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Elementary Science

Science homework or not??

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Kristine Rowland Kristine Rowland 2290 Points

Hello, My name is Kristine and I teach in Georgia. I am curious about other teacher's opinions on science homework. On the one hand, I can appreciate that the more you practice something, the better you become at it. Therefore, doing extra practice at home should improve your skills.  On the other hand, my school has a wide variety of family types. We have a large Hispanic population, many single parents, many students living with grandparents, and a lot without internet service. Not all students have access to computers or an adult at home that can help them with homework. There is also the arguement that they spend so much time at school, home should be for play and extra curriculars. So what are your thoughts on assigning science homework to students?

Sarah Galla Sarah Galla 60 Points

Hi!

The question of homework is a hot topic at my school every year. There are many teachers and parents at my school who think that giving homework every night is a good thing and just as many teachers and parents who feel it is not. I am a teacher in an elementary school so if any homework is given it is usually in reading or math. Homework in any other content area is generally because a student has not finished the assignment despite being given multiple opportunities to complete it in class. I think that giving parents a choice in whether their child does homework is a good idea. Some teachers at my school send home a packet at the beginning of each month with a variety of activities for the students to do at home. The students can choose to do some, all or none of the items in the packet. This gives parents the opportunity to do homework at times that is convenient for them and provides them with activities that reinforce what is being taught in class. For the families who feel that homework is not necessary they do not have to do any of the work. The packet is not graded and does not have to be returned to school. 

Emily Lancetta Emily Lancetta 10 Points

Hi Kristine! While I am only doing my student teaching currently, I have seen a thing or two in my clinical placement. The grade level I am in does not give out homework for any subjects. And honestly, I don't see any real reason for homework at this point. Our students are constantly doing student-led activities where they are fully immersing themselves in the various subjects, especially science and math. I feel as though the hands-on learning experiences in the classroom are what students remember and retain the most. There is also the point to be made, like you said, how not every student has the same opportunities to complete work at home. I feel as though it is unnecessary stress on the students, as well as, yourself. 

Tarah Wehde Tarah Wehde 1150 Points

I think that while you are teaching students in school, giving them options and some fun activities that they can do at home could be beneficial. If students enjoy science and enjoy what is going on in class, they may want to show whoever is at home with them what they learned in school. Just having the options for them if they want to do more outside of school is something that is good to have.

Eleana Day Eleana Day 80 Points

This is an excellent question that I often struggle with.   I have a colleague who teaches sixth grade advanced science at a school that serves mostly minority students.  She requires homework for many of the projects they do.  For example, she requires the students read and study a topic before an experiment, so they come to school ready for the project.  This way, they can focus on the actual hands-on learning experience, which is most valuable, but they have already put in time at home.  It’s important to note that these are sixth grade students who should have developed some type of time management skills, and this might not be appropriate for younger students such as those in first or second grade.  It would also be important to think about the type of homework.  Because not all students have access to technology at home, like you mentioned.  In addition, consider not grading the homework.

Larry Waye Larry Waye 80 Points

Hi Everyone!

Well since I can remember being in k-12 grades and still continuing education homework has been the driving force for understanding the material, as well giving practice of the material. Since teaching 3rd grade for the first time this year at this charter school they dont send homework home. The bases of not sending homework home I was told that base on research that was conducted that homework was not beneficial in one's learning. I was shocked to hear that, so I had to research it myself.  I found this artical 'This is why we should stop giving homework ' by Chris McNutt. He states four reasons why homework does not make sense, these as followed: Achievement, whether that be measured through standardized tests or general academic knowledge, isn’t correlated to assigning or completing homework. Homework is an inequitable practice that harms certain individuals more than others, to the detriment of those with less resources and to minor, if any, improvement for those with resources. It contributes to negative impacts at home with one’s family, peer relationships, and just general school-life balance, which causes far more problems than homework is meant to solve. And finally, it highlights and exacerbates our obsession with ultra-competitive college admissions and job opportunities, and other detrimental faults of making everything about getting ahead. After reading this artical it brought out some interesting points about not having homework I didnt realize, but I still have mix feelings about it. Hope this is helpful. 
 

Gabriela Matos Gabriela Matos 240 Points

Hi!  I think homework can be beneficial for students, especially for reinforcing what is being learned in class.  However, I know some teachers who overload on homework every night and then the students either rush through it all and don’t actually retain anything, or they end up developing a negative attitude towards the subject.  I would limit the amount of homework given each night, and maybe alternate which subjects you are assigning homework during the week.  If the students are doing well with their homework during the week then you could eliminate it on the weekends!

Carly Corrente Carly Corrente 240 Points

Hi! As most of us know, homework is one of the hot lately. Homework can of course be super benefical for students when we want them to continue practice of topcis that are being taught in class. I am intrigued on the topic of homework in science. I know that science can be a tricky topic for students, while many students find it to be fun, there are some topics that they can get stumped on. I would limit the amount of homework that is given in science. I believe that us teachers provide our students with enough homework in the ELA and Math areas, we don't want to over do it by adding a lot of homework in science as well. One helpful tip I would like to look into is finding fun science websites that students can practice on their own time. This way, they have the opportunity to get extra practice in on their own time however it is not something that should stress them out to try to complete. 

Madison Sarchese Madison Sarchese 640 Points

Hi! As a student teacher, I am learning and completely agree with your perspective on homework in science. It's crucial to strike a balance and ensure that students have enough time to understand and enjoy the subject without feeling overwhelmed. The idea of incorporating fun science websites for additional practice is fantastic. It not only makes learning more engaging but also allows students to explore topics at their own pace. This approach aligns with the idea of fostering a love for learning, which is essential in any subject, especially in science where curiosity and exploration play a significant role. By providing resources for self-paced learning, you're not only encouraging independent study but also catering to diverse learning styles. It's great to see educators embracing technology to enhance the learning experience and make it more accessible outside the traditional classroom setting. Moreover, this approach may also contribute to a more positive attitude towards science. When students can associate the subject with enjoyable activities and independent exploration, it can contribute to a deeper and more lasting understanding.

 

 

Colleen Schiller Colleen Schiller 340 Points

Hi, I'm Colleen and not only am I a student teacher, I am also a parent and still have mixed opinions about homework.  Something I will say is that I do not enjoy open ended assignments such as read for 15 minutes, or play on a website for 15 minutes. I think that if a teacher is assigning homework they should have it be a workbook page reiterating something that was taught in class, pages assigned that will need to be read, or a packet due at the end of the week. Parents are so busy and just assigning an abstract homework assignment makes it really hard to make sure the students complete them. As far as science, I think it would be great to send home a science packet or worksheet for the student to review what they learned in class. In my experience, not enough time is spent in the classroom on science so to be able to send something home for the students to work on can be helpful. 

Hannah Cestaro Hannah Cestaro 665 Points

Hi! I know that from personal experience that my science teacher would overload the class with homework for just one night and expect it to be completed and handed in the next day. This can lead to many students forming a poor relationship with not just the class, but also homework in general because they are falling behind with the large amounts of work they are given, and not being able to fully understand what they are learning in class. I think homework is beneficial for science, but in a smaller quantity, and if there is a large assignment that is given out, to have it be done later in the week and not the next day. When students are given the ability to do smaller assignments at night they are able to sit down and do it, retain some of the information they are learning, and have a better understanding of the topic. 

Mackenzie McNelia Mackenzie McNelia 350 Points

Hi! I am a student teacher and i have had some thought on this issue for a while. Assigning science homework has its benefits for skill development and reinforcement of learning. I think there are good arguments on both sides of the argument. Positively, as you pointed out, skill improvement requires practice. Like any other discipline, science calls for constant application and effort. With homework, students may consolidate their classroom learning and develop a more thorough comprehension of the subject matter. Additionally, it promotes accountability and self-control, two qualities necessary for academic success.But it's important to address the issues you brought up about the variety of family conditions and resource accessibility. Not every student has equal access to the resources and assistance required to do their schoolwork. This may unintentionally result in differences in academic achievement depending on variables beyond of the student's control.

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