Should I change my traditional English homework or keep it?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Mr.MiddleSchool, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Hello.

    I am a language arts teacher and I am trying to try a new way of doing homework so that it is more effective, and beneficial for my students. However, if you all think there is "nothing wrong with it" I may just keep it.

    In the past I had my students were required to read 1hour during the course of the week (they have from Monday when it is assigned to Friday when it is collected). They also have a parent sign acknowledging that the child has read. Same thing for the prompt. They have from Monday-Friday when it is collected to write one page.

    I know every child's schedule is different, I try to comply with that.This is what my cooperating teacher had her students do when I was a student teacher and I just "took it and ran with it" when I became a teacher myself. I know some of my students forged parent signatures when it came to their reading, and the majority of my students quickly wrote the paper the day it was due.

    So, should I change my homework to something more worksheet or workbook oriented? What is your traditional English homework like? I want it to be meaningful, but at the same time not a strain on me as the teacher.

    Any ideas/thoughts are welcome. If it matters or helps I teach 7th grade.

    -Mr.MiddleSchool
     
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  3. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Do you have A.R.? Can you make them earn more A.R. points, so they have to read outside of class?
     
  4. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2013

    The hour of reading during the course of the week is the reading of their A.R. books.

     
  5. smokeylo

    smokeylo Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2014

    Does it matter if they write right before class? Are their responses good? Would it help to give them prompts to respond to, or something like that? I'd hate to see free response to reading go...
     
  6. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Jan 30, 2014

    I love it. I used to teach Middle School Language Arts and my kids almost never read until we had to read a book for SpringBoard. I would also recommend throwing some cursive writing into the mix either for homework or classwork. You know, keep it alive.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 3, 2014

    Cursive is generally not addressed by the CCSS. There are more productive things kids could be doing for hw that impact their learning.
     
  8. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    May 26, 2014

    I changed from a parent signed reading log to one where they write down the book they read, the date they finish. The left side of the page looks like one of those thermometer designs you see around town when there is a fundraising effort going on. So the kids start at the bottom of the page, enter the date they finished the book in the first line on the thermometer thingee, the title of the book, and they give it 1-5 stars. Even if they don't finish a book, they need to show it on the list and for the date, they enter Abandoned. This way I no longer got aggravated about them forging or not getting parent signatures. As they fill the page out, they turn it in and get a new page. I check on their progress from time to time, but there is no formal review.

    I would still have them write a short response - if they want to do it last minute, and it is not their best effort, that will be reflected in the grade.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    May 26, 2014

    I am going back to daily worksheets.

    I tried something similar to you this year....read and respond by Friday....the responses were terrible. I thought having a whole week to do it would make me look flexible and increase quality...NOPE.

    I think my kids just need more structure.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 27, 2014

    Cursive writing? If it's not in the state standards, we would be hard pressed to justify teaching it or assigning it for homework...

    I think the real answer to your question is in how effective you feel the homework has been so far. Do you believe they are reading enough on their own, and are you satisfied with what they can communicate about what they've read. If so, keep things as they are. If not, then that should dictate any changes you make.
     
  11. Mystic

    Mystic Rookie

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    Dec 21, 2014

    I haven't required a reading log this year. My students have to read every night (sometimes the assigned pages should be read by the next day, sometimes they have two days). Students are required to take notes in their books and that's how I check how they read. If students cannot write in their books in some schools we have had them use post-it notes to make inferences, identify important moments, identify author's ideas, etc.

    I can flip through any student's book at any time to see if they have been reading. Sometimes I give students a sheet where they have to write down their top 5 or top 8 notes they made during the week for their reading if I don't feel like looking through the books. I can tell by the quality of the responses if they actually read and how well they are interpreting reading outside of the class.

    I try to stay away from a lot of worksheets for reading because I believe students need more practice reading routinely and being able to jot down ideas about their thoughts through annotations. However, once a week I do try to give a sheet with some guiding questions, a writing prompt or some vocab practice.
     
  12. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2015

    If they do not get it signed have them come in for lunch/recess detention. Yes, they will say they read, but there are multiple parts to the homework assignment. 1.) Read for an hour each week. 2.) Get the homework signed. and 3.) Bring it back to school the next day. They are missing 1/3 parts, but I would never believe that they read for an hour without the signature, so I would say they are missing 2/3.
     

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