Yes, it’s true, even teachers hate homework. We all know that kids hate homework and really, who can blame them? I mean they are in school all day working and then have to come home and do MORE work. Parents hate it – many find it a nightly struggle to get their child to do it. Whether the child has difficulty or wants to play outside, or both, homework is creating friction in homes. And finally, teachers hate it. First of all, we have to check it. Many times it’s done quickly and with many mistakes. This is painful for us! Secondly, we have to ‘get on’ those students who don’t complete it or complete it haphazardly. Again, painful and a losing battle.
I could go on and on about why homework is wrong on so many levels, but I’ll save that for another post. I’ve decided that next school year, I’m NOT giving homework! Instead, I’m giving activities that can be done at home. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that homework?”
The answer is, “NO!” and here’s why:
- I want it to be fun.
- I want it to be low pressure.
- I want the students to have a choice.
- It would be super awesome if the whole family got involved in some of the activities.
- The students have the option to do it with their friends. For example, if one activity they choose is to learn a dance and teach it to the class, why NOT have a few students learning the same dance to teach to everyone?
- If a student doesn’t do it, I’m not going to freak out.
So here’s my proposal: Create a ‘Home Activities‘ choice list where students choose 2 activities to complete during a month. At first, I was going to have the students do one each week, but quickly realized I was creating way to much work for myself. Definitely, NOT what I like to do. Since this is my first attempt, I am sure that it will evolve. I also welcome feedback. While this first ‘choice list’ has few digital choices, I plan to create another with more – create a video, take artistic photos, podcasting, etc. I can also incorporate more digital choices into this list as well. However, many of my students come from lower income families and don’t yet have a strong sense of digital citizenship. These are things that will need to be taught before I ask them to do several digitally related tasks.
At the end of the month, the students can showcase what they’ve been working on. Not sure how this would work. Maybe as they complete an activity they share it with the class. That way there won’t be 30 projects to present in one day. As I’ve said, the kinks are still being worked out.
So, here’s my first attempt. Feel free to take and amend to fit your needs. Please remember to share out! We’re all in this together.