Homework is an important extension of classroom learning and an integral part of the elementary school program. It is primarily designed to provide independent practice. Assignments will usually be on material that has been previously taught, and given only after guided practice has been provided and the probability of success is high.
In addition to practice, homework provides an opportunity for extension of learning to higher levels of thinking, periodic review of previously learned material, or preparation for a new skill/concept. Regardless of the primary objective, homework also serves to improve independent work-study habits, organizational skills, and personal responsibility.
- In all cases homework should be closely linked to instructional goals.
- Class time may be given to start assignments so that teachers can monitor initial efforts and provide feedback to individuals.
- Homework may not always be in written form and the format can be varied. For example, in preparation for a new skill/topic, students may be asked to read background material, collect materials or discuss topics with parents. To extend/enrich learning, children may be asked to conduct an interview, complete a craft project, or work on team projects.
- Homework is constructive rather than punitive.
- Long range assignments will be given more frequently and be of greater length as the students progress through the grades.
- Teachers are not required to provide assignments when children are absent from school due to illegal absences such as family travel.
- Teachers share expectations about homework at the fall open house.
In order to provide for children's individual differences/circumstances, a note from home would be helpful when:
- Students make an honest effort to complete assignments, but are unable to do so because they don't understand the assignment.
- Students work beyond the time limits established at the fall open house and are unable to complete the work.
- Students are unable to complete an assignment due to a special family activity or circumstance.