Is it Homework or Busy Work?

homework stress

It’s The Age Old Debate Depending on which camp you belong to, you are either starting to get fired up about students needing practice at home, OR you are thinking “down with homework!” To be honest, I see the merit of both arguments and there is a lot of research out there that supports practice […]

Survey Says…

Homework clipart

Throughout all of my 15 years of teaching, there has been one word that has caused me, my students, and my students’ families to shudder. If you are in education, and even if you are not, I am guessing you can figure out the word. The word is homework. Didn’t take you long to shudder, […]

Will You Assign Math Homework?

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice.” – Ray Bradbury Many studies report that there is little gain from homework, yet I’m not ready to give up on math homework altogether as I […]

Homework Doesn’t Work. Now What?


When I started as a brand new teacher in the Chicago Public Schools some 13 years ago I came across a poster on the wall of the attendance office, that explained the “Grade x 10” formula for assigning homework. So, a first grader should have 10 minutes of homework each night (1st grade x 10), […]

Why Elementary School Children Need Stress Relievers


My husband, who was a math major in college, received this text from our daughter, who is a veterinarian with strong math skills:”If dad is bored, he can think of a word with uppercase letters that has 5 acute angles, 2 obtuse angles and 5 right angles.”This is her third grade daughter’s homework. It took […]

The Great Homework Debate


Should kids in elementary school have a homework packet to complete over winter “vacation”? Should children in kindergarten, first, and second grade even have homework? A homework packet that was “gifted” to every student over winter break in an elementary school in my community set off a firestorm of controversy as parents took sides in […]

Homework: Yes, No, Maybe So?

I read an interesting article recently about parents threatening to leave their school when it stopped giving homework. Take a look at what happened. The school principal and teachers were concerned too many children were missing recess (which is scant to begin with) because homework wasn’t done, which initiated the chain of events. Obviously recess […]

How Do You Like These Flipping Jigsaws?


I always liked the concept of jigsaw activtities: to give students more ownership of their learning, to use class time differently, to invite some creativity, etc. The Expert Groups meet for 1 or more class periods to learn about a sub-topic and to prepare a short presentation about it. Then students break into the Home […]

Teachers and Parents, Please Rethink Homework!


Homework has been the subject of several posts I’ve come across lately. First there was this soberingletterfrom a high school sophomore, posted to Facebook by Sara Bennett, author of The Case Against Homework. In it, a student explains that between homework assignments and studying, she is up until 12:30 to 1:30 every morning! My heart […]

What if we trusted kids to be __ ?


Two questions inspired my imagination recently. The first question was, “What if we stopped giving homework?” This question came to mind after reading an article by Heather Holland about a school in New York that decided to stop giving homework. Here is a link to the article: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150305/kips-bay/elementary-school-dumps-homework-tells-kids-play-instead The second question of the day was […]

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