No more Ms. Nice Teacher

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by giraffe326, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    The kids have finally reached the mean teacher in me. This is week three, and many of you have heard me whining about missing assignments and no name papers. Well, I have officially reached my limit. I'm done! I just took well over an hour to write out all missing assignments. I have 84 missing assignments. I have 23 kids, 7 have all their work in. So, out of 16, they have a combined total of 84 missing assignments. This is after I just wrote their missing assignments in their agendas on Friday (as in two days ago-this was the 2nd time I have done that). I have three with 10+ missing assignments. I guess this isn't QUITE a fair statement, as I have 15-20 papers in my possession that are nameless. Still, that means I have 65+ missing assignments. So, tomorrow, I am making everyone stand up. I will read off the 7 students with all their work in. Then, I am going to make them tell me WHY they have x amount of missing assignments in front of the entire class. These kids will all have silent lunch and be walking laps at recess. They will be doing this EVERY DAY until their assignments are turned in. If they are not in by Friday, they get ZEROS and a phone call home informing their parents of their ZEROS.
    For those wondering why I have not made phone calls already, they are required to have their agendas signed nightly, therefore, if the parent can not see my huge note about missing assignments, it is not my problem. I don't have the time to call 16 parents!
    My kids are NOT going to be happy tomorrow....

    Oh, and should I mention that one of them (who already has 13 missing assignments, partially due to an absence last Tuesday in which I have not gotten any absent work back) told me she will not be here Friday. They are going to the beach.
    :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
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  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Uh, OK. You are scaring me.:eek:hmy:

    Good luck. I hope you get their attention. We have a study hall during recess in which one of our team stays in with all the kids who owe work. Will that help? If not, I personally use Lexapro. Everything is just fine now.

    OK, I'm kidding. Seems like you do have a problem. Besides study hall for late work or absent work or no homework, I usually stand there and hold out my hand for every paper for the first month, looking for their names. If I don't see it, they put their names on it ten times right in front of me. If I'm teaching a small group and they're working on their own, then they keep the paper (up-side-down) on their desk until I come around and collect it or send a monitor around to collect them. Seems to work. I'll start with the turn-in basket in about a month, depending upon how bad it is.

    Seriously, good luck.
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I have some problems with kids not turing things in. I started something today. If they miss an assignment, they have to sign a slip saying what assignment they missed and why. Then they date and sign in. If they reach five, then I will write them up. The five will go home with the "pink slip" for parents to sign.
     
  5. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Uhhh... I thought I had issues when half my kids didn't have everything in, and they may have 1 or 2 missing assignments each. I understand why you are greatly concerned.

    Crack the whip and let them know who is boss, of course in a way that shows consideration and great concern. Contact their parents. Don't show agitation, though you want to scream from North Carolina to Zimbabwe. I tell my students firmly, and at least 75% of the time, they respond immediately.

    I give students some time during Morning Work to finish assignments- and have to right now because some are just slower at finishing assignments- yet I am not always going to do this because some will get much faster at finishing an assignment.

    Are you new to the school? If so, perhaps they are trying to test you greatly. They want to see if you are the "easy and I can roll over you 868,254,754 times" teacher, a teacher who may send idle threats and doesn't follow through, or a firm, loving teacher who is consistent with them. I am sure you are the third- or otherwise you wouldn't be here, asking how you can love them- BUT they need to know you're on that side of the spectrum and won't take any rack from them! Post procedural posters around the room, especially near the turn-in basket. They are fifth graders- and....

    You need to give them the scary middle school speech.

    I am in fourth...

    And I even...

    Have to give...

    The middle school speech.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sounds like you mean business--good for you. One suggestion, though. If possible, I'd make those phone calls home before the students get zero. As a parent, I want to know before it gets to that point. If time is an issue, have the students make the phone calls themselves from the classroom phone. You could even write them a script to read: "Hi Mom, this is Alex. My teacher asked me to call you to let you know I owe her 8 missing assignments. If they aren't in by Friday I'll get a zero. I have them all written down in my agenda and I'll be working on them tonight." Works wonders.
     
  7. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    The slips reallllly work for me. When parent conference time comes, I bust those out when the parents try to say their child does alll their work.

    I also give the middle school speech. It works. I also have the ability to print out missing work reports, and send them home bi-weekly. Some kids just don't care (same for their parents). These are the same parents who reward their kids for c's, and pull them from school for treats when they do not deserve them.
     
  8. MNTeacher

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    Not sure if this will work for you or not but...

    I am offering a special breakfast with me (cereal or bagels) at the end of the trimester as a special reward for those who did their homework on time and turned it in (even though its EXPECTED, but just a little incentive). It's only the second week of school, but so far they are all turning their homework in...but I should wait for another few weeks, I am sure it will change!

    Just an idea!
     
  9. MissScrimmage

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    I would be mad too, and it sounds like the kid are in for a rude awakening tomorrow! Would it be possible for them to stay in at recess and work on their assignments every day until they are turned in? Or is that not possible - some schools you cannot take recess, and that may be your case. It sounds like you really care about your students and you want to help them develop good school habits!
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Wow. I cringed. Do this once and I bet the rumors keep years of fourth-graders in line.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I think I like this idea......
     
  12. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I am a brand new teacher. New to the school, new to 5th grade, new to North Carolina. I've tried the Middle School speech. Nothing. Honestly, I only have issues with 4 or 5 of them. Most of them had two, maybe three assignments missing and they probably were no name papers. I have 3 who I have yet to get absent work from. That leaves 3 serious problems. 2 of which have parents that just don't care.
    Now that they get silent lunch and a "walking recess" I think I will reach a lot more of them. Not all, but more. And, that's an improvement.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Maybe I will try this tomorrow.
    I do have a conference set up for tomorrow morning with my worst offender's mom. Ironically, there was an e-mail from her this morning expressing her concern that he may be lying about his assignments. Hmmm.... So, we are going to have a little chat tomorrow morning!!
     
  14. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I would give the students one week to makeup the assignments and then I would start calling parents and document the time and date they were called.This will keep the parents from claiming they didn't know. I don't know how much help you will get from a parent who shows so little interest in what their child is doing.
    I would also give a pizza party for the seven children who have done all their assignments.
    This is the problem with the no child left behind nonsense.It fails to take into consideration the child and parent who make no real effort to do well in school.
     
  15. cmw

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    I like having them call the parents. When I taught fourth I had a person who would check if all assgn. were in. (We used a number next to our name so it went quickly.) I was self-cont. so I could find out 1st thing if there was missing work. That way they would spend lunch/ recess finishing their work.
    I also gave tokens for completed work. REWARD those 7. What about surprising them with donuts for breakfast tomorrow or can you let them have freetime (games or something for 30 min. on Friday) while everyone else finishes work!!!!
    I know many teachers don't feel it's right to reward things they should be doing, but not me. Not only do the kids doing the right thing love it, it helps you feel good by accentuating the positive!!!!!n:p
     
  16. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 12, 2007

    **************************
    I do think they all hate me!! :LOL:

    It's amazing how many assignments were turned in today!! Before we even left school! Things miraculously appeared from the deep dark depths of their desks.

    I think I will be trying the phone call thing tomorrow. I also will be using late slips. On top of that, I threatened their lives (OK, not quite) about ACCURATELY checking work. This is what is preventing me from entering their scores during the school day. I am having to recheck everything at home. (They check all their work) So, that is the root of my problem. I know that. I old 'em that if their paper is not check correctly, I will enter a ZERO, as that is technically cheating. I got a lot of :eek:hmy: looks!!!

    I am thinking about skipping Social Studies tomorrow, and playing a game with those whose work is turned in. The rest have to work. I truly feel bad for those 7 or so that are great and give me no problems! I am ahead of the other 5th grade teachers in SS anyway!
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I work in the middle of NOWHERE. In a no stoplight town! Pizza, unfortunately, is not an option :( I already checked into it as a possible reward before the year started. Especially b/c our lunches are not duty free.... I am going to have game time tomorrow, though!
     
  18. Carey

    Carey Rookie

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    In my school we also have a recess detention room where all the 4th and 5th grade students go during recess for behavior problems and unfinished work. The teachers take turns being in charge. We are pretty strict with the kids, and shame them for being there. Sometimes having another teacher get angry at your student helps.

    We also all send home a slip to the parent. Parents are informed about every missing assignment. It is called a Homework Alert.
    This is basically what it says:
    Dear Parents,
    Your child ______________ missed recess today because he/she did not have their homework complete.

    ____Your child was able to finish this assignment during recess today.
    ____Your child was not able to finish this assignment during recess today. The assignment must be completed tonight along with any other homework.
    Parent's Signature _____________________________

    We also use another form that is the Behavior Alert. This one says
    Dear ___________,
    Ms. DeFelice had to keep me in for recess today because...


    Students have to fill out the remainder of the form themselves, and it also has to get signed and brought back to school.
    These alerts have really kept open communication with the parents.
    Hopefully you will find some ideas that work for you!
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, because of this thread, I also had a wake up call. I counted all of the missing homework assignments and stopped at 60!! I felt how you felt. We have recess detention for kids to finish their work. I will also have them fill out this slip where they have to explain why they didn't finish their homework. I actually learned some things about my kids (one has a grandma who's in the hospital for cancer, another has WAY too much on her plate, etc). Anyways, I'm going to staple these onto their agendas so that parents can see right away what's going on. I will make copies for in case they "dissapear" and show to parents during conferences. If they get five of these slips, then they will get written up.
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Okay....Parent Vent....

    My oldest's 3rd grade teacher waited SIX whole months before contacting me that my child missed 90% of his homework. What about the agenda book? I was looking most days AND signing it. He wasn't writing in it.

    Plus, in later grades, he would HIDE his stuff, fudge about where things were, etc and by the time I would get his assignment book, for example, I would be focusing on the current week and not remember if he did those other assignments or not. I admit, I could have called and found out but I expected the teacher to contacted me if there was a problem. The lack of signing didn't always have to do with the lack of parental request.

    I now request all really important communication go through email such as missing assignment. I don't expect the teacher to email me about every little thing, nor will I bog her down with emails either. I learned my lesson though...just because it is written down, doesn't mean communication happened or that parents were necessarily lazy about it.
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    So true...there's a great black hole somewhere that swallows up not only notes to parents but also homework assignments, school newsletters, and everything that must be returned "yesterday"!
     
  22. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    That's one reason why I plan to staple the note about missing assignment to their agenda. I also do a Wednesday Folder where all work and notes go home. That way, it's all together, sent home at once, for parents to look at and sign.
     
  23. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Whew. SOOOO glad I'm not alone (no offense)
     
  24. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Meh, none taken. :)
    I'm glad that you brought this up!
     
  25. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Alright, now I don't feel so bad/negligent. I wrote their missing assignments in their agendas on Friday. I wasn't feeling well and didn't get to recording assignments again until Tuesday night, so I wrote it in their agendas again today (Wednesday). I was feeling guilty about not being on top of it, even though I was feeling awful and doing everything in my power not to call in a sub.
     
  26. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I just finished writing all missing assignments again, on index cards. So, tomorrow I am telling them NOT to turn in their missing work in the morning, but will instead call them one by one to my desk and check off anything they are giving me. So, they know EXACTLY what to do that night.

    Sort of good news, I am down to 58 missing assignments. And, this is with out even a night to work on them. Amazing what you can get them to accomplish when you light a giant fire under their butts!!
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Last year his 5th grade teacher waited a week before telling me he skipped and lied about doing his assignment. She emailed me and sent a note home asking him to redo it (for a lesser grade). Not only did I support the lesser grade, I supported the fact that she needed to give him time to be responsible for it and see if he would return it on his own first before contacting me. She didn't wait SIX months. I was perfectly fine with that and told her I appreciated it. Then he spent the night doing 3 times more than the assignment required. He told me he wasn't going to get that good of a grade and the teacher didn't want all that. I told him I wanted all that! That's the penalty for lying and being irresponsible. It comes back to haunt you.
     
  28. MelissainGA

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    My assistant principal solved the issue of mine not wanting to finish their work. She informed them that if they didn't finish all their assignments when I gave them that they would be spending the afternoon with her from 2:15 (dismissal) until 4:30. Haven't had a major problem since. :) I do like the phone call by the child though. I have done that for misbehavior also. :whistle:
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Good for you cutnglue!! 6 months?!? That is way to long! He could have been failing, and in danger of being retained because of that. Makes you wonder what the teacher was actually doing if it took her 6 months to contact you.
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I, too, am having missing and no-name assignment problems in the 3rd grade class where I am student teaching. Most of mine, however, can be traced to two students -- one who has missed 7 (seven!) days of school in 4.5 weeks, and the other, well, let me tell you about the other. Robbie (named change to protect the guilty) does not care about anything. We have been in school a month now, and he has yet to return any of the important papers that went home to be filled out and signed by a parent (mom). Ninety-five percent of the time, he does NOTHING in class. I'm not kidding. He refuses to do anything at all. I am lucky if he puts his name at the top of his test papers! He does not care if he is put on recess detention, isolated at lunch, or anything. Today, he and 3 other boys were called out of the class for a serious discussion with our assistant principal (who most of the kids seriously FEAR) because instead of doing their work, they were tearing up their erasers and throwing bits and pieces of them at their classmates. Three of the boys came back in tears (mom had been called). Robbie came skipping back in, sat down in his chair, and asked me, "do you think I will ever be famous?" AAARRRGGGHHH We have moved his desk so that it is right next to mine (so I can constantly "encourage" him to do his work). I have called his house, and always get the answering machine, and NEVER get a response. The ONLY communication I have received all year is a one-line note from mom in which she states "Robbie hates school this year." That is it! We are doing everything but standing on our heads trying to reach this kid. Today, the counselor told us that she finally received his paperwork from his last school in Ohio. Apparently he has been shuffled around to many different schools. Turns out he was in special ed (nah, ya think? we've been trying to get him there almost the entire semester so far!), but she can't read his IEP because it is unreadable. I don't know if she means it is a bad fax copy, if too many notations from too many schools make it difficult to read, or if it is some strange computer file from a piece of software we don't have. It looks like we will have to start the IEP process all over again! I want to help this kid. Really, I do. Unfortunately, I have 24 other 3rd graders who need my attention at the same time. :confused::help: :sorry: so long. Thanks for the vent.
     
  31. Pattie

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    Can't you guys do more of the work in class so you can walk around and tap them on the shoulder if they are not completing it? Parents these days are too busy to be paroling their kids homework in 5th grade. I stopped helping them after 3rd grade and expected them to be on top of it after that. But kids are super busy with sports, scouts, dance, and music lessons. I'd maybe reduce your homework demands a tad, is that completely off the mark? :crosseyed
     
  32. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I barely assign homework and they still weren't coming in! I usually assign a math page, half of which gets done in class. They also have a tic tac toe spelling page that they do. It doesn't take long to do and they have Monday through Thursday to finish it and get it in. I also have them take a practice spelling test on Thursdays. None of these take very long to do, yet I still don't get them all in. They've been better lately.

    I do understand that they are busy, but.... are they TOO busy?! Isn't homework somewhat important too?
     
  33. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    "Parents these days are too busy to be paroling their kids homework in 5th grade."

    If my son isn't doing his work in the fifth grade, I'll be making sure it's patrolled. Part of the trick of getting your kids to this point is not praising them for what they are (e.g., "You're so smart/cute/strong/etc.") but for what they do (e.g., "You work so hard"). Don't worry about it if it's not generally true, just remember to praise them for any significant amount of work even if you don't think it was extremely difficult.

    pwhatley, Robbie does care about something. You just have to figure out what, even if it's not what you might think. Sig Engelmann's book may help -- even though not everyone agrees with his general philosophy, he specialized in kids who were rather resistant and was at least reasonably successful with that population.
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    pwhatley, I agree with 3sons. There has to be something that Robbie is interested in. Find out what that is and use it to your advantage.

    3Sons, I have never heard of Sig Engelmann's book. What is his general philosophy?

    As far as students being too busy to do homework because of sports/lessons/etc, etc...TAKE THEM OUT OF THE ACTIVITY!!! Homework and school should be #1!! If they are too busy with other things to do their homework, then the parents need to step up and take those activities away until the homework gets done!!
     
  35. TeacherRW

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    Reducing the amount of homework is not always the solution. There are programs out there and adopted by districts that rely on a parent/home link on a worksheet. I realize that kids are busy as are parents but the reality is that SCHOOL is a JOB for these kids. Sports, church, etc. are secondary to their education in my opinion. At my parent meeting, I really emphasize that while I realize that everyone is busy in the evenings, students are still expected to complete any/all work assigned. Our curricular demands in 5th grade are fairly significant which does not always allow for a "lot" of worktime. It is expect and made known to parents that they should expect their child to have about 50-60 minutes of homework a night.

    Off my soapbox for now... I just hate getting the excuses.
     
  36. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Overall, he's a behaviorist -- something I know will elicit groans from some, but whatever your general feelings on behaviorism, it works well for the problems it's suited to. The specific book I was thinking of (I found a saved pdf of it) is "Low Performer's Manual", and is about 158 pages.
     
  37. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thank you 3Sons, I will have to look it up!!
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    About being busy..heck I don't parole my kids anywhere and I STILL struggle to meet their homework needs every night. I didn't say it wasn't important but some nights I have to forgo a bath just to get the homework in just because family life, work life, etc is chaotic. It's crazy. I couldn't even put my finger on it especially since none of my kids have extracurricular activities.
     
  39. ecsmom

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    It sounds like your current system hasn't been very effective. I'm sure that many students and parents feel as frustrated as you do. I went through the same sort of thing my first year in 4th grade. I decided the frustration wasn't worth it. The first thing that I had to remind myself of was this-I come to school for the students, they don't come to school for me. I decided that we would complete our assignments in class and grade them the same day. The homework I assigned was reading the main selection to parents and 1 special project each 6 weeks for science or soc. st. . Our state test scores were great. I was happy, the kids were happy, their parents were happy and the administration was happy.
     
  40. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    We finally got some information on "Robbie" today. He has told me that he used to go to speech, but "I don't do that now." He failed his vision test miserably, which led me to mention seeing the eye doctor to him, to which he replied "I used to wear glasses, but I don't do that now." Seriously! I'm a little worried about him. We sent home progress reports yesterday, and Robbie had 3 F's and 3 D's. Then he didn't come to school today (when we were testing for DIBELS, of course!). According to the piddling bits of a cumulative folder we have received so far:
    he has been shuffled from school to school many times
    he was in Sp Ed in Ohio, but for some reason (unknown to me), his IEP is "unreadable," so we will probably have to start the process completely over in order to get him the help he needs!
    Actually, I'm kind of glad he wasn't there today. I could not have given him the amount of one-on-one time I have been giving him. My cooperating teacher was on the DIBELS testing team, so we had a sub (who sat and watched) and I took the class all day. The kids were unbelievable! Transitions between activities became a nightmare, and keeping them on task (and not talking or playing with each other) was a full-time job! I managed to cover most of what the teacher wanted me to cover, which is good, because tomorrow is test day. Sometimes I think I'm too old for this!
     
  41. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Sep 13, 2007

    I have struggled with the idea of homework for the last few years. Giving alot is silly because when could I go over it,and that would defeat the purpose. However not giving any would not teach the idea of responsibility, and fail to meet my school's homework policy of at least one hour a night. for fifth graders.
    I try to give some review work,and reading each night with a project due monthly. The problem is what takes one child an hour can take another one all ni depending on their work habits and ability.
     
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