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The Great Homework Debate

Kim

Hello Walden Group!
I have done a lot of reading and a lot of talking to other teachers as well as parents about homework - how much to give, what to assign, packets vs. daily work, how much is too much or too little, etc.
I'd love to hear back from fellow educators about what they do for homework. For example, I teach second-grade and I send home a packet that is differentiated for each student. It boils down to basically one page of math, one page of reading comprehension, and one spelling/word study per day plus 15 minutes of reading. It is sent home on Monday and is due Friday. I don't send home a lot of writing because it seems to be a flashpoint for battles between student and parent more than the other subjects.
Does that sound appropriate, too much/too little, or should I modify it in some way? I am curious to hear from everyone about what they do for this, as homework tends to be pretty controversial in a lot of districts and among teachers/grade levels.

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I agree with Irene B. I teach first grade and the only "homework" my students have is reading nightly to meet their AR goal, as well as working with their spelling words. I have found that when I send homework home a few studetns complete it and return it. While others don't return it or the work is done by their parents. Instead of sending work home I try to give my students enough time in class to practice the skills they are learning. If more time is needed I am lucky to have an aid in the afternoon who is able to work with those students.

I teach 6,7,8 language arts.

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I teach 6,7,8 language arts. I generally give homework on a nightly basis, except for weekends. My homework tends to be a reading assignment, a writing assignment, and a spelling assignment. Since my classes are 80 minute blocks, I give at least 20 minutes of independent work time. This gives the students with extra-curriculars time to get work done, and if they have any questions, I am there for help.

I teach KIndergarten at a

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I teach KIndergarten at a Title 1 school and send a homework packet home evey Friday with about 4 pages on litercy and 4 in math, along with a readin log where they are to read 15 minutes a night. This is due the next Friday, and then we send home the next homework packet. I definitely see a pattern in who returns homework and those who do not (awe get about a 60% return) and this correlates to the multi- language fmailies we support. Although we are able to translate the homework into spanish, there are many other languages we are unable to translate it into. Although homework in not required, we send it home because we have many families who request to have activites to work on at home that correlate with our daily studies. SInce homework is optional, the majority of our curriculum and learning skills are taught in the classroom where students can learn from whole and small group instruction along side their peers.

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I find it vital that students do some homework. I teach history, and it would be impossible to have students get all information from 45 min. a day. If they do not read at home, then they will not do well on assignments. I give very little homework which is graded on a right or wrong basis, but much more that is graded upon completness or just reading.

4th grade teacher

Response to Kim

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When I taught first grade we did one math page and one reading page, plus 30 minutes of reading every night. Your second grade homework sound appropriate. I just want to know how you do seperate packets for each child and stay on top of that? How different is each packet? How long does this take you?

Response to Homework Debate

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Hi All,

In my opinion homework should take no longer than an hour to complete. I teach fourth grade, and my students are required to complete 3o minutes of reading along with a written summary of what they read, and four math problems that are a review of what we have learned thus far. Additional homework varies, but shouldn't take more than ten minutes. During bus call, is what I call "homework help". During this time students are working on the homework, and coming to me with any questions they may have. I do not believe in busy work or assigning repetitive problems, because I know my students will be come bored, as would I.

I am parent of 2 boys ages 5

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I am parent of 2 boys ages 5 and 7. My oldest son is in 1st grade and he gets homework Monday-Thursday. In the beginning of the year he would get a work sheet and have to read 10 minutes each day. He now has to 15 minutes a day, work sheet, spelling words and new vocabulary word every Tuesday. He spends about 30 minutes a day on homework. It seems to be the right amout of time for him to spend on homework. I believe it depends on the student. This works for my son, but I know other students who stuggle with less homework.

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I teach 7th grade math and assign one page front and back on monday that is due friday. I try to assign little homework as I find alot of my students have busy extra curricular schedules and often forget to do homework if I have assigned a big load.

homeowrk packet

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I teach 2nd grade and I give a homework packet each Monday due that Friday. I feel that it helps with those busy parents (aren't we all) who have after-school activities. Some parents love and appreciate it...others hate it. But it teaches them responsibility and to plan. You will never please everyone but I find I get a good rate of return and I offer a sticker if received on time. Every five stickers earns a pencil or pencil grip. Nothing special but they love it anyway!

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I teach 3rd grade in Ohio. As a third grade team, we assign the same homework most nights for all students. It involves a math fact page and math practice page. My district has adopted a scripted math program that provides the assignments. Students are also asked to complete a reading log Monday-Thursday nights. Most of the third grade teachers do not assign homework on the weekends. We have been asked not to grade homework. It is tracked daily by a sticker chart and included in a study habits grade but there are not any consequences for not turning it in. My students are becoming aware of this and I am seeing less and less homework each week. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can make homework a priority for my families each night while still following the no grading decision

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