I am still trying to navigate the value of homework, including the definition. Last year I thought the purpose of homework was to prepare my 7/8 class for the workload of secondary school. I had something due everyday with some choice built in to provide variety. The end result had me rethinking this for my current year in 2/3. I found:
- too much marking
- not enough time spent on valuable feedback
- students who didn’t do the homework never had an opportunity to develop the skills
My time is valuable, my students time is valuable, and the family of the students time is valuable. If I am going to assign something to be done outside of the classroom I need to make sure it is absolutely necessary to what is happening in the class. I have a few rules that I put in place this year:
- Anything assigned as homework will not be assessed/evaluated for “marks”…only feedback (this is also linked to Growing Success).
- Homework should be an extension of the learning in the classroom, not just repeating a concept or skill (no rote work).
- It should be accessible and inclusive to all families. This includes access to the internet, purchasing materials, etc.
- Enough time should be given to ensure all schedules are met (at least 1 or 2 weekends before something is due)
I try to write a daily message to parents using Class Dojo that includes curriculum connections and extensions that can be done at home. No paper, no workbook, no mandatory logs. I offer suggestions to connect the learning in the classroom to at home.
This allows parents to not have to rely on the same old question “What did you do at school today”, instead they can start with “tell me about this coin” (we covered money a few weeks ago). Learning should be a collaborative experience.
Families should have discussions, ask questions, and engage in authentic moment. I stopped the weekly reading logs and homework folders after Term 1. By providing prompts and filling in families on what we have covered and where we might be going, I have found that students are more likely to engage with the learning at home and in their community.
Where do you stand on homework? Is it working for you?