Friday, June 28, 2013

What's Homework Got To Do With It?

Every year I struggle with homework, especially math homework. I am conflicted in my beliefs. On the one hand, I think students need to practice. As they say - practice makes perfect. On the other hand, if a student doesn't "get it" or just doesn't do it, how does that help? 

A few years ago I read The Homework Myth  by Alfie Kohn. It made me want to hop right on the "no homework" train. Unfortunately that was impossible. My district mandates that we give a certain amount for homework Monday through Thursday.

There have been times I would teach a lesson and then assign the homework on the day's lesson. The next day we would take the first ten minutes of class to go over it. 

I have also tried the collect, correct, and return method. This was a major failure because it increased the amount of correcting I needed to do and the returned papers quickly found their way to recycling bin with barely a glance. 

I could go on and on.................

So, one day into summer vacation I am already thinking about revamping my homework policy yet again. My plan is to create homework packets that would be given out on Monday and be due Friday. This would eliminate taking time going over the homework at the beginning of class each day. The packet would contain review material, not what we were currently learning.  Hopefully this would allow for the students to be more successful completing the assignment. On Fridays, instead of a warm up, I would post the answers on the board and students will correct their own work. At least that is the plan at the moment.

How do you handle homework? What works for you? I would love to hear from you.


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