Homework and long-term assignments should have meaning to the student and relate directly to classroom learning objectives, activities, projects, and/or identified concerns. Homework reinforces the skills and concepts taught in the classroom and provides students with additional opportunities to establish good work and study skills. It is important that classroom teachers establish consistent routines for assigning homework, having students record homework assignments, collecting homework, and reviewing/grading homework.
While homework is a valuable tool for shaping learning, it may not be the most effective measure for assessing mastery of grade-level indicators. There are specific guidelines for using homework as part of the body of evidence for determining a student’s report card grade. These guidelines include:
- The specific homework assignment must be identified as a data point that will be used for grading purposes;
- The homework assignment should be a measure of proficiency on grade-level indicators, or above grade level indicators for students in advanced/accelerated instruction; and
- The classroom teacher should be correcting/grading the homework (not having is self-scored by students, etc.).
This does not change the fact that research shows that providing timely and specific feedback on homework is helpful to students. It is expected that students will continuously receive feedback from teachers on both homework and classwork. Although students should not receive a grade for merely completing homework, teachers should record and report a student’s consistency in homework completion through evaluation of positive learning behaviors, written report card comments, or through individual parent-teacher conferences.
All homework and long-term assignments should be carefully planned in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Students understand the assignment and its relation to what has been learned in the classroom.
- Teachers clearly communicate the assignment, procedures for accomplishing, expectations and standards for completion, and due dates.
- Teachers review homework and give feedback to students relative to expectations and standards for completion.
- Teachers avoid giving homework on Fridays, although long-range assignments and late or missed assignments may require work over the weekend.
- Homework is not assigned, nor are long-term assignments due on designated religious holidays or when students are absent because of religious observances.
- Homework, long-term projects, and tests are neither assigned nor due immediately after the conclusion of major holiday breaks. However, preparing or gathering information and materials for reports, projects, and tests may be appropriate during these major holiday breaks.
- Students are not required to complete homework while they are out sick. Upon return to school, the classroom teacher will give the student missed assignments as appropriate.
- Teachers are not required to assign homework to students who are absent due to family travel; however, it is appropriate to identify/suggest learning activities which students can complete while absent (keeping a journal, reading every day, practicing basic math facts for a specific period of time, etc.).
Kindergarten: Four times per week
First Grade: 10 to 15 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Second Grade: 15 to 20 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Third Grade: 20 to 30 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday
Fourth & Fifth Grade: 45 to 60 minutes per night, Monday through Thursday