Homework - MCE Handbook

  • Homework

    General Information

    MCE follows the Pittsford School District’s Elementary Homework Guidelines:

    Homework is an important extension of classroom learning and an integral part of the elementary school program. It is designed with attention to the cognitive and developmental level of the students. There are benefits to homework.  For instance, it provides parents with an opportunity to see what their child is learning at school, illustrate that learning occurs outside of school, and to express positive attitudes toward achievement.  Additionally, homework provides our students opportunities for the independent practice of skills and strategies, time management, strengthening organizational skills, and developing responsibility.

    Homework assignments will usually be on material that has been taught previously and will be given only after guided practice has been provided and the probability of success is high.  Homework may not always be in written form, and the format may 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.

    Many religious observances prohibit students form spending any time on schoolwork. Students will be given a reasonable time to make up the missed class work and will not be penalized for missing classes. Even if class work was provided before the absence, teachers realize that many holy day observances do not allow students to complete any schoolwork while they are out due to considerable family obligations. Therefore, teachers will not expect students to return ready to take missed tests or quizzes or to have completed assignments on the first day back to school.

    When a child is absent due to illness, the priority should be on resting and getting well so that he or she can return to school.  Therefore, in the case of absences due to illness, it is our practice to not to send homework home until the third day of illness.  However, in the rare case that you feel your child is too sick to come to school but is able to complete some quiet homework activities at home, a request for homework assignments may be made to the classroom teacher.  The classroom teacher will use his or her discretion as to what types of assignments, if any, are appropriate to send home.  Requests that are received by 9:00 a.m. may be picked up in the main office at 3:30 p.m.   Homework assignments are not provided for school time missed due to planned vacations. Instead, it is suggested that parents engage their child in  trip-related educational activities such as keeping a journal, reading about the area visited, learning map skills. pr creating a photo album that includes captions for the photos.

    Homework Guidelines

    The time needed to complete homework assignments may vary based on the age of the child, individual abilities, learning styles, and time management skills. In order to provide for individual differences/circumstances, a note from parents to the teacher would be helpful when
    - your child has made a good effort to complete an assignment, but he/she is unable to complete it because they “don’t understand,”
    - your child works beyond the time limits established and are he/she is unable to complete the work,
    - your child is unable to complete an assignment due to an action/decision by the parent.

    Responsibilities

    Students:

    Make an honest effort to complete and return assignments on time, take home the materials they need for homework, and to do their best work.

    Teachers:

    Identify and articulate the purpose of the homework;
     
    Link homework to instructional goals;
     
    Assign constructive, not punitive, homework;
     
    Share homework expectations with students and parents early in the school year;
     
    Design long range assignments of greater length as students progress from the primary to the intermediate grades;

    Provide timely and specific feedback to students.

    Parents:

    Help set up a consistent organized place for homework to be done;

    Help your child establish a schedule for completing homework with sufficient time;

    Encourage, motivate, and prompt your child to do homework but do not do the homework for him/her;

    If your child is not consistently able to do the homework by him/herself, please contact the teacher;

    If your child is not consistently able to complete homework in the recommended time, contact the teacher;

    Even if your child is not finished, stop him/her at bedtime;

    Help your child by planning trips and doctor appointments when school is not in session.

    Recommendations for Frequency and Length of Assignments

    K:  No regular schedule for homework.

    1st Grade: Homework may be assigned on an occasional basis. It will often be projects to be shared between parent and child. Additional reading practice is encouraged. The frequency of assignments may increase throughout the year.

    2nd Grade: Homework may be assigned on a regular basis but will not exceed 10-15 minutes. Additional independent reading may be assigned. The frequency of assignments may increase throughout the year.

    3rd Grade: Generally, homework is assigned at least 2-4 times per week. Assignments are designed so that students will need no longer than 30 minutes to complete all homework. Additional independent reading may be assigned.

    4th Grade: Generally, homework is assigned 3 or 4 nights per week. Assignments are designed so that students will need no longer than 45 minutes to complete all homework. Additional independent reading may be assigned.

    5th Grade: Generally, homework is assigned each school night. Assignments are designed so that students will need no longer than 1 hour to complete homework. Additional independent reading may be assigned.