HOMEWORK: Your Thoughts

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

  1. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2011

    Ron1603: I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect high school students to do homework. You are teaching them responsibility. I think kids that are older (middle school, especially high school) should have more homework and be expected to complete it!

    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that homework should not be busy work just because we are required to assign it. I also feel as though homework should not be graded because parents can do it for them (yes, this happens every year in my classroom...they even do the handwriting :( ).

    I also agree that students should be able to complete their homework on their own at home. Typically, I spend two or three days teaching a topic before they are required to do homework on that skill. Homework is typically a review of the previous day or two.
     
  2. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2011


    Forgive me if I am feeling a little defensive but it feels like you are implying that I am failing as a teacher if my students struggle. I know in my heart that the way I teach and support my students nurtures both their mind and spirit so I'll just agree to disagree with you Alice.
     
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 25, 2011

    It is extremely rare that I assign homework beyond independent reading.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 25, 2011

    If I would have spent 20 minutes on math homework in middle school or HS, I would have gotten through maybe 1-2 problems a night. I used to spend several hours on the required 30 problems a night . Some teachers would let us do "odds" or "evens" so it was only 15 problems, but even then probably 90 minutes minimum. Freshman year my parents got me a tutor and I used to do a lot of my homework with her, so that helped a lot. She usually spent half an hour re-teaching me whatever it was and then half an hour going through some of the homework problems with me. Since I worked my butt off to complete the assignments and study for the tests, I usually scraped by with a "B" and the teachers didn't believe me when I said it was extremely difficult for me. They thought I was just one of those straight A students who was upset that I'd gotten a B. Junior year I FINALLY got a really good math teacher, and I went to his room for extra help almost every morning.

    I also don't really remember having homework in elementary school until 6th grade (that was still elementary in the district I attended). It was more of a "finish it at home if you don't do it in class" type thing. In college I started tutoring at a youth center and I could not believe all the homework the students were required to do. The program was for anyone, and I had one girl that was extremely bright and didn't really need extra help, but she liked to sit next to me while I was helping the other girls at the table and complete all of her work. She would have me sign off on her assignments when she was finished. As a bright 3rd grader, she often spent about 90 minutes finishing everything. If she was spending 90 minutes on it- imagine what kind of time the kids who struggled were spending! It was in a poor-performing district and I think the admin got the idea that more hw would raise test scores.

    I somtimes give my students differentiated hw to do instead of what their regular class is assigned. I'm in elementary, so maybe that's part of it, but my kids actually get excited when I give them hw! I usually only give it once or twice a week and they always bring it back, even though I know they have little parent support because of english language barriers. If they come to reading group with me every day and it's a younger fluency group that works on reading the same book all week, I also ask them to take the book home and practice reading through it at night. That shouldn't take more than 10 minutes tops.
     
  5. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I can certainly agree with your post. In middle school and high school... it was absolutely critical to read or you were lost the following day. I believe at a certain point homework has to be given and is easily justified... with linking it directly to what is going on in class. English reading novels, writing responses, science knowing your vocabulary reading your units etc.

    I can see how it can work... this year I'm determined to make my homework more parent child friendly... and keep it down to 20 minutes maxed (reading included).
     
  6. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2011

    When my son was in 1st -3rd grade (in a Montessori classroom) the homework that was sent home was workbook pages and had absolutely nothing to do with what was being learned in school. Oftentimes he hadn't even learned it yet in class. I didn't make him do any of that homework and the teachers knew it. I didn't believe it. I told them constantly that if it was relevant to what he was learning in school then I'd support it.

    I really don't believe homework is effective in the younger grades. I have no concrete statistics to back it up, it's just my hunch. I would love to have the time someday to look at the current research on homework and it's effectiveness or lack thereof at the different age levels.

    I get parents of my K's who want homework, and I tell them that they need to play board games with their children and read to them at home. They need to spend time with their children encouraging their children's interests.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 26, 2011

    My apologies. I never meant to imply anything of the sort.

    Each of us does what we feel is best for the kids we teach.

    ETA-- I just realized that you teach KINDERGARTEN. I teach high school. I would imagine that's a big part of the difference.I should be able to accurately predict what I can get done in a class period, and to assign hmeowork that will reinforce those skills. My kids should be able to do their homework without a struggle. They can re-read their class notes, written in their own words, and figure out how to do the problems. Your kids simply cannot. I can see how homework for you is a totally different matter than it is for me.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I give homework. It is not much and the kids have 5 days to complete it. They have one sheet of math problems. (About six on a page) And they have one sheet of LA homework which goes along with our focus for the week. The kids get their homework on Monday mornings and have the week to turn it in. We go over the homework on Friday mornings. There is also a required nightly reading of anything they want to read for 20 minutes. Most kids read more because they enjoy it. It isn't too much. Parents seldom complain because the child has 5 days to complete to assignment so if they have soccer practice and games 3 out of 5 nights, then the kids plan accordingly.
     
  9. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2011

    I don't value homework that much because I feel like many of my students do it carelessly just to get it over with and it isn't that valuable because I can't tell if the student did it themselves or got help. The main reason that I do assign homework is to keep the parents happy. The parents of the students in my school can be very demanding on their students academically. I assign weekly homework on Mondays and it is due Fridays. I check if they did it. Within the weekly homework is a reading requirement, daily math practice, spelling practice, daily vocabulary practice, grammar review, science and social studies.

    If I knew how to make homework more meaningful to my students (without giving me more stuff to grade:dizzy:) I would do it. But I haven't found a way.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I'm thinking of giving each page 2 points. 2 points if you completed everything (hmm, they never like to color, or sometimes they skip a question). 1 point if they did it, but didn't complete it & 0 points for not completing it.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 27, 2011

    My homework policies are very similar to Alice's. Actually, if I'm being honest, I stole them from her when I moved from teaching community college to middle school. :D

    I did adjust them to fit my own needs. I had the twenty minute rule, but I required my students to turn in the paper they were working on, along with a brief, 1-2 sentence explanation of what got them stuck. If all I got was a page with a thousand erasure marks and a little note, then that was good enough for me. The note helped in two ways. First, it forced them to be introspective and try to pinpoint for themselves what they were not understanding. Second, it helped me to refine a future "reteach" or an individualized extra help session.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2011

    I teach HS science. Homework is a necessity for Chemistry. I *could* get away without it in Biology but it makes things easier for me if they do it. And more fun for them. There is absolutely no way I could cover everything I need to cover without homework, in Chemistry at least. I could "cover" it in Bio but there would be more breadth than depth.

    Not all kids do it though. I'd say that grade-wise, kids that do their Chm homework probably see a letter grade difference on their tests. I'd bet that those that never did their homework would see a 2-3 letter grade difference. Because the kids that care enough to do the work are also the ones who participate, pay attention in class and actually attend each day.
     
  13. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jul 27, 2011

    Our district requires no more than 10% of a student's grade can be based on HW. The kids know this and many are willing to take the hit and not do the HW.

    I give a vocab packet (2 sided sheet with various exercises) every week - due the following week. Open-book vocab quiz every week - sometimes a take-home.

    Work not finished in class is always HW but I count it as a classwork grade. My classes are only 45 min long - not long enough! We are urged not to give HW on weekends.

    I have several long-term projects each year - usually 4-6 weeks in length. Most of the work is done at home. I give deadline and pacing reminders. Those count as project grades not HW.

    HW not attempted is automatically a 0. Late HW is automatically 60%. I do give HW passes - 1 or two per marking period (6 weeks). If absent, earned grade is given, no penalty. If parent sends a note, no penalty is given as long as it is not a habit.

    Reading is required each night - 20-30 minutes. I gave up on longs/journal entries. Kids rarely do them, many parents sign without checking. I do have them keep a list of books read - I do spot checks. District urges min of 2 books read per marking period. I've always been lenient based on the length of the book - a kid reading War & Peace will probably not complete two books in one marking period. This year I plan on requiring one small book-based project per marking period. We have two major book-based projects each year, so I won't have little ones those marking periods.

    I went thru 8 years of Catholic education and we always had homework. Even in HS I had HW every night, and some major projects over holiday breaks. I feel there is nothing wrong with HW as long as it is not busy work. None of us have time for busy work!

    I like Alice's rule of 20 min. There were times I spent what seemed like hours with math problems.

    I generally grade HW on attempt - not necessarily on how much is correct. We correct in class and I gauge whether I need to re-teach based on the results.

    It all depends on what we are covering. Maybe I'm a bit inconsistent with assigning HW other than the vocab? Oh well!:whistle:
     
  14. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jul 27, 2011

    :yeahthat:
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 28, 2011

    My district requires homework grades in Spelling, Grammar, and Writing. I include a reading log and math reinforcement pages, and basically treat it as a conduct grade. If you do it/turn it in on time, you get an A, 1 day late is a b, etc.
     

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