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Do Your Homework! (and read up on the latest ideas)

Even though we are a couple of months into the school year, I wanted to give you some link to some informative articles and ideas about using homework in the classroom. It is never to late to add some new twists in your own homework assignments for your students. These recent articles might just give you some ideas to make the ordinary, extraordinary!

First, you can find several interesting articles from this year’s teacher advisors, including me, at The Homework Dilemma.

-Naomi and Alexandra, our Pre-K/K advisors don't believe in homework for kindergartners, they recommend occasional home projects to enhance their thematic units and build the school-home connection.

-I wrote about how I assign projects throughout the year to keep my parents involved as partners in their children's learning.

-Our 3rd/4th/5th grade teacher advisor Angela gives a great overview of current research about homework and discusses how she is applying research to policy in her 4th grade classroom.

-In middle school, Sandra explains how assigning homework is essential for bringing below-level students up to their full potential.

-And in high school, Patty examines the purpose for assigning homework, from providing extended practice to shaping students individual habits.

October’s Winning Ideas contest had teachers from around the country writing in with their best ideas about homework. I especially like the idea submitted By Carolyn Campis who teaches in New York City, it is titled Homework Superstars. I decided to give it a try in my own classroom, because who can say no to pizza once a month- especially New York style pizza!

No matter what grade level you teach, I recommend you taking a few minutes to read each of these articles and winning ideas. There might be one tiny aspect that you can find use for in your own classroom and with a little ingenuity you can modify any idea for your own students needs.

Here are a few more fun and interesting links to check out!

Turn your students and parents on to The Homework Hub, where students can get help and direction in completing various assignments from doing research, improving skills, and organizing their work. You can even find a parent letter for you to use to introduce the Homework Hub to parents! I don’t know what student wouldn’t love using the Homework Hub’s Flashcard Maker! This is also a great tool to use with your students in class.

You might also want to share with your students and parents these eight sure-fire ways to get into doing homework.

Teachers from around the country give their comments on the question "Are students are receiving too much homework?" as well as their ideas for dealing with students who continually “forget” to do homework.

There is even some quick checklists for Do’s & Don’t of assigning homework for grades K-5 and 6-8. Perfect for new teachers!

The last two final articles I would recommend is Down With Homework! By Alfie Kohn author of The Homework Myth and Can Homework Backfire? Author Alfie Kohn calls into question the long-held belief that homework is good for kids.

Cheers for Scholastic for consistently having the best and brightest in the profession bring you timely ideas and advice on current topics!

Free: Monday through Friday, KNOWLEDGE. Bring your own container. EC McKenzie


Troy Harber

I think this is a terrific blog.


Thank you very much Troy! I enjoy writing it very much!

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Jennifer's 1st Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.