Research studies have consistently shown that the amount of time devoted to learning is related to achievement in a subject. Homework, therefore, is important in a student's overall success in his/her academic program. The Fairland Elementary Staff recognizes the importance of homework as a vital part of the learning of essential skills taught in the classroom.
Homework is defined as work completed outside the classroom that is designed to:
- Reinforce or provide practice of skills and concepts addressed instructionally.
- Extend skills and concepts addressed instructionally.
- Collect evidence of student understanding and application of what has been taught.
- Provide a risk-free opportunity to experiment with and transform new learning (MCPS, Marzano).
THE PURPOSE OF HOMEWORK
Homework is one of the many learning activties in which students engage; its purposes should be to:
- Extend leanring and/or provide practice in appyling concepts initially presented in the classroom.
- Provide opportunities for independent work.
- Strengthen concept and skill development.
- Provide opportunities for enrichment.
- Develop initiative, responsibility, self-direction and organizational skills.
Well-planned homework assignments involve the following principles:
- Assignments support classroom instructional objectives.
- Assignments are well defined and clear to the student.
- Assignments will be varied and require the use of a number of skills.
- Every homework assignment will be accounted for (i.e. some papers will be self-checked, some teacher, instructional assistant checked, some shared with peers, etc.).
- Homework will not be assigned on designated religious holidays when students are absent because of religious observances.
- Homework should grow from classroom tasks, projects and concerns. Types of homework assignments may include practice or reinforcement of skills learned, long-term projects, unfinished classwork assignments, and enrichment activities.
- Where team teaching is utilized, effort will be made to coordinate assignments.
- Homework for practice is not part of the academic grade.
- Homework assigned for practice will be reportd in the "Learning Skills" part of the report card.
- Teachers may grade homework that is assigned for students to show they have learned the skills or information. Teachers must inform students prior to an assignment if the homework is to be graded.
- Teachers will encourage students to have an assignment notebook in which to fully record daily and long-term assignments (as appropriate).
- Make-up work will be assigned to the student upon his/her return to school after the student confers with the teacher to determine his/her needs.
The time allotment to homework should increase gradually from grade to grade. The following is a list of approximate daily time allotments (may vary according to the child):
- Grades K-2: 10-30 minutes
- Grades 3-4: 30-45 minutes
- Grade 5: Up to 60 minutes
**These times are approximate. Individual needs will be taken into consideration. We request that problems/concerns be communicated to the teacher.
When enough time has been allowed in school for classwork, and that work has not been completed, it may be assigned as homework, thereby exceeding the recommended daily time allotted to homework.
- The resources available to pupils should influence the amount and nature of the homework assigned.
- If a student is unable to complete an assignment due to lack of understanding of the work, the parent is encouraged to write a note/email to the teacher explaining why the assignment was not completed. The teacher will explain further, after which the student can be expected to complete the assignment
Making homework meaningful to the student requires cooperation and communication among the teachers, students and parents. The teacher, through control of the teaching/learning situation, can best determine the nature and length of homework assignments.
- Teacher's individual plan will be communicated verbally by the teacher to students at the beginning of the school year. The plan will be explained to parents at the Back to School Night PTA Meeting in September.
WHAT STUDENTS CAN DO
- Be aware of assignments and seek further explanation if needed.
- Organize his/her time to work on assignments.
- Turn assignments in on time.
- Turn in assignments reflecting high standards of quality and completeness.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
While the student should assume the major resonsibility for completing homework assignments, parents are encouraged to take an active interest in the student's homework by:
- Providing a study area that is quiet, comfortable and free of major disturbances.
- Providing a definite time for study or other activities.
- Making available, if possible, such resource materials as reference books, magazines, newspapers and a dictionary.
- Assisting students with drill.
- Checking the student's work for neatness and legibility. (Primary students should use pencils for written work.)
- Arranging with the teacher for limited homework assignments when the child's individual learning needs necessitate it.
A carefully planned program for homework assignments may be a very effective means of increasing the students learning. A well-planned program of homework activities provides another opportunity for the home and school to work together. It points up the vital role both have to play in the cooperative efforts to provide quality education for our students.