not complete and return it!
     
  30. outsidethelines

    outsidethelines Companion

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    I am pretty anti-homework in my classes. I despise taking work home because I enjoy my downtime and social life, which I recognize is important for my students, as well. I see my classes for 90 minutes at a time so we generally have plenty of time to get everything done during class time. Occasionally, I will assign outside work, such as a study guide to help them prepare for exams and such, but as I said, it is rare.

    All that being said, I do recognize the benefit of it in other classes, like math problems or writing an English paper. I sometimes feel if we are doing our middle-schoolers a disservice in these classes by rarely giving them homework when they are going to be bombarded with it in high school.
     
  31. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Homework is defined as - any and all assignments, project preparation, and any assignment that requires writing something down. It is not -reading, reviewing, studying or test/quiz preparation.

    Where did you get them from? Reading, reviewing, studying, etc. . IS hw(in my opinion). It also prepares them for high school and college.
     
  32. montanadreaming

    montanadreaming Rookie

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    Because parents wnated to know what exactly counted into the time for homework and because there were students that would claim to work on homework from the time they got home until midnight the powers that be defined homework. They only thing that counts in the homework time is assignments not finished in class, practice of lessons given in class, working on projects etc. studying, reading, reviewing does not count in that time.
    Parents actually like the way it is set up, I know this because I have had parents tell me they can better manage family time.

    When I was growing up nad with my own children I always counted reading, studying etc into homework time.
     
  33. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2011

    It's funny, I used to say a lot of what has been posted here and got a lot of grief for it. My stance would be that the kids need time to learn social skills by playing sports or whatever after school, have time with their families, etc. All these educational militants would scream at me things about how the country is behind other countries and how are we going to catch up (?), students should have no less than 40 minutes of homework per subject every night (I guess sleep is not an option), and assorted absurd things like that. :lol:

    NOW people are starting to look at the human aspect of growing up and all of a sudden re-thinking those positions. :eek:

    Anyhow, unless I want 35 "F"s in each class each marking period, I don't give homework because they won't do it. Since we started this Heterogeneous grouping nonsense, I have kids who can barely speak English in with kids that can be fairly diligent about their classwork. So, my policy has always been whatever they can't finish during class becomes their homework.

    The ones who would likely wind up with "F"s anyway say, "Ah, I'll do it for homework," and then don't do it. So it cuts down on the "F"s, if nothing else.
     
  34. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I just don't see why homework has become such a dirty word lately. Mind you, I speak from a high school perspective (social studies: history). But homework is absolutely critical in my classes. That said, it's not random worksheets, or other things I assign for the sake of assigning work. The homework is always reading in preparation for the following day's discussion. I assign questions with that reading as a method to ensure they do it (or at least skim it.. something is better than nothing).

    Failure to do the reading makes the next day's class discussion virtually incomprehensible for a student. The reading introduces people and vocabulary I talk about it in class, and if they don't do that homework, the kids will be lost. And I certainly don't have to time to read in class each day... we may take the occasional day to read particularly challenging documents together, but generally it's done at home.

    I've seen many comment "well, I don't assign it because they won't do it". What's awfully defeatist, isn't it? Many teachers in my building had a similar attitude (we're 60% low-income was their justification), but I refuse to accept that. The reason many didn't do homework is because we didn't expect them to. Essentially, in my classes... if you blow off the reading, you don't understand class discussion, and then you flunk tests. Therefore: if you blow off the reading, you generally fail the course. Kids learned real quick.

    Not everyone of course. I have around 3 kids or so in each class period that DO fail, but such is life. They refused to do anything.
     
  35. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I find it difficult to understand the "3 pages a night" kind of homework policy. This could vary so much and seems like such an arbitrary, pulled out of a hat kind of thing.

    I have never understood the idea of this type of homework on a daily or weekly basis. To me, the idea of homework is to practice or apply a skill or demonstrate knowledge of a concept learned in class. I think that sending home practice math work after a lesson is a bad idea (and I do understand not having time in class) because I would hazard to guess that nine out of ten kids need support with those practice questions that most of their parents can't give them. So the next day they are not prepared for the next lesson and so on. I would rather miss some curriculum and ensure that my kids have a strong understanding than send work home just to make sure I kept up the pace. The only homework I assigned for grades 5-8 were projects that they were given weeks to complete and that had a lot of choice and allowed kids to really demonstrate their understanding of what they had learned. In Kindergarten I currently send home a homework calendar that is really flexible and fun for both kids and parents. It can be done when they have time and if not, I tell them to focus on reading with and to their child.

    It upsets me to think of the powers that be coming up with these strict homework guidelines that have no correlation to what is happening in the classroom and what is best for students.
     
  36. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011

     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2011

    If 9 out of 10 of my high school kids cannot do the homework, then either I've assigned the wrong page accidentally or there's a HUGE problem with my teaching. Anyone who forgets what to do has "process" notes that we've come up with together in class as a reference.

    After 38 minutes on a topic, every kid in that class should be able to get through the homework. The one or two who occasionally cannot come to extra help.

    I would never presume that a parent would or should be able to help with homework. That's what I'm there for.
     
  38. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I rarely needed help with my math homework. We always practiced a few problems in class, learned how to walk through it. I think it's vital to assign problems because otherwise I would have never gotten the hang of most math stuff! I think you're definitely right, Alice! :thumb:
     
  39. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I disagree. What I meant was that if you only have time to teach the lesson and then immediately send home all the practice work for homework without any chance for the kids to clarify, ask questions, get feedback...then I know we would all have students who would struggle (maybe 9 out of 10 is a stretch but I teach in a community where a good majority of the class has some sort of learning difficulty and where parent involvement is non-existent)When I taught grade 8 last year I taught 3 different grade levels of math within one grade level classroom and I stagger my lessons during the week so that students have plenty of time to complete practice work at school where they can get as much support as they require. I believe that students learn so much more when the teacher is there during the practice process to give instant feedback.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I think that then the issue isn't homework, it's time management on the part of the teacher.

    Let's say I have a first period geometry class, and we cover finding the area of a regular polygon using Trig. It's basically a 5 step process. We do 2 examples, then we come up with our Process notes. We do 3 or 4 more examples before the bell rings, and everyone leaves my class understanding the concept.

    But then they go across the hall to Kevin's European History class. Then to Liz's health class and then to Jenna's Chemistry class. They have half an hour for lunch, then it's on to Religion and Spanish and English and Gym. Then it's soccer practice and home for dinner.

    So it's been 10 hours since they wrote those Process notes. Many of the kids will have to refer to those notes to get through the homework. But I ask that they spend 20 minutes remembering and figuring it all out. Twenty minutes, that's all they should need. If it clicks, they're good to go-- they can do the problems on their own and will be able to study on their own before a quiz or a test.

    And if they get stuck, they realize it. We go over the problem in class, and if they need more extra help they come and get it after school.

    But I can't assume that they know it when they leave class-- they ALL understand it in class. The question is whether or not they're able to leave it and come back to it, and still get the problems correct. HOmework gives them that opportunity.
     
  41. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    The thing about timing is that for each student it's different.

    I assign about 75 pages of reading per week. There are no "assignments" as such, but students know that the chapter (in our text) plus the essay must be read by a particular day. They have a weekly syllabus that specifies the day of each discussion.

    For some students, 75 pages is a snap. For others, that's 30 minutes per night, minimum. When the reading is especially hard or especially long - double that.

    So from my perspective it's incredibly hard on teachers to say "10 minutes" since you then have to figure out how much time the problems will take different students and try to sort of average it out. The adept students whiz through it while others struggle and no one's happy.

    I like Alice's system because it takes a lot of responsibility for the teacher (after all - I'm the expert, right?) and because it offers students a psychological exit. For those with anxiety (so common with math) the 20-minute rule means you can cope because you know when it will be over. That system wouldn't work for me, but I admire its elegance.
     

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