New Teachers

Assigning Homework

Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:36 PM

A colleague and I were discussing homework for our students. What have you seen that works best? An assignment each night or a large packet to complete over the course of the week? What subject areas are key to reinforcing at home and where do you draw the line? Reading and math are the most often homework subjects but I think writing, spelling, and science are just as important. Additionally, how do you go about holding students accountable? Do you check it off or actually grade it? What happens it they don't complete it/turn it in?
Please share what you have observed or have tried in the classroom!!

Nicole Bristol
Nicole Bristol
560 Activity Points

Fri May 29, 2015 10:50 AM

Homework.. a subject of debate in many forms. If you give one assignment per day, kids may have family or other obligations that interfere with their ability to complete it. (Student lives do not stop when the bell rings, and in high school, they may be working to help feed siblings - not just to buy fancy clothes or a cell phone.) If you give packets, students who struggle with organization may lose them, even if they did complete and understand the work. Visit your lunchroom and see how many students are copying answers without understanding them just to "complete" an assignment before class. Is it a good use of teacher time to grade copied papers that do NOT show understanding, but rather an ability to copy? I think not.

A solution? Give out the assignments as it makes sense for your class structure. Have the students keep them in their personal binder which is dedicated to that class. If they are busy one night, they can complete the assignment when they do have time without penalty. Then on a weekly basis, have a "binder quiz" where the students demonstrate understanding of the concepts covered in the homework with the ability to use their binder as a reference. If they did and understand the work, they should succeed on this "quiz", building confidence needed for a more traditional "test"-type cumulative assessment. If they did not do it, or simply copied it in the lunchroom, they will not have time to look up every answer and will get a lower grade on the "quiz" which should indicate they need to do more homework or show up to a tutoring session. This quiz grade will serve as a homework grade if your district requires it, will teach students what they need to do to learn and study, and will save teacher time that could be better used creating dynamic lessons that actually teach and reinforce concepts.

Erin Davis
Erin Davis
140 Activity Points

Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:09 PM

Hello,
So far the teachers I'm around with they send him the big packet and every day teacher tell them what they need to do and sometime they just give them packet for the week and their parents guide them at home and teacher do some work as a warm up in school. You just have to know your students how it will work with them also your other teachers who are same grade teachers as you are.

Shamama Nargis
Shamama Nargis
2845 Activity Points

Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:00 PM

I've seen the big packet done when I've observed elementary teachers, but there have been problems with it getting lost. However, students should keep their homework in a certain folder just for homework. I personally think an assignment a day is better. You can just tear out worksheets you want them to complete each day and have them do assignments for spelling/vocabulary weekly but with different words.

Adriana Garcia
Adriana Garcia
4685 Activity Points

Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:32 PM

From my experience completing field work and what my education professors do is have students reflect on what happened in the lesson. They can write about what they learned, what they thought was interesting, and what confused them or they had trouble grasping. This way they can come back and a discussion can be had on the material and they'll be more focused on the learning.

Christopher Rodriguez
Christopher Rodriguez
2320 Activity Points

Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:49 PM

I am currently a student teacher, but what I have seen in the classroom is assigned homework for everyday of the week except Friday. The homework is checked for a completion grade, but then I go and grade the homework for the student. I have realized this is done because some parents do the homework for the students, or give them the answers.

Stephanie Jerez
Stephanie Jerez
1165 Activity Points

Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:48 PM

I'm currently a student teacher and i use homework as if it a part of the lesson its self. I would teach a lesson half way assign homework then use that homework to cover up any misconception. Hopes this helps

John Pacheco
John Pacheco
1215 Activity Points

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:42 AM

I like John's suggestion on homework. Some days homework could be given and other days incorporate it into the lesson if time permits.

Lisa Tobias
Lisa Tobias
550 Activity Points

Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:52 PM

I'm a student teacher, and my lead teacher plans on having homework daily. It will differ from time to time and case to case whether it's for completion or accuracy, but it is certainly expected to be done. He is a really down to earth and intelligent man, and he, most of all, wants the students to get something out of the homework --- he also tries to make it be able to be completed in an half hour.

Luke Evancoe
Luke Evancoe
1135 Activity Points

Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:02 PM

I definitely believe homework should be given each night. How else are they going to learn? Most of the time they spend in class is zoning out so to review it.... HOMEWORK! Don't overload, but just a couple worksheets isn't going to kill them.

Rachael Drab
Rachael Drab
280 Activity Points

Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:22 AM

I am currently student teaching and I have observed and implemented many different strategies for homework to determine the best way to asses my students understanding. Overall I have found that each class can be different in the way that they handle homework assignments. For one of my classes I assign homework every night (mon-thur) and they come in the next morning and get into their groups and exchange homework. If a student has not completed the assignment I quickly make copies of another students completed homework (I do not give them a blank homework assignment otherwise they will be able to do it in class and hand it in, but I give them the completed assignment to grade so that they are not left out of the activity and disruptive). I give the students anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to discuss the answers they got (not to change them, they can however write notes to themselves about what they discussed with their classmates). NOTE* it is important that the students use pens when doing the discussion in class. We then go over the answers as a class and they peer correct. I then collect the assignments, bring them home to check that they were graded correctly (most of the time they correct it properly, but I always say I am taking it home so the students know a) they are being graded fairly and b) the students do not cheat) and I return them to the students on Thursday. This way they have study material to complete the quick quiz on Friday morning. I find that by having them discuss the answers together first allows for another level of learning that does not involve me. I often find they have a more genuine learning experience when they are taught by their classmates and teaching is the highest level of understanding so I know when my students get the concepts. The students explain why they got the answer they did which practices demonstration. Hope this helps!

Leanne Tirabassi
Leanne Tirabassi
320 Activity Points

Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:19 PM

As a future teacher I think about how I will handle homework assignments a lot! I've decided that I will never grade homework assignments based on whether they are correct or not. My future students will get a completion grade as long as it looks like they tried. Homework is meant to assess whether students can do something on their own, it's practice! Regarding your question about packets or individual worksheets, I think it is more valuable to give them one sheet of homework more often than one packet of homework less often (as long as both are of the same quality). I believe a packet may overwhelm the children. Hope this helps!

Rachel Sheidler
Rachel Sheidler
1105 Activity Points

Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:28 PM

I am a parent and a future teacher (student teaching next semester). I think homework should be given as minimally as possible. I think kids are overwhelmed already, and so are the parents!!! Kids need more time to play, relax, read for pleasure; and time to do what they need to do with their family. Life is short.

Anja Woolverton
Anja Woolverton
440 Activity Points

Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:15 PM

As a future teacher, (student teaching next semester) I think that homework should be given. I think that it shouldn't be a lot but I do think that have students do a worksheet a week or some sort of assignment is a good idea. I am not in a classroom currently, however I do think that having homework (some) is a necessary evil. I believe that it is just another way teachers and parents can teach students responsibility and hold them accountable.

Becky Kenton
Becky Kenton
920 Activity Points

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:11 AM

I have mixed feeling about homework like everyone else. Our 4th grade team gives minimal homework with the hopes that family time will be happening instead of hours of painful homework. Our math teachers give home homework on Monday and Wednesday (due on Wednesday and Friday respectively). The homework consist of some practice problems or a math puzzle. Reafing just has 30 minutes of reading and I think they have a choice board the students use. I teach Science (yay!), so I don't give roo much homework. Most of my homework is completed online through a LSM called Canvas. I generally have the students watch a video (no more than 5 minutes) and eith ask them questions from the video or have them do a 3-2-1. I also post discussion questions for them to respond to as well. I have had a pretty food success rate on students completing the assignments. I also allow them to complete in the morning as well as I know not all my students have internet or device access.

Destiny Huggins
Destiny Huggins
9810 Activity Points

Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:46 PM

I am in early childhood which can be very different from 4th and 5th. However, I personally view homework to be extremely important in all areas. The most effective methods that I have seen homework done is in large packets for the week and baggy books with comprehension questions each night. In the large packets I have seen a teacher do all reading and math or a couple pieces of the packet to be reading, a couple math and some for writing, science or social studies. I have heard of some elementary schools doing away with homework all together. However, I personally feel that homework is important to help support the involvement of the parents in their child's education and if you do away with homework that is not giving the parents the opportunity to see what their child is doing and learning.

Victoria Wilt
Victoria Wilt
1005 Activity Points

Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:51 AM

I definitely do not have all the answers as I am a student teacher, but I do my cooperating teacher sends home one packet of homework to be turned in at the end of the week and that has seemed to work for the kids and the parents! We haven't had any complaints so far when it comes to homework! I hope that helps! Thanks for the other comments for your insight on this dreaded topic!

Meagan Schrull
Meagan Schrull
750 Activity Points

Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:26 PM

I am currently a student teacher in a 3rd grade class and the whole grade level gives homework every day of the week. Every room has the exact same homework to avoid some students having too much or too little homework. They all hold the students accountable by checking the homework every day and checking it was completed. If it was not then they lose recess and have to complete their homework during this time. Also, they give the students homework for every topic throughout the week. Reading, math, and spelling is homework that is given everyday where are social studies, science, and writing are given at least once a week.
I think the homework system that they have is good and the fact that every teacher is on board and participating in it is even better. It definitely helps the students to see that it is important and taken seriously.

Ayari San Luis
Ayari San Luis
1425 Activity Points

Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:20 PM

My class is given a homework menu to complete over the course of a month. Students are able to choose from a list of activities to complete.

Alexia Perry
Alexia Perry
745 Activity Points

Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:33 PM

I teach chemistry...and with chemistry, I find that it really depends on the topic. Some topics I give homework every night...some times I give one or two assignments a week. There are many things where the best way to learn is repetition. Naming compounds/writing formulas, balancing equations, etc. My homework is generally short...should take them 10-15 minutes at most. Just the idea is to get them to think about it at home, and not just in the class. Because lord knows if they don't have "homework" they won't think about it.

Chris Leverington
Chris Leverington
3810 Activity Points

Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:40 PM

From my experience in my field placements, I am realizing that parents often do help the children complete their homework quite a bit. Or students do not complete their homework at all and then are punished for not completing it. As a student, I dislike having homework that my teachers do not take for a grade. Throughout my placements, teachers do not give any points for homework, they just clip down. I do not believe that motivates students to complete homework. My personal opinion is that we should not give students packets of homework to students to complete at home. They do a lot of work throughout the day, the last thing they need is to go home and spend hours on homework.

Danielle Hardin
Danielle Hardin
1035 Activity Points

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:23 PM

I loved reading about all the ideas and feelings expressed over assigning homework. That is definitely a great topic to have and I found all the comments very insightful.

Brenda Del Valle
Brenda Del Valle
1065 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers