EDU 6526 “Homework and Providing Practice”

This week in EDU 6526, we focused are attentions towards homework.  In doing so, we read chapter 7, Assigning Homework and Providing Practice, of our class text, Classroom Instruction That Works by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  As with each week, we are to self-assess our teaching practice for these topics.

In self-assessing myself in the area of assigning Homework and Providing Practice, I would rate myself non-applicable.  During my student teaching, I was working in a self-contained special education classroom that had an agreed upon “no homework policy”.  The exception, was that students were asked to read each night at home for 30 minutes and keep a reading log.  Next year, I will be working in as an Elementary school resource room teacher.  How should I approach and assign homework for these students?

In Classroom Instruction That Works, they suggest that the amount of homework that students receive can be calculated by giving 10 minutes X grade level (p104).  They also mention a study that questions if homework should be given to students in the 2nd grade and lower.  As a resource room teacher, I will need to communicate effectively with the classroom teachers of my students to find out their current practices with assigning homework.  The text also mentions that schools should have homework policies in place.  What is my schools policy?  I might be able to help the classroom teachers out by making sure that any homework that is assigned will be differentiated to meet my student’s needs.  I will also make sure that any homework that I give will be, as the text suggest, with the purpose to “improve speed and accuracy” of a specific skill that has already been learned (p105).

Through-out my participation in the SPU ARC program, I have been extremely interested in creating ways that will increase familial participation in students learning.  Sending work home for students to do clearly creates learning opportunities for students to share with their parents.  However, as the text suggest, I need to make sure that the only role that parents are playing in their students homework is to be supportive in asking their child to put forth their best effort (p105).  I need to make sure that I am clear that they are not meant to instruct, or tutor their child during this time.  The student will be able to do all of the work on their own.  They will just need to be supportive and make sure they are able to create the time for the child to do the work.

Another strategy that I think I will employ is to have reflective conversations with my students as to the effectiveness of the homework.  Through participation in our course discussions, I was reminded of students coming back to middle school telling a teacher that they were not prepared for the amount of homework that they were getting in High School.  A peer was making the connection of homework preparing students for College.  Additionally, the importance of providing feedback is also highlighted in the text.  When I am providing feedback for students, I could also ask them to assess the effectiveness of homework that was assigned.  Working in a resource room, I will be trying to do all I can to help students catch up to the common core standards for their grade level.  In doing so, I will have to work efficiently with the team of educators at my school.


Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition.  Alexandria,

VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.



ISTE Standard 5 post

How can I keep up with all of the demanding requirements of the teaching profession, and still continue to find new tools to enhance my students learning with technology?

I came across a great blog that combines the use of technology and collaboration.  Collaboration and technology are becoming ever entwined.  Through reflection and great effort, I can continue to enhance my collaboration skills both as a digital citizen and with the community that I will be teaching with.  This site provides excellent descriptions of the various roles that we will need to be comfortable maneuvering in and out of, if we are to meet the necessity of collaboration and technology.

A classmate of mine shared a link to a site that promotes teachers to be lifelong learners.  There are ten ideas that are meant to inspire us.  Reading this list, three of the ideas have on-line in their titles.  With this being our last blog post for this class, I find it very fitting to have my final bog for this class include advice that advocates for more time spent on-line to further our learning.  I have included a link to the sight below.

I have been participating in online learning for quite a long time know.  I have not ever participated in any kind of twitter activity.  After watching the Vialogues video for the week, it is clear that twitter can be a place to keep track of what great teachers are doing in the classroom.  This was very nice to learn.

I found it interesting to read about the National Education Technology Plan for 2010.  To say that technology will be included in education would be to put it mild.  Every step of the educational process will be linked into using technology.  The report mentions the term connected teacher.  The connected teacher will have access to all sorts of programs that will allow them to be better teachers.  Assessments, lessons, discussions, will all be able to be held online.  The word connected implies hooked, plugged in, or an on-line teacher that will be aware of all the available resources.

I will need to work on becoming more efficient at navigating the various teaching tools that are available.  At the same time, I will need to remember to do so with proper etiquette that I aspire to use while having in-person conversations.  In engaging with the world, via the web, I also need to remember the ultimate purpose will be to enhance my students’ growth and learning.

Reference and Links


Atkins, D.E., Bennett, J., Brown, J.S., Chopra, A., Dede, C., & Fishman, B. (2010) Teaching:

Prepare and Connect from Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology. National Education Technology Plan, 39-50.

School Book Club

E2 – Exemplify collaboration within the school.  Collaboration within schools is extremely important in order to provide the students with the best possible education.  Working with colleagues in grade bands, subject areas, and all school staff interactions will ensure that the staff is all on the same page.  To demonstrate my willingness and desire to build on my existing collaboration skills, I have joined the school staff book club. There were eleven staff present at the first meeting that consisted of the assistant principal, teachers, and instructional assistants.  The book that we will be studying together is Making Thinking Visible, How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners, by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karen Morrison.  The evidence provided is the Protocol put forth by the assistant principal.  Subsequent meeting protocols will be put forth by different members of the book club.

IMG_9474For this particular protocol, we broke off into smaller groups, each participant shared a quote from the book to discuss and stimulate dialogue. The whole group then got back together to share some highlights of each small group’s discussion.  I found it be an extremely valuable opportunity to engage in rich dialogue about teaching with teacher’s who have multiple years of experience in the teaching profession. I also am really excited about the book.   The quote that I discussed was, “In most school settings, educators have focused more on the completion of work and assignments than on a true development of understanding” (Church, Morrison, Ritchhart, 2011, p 9).  The educators at the school I am fortunate to be a part of are trying to create authentic thinking.  One way this is evident is by utilizing rubrics in grading that will provide the students with much more feedback as to the expectations for their learning.  This book club is geared specifically towards improving student learning.  I am already looking forward to the next book club meeting.  I will be collaborating on the schedule for the discussion of the book with another teacher.


Church, Mark, Morrison, Karin, Ritchhart, Ron (2011). Making Thinking Visible, How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass


vision for success

I envision learning effective teaching skills through SPU’s ARC program, and utilizing them in practice through my internship when applicable.  I will do this by putting forth my best effort academically to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented.  I will use the HOPE principles for my goals in working towards competency.  During my internship, I will seek out opportunities to incorporate the skills I am learning in the classroom, to be of better service to my students.

My work ethic, dedication, compassion, and strong desire to see students learn will enable me to be a successful teacher.  I will strive to create a classroom that is inclusive, supportive, and embraces the learning potential of every student.  In doing so, I will create a community of learners in which we will all be able to reach our full potential.