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.