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Assigning Homework

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Nicole Bristol Nicole Bristol 595 Points

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!!

Erin Davis Erin Davis 190 Points

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.

Shamama Nargis Shamama Nargis 2845 Points

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.

Adriana Garcia Adriana Garcia 4685 Points

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.

Christopher Rodriguez Christopher Rodriguez 2320 Points

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.

Almira Bhojwani Almira Bhojwani 480 Points

In my 5th grade class, my students take a packet home each Monday. They are assigned 1-2 pages a day. Each day that week, I have a student walk around check the completion of the homework for the night before. On Friday, I collect the homework and check how the students did as a form of assessment. I determine what I need to reteach based on how they did. My school does not allow homework to be counted as a grade. I believe students show have homework from every subject. The way I do it is by doing one subject per day in their packet ( monday-ela, tuesday-science, etc...). If a student does not do their homework, they have to do laps during recess. If a student does not do their homework again, I call/email the parents to let them know. Hope this helps!

Stefanie Thews Stefanie Thews 455 Points

Hello! I am a student teacher but, when I have been in my classroom and had observations I have notes big packets seem to be harder for this age. In my observations when I have seen this assigned I found a lot of students did not finish the packet or tried to finish it last minute. If you were to do this I would suggest build the students up to it to help with responsibility in the student.

Karina Herrera Karina Herrera 485 Points

To assign homework or to not assign homework can be a controversial topic. However, from my experience and observation I believe that it is important for students to be assigned homework. Whether a teacher decides to give his/her students one specific assignment over one particular subject or a large packet to be completed over the course of the week, they are both efficient ways that allow students to show what they have learned. Additionally, the decision of what form of homework that should be given to students should be left to each individual teacher because only he/she knows what's best for their students. Furthermore, aside from using homework as a form to check for students comprehension over lessons, teachers can also use it to make modifications to their future lessons. Overall, I am all in for homework!

Alyssa Perez Alyssa Perez 3030 Points

I think it would be best to assign one assignment each night. From experience, I've had students lose their packets. It's been easiest to just assign them a worksheet everyday. Though of course, it is based on your class and what you have seen works better for them. Maybe try out the packet idea for one week and see how it goes. Good luck!

Carolina Olvera Carolina Olvera 415 Points

Hi Nichol! I am currently student teaching in a second grade class at a Dual Language school. The student in the English class gets about 2-4 pages of homework a day that is over math/reading subjects, except no homework Friday’s. Everyday the teacher begins the day with doing a warm-up then going over all the homework. The students that don’t do their homework (which are usually the same ones), the teacher just gets upset at the moment and that’s it. She doesn’t give grades over homework and at the end of the day she puts the homework in the recycle bin. They also get homework from the Spanish class. I have seen where the students just write whatever on their homework just to turn something in, without taking the time to actually do it or some students students do it in class while they are going over it.

Brooke Klostermann Brooke Klostermann 285 Points

Hi Nicole, 

I am a preservice teacher about to begin student teaching. I have completed numerous hours observing many schools that have different policies towards assigning and grading homework. Overall, I have observed many science teachers collecting worksheets as completion grades. If the student does not complete the assignment, the student will have a zero and also cannot complete the assessment at the end of the unit until the student has completed all of their work. Many of my cooperating teachers approve of this method, for it allows the student to make mistakes on their homework and not be graded for right/wrong answers. The homework displays to the teachers how the students are doing with the material (are they getting it or not). 


Brooke Klostermann

Wartburg College '19

Melissa Garcia Melissa Garcia 3090 Points

I think homework can be so helpful for students, but sometimes it can be a waste of time for them, for teachers, and even for parents. I think that it is better to assign general homework after you have completed the days tasks in the classroom. What do you think the students need more practice on? What can the students do at home to deepen their understanding of a concept? I also believe that homework shouldnt be graded necessarily on the work done because to be honeat you dont know who actually completed it. I think you can use it as some kind of extra credit or use the hoemwork to complete a quick review for students the following day to see if it actually helped students or if they came up with questions that you can help clarify. If a student doesnt complete the homework just 1 time I wouldnt be so harsh, but if homework is a continuous issue, find out what that student needs or why they arent completing homework, it could be a relfection of their home life. 

Lesly Vivian Lesly Vivian 240 Points

Homework is very impoartant it gives the students some extra help if needed in that field, and let the parents know where the child stands. What I have seen is that many educators seem to hand out just either reading and math homework. What happens to the other subjects? I truly believe that the homework should be given in packets but make sure not to overwhelm the students. Adding all subjects that are being taught during that week is very important. Also making homework more interactive would we a great win for parent involvement.

Elizabeth Jimenez Elizabeth Jimenez 285 Points

The big homework debate. I am a pre-service teacher and do not have a classroom yet, but I am a parent of a first grader. I am happy that his school recently chits their homework policy this past year. My son was struggling every day to complete his daily six-page homework assignment. It was burdensome and my son was getting anxious at night and stressed out because he could not finish his homework. The school now assigns one page of homework and there is now a bigger emphasis on reading. I think this is the best approach. As educators, we have to mindful of our students time at home. 

Lauren Caldwell Lauren Caldwell 1685 Points

In my field experience placements, I have noticed that a majority of the homework assignments are things that the students did not have time to finish in class. I really like the idea of reading logs. Requiring students to read at least 15 or 20 minutes a night can do wonders for their comprehension and fluency. This is a homework assignment that isn't just busy work for the students. I also think doing weekly spelling tests and sending home spelling words is good way to have spelling homework for students. Even as a college student, I still get assigned homework tasks that I would consider busy work, things that are not really beneficial to my learning, but are done for the points. I don't want to do this to my students as a teacher. I think I would grade my students homework, but that is because I wouldn't assign much homework in the first place. Homework assignments should be worth the time students spend on it outside of class. 

Lauren Caldwell Lauren Caldwell 1685 Points

In my field experience placements, I have noticed that a majority of the homework assignments are things that the students did not have time to finish in class. I really like the idea of reading logs. Requiring students to read at least 15 or 20 minutes a night can do wonders for their comprehension and fluency. This is a homework assignment that isn't just busy work for the students. I also think doing weekly spelling tests and sending home spelling words is good way to have spelling homework for students. Even as a college student, I still get assigned homework tasks that I would consider busy work, things that are not really beneficial to my learning, but are done for the points. I don't want to do this to my students as a teacher. I think I would grade my students homework, but that is because I wouldn't assign much homework in the first place. Homework assignments should be worth the time students spend on it outside of class. 

Stephanie Alonso Stephanie Alonso 540 Points

Hi Nicole, 

I myself do not like giving students a lot of homework. Many students arrive home late from school and have extra curricular activities which is why I have feel that a lot of homework can be overwhelming for students. Even though I do not give my students plenty of homework I still assign some homework, the homework I assign is more about quality than quantity. For reading I do assign reading logs for students to keep track of their reading for the week and some week I assign online reading assignments that they have a week to complete, which is similar to assigning a packet for the week which give the student flexibity to complete it because let's face it, life happens! A perk of online assignments is that they can't get lost. I prefer weekly packets over daily assignments, student need to be responsible to not lose them. Teacher can still add a homework for the next to help keep the students engaged on the topic for the next day or to prepare them but it should not be overwhelming because students worry about many subjects. I actually grade the homework I give out. In terms of what to do when a student doesn't complete or turn in their assignment I have a grace period in which I deduct 10 points by day. 

Apartment Patino MARIO PATINO 1295 Points

Thanks for sharing the topic. I guess my first question is what is the purpose of the homework? Is it to extend the school day  beyond 6-7 hours? If so, does the student have resources at home to help them when they are struggling? Is the purpose of the homework to promote non academic skills such as responsibility?  If so, there are other ways of doing this without giving them more work. When students spend their whole day at school, they are tired and may have other responsibilities that prevent them from focusing on homework. Many adults leave their work at work, why can't students do the same?

The only times I have given homework is when student was unable to finish work in the classroom under my support. As far as holding student accountable, I teach them skills such as self monitoring, prioritizing, task initiation, organizing which help them to achieve tasks. There are many benefits in teaching students self accountability skills, as teachers we just need to be willing to do this when our students demonstrate an inability to use such skills.

As far as how you assess homework-I would avoid 'checking off'strategies. If the work was important to give,  then you need to take time to provide valuable and timely feedback. If you cannot do this, I would recommend not giving them the work. As a student I hated playing the 'check off' game teachers played with me. Such feedback did nothing for me other than show me how to be compliant. These students attitudes still exist today. So giving critical, timely, and quality feedback is highly encouraged for any time of work we assign our students.

If they do not complete an assignment, in my experience this under performance is often associated with not having the skills to learn, especially executive functioning skills. Most students who do not complete homework have a hard time task initiating. They leave the work to the end, procrastinate, and often produce low quality work because they did not know how to start the task. So putting some time in on teaching students how to learn and think is effective practice. To many of my peers assume students have these skills but most often our students lack them. So can you really teach content and skills associated with learning content when your students don't have the skills to learn or how to think?  I hope this helps you, it took me 16 years of teaching to figure out how to put theory into practice and advocate for students. Great questions and I hope it works out for you.

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks 680 Points

The school that I work for does not actually assign homework. This was definitely and adjustment for me because we as educators like to assign homework. Over the course of this year, I have learned to adapt and it has been beneficial to have the students working on the assignments during a portion of class. I think the best course to follow is to consider that students have multiple classes so giving an assignment that they can work on over a longer period of time when they have time. I think sometimes teachers get bogged down into assigning extra work without considering whether it is addressing mastery or not. 

Ashalenia Graham Ashalenia Graham 985 Points

Hi Nicole!  I would say that the students would appreciate the large packet to complee over the week.  However, a system should be put into place for this.  Like stated previosuly, this might be hard to keep up with for younger students/ students who lack organizational kills.  Perhaps you can have a binder/folder system where they can organie each weeks homeowrk in.  You can also work with them eah oweek to improe organizational skills if thst is something your students migth struggle with.  I hope this helps.  

Stephanie Jerez Stephanie Jerez 1165 Points

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.

John Pacheco John Pacheco 1215 Points

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

Lisa Tobias Lisa Tobias 550 Points

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

Luke Evancoe Luke Evancoe 1135 Points

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.

Rachael Drab Rachael Drab 280 Points

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.

Apartment Patino MARIO PATINO 1295 Points

Thanks for sharing. Why should homework be given every night?  What is the purpose in this if they spend over six hours with us? As far as zoning out, yes I agree with you here. This normally happens when they are not engaged or do not have the skills to focus. Thanks for sharing.

Leanne Tirabassi Leanne Tirabassi 320 Points

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!

Rachel Sheidler Rachel Sheidler 1125 Points

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!

Anja Woolverton Anja Woolverton 450 Points

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.

Becky Kenton Becky Kenton 920 Points

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.

Destiny Huggins Destiny Huggins 10040 Points

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.

Victoria Wilt Victoria Wilt 1015 Points

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.

Meagan Schrull Meagan Schrull 750 Points

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!

Ayari San Luis Ayari San Luis 1425 Points

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.

Alexia Perry Alexia Perry 755 Points

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.

Matthew Thomas Matthew Thomas 190 Points

I have never heard of this way of assigning homework. I would love to know the logistics of it or how effective it is compared to a more traditional approach.

Apartment Patino MARIO PATINO 1295 Points

Giving student choice is a very effective strategy. Having them chose from a menu is creative. As long as the homework has a purpose and quality feedback is given that is timely and objective focused I am in full support.

Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

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.

Danielle Hardin Danielle Hardin 1035 Points

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.

Brenda Del Valle Brenda Del Valle 1215 Points

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.

Brittney Hunke Brittney Hunke 4870 Points

I think homework is a good thing but sometimes I think they should do activities in class that count as there homework. Homework should be given but if they have homework every night I feel like they will get overwhelmed. I find this topic very interesting. A great topic to discuss. Comments are very helpful!

Amanda Huybrechts Amanda Huybrechts 215 Points

I think that having students do an assignment a night is something that will really help teachers assess where each child is at and what more you might need to do for that child if they are struggling still.

Ana Guerra Ana Guerra 200 Points

I also think that homework helps students practice a little bit more and help them understand whatever problem they have. 

Isaacah Bell isaacah bell 1900 Points

Homework packets for the week would be an effective way to issue homework to the younger students. Everything would be directly there for them and they do not have to scatter through folders and notebooks to complete 4 different sheets of homework. I would personally include all the subjects we as a class studied and then attach a activity or puzzle to the end. Packets would also be easy for the teacher to grade and would probably benefit from having more students turn it in and not lose the homework.

Aleena Naqvi Aleena Naqvi 370 Points

Hello! Something I observed in my placements as a student teacher was 'Choice Homework'. The students were given a packet at the beginning of the week, and they were allowed to choose one homework assignment that they liked best out of the packet. What I liked about this homework was that the teacher had included engaging and fun activities or experiments, as well as the option to write a short 1 page paper over a particular topic given by the teacher. Some other choices the teacher had provided the students with included making videos showing and explaining any scientific experiment they decided to do at home. Another interesting one that the students loved included the students rapping a teacher provided educational rap (the teacher found various educational raps on youtube that pertained to the concepts they were learning). The choice was up to the students and they were to turn in their one assignment every Friday. The students absolutely LOVED this "homework". It was fun and they looked forward to it. Ive never seen a class ever get so excited to do and share their homework. In my opinion, this was a brilliant idea because it was so highly effective and can be modified for younger grades if need be. The students still had homework but were actually excited to do it, and most importantly, they were still learning! :)

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

Wow! Aleena, thank you for sharing! I love homework menus and I believe homework should be meaningful if it is given. I often ask my students to look on their way home and around their home for examples of ways we use -whatever we are learning about in class- in the real world. Videos are so much fun!

Mitchell McLean Mitchell McLean 875 Points

This idea sounds great. Especially with the plethora of resources online these days, student choice can be the way to go in terms of homework so that students are working according to what they enjoy and what level they're at.
I generally enable student choice through most parts of my instruction at school as well.
Typically in lessons, I'll start with a discussion, video and content slides, followed by a choice of activities for the students to complete based on the content presented. The most popular choice among students is Education Perfect, an online school-subscription-based learning platform, but I also assign tasks from Khan Academy, BBC, MathSpace, other websites, the textbook, questions for their personal research, problems written on my slides (which I upload for when I'm not displaying them), paper worksheets, collaborative tasks to fill in a table or make a short presentation, YouTube videos, or even time to work on longer-term assignments. I find that having lots of options avoids students doing nothing because they think they're finished, complaints about the work being boring, complaints around difficulty, or zoning out to other things. One problem I find, though is that students can sometimes not be working on today's topic because they're still trying to continue on a choice from last week, so communication with students is key. I use Google Classroom as a platform to put these student choices on, which they can access by their Chromebooks. This works for me in Year 7-10 science and mathematics in Australia but would need adjustment for other groups.

Vivianna Caballero Vivianna Caballero 335 Points

On the topic of homework, I do agree in assigning it. I feel that it allows for continuous learning once outside of the classroom and to apply the knowledge they have gained from the lesson outside of the lesson as well. Whether it be a packet, a worksheet, or a series of questions is all up to the lesson, grade and classroom arrangement. As a future Special Education teacher, I do not think a packet would work best for my future students because they may or may not be able to handle a large assignment all in one setting. Worksheets or providing pieces of packets over the course of the week may work best.

Karina Redondo Karina Redondo 2410 Points

Hi, I am a prospective teacher and I do believe that assigning homework is important. For the younger students I would assign a packet so that parents/guardians are able to keep track of their child's school work. I would focus on all subject areas as I believe they are each equally important. As for the higher grade levels, I would assign homework daily and add any necessary assignments I feel need to be worked on as the day progresses. I would definitely thoroughly check and grade homework assignments as that is where I will se where my students need further work and explanation on any given topic.

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

I appreciate your viewpoint, Karina. What are you basing your homework policies on? I always try to limit homework and especially in relation to younger children. Families with young children need time to be together after school and work that do not involve homework that might cause frustration and discord. As a teacher and a parent I detest homework packets. Homework packets equal 'busywork.' If the child can't do it on their own, it is being taught by the parent. In this age of technology, there has to be a more creative approach to connecting with school than homework packets.

Hussein Pacha Hussein Pacha 795 Points

Everyone, Homework has been a spark of much debate, as of late. From what I have observed in the field is that most teachers do give homework, especially in math and reading. For some, they give homework to appease parents. Parents are of the mindset that if a teacher does not assign some type of homework, what is their child really learning. Also, it keeps parents involved and relieved. There is benefit to it. In terms of there actually being a benefit to homework, I do see benefit for it when it comes to math. To become proficient in math, it requires much practice. I believe assigning math homework that goes over past units/lessons is important to make sure students do not forget what they have covered. Most units/lessons do not go over past units, so it is key that students still practice old things they have learned. When it comes to reading, for me, I believe assigning a reading log so students make sure they read a set amount of time every night and to have parents sign off on it. When it comes to science, assigning projects or having students do something related to what they are going to cover or cover can be assigned. When it comes to social studies, which is been left on the back-burner, I cannot really say. Now, can teachers verify if the student actually completed it on their own or if their parents did it for them? You can never really know. But, over the course of the year, you will get to know your students and what they are truly about. You can tell whether work has been done by them or not. Going over last night's homework for the first 5-10 minutes can be done as a warm-up. In terms of grading homework, I believe a simple check or extra credit can be given. A reward of some type, as well. Homework teaches responsibility and teaches students they are also workers in a kind of way. This is just my take from what I have observed in the field and from teachers I have spoken to.

Miriam Oseguera Miriam Oseguera 20 Points

Hello Nicole, I am currently a college student at UC Berkeley taking a Cal-Teach course. From what I have seen in my field placement at an elementary school and from personal experience I feel that a homework packet over the course of the week works best since the students can complete it whenever it works best for them. They will also learn how to stay organized since they will have to take care of this packet. Also, I think that homework should be given at its minimal, just as a review of the material taught that week. It should take them about thirty minutes to complete per day because they can get overwhelmed at the point that they just start disliking school since they do not have time for themselves. I think the topics included in the homework daily should be reading, writing, and mathematics. You can have them pick a book and have them do burrito summaries, Mondays to Thursdays, to check that they actually read and from this you can also check their writing. You can also give them 3-5 math problems per day for them to review based on the lessons taught that week. When checking their homework on Fridays, just check for completeness and go over the answers with them if applicable for the homework assignments. If they do not complete it, you can have them stay during break to complete it. Homework should not be given during the weekends if they are in elementary school. This worked really well for me when I was in elementary school, so I hope this works well for your students. Good luck! Best, Miriam

Allison Collins Allison Collins 795 Points

I have seen many different teachers do many differnet things as well. It just depends on what you are using homework for. Are you just sending it home for practice? Is it being taken for a grade? Are you sending it home as a quick check up to see student understanding? I think homework helps teach responsibility. Also as they get older it is inevitable that they will have homework. It can help prepare them for what the next grades will be like. I know I student taught with someone who sent homework home purely for practice. She would look it over to see how they did, but did not take it for a grade because she knew she was not going to get it back from all of the students. This way it was not an end all be all for not doing homework. She was very aware of the district she was in, the parents, and the students home life. She would also send differentiated homework home. I loved this aspect. Although a lot of work, I really noticed that it helped the students and that the parents appreciated it. Again I think you should gauge your class at the beginnning of the year, the area in which you teach in and base it off of that. 

Callie Cook Callie Cook 714 Points

There are many things that go on outside of the school in a child's life. I like that the teacher took notice of this and has the homework policy based on that. I have seen similar situations during my student teaching. Where after the teacher has gotten to know her class she had to change her policies based on what she was learning about the students in that class. It is very important to take notice of all of the students backgrounds so that we can do what is best for them. Killing them with homework grades when they might have to work part time after school or take care of other siblings would not be beneficial to either parties. 

Allison Collins Allison Collins 795 Points

I have seen many different teachers do many differnet things as well. It just depends on what you are using homework for. Are you just sending it home for practice? Is it being taken for a grade? Are you sending it home as a quick check up to see student understanding? I think homework helps teach responsibility. Also as they get older it is inevitable that they will have homework. It can help prepare them for what the next grades will be like. I know I student taught with someone who sent homework home purely for practice. She would look it over to see how they did, but did not take it for a grade because she knew she was not going to get it back from all of the students. This way it was not an end all be all for not doing homework. She was very aware of the district she was in, the parents, and the students home life. She would also send differentiated homework home. I loved this aspect. Although a lot of work, I really noticed that it helped the students and that the parents appreciated it. Again I think you should gauge your class at the beginnning of the year, the area in which you teach in and base it off of that. 

Jacquelyn White Jacquelyn White 988 Points

I think that whichever policy is used it needs to get the children to do independent learning and also help them understand what it is they are trying to learn. Some do small assignments every night, others do no assignments or maybe sending a packet home with a few pages over the weekend. Get your cues from your students. They will key you in on what would be the best option for them.

Amanda Luis Amanda Luis 1430 Points

The most common thing I've seen with students is packets of homework given out either Friday for the following week or on Monday. While packets are the most convenient way to assignment homework, many students get use to the repition of the assignments and are simply just filling out the worksheets rather than actually learning the material. I believe that homework should be completed in the classroom and sent home with students to review with their parents. This way, students are able to ask questions and teachers can observe if the students are learning and finding the assignments helpful or not. 

If you decide to go with submitting homework, I would suggest the packet method but sent home with students on Friday. This gives students the chance to look at the material they'll be learning the upcoming week and get a head start on their assignments especially if they're involved with after school activites. 

Callie Cook Callie Cook 714 Points

I see the benefit and organization a packet of homework can provide. However, depending on what is included in that it can be very discouraging and over whelming to some children.  I would feel that it would be better to give one key homework that will focus on the main objective for that week or even two main objectives. 

I do like the idea of completing it during the classroom time though. This allows the students a chance to use it more as a study tool. I do feel this could lead to the work being put less on the individual student though. 

Marcos Garcia Marcos Garcia 2085 Points

The key to homework is making sure it's more than just busy work. Recognizing that this can actually help the child out even more and using that knowledge to plan out your homework will go a long way. Making sure you know whether a student is completing it by themselves or with help is important. Encouraging kids to try their best and even if it's wrong, to keep going is ideal. Sometimes teachers only look through a packet to see if it's completed and don't care enough to see whether or not it was done correctly or to analyze what the student does or doesn't understand. This difference in attitude when assigning and checking homework can make the difference in your classroom. 

Harley Kitching Harley Kitching 617 Points

Hi Marcos!

I completely agree with attitude and planning going a long way when it comes to homework. If it is being assigned simply as busy work or a cushion grade, there is no benefit in it for the students. They will not take anything away from it if it does not have purpose to what they are learning or what you want them to take away from that day or assignment. It can also have a big impact if you are encouraging your students to do their best by themselves to gauge their levels of understanding.



I do not believe that homework is the best way to test a students ability to understand the content. I know from past experience that in high school I would just do the work to get it done. I wasn't really learning anything from it evne though I was getting a grade from it. I feel that giving a student a packet of work isn't a bad thing. We just need to give them more than one night to complete it. I think if we are giving them time through out the day to complete and and we are giving them 10 points for it that is incentive to get it done. I also think if we are teaching them a lesson on multiplication in math and we give them a packet of worksheets that they can complete through out the few weeks we are teaching it then this allows them to work on it on their own time and pace and they don't feel rushed to complete it. It isn't homework it is just work to help them better understand what they are learning and to deepen their knowledge on the subject matter. The only thing I think students should have to do at home is reading. I find that reading is very important and they should be reading 10-20 minutes at home each day. It doesn't even have to be a book. If they are reading the newpaper or never a magazine that is still reading.

Kate Campbell Kate Campbell 1820 Points

I think homework can aid in students learning, when done the right way. Giving students busy work is beneficial for anyone involved. Giving students homework with meaning will actually help them with their learning. I think a packet of related  worksheets could help students. But we also need to be aware when assigning homework, that not all students go home to an environment where homework will get done every night. We need to take into account students home situations when assigning homework, and punishing students who don't get their homework done isn't always the best choice because for some students homework is the last thing on their mind when they go home. With assigning a packet, it could be worked on when students have some free time in class and could be completed solely in class if students use work time or free time to complete it and they wouldn't have to worry about trying to get it done at home. Making sure homework is meaningful and benefical to student's learning is important when choosing what to assign as homework. 

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64325 Points

Hi Kate, 

I couldn't agree with you more.  One should be very intentional when considering homework.  I ask myself the following questions when determining if homework is necessary.  Is this assignment busy-work?  If it is, then I don't assign it.  Do my students need extra practice to develop their mental memory?  If they do, then I do assign between five to ten minutes of homework.  Is this assignment helping them develop background knowledge that they can apply to a lab or other assignment we will do in class.  If yes, then again I give them five to ten minutes.  

I teach high school students.  When assigning homework or deadlines for other assignments like lab reports, tests, or longer guided practice, we decided on deadlines together.  So many of them have extracurricular activities or jobs.  It is never to early to get them to think about time management.  I also try to communicate the reason why they have the homework so they can see how it is part of the bigger picture in the course. 


Ana Guerra Ana Guerra 200 Points

As a future teacher, does assigning homework to students is actually worth it? Or it is better to give students time to work on class.

Isabel Castillo Isabel Castillo 300 Points

I see your viewpoint on homework, but I also see benefits in it. From my observations, I have seen that homework give teachers an opportunity to see if students are learning the material. Even if the homework isn't graded it still portrays the level that the student is in. In my opinion, it is best to provide a small amount of homework so it will not seem too much for students.

Sarah Watkins Sarah Watkins 180 Points

While I do not think that is is possible to do away with homework completely, I do not find it to be a great opportunity for kids to learn.  A lot of times parents do not hold children accountable for homework.  This causes students to struggle in school.  Homework can be a disadvantage to a lot of students.0

Iona Humphries Iona Humphries 415 Points

I think homework can be a very tricky subject. I have not had the responsibility to assign homework yet, as I am still in college, but I do often think about how I will go about it. I feel as though a mixture of weekly packets and daily worksheets could be beneficial. Maybe in the beginning of the school year, the teacher could begin by assigning daily homework assignments for a week, and just check them off (maybe only collecting and grading one), and the next week, a packet could be assigned that is to be worked on every night. By using trial and error, the teacher can see what works better for her students. Are her students learning more from one way or another? Do they enjoy this type of homework of the other. I think that students can tell us a lot about themselves, and we should be coming into the classroom ready to pay attention to their needs! That is just my opinion, and I don't really have a lot of experience with homework. However, I believe that is how I would do it as a teacher. 

Thank you for your insight!



Deisy Cuevas Deisy Cuevas 185 Points

I agree with you about the homework topic. In a way though students should try to work on their homework to get more practice on the material we give them. As parents we should make sure we are not just doing the homework but rather than just guide the child on the homework and have them do it on their own. 

Olivia Pfeifer Olivia Bradds 540 Points

I think it totally depends on what age range you teach. If it is more of a junior high/high school setting I think packets to work through can be productive. However I am currently teaching 5th grade and students rarely receive any homework in science. Math is the most common subject for homework. The only science 'homework' students get is to study for a quiz or test.

TyAnna Stevenson TyAnna Stevenson 350 Points

Hi Nicole, I am as of now an undergrad at FIU. From what I have found in my field arrangement at a grade school and from individual experience I feel that a schoolwork parcel through the span of the week works best since the understudies can finish it at whatever point it works best for them. They will likewise figure out how to remain sorted out since they should deal with this parcel. Likewise, I feel that schoolwork ought to be given at its insignificant, similarly as a survey of the material instructed that week. It should take them around thirty minutes to finish for every day since they can get overpowered at the point that they simply start despising school since they don't possess energy for themselves. I think the subjects remembered for the schoolwork day by day ought to peruse, composing, and arithmetic. I also believe giving to much homework can be very overwhelming because students are in multiple classes so it is already a lot and teachers should take those things into consideration .

Yaima Rodriguez Yaima Rodriguez 600 Points

Hi Mitchell,

I feel that homework helps the students practice what is being taught in class. Lots of schools in Florida give Homework packets as well as different online assignments. I also feel that giving homework is an oppurtunity for students to connect with classmates, parents, and siblings. As a new teacher you dont want to overwhelm your students because that can also happen with excess amount of work.

Julieth Hernandez julieth hernandez 320 Points

Homework is just one of those things that is so controversial. In my opinion, i would give a packet to the students on Monday, and i would just explain to them that the packet had to be done by Friday. I would check homework to see if i had to review the lesson again or where students are not understanding. homework is a really important part of the learning process, where students extend their learning and study at home. homework does not need to be a long paper with many questions, it could be short activity the student can complete in order for the student to show they have understanding of what was taught. homework is great, but giving students the time and flexibility is really important.

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks 680 Points

I think giving students the oppurtunity to work on the assignment over a long period of time is important. This allows them to fit it into their schedules that are full of other activities and classes. I think it is equally important that you mentioned the understanding or mastery of the subject versus just having the students participate in busy work. Giving them the extended time to interact with the material is crucial but we want to make sure that it is structured to benefit them not just to take up their time. 

Brittany Joachim Brittany Joachim 315 Points

If you give students homeowork it should be on a type of schedule.  Give Monday and collect Friday.  There is also not much evidence that homework helps support the learning of students, however I do see where it can.  I  

Harley Kitching Harley Kitching 617 Points

I am currently student teaching and assiting in classrooms, and both teachers I have worked with do not assign homework because they want their students to go home and study. However, I've noticed that it is pretty blatent that the students do not go home and study the material from that day. I think homework can be used to provide a guided study tool at home when necessary in the content. It also gives the students a little bit of responsibility as they will have to find the time to sit down and do it during their after school lives.

Brittany Alao Brittany Alao 580 Points

@Melissa Being that my school is a Title 1 school and many of the students are dealing with difficult situations outside of school, we shy away from issuing homework. Many of the students will misplace it by the time they get home or will not be able to focus and get it done at home. If my students don't finish their assignments in class, I will typically tell them to take it home and finish it. This alleviates having so many students with missing assignments. Normally they are worksheets, or I will assign them a quiz on 

Brittany Alao Brittany Alao 580 Points

@ Karina Perrera  I totally agree that students should be issued homework. I was surprised when my principal expressed that he does not suggest the students at my school receive homework. I did; however, completely understand his reasoning. Many of the students do not have technology at home or they are living in difficult situations which makes it harder for them to complete their work. I still feel that they should be given a quick activity to do at home. It could be a simple worksheet or even writing a reflection in a journal. 

Camillia Ledbetter Camillia Ledbetter 960 Points

At my middle school, we have a loose 'no homework policy'. It is discouraged but is still allowed which results in low student participation. However, there is a math teacher who sends home a small packet each week and counts it for a grade. The packets review old material and provide practice for the material being covered that week. The homework is always given out on Monday and taken up on Friday. I think this consistency works well for students and allows them to work on their organizational skills while providing extra practice. In science, I think it is a little trickier. My school is very math and ELA focused which results in science and social studies taking a back burner based upon test scores. To combat this and help students gain a deeper understanding of science content while focusing on literary elements, I would prefer to send home weekly articles and annotation aids. This way students are increasing their literacy skills, it has a direct correlation back to class topics and it will improve this life skill.

Zach Millan Zach Millan 639 Points

In my class, I don't assign a specific assignment for homework and let the students know that anything we don't finish in class becomes homework. The problem I've seen with homework is the students remembering to do the homework. I've had classes where 70% of students didn't do an assignment and their grade suffered, however the students begin to feel more behind if I were to continue assigning more homework and continue not to keep up in class. In terms of deadlines, I give students to the end of the nine weeks. The issue becomes time management skills for students since many of them will put off their assignments, but I will then teach time management skills to the students through the year.

Charissa Barnhill Charissa Barnhill 2434 Points

I have been doing the same thing Zach! At my school, it is difficult to assign homework becuase we aren't really allowed to have 'homework' grades. I have had many teachers explain to me their opinion on homework, and most of them don't assign it becuase students won't do it like you are saying or they worry about copying off of each other right before class which then they aren't benefiting from it anyways. Teaching high schoolers in particular, so many of them have sports or jobs they are invovled in after school, that homework is the last thing on their mind. In general, I am like you and don't assign them homework, but whatever they don't get done in class needs to be finished at home. 

Tyler Stark Tyler Stark 465 Points

Having studnets work on organizational skills is very important for elementary and middle school students. i just started to teach 8th grade, and was surprised how many students would lose their packets, notebooks, planners, pencils and so on. I started to implement a daily check, if sutdents had all their supplies needed for learning that day, i would put a stamp at the back of their notebook. If they got 10 stamps then they would recieve extra credit points or a piece of candy if they did not need the extra credit. 

Kate Mellon Kate Mellon 990 Points

I have observed several classrooms ranging from pre-Kindergarten to third grade. What I have seen that works best is when teachers give only one assignment per day, alternating what subjects are being given each day. When students are given multiple assignments for one night, I have seen that they often are not able to turn it all in on time the following day or whenever it is due, or if they do turn it in, it is not their best work. This is because there was so much for them to do in one night that they rushed through it and did not put their same energy and effort into each assignment. Even some of my older third grade students were not able to complete multiple assignments each night, every school night. I have seen homework assignments be successful when they are given less frequently throughout the week. I have seen teachers tell their students to tear out specific pages in their math or reading book and take that page home for homework. I have also seen younger grade teachers give students a bingo or monthly calendar where for that entire month, there are different fun homework/engaging activities to do as homework with family members or siblings. The only problem that I have seen with this is if some students do not have as much family involvement as other students or have limited resources and cannot complete any of the assignments on the sheet, then they are at a disadvantage compared to other students who have greater opportunities at home.

Zamarria Brake Zamarria Brake 3205 Points

While doing clinical observations in higher elementary classrooms, I have noticed that it is a common practice for teachers to assign one assignment a night in accordance to material covered in class. I recently read Hands-On Homework for Introductory Science by Chandralekha Singh that explains as an educator alongside a few colleagues, they created an inovative way to assign homework to their college level classes. This method seems to be adaptable for any grade level, even lower elementary. In this model, 1 to 2 assignments are assigned in class and are expected to be completed throughout the course of the week. This is said to allow students to understand material, challenge any preconceptions that they may have had, and act as practice with the scientific method. This method is also self-paced and empahsizes inquiry based learning. In my future classroom, I plan on implementing this structure for homework. I am eager to see the results. 

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