Mike and I have talked about not giving homework during this last school year many times. It all began in Sept of 2010, when we first brought up the craziness of homework. It stemmed from the idea that students would do poorly in class by not doing homework and the homework had no real bearing on the content they were learning. To make matters more difficult, we would hear the stories of what some students lives were like at home; and frankly how they could not do homework while caring for younger brothers or sisters, making meals, all the sports, theater, etc... Kids don't have time to be kids. I buy that. I watched my own kids face this. My oldest daughter was in the theater this last year. She had a key part and loved to "act". This was big, but so was softball and school. She would go to play practice from 4:00-6:30 and then head to softball, usually eating in the car, (two days a week) from 7:00-8:30. Then get home about 8:45-50 and she needs to be up to get on the bus at 7:10. Homework was not our friend during this time.
Mike went to a no homework policy and I went to homework once in a while. However, both of our homework was not the normal, "read pages 345-351 and answer these questions." No, we thought about what we really wanted kids to learn and asked the WONDERING type of questions. The type of questions with no real answer, but made my students think and wonder about the world around them or the content they were learning and how that content applied to the world around them. Or we gave them mini lectures (flipped teaching) to listen to outside of class, so that class-time would be used for work, not listening to me or Mike talk about information.
In today's world, I just think we have to rethink our homework policy and grading system to better reflect this world. It looks as if L.A. Schools did just that, Check out this link: http://is.gd/0nD6Tn. I want to thank markbarnes19 and mgerbrick on twitter for sending me this link. Thanks for sharing.
It is time for you to rethink your homework policy?