Doing Our Homework About Homework

slateAlthough there is some debate about the value of homework in elementary school, thoughtfully designed homework can support learning for our younger students.

In order to help ensure that the advantages from elementary school homework assignments out-weigh the hassles, here are ten “homework” questions to help teachers “come to class prepared” before assigning homework to students:

1.  How does this assignment support student learning?

2.  Are teachers, students and parents aware of the approximate time it should take for the student to finish this assignment, and is this time period appropriate for the grade level?

3.   Are the directions clear?

4.   Is there homework that other teachers are assigning?

5.  Do the students have a workable plan for what they should do if they struggle with the homework or have questions?

6. Can all of the students be reasonably expected to have the support and tools available at home to complete the homework successfully?

7.  Is the assignment meaningful and engaging for students?

8.  Do the students have a system to record assignments, and a clear procedure for correcting assignments/turning them in to the teacher for feedback, and do any students need extra support with this system?

9.  Are there major extracurricular events are happening in the school or surrounding community that may impact homework time/student motivation?

10.  When assigning homework and determining class procedures for student accountability, have the daily realities and challenges of family life been considered?

-Patricia Steinmeyer

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