Too much homework...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by stampin'teacher, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I give very little homework to my grade 7 and 8 English students. They have a set number of reading responses due each month, and they are required to complete any work not finished in class. I know that, between their Math, Science and History/Geography teachers, they have about 60 minutes of homework and I strongly believe that is enough.
     
  2. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Sep 18, 2011

    Awwww! Those were such creative ways of families spending time together and working. Oh how I wish I had that kind of creative freedom.. to break the mold and branch out and do some of those things. But as a year 2 teacher... straying from what the veteran teachers are doing... especially when the P preaches for us to remain consistent, collaborate and do what other classes do because "parents talk" and become concerned that another classroom is getting quality homework vs what I'm doing which is more freedom based. Oh well... in a perfect world right....

    I'm certainly going to keep those ideas in mind as the school year progresses.
     
  3. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2011


    I'm with you on that! I severely dislike the homework that my grade-level team decided we were to send home every night but Fridays. I think it's pointless and is just busy work. The only thing I am okay with is the spelling word list (6 words a week) and I even find flaws in that for 1st Grade.

    I would love to not have homework. I would love to lessen my amount of homework, but as a 1st year and with my P wanting us to all do the same things as well, I have no option.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I can't believe kids have homework in K and 1st grade, but I see it everywhere. It's one thing to send a little book home and ask the kid to practice with mom or dad, but in the district my college was around and I often did field experiences in, even kinders had large weekly "homework packets." As a student, I don't remember getting homework until 3rd grade, and then it was about once a week. I don't really remember having nightly homework until 6th grade.
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I am utterly pleased to see so many teachers putting homework in perspective. Years ago I would post a comment about kids having too much homework and unable to balance family/personal lives. The entire forum of teachers on here would attack me!!! Thank you all very much for your comments!
     
  6. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2011

    All of the homework described in the OP sounds like busywork. Why not just require self-selected reading and then encourage students to go above and beyond in other way of their choosing? For example, here's what I've done:

    1. I set up individual student blogs at kidblog.org so the students would have a personal writing space with which to write about things of their choosing at home

    2. I also set up student math accounts at www.ixl.com -- this is an amazing site where students can go above and beyond in math at their own pace

    3. I joined a math competition at www.onlinemathleague.com which has online practice tests the students can access at any time from home (we also meet once a week at lunch).

    Now the students know that on any given night, the only mandatory thing to do is read a great book (and we discuss what we've been reading from time to time in class as a part of this)... then they can spend some time independently working on whatever works for them. This freedom has led to some extraordinarily active blogs, students who challenge themselves to beat every IXL level at their grade level, and even students who've been national champs in that math competition!

    Free the students of busywork; then challenge them to go above and beyond what they're required to do (and show them lots of ways to do just that).
     
  7. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 18, 2011

    :lol::lol:

    That's GREAT!!
     
  8. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2011

    Here is my usual nightly homework (* means it's a paper of my choosing):

    Spelling List - 1 per week, 6-12 words each week.
    Phonics - 1 page of phonics, whatever letter/sound we did that day.
    High Frequency Words Study Sheet - typically around 10-12 words

    *Number/Color/Shape Word Paper - typically a quick coloring worksheet to help them identify the number/color/shape words.

    Right now they don't have math homework but I know that will change here pretty soon.... that is way too much for a 1st grader in my opinion and I wish my colleagues would listen to me. I'm basically laughed at when I suggest anything other than what they are doing now.
     
  9. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I don't believe that you have asked too much of your students. The reading (if reading level-appropriate) should take no more than 15 minutes. The questions 2-3 minutes each. The illustration would depend on the expectations.. this could be accomplished in a mere couple minutes IMHO. Spelling workbook pages used to take my students 5-8 minutes. And, six problems for math at most should take 1-2 minutes each. At this point, the students would be working on 40-50 minutes of work.

    As with many things, there are definitely varying ideas about homework. While I believe that homework should be meaningful, I also believe that homework serves a purpose for students to practice organizational skills as well as preparation for their future years of education.
     
  10. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2011

    While I can understand how many feel like the work I give may be busy work, the questions for reading are questions to get students to infer and dig deeper into their reading. It is the basis for our discussion the following day. The illustration was practice for when we break into literature circle groups, but we practice with each literature circle role continuously until they understand what is expected.

    At my previous school, students were given this and more, but the work was not due until Thursday, allowing them to schedule their homework around their after school schedules. These students have never had a taste of organization or self-prioritizing, so instead I decided to give fewer questions & reading, but assign it for the next day.

    Yes, I have realized that for this class, it was too much work. I have since adjusted their homework to become easier to manage, while still having them practice skills learned in class. I was posing the question because my previous students completed this work and more in about an hour, so obviously I saw some disparity.

    I think the problem occurs when teachers do NOT do this reflection. The amount of homework and level of challenge depends on the students & the goal of the teacher. At the beginning of each year I spend a lot of time assessing where students are at, and adjust classwork and homework accordingly.
     

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