Should you take recess if a child does not do their homework?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Teacher_Lyn, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Sep 17, 2010

    My team sends home a homework packet on Monday that has to be returned Friday.

    Of all students, I'd say anywhere between 7 - 10 (out of 24) don't turn it in.

    Some of the teachers in our school, including a couple on my team, take recess. Like they make the kids come in their room and do the homework.

    Some send notes home and call parents.

    I only keep kids inside for bad behavior because I feel like they need to burn off energy. Plus, I consider my lunch/planning time (45 uninterupted minutes!) to be like a grown up recess and I know it would make me angry if I didn't turn something in and my P said, "Okay Ms. Lyn, you don't get a planning period today."

    I'd be unproductive the entire day because I didn't get my down time.

    Since it's first quarter and progress reports are due in next Friday, I thought next Monday, I would send the missing homework home with a note to parents saying(politely), "This is the first and last time I will be sending make up homework. After this, it's a zero."

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, IMHO, I think it is better for the student to keep his or her recess. I send a note home to the parents when homework is not done, but that's it. I only take recess when the student misbehaves, and it's 5 minutes when they get to orange, and a full recess when they hit red. I think recess is important for the students so they can burn off some of their energy, plus it gives them a break so they are ready to come into class and learn. I also like to have my lunch break too, another reason why taking away recess is not something I like to do.
     
  4. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    When I taught second grade, I made them do their homework outside during recess. It was at an inner city school where there was little parent involvement so it was the only way of motivating most kids. But I rarely had to take recess away because nobody wanted to sit out, do their homework, and watch all of their friends get to play. I might have one or two kids have to do their homework outside every week which wasn't too bad and as soon as they finished it (and it was done well) I let them play.
     
  5. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Sep 17, 2010

    That's an interesting idea! Maybe I can try that since i like being outside, though I DO like my planning time. lol
     
  6. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Well I have to be outside with my class at recess no matter what so I couldn't leave those kids inside anyway! But it really does motivate them. They see everybody else playing and having a good time. Most kids only do their homework outside a few times a year because they really really do not want to sit on the pavement and do work.
     
  7. TeacherApr

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    I used to do it and would have them go outside to do their homework while they heard and saw all the kids having fun. This year, I'm trying something different. Because i have so many kids, I cannot possibly be keeping track of who turns it in and organize them missing recess and so forth. I have other things to worry about. With that said, I am documenting who is not finishing it and it will be documented on their report card. During conferences, it will be a tool to use to explain ONE reason why they are not performing at a 2nd grade level.

    As always, there are exceptions to what is going on. SO, I tell the parents if it's too hard or takes them longer than ____ minutes to complete, to please let me know so I can adjust it if necessary.
     
  8. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    That's an excellent point. :thumb: I keep forgetting that several of my parents are not native English speakers, so maybe they are having some trouble helping their children because they cannot read the directions. It would be like someone sending a reading assignment to me in German. I wouldn't know where to begin.

    I think I'll send home a note with kids who are not bringing it back n a regular basis to see if the problem is an issue of language or being too hard. :thumb:
     
  9. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    We write the directions for the homework in English and Spanish and the directions are the exact same each week so once they get in the routine, they can do it.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, one thing I do, do with my kids is if we are working on something that is unfinished, I have made them come in to finish it at recess, but they leave as soon as they have finished. Yes, it is very motivating. I do this mainly because I have about 3 boys in my class who will literally sit there and do nothing. I have to be on them constantly to work.
     
  11. Teacher2Be123

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    Could you have it due on Thursday and then if a student doesn't bring it them nothing is held against them UNLESS it isn't brought back on Friday? Where I student taught we sent homework home on Monday and it was due back on Thursday. We wrote down the names of the students that didn't have it then and they got a reminder notice to bring it back the next day. If they brought it back they got fun friday if they didn't they had to finish their homework in school.

    This was a school implemented idea so much so that they had one of the "extra" teachers both after school and on Fridays in the library for us to send our students to who had to finish their homework.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The only problem with giving a zero, particularly to a young kid, is that it ensures that the work won't ever get done if they miss that deadline.

    Could you instead offer a bottom out grade-- it it's late, it earns a maximum grade of 70? That way there's still incentive for the kid to do the homework, and to take from it what you intended when you assigned it.
     
  13. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I just give pennies (part of my incentive system) for those who do complete homework. I take note of those who do not (thank goodness homework only consists of reading this year), but I don't punish them. I teach 1st... and I don't really believe in homework for 6 year olds (besides reading). Thank goodness my team finally feels the same way.
     
  14. Toast

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    I hate taking away lunch recess since it's my personal lunch break. I personally need the downtime. I give my kids fun friday every week (the same day the homework packet is due). If you don't turn in your homework, you sit in the hallway during fun friday and work on your homework instead of playing the game or having the free time of fun friday.
     
  15. Toast

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    Oh! Also, I award a certain number of Fun Friday minutes per kid who turns in their homework.

    So for example: I have 27 kids in the class and if all 27 kids turn in their homework, they get 27 minutes of free time or game time for fun friday. I will also throw in extra minutes if say everyone puts it in the basket without me having to remind them.
     
  16. Cerek

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    If your P had told you he needed a report by Thursday morning and you didn't have it ready by then, I would absolutely expect him/her to say "I need this by the end of your planning period today!" The same applies to students.

    Of course, I teach middle school, so they are old enough to accept more responsibility for the homework assignments. Our school uses a discipline log for recording "checks". Students can get checks for disruptive behavior, coming to class without their books, not having their homework completed, etc. If they get two checks in one day or three checks in one week (IIRC), they lose break for 1 day. They have to sit on the sidewalk with the teachers while their classmates play.

    Sometimes, if a teacher has a number of students that didn't complete an assignment, (s)he will make them stay in during break to work on the assignment.

    I think both of these options are perfectly acceptable, especially at the middle school level. Some kids just aren't motivated by anything else.
     
  17. kcjo13

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    Sep 17, 2010

    Can I ask--generally, how do these students perform? Does not doing homework hinder their performance, and if so, how much and in what ways? Giving a grade of a 0 indicates complete non-comprehension of a certain objective...are you comfortable and confident that each student who doesn't do homework has 0% comprehension of the topic at hand?

    Ok, so I'm being facetious. But really, sometimes I think we give homework just for the sake of giving homework. I mean, who is really putting out the effort here..you or the student...they don't do it, and you kill yourself trying to get them to do it. What is your goal of sending home the homework? Would it behoove you more to work practice time into class, and quit fighting a losing battle?

    I'm not saying letting them off the hook. But I see teachers (not necessarily you, Lyn, just teachers in general) who tie themselves in knots, fighting kids to do homework...that may or may not be necessary to gaining mastery of an objective.

    Just sayin'...
     
  18. Cerek

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Kids absolutely DO need a lot of practice when it comes to learning math principles and formulas. Sometimes they just have to do it over and over before they finally get it. I believe they DO need to practice these concepts every day. I always give them time in class, but even with that, some of them still have to complete the work at home. I try to ensure they have no more than 20 minutes (total) of work to do when they leave my class (and would prefer it be much less). If they have more, it is because they did not take advantage of the time I gave them.

    I began the year thinking I would try to limit homework as much as possible, but I am realizing the students simply MUST get that practice in order to learn the principle and how to apply it. I don't give homework just to keep the kids busy. It will end up being a LOT more work for me than for them when it comes to time to grade and assess their work. So when I give an assignment, I DO expect it to be done because there WILL be a grade for the effort given.
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well, first off, I apologize if the "you" in my post sounded like someone specific...I really, honestly, meant "you" to be as in you-anyteacheroutthere.

    And I agree. I am also a middle school math teacher. And math must be practiced. My eighth graders are practicing their tails off with equations and inequalities right now. In fact, I am struggling to find enough material for them to practice with (which is why I am considering a complete overhaul and switch to a new program...yes, that's right, 5 weeks into school...)

    I also grade on completion and effort, not on correctness. My philosophy is our football team does not earn a record in Monday-Thursday practice...their record comes under the Friday night lights...the same of which is true for homework, which is practice. The grade comes when they earn it on quizzes and tests.

    My real problem with homework is things like...write your spelling words 10 times each (which is not effective spelling practice, especially when it is unsupervised), and getting a grade for it with 5 points taken off for not heading the paper correctly. Or fill in the blank worksheet packets, which anyone's older sister could be doing for them. Or 10 question workbook pages in reading, 7 in all, torn out, stapled together, and sent home for parents to try to teach to their child.

    That's the kind of thing I mean by giving homework just for the sake of homework. If a teacher wants my child to learn how to spell a word, sending home a ridiculous spelling packet that is mostly busy work and has no real educational value, with no research-based methods of learning, is not the way to go about it. Focused instruction, looking for patterns, determining word origin, finding the base word and any affixes...that's how you learn how to spell.

    (if you can't tell, my daughter has had some "interesting" assignments this year. Frustrating.)

    Math...is a different story. I can only teach my students the integer operations rules so many times, but eventually they are just going to have to practice, practice, practice. That (in my TOTALLY unbiased math mind :D) is way different than sending home reading workbook pages.

    Does that make more sense?
     
  20. buck8teacher

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    A few years ago, I had two students who NEVER turned in homework.

    One student was ESL, and very low academically. Looking back, i know he--nor his family--really got what the homework was, even though it stayed the same ever week. It was hard to keep him in for recess, because partly it wasn't his fault. I'd keep him for ten minutes and send him outside.

    One student was ADD, and hating any type of responsive or creative writing. He used this as an excuse for not wanting to do his work. We worked really hard at it writing that year, and he made SO much progress. Towards the middle part of the year, he started not turning homework it at all. Which was not typically behavior, because I had him in second grade, and he ALWAYS had his homework. It may have been a little beat up in his bookbag, but always had it. Turns out he was doing it for attention. Mom had started nursing school and just wasn't around as much. Dad was in charge of homework, and just believed the kids that when they said they did it.

    Now two of their three kids are ADD. Super bright kids,but just don't like writing sometimes or wanting to homework. Their middle child ALWAYS had her homework done, I had her last year. This is because she had an awesome internal self motivation. I have their youngest daughter and homework has already been an issue. So therefore, I instituted a homework check in with her.

    My homework is a math fact contract, spelling, and a reading log with a few response questions. I broke down her homework into more manageable chunks, so she wasn't overwhelmed by knowing she had a week, but didn't know when to do it all. Then I check over her homework in the morning. If she did it everything on her check in sheet, she gets a thumbs up. For five thumbs up...she can pick from the treasure box or candy basket. It's worked so well. She LOVES it because she knows EXACTLY what to do each night, and sadly...she doesn't get those supports at home.

    In my case, it has always been more of an environmental issue when a kiddo is not turning in homework, than a lack of motivation on their part. So I usually keep them for ten minutes if they don't have it, and send them outside for the rest of the time.
     
  21. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Most of that ten minutes, is filling out an IOU letter that they write to their parents that has to be filled out with why they didn't do it, and how they need to have it completed by tomorrow. Their parents also need to sign it and send it back. It works well. :)
     
  22. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Your post was just fine, kcjo. It was late and my sinuses were acting up pretty badly when I typed my response, so I probably didn't word mine as well as I should. I knew you were talking about teachers in general rather than a specific person, but decided to just use my personal experience in response.

    Here's another example of why I feel kids need homework and/or extra practice in math.

    I am covering order of operations with my 6th graders right now. Last Thursday, I assigned several problems from the book for homework, but gave them plenty of class time to work on them. I also gave the students the entire weekend to complete the assignment because we had a mandatory field trip on Friday. A peer at another school in the district gave the same assignment and her student's had to turn it in the next day.

    On Monday, we went over the work. Most of the problems were just straight equations that needed to be solved, but there were a few word problems as well. All of the students claimed they had no problem with the straight equations, but did have difficulty with the word problems, so I illustrated each of those on the board.

    On Tuesday, I decided to give a pop quiz. It was open book. The HW assignment had been to complete the odd-numbered problems. On the quiz, I just had them do the even-numbered problems, most of which were the straight equations they all said they understood. Out of 39 students, only 5 scored a passing grade. :( Sooooo, I needed to spend more time on the subject.

    On Wednesday, I gave them a worksheet with lots of straight equations to solve. On Thursday, I gave them the very same even problems to redo. I also STRONGLY suggested they complete these problems in their math journals and STUDY them that night, because we would have a quiz on Friday with problems "very similar" to this. I stressed this at least 3 times with each class.

    Thursday afternoon, I go to work in the 21st Century program after school. One of my students is in the program. She had gone to the drama activity during the first part of 21st Century, then chose to play dominoes with some other kids instead of doing the problems I had assigned when she returned. The other teacher there told me this and we both agreed the student would remain in the room with me to finish her homework when the rest of the group went to the computer lab to play games. So, in effect, she was losing recreation time because she hadn't completed her work. When we told her this, she wasn't happy (obviously). She then left the room without asking and went to the bathroom. When she came out, she followed the rest of the class to the computer lab instead of returning to the room with me to finish her homework.

    I tracked her down in the lab and made her return to the room. She had not even started the assignment, even though I gave them over 20 minutes of class time. I sat with her and worked 1:1 until she finished the assignment.

    On Friday, I gave the promised quiz. The problems were not just similar, they were EXACTLY the same problems the kids had seen at least twice already. Out of 39 students, this girl was the only one who didn't finish the quiz, even though I had helped her work every single problem the day before. :unsure:
     
  23. kcjo13

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    You're singing my own song, Cerek. As I mentioned, my current problem is finding ENOUGH practice to do. As such, I am considering a switch to the program I use in sixth grade (with much success, I might add). I am not quite sure why I didn't do this at the beginning of the year, but for some reason, I felt like I HAD to use the math book my school has, which NO ONE (admin, other teachers, the kids, parents) likes. I finally asked myself--why am I trying to cram this square peg in this round hole?!?! So I think within the next week I am changing to a program that tailors each student's assignment to their specific needs, gives them more practice as needed, and allows them to test and move on when ready. It's online, PM me if you're interested.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Giving a 0 can also indicate a complete lack of effort. I am having my students create and use a math journal in class this year. The purpose of the journal is two-fold: (1) to help them begin and learn the process of taking good notes and (2) create a study guide that can be used for quizzes and tests.

    I did my first assessment of the journals last week. Most students had at least some notes from class along with the first assignments I had given. Those journals got a high grade. A couple of students barely had anything at all, so they got a lower grade. Only one student got a 0 and that was because the student "lost" their journal and "had no idea where it was". I explained the journal was NOT optional because the notes, classwork and homework count as 10% of their overall grade. If the student isn't going to make any effort at all on a class assignment, then I cannot give them any credit for work they have not done.

    Also, I made sure every student had a journal by the end of our first week. If a student did not have one, for any reason, I gave them one from supplies donated to our school. So, even if their parents couldn't afford to buy one (which is true for some of the kids), they still had a way of getting one.

    I'm not trying to "pick on you", kcjo. I was just reading over all the posts again and wanted to explain why I feel a 0 can reflect more than lack of comprehension. ;)
     
  25. kcjo13

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    Well, Ken O'Connor would argue that a lack of effort should not reflect in a letter grade on a report card. Perhaps an alternate category that encompasses effort, character, citizenship, etc, might be more appropriate. But a "grade", as it is, indicates understanding and level of mastery of a subject, not effort.

    An A...in my school, a 93% or above...so a student comprehends and has mastered the material presented with 93% or above accuracy. Correct?

    Consider-one student might have to put out considerable more effort in order to earn that A, studying nightly, getting extra help, reading, researching, practicing, and doing homework, etc. Another student might only need minimal preparation to earn the same A-the extra practice homework provides isn't necessary for someone who just already "gets it", not when tests are easy for that student.

    But an A is still an A. In order to be valid, does not both these students, both who have proved beyond doubt that they have mastered the material with 93% or above accuracy, DESPITE their preparation tactics, deserve that A?

    Just because one worked harder in the eyes of the teacher, does that make their A worth more?
     
  26. Cerek

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    If a "grade" only reflects understanding and level of mastery, then all work done by students should be graded for accuracy, including homework. If the student doesn't do their homework correctly, they obviously don't understand the material yet, so - by Mr. O'Connor's argument - it would be improper for me to give them a grade just for the effort they made. If they got it wrong, the grade should reflect their level of understanding OR the lack thereof.

    If I rely solely on quizzes and tests, then frankly, the students will not have any margin for error because 1 or 2 low grades will irrevocably damage their average for that grading period, which in turn, will affect their overall grade for the entire year.

    We are on a 9-week grading period. If I give 1 quiz each week and 1 test every other week, that is only 13 grades. If I put 20 questions on each quiz and/or test, some students won't be able to complete them all. If I give 10 problems, then each incorrect answer lowers their score by a full letter grade. With a 9-week grading period, students will only receive 4 report card grades (instead of 6 on a 6-week period).

    Given these numbers, it would be far too easy for a student to fail for a grading period (and perhaps the entire year) just by missing 3 problems on each quiz and/or test.

    Homework is a way to supplement their overall grade. It may be considered "practice" by some, but it is practice that counts, which means students should get some type of credit (ie, grade) for the work they do. If I can't give a grade for effort, the only other choice is to grade for accuracy. If I do give a grade for effort (the student at least TRIED to do all or most of the problems), then it has to be acceptable to give a 0 when a student makes absolutely NO effort.
     
  27. kcjo13

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    Mmm...fair enough. But perhaps I should have been more clear as to my policy...weight has to come in to the picture as well. My HW assignments are worth 5 points each. Quizzes and tests are worth a minimum of 30 points. So one or two HW assignments, over an entire grading period, won't make a significant impact.

    And, if the planets align and everything goes as planned, enough practice is done (enough for each individual student), to make the quizzes and tests...dare I say...un-fail-able? That's the idea anyway...

    I know what I mean to say, but I'm not sure that I'm writing it correctly....it's late you know...I should be in bed, but I'm waiting for my husband's plane to take off from Germany so I can sleep a little...
     
  28. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    My homework/journal assessment assignments count 10%, quizzes count 40% and tests count 50%. The student I mentioned earlier had a high B/low A in my class, till she "lost" her journal. ONE grade was enough to drop her average to a D, even though it only counted 10%. She was the only one who got a 0 on the journal. The next lowest grade was a 70 and that journal only contained 2 sample problems (out of the dozens I've done on the board) with no other notes or work. So even a minimal effort would have gotten her enough of a grade to avoid sinking her entire average.

    But when work is graded on effort, no effort at all results in a 0.
     
  29. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I know this will not be popular,but yes would have the children do their homework during recess,but only after giving them one day to make up the missing homework. It is important that the children who do it every nigh see the importance of carrying out their responsibilities.
     
  30. SCTeachInTX

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    We are not allowed to grade homework at our school. But we do check homework each week. If a student does not have homework, it is noted in his/her planner which parents sign every day. If the child does not complete the homework he/she is fined. We have a classroom economy system. The kids really don't want to pay a fine. At the end of the 6 weeks, we have a special day where kids with good behavior including academic behavior gets to attend and play games etc. If the child has 6 signatures in his/her planner, (and a child can get mulitple signatures in a day for behavior) then he/she cannot go to the 6 Weeks Celebration. It works for us.
     
  31. Cerek

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    Sounds very similar to our system of discipline checks.
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I keep a missing homework book- when kids are missing homework (I check daily), they sign the missing HW book. If they bring it in the next day, they can cross off their name in the book. I check the book regularly and send a note home about what assignements were missing and asking for parent support in reinforcing student responsibility (let me know if you need the note- I keep it on my computer at school and print out as needed). If you have not yet had back to school night, address your homework policy with the parent group at that time...
    I do not take recess, as that is my planning/lunch time and I do strongly believe in kids' need to 'let off some steam' at recess.
     
  33. Cerek

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    Our kids have PE as well as recess, so they still have scheduled physical activity, even if they lose recess.

    Recess is a reward. As such, kids can lose that reward for poor behavior or actions.
     
  34. Pisces_Fish

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    We're not allowed to take recess, but we can give a working lunch. I have about 3-5 on working lunch every day. If a student can do it alone I lunch with my team in the cafeteria, but if I know a student doesn't understand the assignment I'll help them do it.
     
  35. Lynnnn725

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Recess is also a break... from everything. PE still requires the child to be "paying attention" so even if we have PE, I won't ever take a whole recess away. I like to give every child (if even a few minutes) a mental break.
     
  36. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I used to have "choice" time (free time) for the last 30 minutes of class on Fridays. Those that did their homework got to have "choice" time and those that didn't complete their homework, completed it during this time. They were free to join choice time when they completed their homework. I always had extra copies of the assignment for kids who did not return their homework.
     
  37. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Sep 19, 2010

    I've always been of the opinion that a child should never lose recess. Movement is important for learning.

    There have to be other ways of making sure that they turn in homework.
     
  38. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2010

    WBT uses movement to improve learning. When a student hasn't done their homework, they've already taken a break from school, so I they don't need to be rewarded with another break and given even more time to do HW their peers have already completed and turned in.
     
  39. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Absolutely not.
     
  40. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Sep 19, 2010

    You teach middle school, right? Didn't know they had recess!

    I think comparing middle school homework expectations and elementary expectations is like comparing apples to oranges.
     
  41. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2010

    So far so good this year with homework in third grade!

    One issue I have had with one boy is completing classwork!!! When I mention -- say 5 minutes before I want the classwork done -- "Those of you who aren't finished yet, and you've had lots of time, will finish during recess!" it's quite miraculous how quickly he finishes his work! :) :)

    This child does not work on task because he is too busy looking at other stuff, not because he is struggling with the concepts. If he did not understand, I wouldn't take away recess.

    We have 2 recesses at my school, so even if they miss one, they get the other. :)
     

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