The Great Debate: Homework
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Rescooped by Heather Wehrle from Necessity of Math Homework!

Ditch the Homework

Ditch the Homework | The Great Debate: Homework |
Photo Credit: 4-6 via Compfight cc In general, I am anti-homework. After teaching math for 14 years I observed that the kids who needed to do the homework didn't and those who didn't need it did. I...

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Esther Kang
Heather Wehrle's insight:

I agree with a lot of the points made in the article.  In my own experience, I often flew through my homework for the sake of getting it done and had no need to do it in the first place.  It was simply busy work that prevented my from enjoying time with my friends and family at night.  I also understand the challenges that come with teaching in high-poverty areas.  Many of the parents of my current students are immigrants from Central America that never received an education themselves.  They cannot help their children with their homework either because they cannot read it or do not understand how to do it themselves.  


This raises the argument once again: should we have homework at all?  What is the real purpose of homework?  I think that instead of sending home worksheets every night just for the sake of having homework, we should rethink what homework should be helping students to do.  While I am unsure that writing off homework all together is practical in every classroom, I definitely think that there is too much meaningless homework being given.  Instead, home should be a place where students apply what they have learned and extend their thinking.  Optional practice assignments, as mentioned in the article, are a good way to ensure that all of your students are given the opportunity to try practice problems if they would like to but does not force it upon students who do not need the busy work.

Esther Kang's curator insight, October 28, 2013 12:20 PM

I was able to completely relate to this article.  The writer, a math teacher, talked about how her 14 years of teaching has taught her that homework is really not serving its real purpose.  It is true that students who do not need the practice with homework are the ones doing them and those who actually need it are not doing them.  
This article suggests that if you were to send homework, then you should also send an instruction for parents with the lesson goals for the next week and sources they can use to help their children out.   

Alejandro mejia's curator insight, May 13, 2014 1:25 PM

It give a lot of reasons to "ditch the home work"  and it  evidence from teachers of schools. And it has some star statements.

Isa Sanchez's curator insight, May 15, 2014 10:43 AM

I chose this article because it's easy to read and fluent to understand. It also gives a personal experience and gives recommendations to the problems.  Additionally, it gave a parent guide.  Lastly, this article gives lots of ideas on what to do in this cases.  

Rescooped by Heather Wehrle from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)!

Alternatives To Homework: A Chart For Teachers

Alternatives To Homework: A Chart For Teachers | The Great Debate: Homework |
Alternatives To Homework: A Chart For Teachers

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Heather Wehrle's insight:

These are some creative and fun ways to engage students in class through their homework.  While I am not sure that pop quizzes are an appropriate alternative to homework, many of these ideas give students the opportunity to become more engaged in their own learning AND the learning of others in the class.  There are ways to integrate technology into many of the alternative assignments that could prepare students for their place in a 21st century world, such as group work through technology mediums.  It also helps students learn how to express their knowledge and understandings in different ways.  Some students may find that acting, drawing, or giving a speech are more appropriate ways for them to express how much they understand about a topic.


In the classroom I am working in, the students receive packets at the beginning of the week that contain their homework for the entire week, due on Friday.  Most of the homework is monotonous worksheets that have them repeating things that they have learned in class; however, some of the items have them apply their learning in fun ways.  For example, they will do a color-by-number that incorporates addition which, for a first-grader, is much more interesting than staring at a sheet full of addition problems.  In my future classroom, I hope to go beyond worksheets and use homework as a time for students to be applying their learning to real-life contexts and using a variety of skills for sharing their learning with myself as well as their classmates.

Nichol Murray's comment, February 15, 2014 9:10 PM
Fantastic ideas that can be applied to any classroom. They're so simple, yet easy to forget to do these. I like how this in a chart for quick reference.
Mrs. Monsour's comment, March 1, 2014 12:46 PM
I am printing this, as we speak! I will share this with students in my Methods classes to use to prepare them for student teaching with quick homework strategies with a 21st century focus.
Susan Griffith's curator insight, March 15, 2014 12:44 PM

What a fabulous resource!  So often, parents struggle to help their children with homework for a variety of reasons- this provides a nice choice of alternatives so the lesson can be reinforced at home!

Rescooped by Heather Wehrle from Homework and Practice!

Homework: It fails our students and undermines American education

Homework: It fails our students and undermines American education | The Great Debate: Homework |
Students often ask me why I don’t assign homework. “I don’t believe in it,” I quickly respond.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Edis Knoop
Heather Wehrle's insight:

The points that this article brings up, as well as the comments from other readers, are truly fascinating.  Do we really need homework for our students to be successful at learning the material?  This article is not written from an abstract theory that has never been implemented in the real world; it is written by a teacher who has had experience assigning homework as well as not assigning homework.  This case study raises many questions about the usefulness of homework all together.  It was also very interesting to see the argument that followed in the comments made by many readers.  Some people are captivated by her idea and want to capitalize on it; others have tried this same strategy in their own classrooms and found success; yet others are still not convinced that eliminating homework is correct or plausible.


At first, I agreed with the skeptics.  We have always had homework in our classrooms; if it was useless, why did it persist for so long?  However, I began to realize that many things that have existed in classrooms for centuries have been found recently to be not very effective.  Rote memorization, teacher-centered lectures, and the absence of inter-disciplinary teaching have all been replaced by more appropriate teaching models.  Is homework next?  I hope that in my future classroom, I will be able to limit the amount of homework I send home with my students.  If it does not serve a specific and important purpose, why make my students do it?  I want anything that my students do outside of school to serve an important purpose and advance their learning in meaningful ways.  While I am uncertain if I will be able to eliminate homework all together, I would surely like to try.

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