In an article in The Seattle Times, A teacher’s evolving view of homework, a third/fourth grade teacher with 30 years’ experience writes about how her views have changed over the years. Several years ago, she writes,
I sent out a survey, which I have since done several times, asking parents their views on homework and what they wanted in my classroom. What I repeatedly found was that most parents didn’t want hours of homework each night, and that they were very supportive of daily reading as ongoing homework. They were also relieved to know they didn’t have to fill out forms, keep track of reading minutes or have their child punished (stay in at recess, miss points, miss the pizza party, etc.) because he or she didn’t turn in paperwork.
I encourage students to be critical thinkers and self-directed learners, and we often brainstorm ideas for homework as a class. Instead of typical reading, writing and math assignments, learning at home can include building with K’Nex or Legos (future architects!), artwork, music, science projects and board games. These all involve higher-level thinking and are important brain-builders.
When the typical homework boundaries are removed, students begin to soar and will often choose to do research on their own, read for much longer periods and/or create new projects to share with the class. It becomes a very dynamic process that reinforces student interest, motivation and purposeful learning.
You can read the entire article here.