For this chapter please complete the document for chapter 5 located in the documents section. Once completed, scan it and upload it with your response to the following question. (I'm not as technologically smart as many...I wish it were in a fill in format and easier....but those kinds of things are on my list to learn this summer. So...thanks for doing this one old school.)
Talk to us about your beliefs on using comments on homework. Research says it highly effective...how can you increase your comments?
I do see a big difference in homework when I make comments on it. The weekly problem solving is one page that I am always making comments on to get the students to see what they need to include. It takes a lot of time to write but most of the kids read it and try harder. It helps to hand out the new problem with the old problem so they can see the feedback before beginning the new problem. ( I think I wrote this in my document.)
As for increasing comments, you can start slowly by increasing comments on a couple of papers...then add a few more, etc. I think if the homework is meaningful and not busy work that the comments will come easier too.
I think if the homework is meaningful and not busy work that the comments will come easier too.
I totally agree, if I maybe had one large encompassing thing to grade each week and comment on it would be way easier than commenting on 28 practice papers each day.
As a parent I would appreciate the comments that you give and also having the old and the new homework/ problem so that the student (my child) and I could look over any mistakes and make corrections accordingly. This also helps to keep students from making the same mistakes over and over again and perpetuating any bad habits.
This was a very informative chapter for me. I was surprised by the effect comments on homework has. According to the studies grading homework has an effect of .78 and commenting on that graded homework raises it to .83. (p. 64) This has me changing my ideas about homework. Previously I could not justify spending the extra time grading homework daily when we have so many other things we need to get to. However, I am thinking about incorporating grading homework into my morning work.
What caught my attention was that the chart started with 4th grade to show the effectiveness of homework. I teach 3rd and I noticed that the gains from homework at 4th grade were not that big. Just as I started to rejoice at the sentiment that many educators therefore don't feel that it is worthwhile to give homework in elementary school, I continued reading. I did think it made a lot of sense that students should still be assigned homework and that essentially what they are learning is the skill of how to do homework. If they can get into the routine it helps set them up for success in the future. This made me realize that I need to be more selective in what I am assigning for homework. I always used review skills, but I think that I was probably assigning them too much. I was hoping that seeing the skills over would help them improve test scores. I guess those dreams are out the window. What I think I would like to do in the future is to concentrate on math and writing(both are subjects areas that I do comment on when I grade the homework) and leave grammar and reading skills to in class.
My thoughts on writing comments on homework are that I have not really ever considered the effect they had before. I have always known that students like and appreciate comments. I usually have the students grade their own homework and have not always taken the time to go back over it after they have. When I do write comments, it has been on short 1 page story writing assignments and on their problem solving. I like my daughters homework packet that she gets(1st grade although the 2nd grader next door gets a very similar pack). It has a weekly writing assignment and a math assignment that goes with the weekly math skill they are learning. It is never more than 3 pages long. Her writing assignment comes with a checklist for her to check her own work, a signature page for student and parent, and a box to check whether or not her work needs improvement, is developing, or proficient.
I agree with Karie, I do like the fact that I assign homework even in kindergarten, and although the effectiveness may not be as high (probably because of the necessity for parent involvement) I do feel as though it may help set students up for the routine and success of completing a task. Even my preschooler gets weekly homework.... and she loves it!
I also teach 3rd grade and was surprised to see the chart started with 4th grade. I agree that we should still send homework but be more selective. I already know that I will be changing my homework for next year. I really like the idea of sending writing home for homework. I too will be sending home math and writing. I think I will have them grade their math homework during morning work then turn it in and I will grade their writing and add comments. What kind of writing do you think you will send home?
As a student, I felt the same was as Jeff in the first paragraph. I too never understood why I had to do 25-40 math problems for homework when I knew how to do the work. To me it was a waste of my time since I'd score well on the tests without doing all the problems. I felt I should concentrate on what I didn't know. By the time I was in eighth grade, it just seemed like a power play by the teacher. Therefore, I really agree with "The purpose of homework should be identified and articulated." (p. 63) The question is--what to do with student who don't need to repetition to increase speed? How to differentiate?
As a teacher, homework is to practice what is learned and to prepare for the next day. Why assign it if it is not going to be used? I don't believe in homework just to have homework. It needs to be used in some way the next day so the student can see the usefulness. Comments is only one way to show the student's effort to do the homework is valued and the assignment is worth doing.
In the past, I had a principal who disagreed with assigning homework. He felt it penalized those students who did not have support at home particularly low SES and reluctant students. Explaining to the parents the reasons and the do's and don'ts might help in this situation.
I guess in this case I get to pull the kindergarten card. I do comment on my homework when I can get it returned, but my students are not at a point where they can read my comments, and it would fall on the parents to read as well as apply my comments. I do believe that comments are effective, and they help create buy in for students as far as the "why should I complete this" phase that they go through. It also might give them pointers or things that they can change or work on by themselves, especially if they do not have a parent to help or coach them through what they need to accomplish.
I was glad to read about the benefits of homework because it is important to me. I only wish that parents found it as important as I do.
I write comments on each page of my homework. Unfortunately, it seems like I am usually reminding my students to do their best quality work. I think that parents have different expectations than I do. Students will often take homework back home to redo. : (
I wish that parents had more buy in...
Heidi Fawcett wrote:
Talk to us about your beliefs on using comments on homework. Research says it highly effective...how can you increase your comments?
I am guilty of sometimes just stamping their homework if it is done and handing it back without comments. I see that comments can have a big effect, so this will be something I will work on next year. Like the example in the book, I will have my students grade their own and turn into me, but I need to work on the commenting piece.
I am with you. Sometimes it is difficult just with the sense of the time pressure. I felt like I was under a time clock and by the time I felt like I could look at some of the homework or assignments given I was already 4 days behind. It became easy to just stamp their work and hand it back. Time can be a huge factor in being able to comment I think.
Talk to us about your beliefs on using comments on homework. Research says it highly effective...how can you increase your comments :
I believe that by commenting on homework; you are sending a message to the parents and students letting them know that you are actually going to be holding the student accountable for his/her work, and that you actually care. If you never comment on homework or provide feedback, than you are showing a lack of care/concern, and if you don't care than the parents and students won't either. It's like "why bother?"
I agree. I want my students to spend time being kids, which is why I assign HW on a bare-minimum basis. I just wish parents would model a dedication to learning and education by having their child do their homework every night. Like many of you, I juggle my full-time job with motherhood and am able to squeeze in homework. I don't want to hear the excuses from the parents/students about why it didn't get done. It makes me worry about the time I would spend writing comments that will probably not be viewed by the majority.
I think that comments on homework is highly effective. I don't use it a ton because I teach Kindergarten. It is tough when they can't read my comments and parents don't read what I have written either. It begins to feel like a wast of time. I may try and implement at the beginning of the year some kind of routine with the parents about comments so they know to read them and what is expected.
I am guilty of not writing comments on homework. I am not a real big promoter of homework in the primary grades so I think that has a lot to do with me writing comments on homework. I really push reading logs in my class and am extremely happy if they simply read for 15-20 minutes a night. My reading logs could be more effective if I put written responses on the reading logs, which I will try to implement next year. I can see where comments give the students a sense of their work mattering, it also allows for the relationship between student and teacher to grow. I am even thinking the written comments could go back and forth between student and teacher. Hmmm…lots to do for next year.
Alright, one of my computers quit working (the one my scanner is connected to) and I am presently not knowledgable on how to connect the scanner ot my laptop. I am doing this one old school, so there is no attachment. SORRY!
3. identified and articulated
a. familiar content
b. make connections, preview new concept
c. ss. share learning on a new skill
In a perfect world:
I would be able to make HW super specific and individualized for each child. I would have ample time to provide meaningful and specific feedback on each homework assignment that is done so as to make it meaningful for each student. Parents would not forsake homework because their evenings are too busy. Students would do HW because they want to learn!
In my real world:
I split my class into two groups: average and high (low if needed) for assigning math homework. Students use a writing menu to choose a writing activity to complete two nights a week, sometimes it is based on the 20 min. of reading they are supposed to have completed, sometimes it is not. We grade homework together in class each day and I always read their writing pieces. I very rarely have the time to write more than a star, smiley face or quick note (interesting idea, very creative, etc.).
I believe homework has a place in every child's life and should be consistent and meaningful. I also believe that it should be reviewed and checked daily. In regards to increasing the comments on HW, I could look for a specific trait to check in the students writing homework and make my comments focused on that skill/trait. I think it will take a concentrated effort in carving out a block of time in which to do this. Definitely worth the effort, though!
Unfortunately I will have to type in my answers to the questions instead of scanning, etc. as I am on vacation and this just seems the easiest way to do this at this time.
At this time, as a k-2 resource teacher, I do not assign weekly homework. My students do their homework from their general ed. teacher with accommodations and modifications as needed. I am thinking about adjusting this for next school year.
Ch. 5 Homework and Practice
1. Amount of homework assigned should be different from elementary to middle to high school levels.
2. Parent involvement in homework should be kept to a minimum.
3. Purpose of homework should be identified and articulated.
a. Practice-Structured around content that students already know.
b. Preparation-to begin thinking about a subject prior to its introduction.
c. Elaboration- after they have learned about a subject and to elaborate on their knowledge.
4. If homework is assigned it should be commented on.
What is your personal philosophy regarding homework?
In a perfect world- Parents would be there to monitor and help students if necessary and also be there to follow through to make sure that their child's homework is completed.
In your real world- Parents are not there to help and/or monitor their children. Parents often do not even follow through to make sure homework gets completed.
What makes your homework effective? N/A
How do you feel about commenting on homework? Do you agree with the magnitude of effect that it has? As a parent of 3 school age children, I feel the comments on homework are very important. I sit with my children after they get their homework back and we discuss questions they missed and also discuss any questions that they have and share in their successes. I feel that the students know when their homework is just busy work that the teacher doesn't even bother to look at and they in turn do not do their best work, etc.
1. Mastering a skill requires a fair amount of focused practice.
2. While practicing, students should adapt and shape what they have learned.
Classroom Practice Regarding Practicing Skills:
Provide an example for your content in each of the following areas:
1. Charting accuracy and speed: Reading at home. create a chart where students can chart their accuracy and speed on reading passages at home for homework throughout the week.
2. Designing practice assignments that focus on specific elements of a complex skill or process: use for writing homework. Have students focus on a specific goal or skill for writing homework at home. i.e. Practice writing transitional sentences or topic sentences for paragraphs.
3. Planning time for students to increase their conceptual understanding of skills or processes: Have students try to "understand" why you might answer a particular math problem in a certain way. Students gain deeper understanding of how/why a math solution is found the way it is or if a particular answer makes sense in relation to the problem.
I know that after reading this and also after having my own children that do homework nightly that I will definitely comment on homework if /when I give it. A lot of the parents of my students are not around and I need to keep this in mind when I assign homework for them. It needs to be something that they do not need a lot of assistance with.