How to balance homework expectations with what's actually good for kids

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by gr3teacher, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    793

    Jul 16, 2016

    My district expects students to get 10 minutes of homework a night, Monday through Thursday, per grade (so first graders get 10, 6th graders 60, etc). It's not a requirement, but it's a general expectation, and parents get grumpy if they don't see it.

    I didn't have a... huge... problem with it for third graders. Twenty minutes of independent reading and a small handful of math problems took care of it.

    But now that I'm teaching 5th grade... I've seen enough research to make me believe that homework has minimal value (if any) for elementary kids at all, and 50 minutes of homework a night... ugh. They aren't going to want to do it, and I sure as [redacted] don't want to grade or check it. I'd really prefer to just stick to what I've done with third grade. I'm just afraid of getting called to the carpet for not giving enough homework.

    Any suggestions on how to balance things?
     
  2.  
  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Jul 16, 2016

    I do 30 minutes of reading and 10 minutes of memorizing math fact. I also provide parents with websites for extra work, such as khan academy, study island, and prodigy math. I use AR reading to monitor how much and good fit books students are reading. I also give time in class to practice math facts. I too find homework a waste of time.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,816
    Likes Received:
    1,746

    Jul 16, 2016

    You can do 30 minutes of reading, 10 minutes of math, and 10 minutes of other which can be more fun but be thinking skills. For example, you can have logic building homework, word play homework, mystery stories, etc. Things that work on inductive and deductive reasoning. Homework to use Greek and Latin roots to help build vocabulary. If they can't solve the puzzles easily they can write down their thoughts even in brief form so they can learn to see their thinking. That way you get 2 solid academic homework assignments and then a learning assignment that can be different and educational.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  5. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jul 18, 2016

    Do you think them other things besides reading/writing and math? (I hope you do!)
    Why not a social studies or science activity that ties in all the skills that you're teaching them and helps to extend their learning outside of the classroom?
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,684
    Likes Received:
    457

    Jul 18, 2016

    Assigning homework for the sake of having homework is annoying. I agree that 50-60 minutes of homework nightly is too much. I would do 30 minutes reading (honor system as I despise reading logs), and something else simple that could be a standard weekly project. Maybe they could summarize a current event weekly? That would get them researching the news. Leave 10-15 minutes a night available for any work they didn't finish in class.
     
    mathmagic likes this.
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,472
    Likes Received:
    1,098

    Jul 18, 2016

    Can you make it a range? Up to 50 minutes but if they are done earlier it's ok>?
     
  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,475
    Likes Received:
    58

    Jul 19, 2016

    That seems interesting.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Jul 19, 2016

    This sounds like coming up with an idea for the sake of having homework, though...I agree that this would be a neat idea, but when it comes down to it, perhaps just having the basic skill practice (i.e. IR, and brief math facts practice, if needed) be the required homework, with suggestions for extensions for families, is all that's needed?
     
    Backroads likes this.
  10. sharan singh

    sharan singh Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2016

    That's like a time bound for every student. It needs to be balanced even if it for 1st grade or for 5th grade.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jul 19, 2016

    Just throwing this in ~ as I'm working on some new homework assignments for my 5th graders:
    - We are working with diatomaceous earth, so for homework I'm having them read an article (unless I can find something better online) and asking questions based on what I want them to know about diatoms.
    - They are working with mixtures and solutions, so I'm going to give them a list of materials that they would probably have a home to mix with water to see if it creates a mixture or a solution (or not). They check off the ones they did and write down their observations in a data table. We will add this to our list that we are making at school.

    Quick and simple things like these can be done at home and can extend what we are doing in the class.
     
    Backroads and mathmagic like this.
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Jul 19, 2016

    The most fun my kids had last year with homework, and the most engaging/helpful in terms of driving learning, were certainly the interactive ones (experimenting, writing a bill for our class government, creating a wagon in connection with our Pioneer unit, etc...)!
     
    BioAngel likes this.
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    498

    Jul 24, 2016

    Your 10 minute/grade standard seems to be the typical standard in most schools.

    I would suggest doing 2 things.

    1. The nice thing about homework is often the teacher has a lot of choice of what to assign. Assign something that you are really passionate that you think would be beneficial and maybe even enjoyable to do for homework.

    2. 50 minutes is a general guide for 5th grade. Some teachers tend to give a bit more than this and some give a little less. Go ahead and give 40 minutes of homework/night. Another idea might be to do the 1st 10 minutes in class, and then 40 at home.

    I taught 5th grade and I often gave about 50 minutes. This is after having given 30 minute homework assignments when I taught 3rd grade. I found in both grades, they tended to do their homework. Fifth grade will get a few whiners, but I think they'd whine even if you gave them half the homework.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Jr1973
Total: 387 (members: 1, guests: 370, robots: 16)
test