Homework

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hornetteacher, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. hornetteacher

    hornetteacher Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I am beginning my 14 year of teaching 4th grade. In the past few years I have had parents complaining that I give too much homework. (Many students get all work done at school, most get some done, but they should never have more than 1/2 hr or 45 minutes on heavy days. ) While I know it's more than they get in 3rd gr., I don't feel that it is too much. It's not uncommon to have 4-5 items for them to write down in their homework notebooks, but they have usually had a chance to finish the majority of them at school, if their time was used wisely.

    I am looking for ideas on cutting down the volume of "homework" but still have the same number of grades for my gradebook.

    One minor thing I have considered is having them finish assignments (write 3X each, etc., which we do first thing in am) before they can go to recess.

    Any other ideas would be appreciated!
     
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  3. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Are parents upset by the number of assignments the kids have or the amount of time they spend on homework. It's generally acceptable to give kids 10 minutes of homework times whatever grade they are in. 10 min. X 4th grade= 40 min. of homework per night. I would explain that to parents and stick to those guidelines, no matter the number of assignments. I would welcome parents to discuss homework if their child was not able to complete it within an hour on a regular basis (not just once or twice).
     
  4. hornetteacher

    hornetteacher Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Thank you. Usually it's the amount of time, but it's often just the number of assignments. I don't believe they should ever (or very rarely) have more than 40 minutes of homework. Of course, this depends on how well they have used their time during the day, and how diligently they work at home. I also have parents who want their child to bring home all homework before they turn it in so the parent can check it.
     
  5. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Do you do the homework system where they have classwork and what they don't finish becomes homework? I could see the kids that get easily distracted having a ton to take home everyday. If that's the case maybe you can come up with a remedy for lack of focus and the homework problems will go away (mostly).
     
  6. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Many times it depends on how the child attacks their homework.I have had parents complain that their child took two hours on a homework assignment that took others 40 minutes.Some students get right down to work and complete their work as soon as they get home while others start and watch TV,or go out to play between doing their homework or take forever because they get stuck on A part of the homework they don't understand.Unless a majority of the class is complaining you are not giving too much homework.
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2008

    They're complaining because they can't get their kid to do the work, just like they don't do it during class.

    Parents become enablers to their kids by not expecting them to do their work. Stick w/your guns. You probably only have 2-3 complaining out of 20, so 17 are benefitting from the homework. Choose your battles according to what's most beneficial and valuable to your students.
     
  8. Science Mike

    Science Mike New Member

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    Jul 13, 2008

    It gets no better as you go up. We have many parents at the 7th grade level complain about amounts of HW. My team gives homework but many of us give some time in class and we make sure that the assignment can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Most of the time, HW is due in several days, not the next day.

    The biggest problem I see is the amount of wasted time and the huge number of things kids do nowadays. Many of our kids wait until the night before something is due, so time management is a big deal and they are learning this (I hope). Many of our kids are involved with several things after school is over (sports, karate, youth groups, band, clubs, and so on). I'm not saying kids shouldn't be part of those, but parents might want to look at how involved their child is, and begin to make choices.
     
  9. MuggleBug

    MuggleBug Companion

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    Jul 14, 2008

    One of the 5th grade teachers at the school I subbed at received many complaints from her students (not the parents) that they were given too much homework. She sent them home with a time sheet and asked them to write down everything they did, in 30 minute intervals, from the time they got home to the time they went to bed. The next day she had some of the students share and very few had spent more than an hour working on homework (and that included a longterm project and studying for a test). I think seeing it on paper helped them realize that, put into perspective, it wasn't really too much work.
     
  10. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Jul 14, 2008

    We've used a policy similar to JunieBJones.

    Homework complaints elicit a conversation about how, when, where, and why to do homework. After we've made sure that they're truly focusing on their work, we ask the parents, not the students, to keep track of time. If they're "stuck" for more than a few minutes, they're supposed to make a note on their homework logs and move on to the next thing. The next morning, they come to the teacher and ask for help on that item. This works because we assign homework weekly, not daily. Honestly, once the parents start paying close attention to time, the complaints magically go away.

    I have one over-achiever (I call her Hermione...). If she stays up too late working and doesn't make bedtime (9, I think), her mom makes a note on her homework log, and I remind her at school that this is actually a negative behavior. By working together, her mom and I have managed to teach her to budget her time, and I rarely receive the notes any more.
     
  11. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2008

    I've heard this complaint as well. Fifth grade is the beginning of middle school for us and district policy states that they will have o 90 minutes of hw per night. Parents complain that their kids have way more than that, etc. I honestly can't see that happening without other factors. Sure, if your kid starts math, has snack, does a couple more math problems, has dinner, goes to baseball practice, and then comes home to finish it's long!
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 14, 2008

    And so I would ask, is the homework in place to create grades or learning? (I don't know if the policy is yours or the district's).

    Everything should have a purpose, and if homework is there to create grades, the purpose becomes meaningless to the student. In other words, they have lost interest and ownership.

    If everything has a purpose, and homework is there to facilitate learning, teach the students why it is beneficial. Think about assignments and show the students what ownership of hw means.

    Students need to learn how to commit to learning and take ownership, while maintaining a healthy balance of school and home.

    (There I go, Quantum Learning-izing again!)
     
  13. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Our homework policy is the 5 (5th grade) x 10 = 50 minutes a night. They have reading homework each night (Monday-Thursday) and then their math is whatever they don't finish in class. I also encourage my students to take home any assignments they know they're not going to finish by the due date. I have found the students that spends hours upon hours doing homework a night are the ones that won't sit down and focus. They are up and moving around very often and have little parental direction to "get to work." I don't necessarily think it's you giving them too much work. It's the students not having a structured environment at home to complete their work quickly and efficiently.
     

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