The Value of Homework

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Brendan, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 23, 2010

    What is the value of homework in your class? What purpose does it serve? Do you evaluate it? If so so how do you do so and how much do you weight it.

    I think Homework is 100% necessary for any college-bound student. 95% of students in my school go to college so I assign homework. If not many students did attend college I probably would not assign it as often as I do.

    Homework in my class serves as a way for me to introduce or reinforce information. It serves as a reinforcement of a lesson, activity, or notes and other times serves as an introduction to material I will cover the next day. Homework in my class consists of 1) reading and answering questions/terms usually begun in class (and on some assignments a "mini-project", 2) working on long term projects/essays, 3) studying for tests or quizzes, or 4) smaller projects/activities.

    Homework in my class is not just a practice of their reading, analyzing, or writing skills it is an APPLICATION, reinforcement, or introduction of course content. It is worth 20% (Honors) or 30% of my student's grades along with classwork. Any assignment assigned as an application, reinforcement or review is graded for content and accuracy. Even on homeworks that I give as an intro. to a topic, if the answer is simple (and easily found in the reading) I take off. However, if the questions asks them to think about something we haven't covered in class yet and they at least ATTEMPT to answer the question and support it, I won't take off; even if it's very wrong in my POV.

    So what are your guys thoughts?
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 24, 2010

    Homework gives my kids the opportunity to see whether or not they need extra help.

    Most kids follow along in class. They understand what they're doing and it all makes sense. But then the bell rings.

    And they go to 2 more classes, then lunch, then 4 more classes. In every one of those classes, they're absorbing more information, some easy, some not so easy.

    Then it's the end of the school day. And there's practice or a meeting. Then the late bus. Then dinner with the family.

    And then they open up their math book.

    It's entirely possible that what made sense at 9:15 am no longer makes sense. So they use their notes and try to figure out what they understood 10 hours before. They spend 20 minutes, no more, on that assignment.

    If, when we go over the material the next day, they didn't get it right (or didn't get it at all) then they need extra help.

    I don't grade homework; I check it for completeness. Again, in math I feel that they should be able to get homework wrong-- the answer isn't there somewhere waiting to be found. It's part of the actual learning process. There are plenty of chances for me to assign a grade, in my class I don't feel homwork is an appropriate time for that.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    603

    Feb 24, 2010

    By district policy, my homework is worth no more than 10% of their grade. I teach general level courses, so maybe half of my students are college-bound, including those going to community and technical colleges. I do not give much homework. When I do, it's things that we did not finish in class. Much of what we read is well above my students' frustration level, so I rarely have them read at home, except in their AR books. I'll sometimes give grammar practice or study guides, or vocabulary activities. Next year we are switching to block schedule, so we'll have less time in class, so I'm sure I'll have to reevaluate my homework strategy. Also, if I teach some honors classes, I'll give more homework.
     
  5. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    20

    Feb 24, 2010

    Hi again, Aliceacc! I'm a bit confused (this time of year, my normal state of mind :) ) You said you check HW for completeness. But you also said that if they have to spend more than 20 minutes, they should stop. So that means they may not complete the HW as assigned...so do they lose a "check" because their HW is not complete?
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 24, 2010

    Nope.

    At this point in the year, I know my kids pretty well. I know that Jeremy will accomplish more in 20 minutes than Adam, and that Marissa will struggle more than Taylor.

    And the kids tend to either DO the homework or NOT do the homework-- those "incompletes" are pretty rare.
     
  7. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 25, 2010

    Personally, I assign one thing on Monday that will be due Friday, more to help teach accountability and responsibility than for grading.

    With a set schedule, students always know they have something due Friday. It is usually related to vocabulary or grammar review - things they SHOULD be able to complete successfully, on their own, in a relatively short amount of time.
     
  8. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    7

    Feb 25, 2010

    I see homework as very valuable for my upper-level courses that I teach, because it provides necessary reinforcement and supplementation to what we discussed in class. For Economics and Sociology, there's a minimum of 2 assignments every week.

    For example, this week my students are reading "Roughnecks and the Saints" outside of class. We've been discussing deviance, conformity, presentation of self, etc. in Soc and I don't have time to let them read the whole mammoth paper in class.

    I find them to be excellent supplements, as well as preparation for college.
     
  9. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 25, 2010

    Our school has 2 different sets of grades we give students at the end of each grading period: effort and benchmark. Effort is the place we keep track of homework. Students have homework every night, but if they get stuck I teach them at the beginning of the year how to identify what they are stuck with and then write me a not. I give them a card with sentence starters on it. This helps me figure out what might be the problem and it helps separate out children who are making effort and don't get it versus the students who aren't trying it for whatever reason.
     
  10. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    12

    Feb 26, 2010

    I think homework is needed, for a couple reasons. One is the idea of responsibility that was previously mentioned. Kids do have to learn how to manage their work to meet deadlines. It's a part of practically any career.
    Secondly, homework is needed as reinforcement of/practice using key concepts introduced in class. If anything, students will be able to come to school the next day with questions! If homework were not assigned, I would get a "wall of silence" from a few classes, so I would have no idea what misunderstandings there are. How could I reteach/modify my instruction? I have discovered this year that there is a definite issue of reading comprehension with the majority of students I teach this year, so I have adjusted my lessons to focus more on content literacy (reading for content/note-taking, etc.). Homework is assigned to practice those skills.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Feb 26, 2010

    I believe that homework is valuable.

    I also believe that not every family agrees and that sometimes a student's family responsibilities prevent him or her from being able to regularly complete homework. It's a challenge I face daily. I do my best to work around it and to provide as much quality instructional time as I possibly can while I see the students. Even so, it's a struggle. I haven't found a great solution, other than to limit homework to the most essential tasks and practice only and to strictly limit the amount of time students are expected to work on homework.

    Furthermore, I limit the impact of homework on a student's overall grade. Homework accounts for only 10% of a student's grade in my class, which is actually only about half a letter grade. This means that a student could complete no homework assignments, still demonstrate mastery of the material on assessments, and walk out of my class with an A at the end of the year. It also means that a student could complete every homework assignment, fail to demonstrate mastery on assessments, and have a very low or failing grade.
     
  12. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 26, 2010

    Homework

    I agree that homework is important. For Social Studies in Middle School...I think more you can get students writing papers, and reading about history, the more they will gain.

    I think reading and writing is a skill that you can't get enough practice in. So, I say long term writing assignments and lots of reading (reasonable). I think that is a combination of textbooks, articles and literature from the time period.
     
  13. atomic

    atomic Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 4, 2010

    We are no longer allowed to count HW. This is nuts for a College Bound student.

    Since it counts for nothing, my students don't do any of the problems meant for practice. They are having a very tough time recalling anything we've covered.

    A 10 minute quiz takes 40 minutes, because half of these guys are trying to figure things out for the first time on their own.

    No practice = No good

    It is really bad since we switched to 70 minute half-year block classes.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Colliemom,
  2. playpower
Total: 341 (members: 3, guests: 303, robots: 35)
test