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Instead of fighting the homework battle as I have done for the past 40 years, I'm ditching homework this year. Instead, I will be sending home Family Time activities which my students and their parents can choose to participate in or not. The choice will be theirs. There will be no tracking to see who is doing the activities, and no punishment if the student and his/her family do not do it.
Each week I will send out a Remind notice to the parents of my students with a suggested list of Family Time activities they can do instead of traditional homework. Since I am an ELA teacher one of the activities will always be read to siblings, parents, pet, or self. This has been a homework assignment for years, but since I don’t require reading logs, I never knew if my students read at home each night or not. I want to help my students because lovers of reading, but I feel that making them read each night at home doesn’t really help foster a love of reading. Doing daily read alouds, having robust book discussions as a class or in groups, and making my reading lessons fun and engaging will do a much better job of helping my students realize how much fun reading can be.
Other activities I plan on including will range from playing a game that uses math, creating and doing challenges with your family, watching a TV show or movie and critiquing it as a tweet, making a dish and sharing the recipes with your class, or exploring a hobby or passion. I plan a having a suggestion jar where my students can add ideas for Family Time activities that can be included in my weekly notices. (Label for my jar)
This places a burden on me to make sure that my students have enough time at school to properly prepare and learn for the assessments that I must give without relying on any time at home for studying. How will this be accomplished? I will build into my class schedule each day time for my students to use Kahoot, Quizizz, or Quizlet to review vocabulary and concepts that are included in our daily lessons. Playing these games in class will allow me to know that my students are reviewing (studying) each and every day. Each platform provides me with data so I will be able to track how my students are doing.
I am feeling so relieved that the homework battle will not be a part of my life this school year. I plan on using the #familytime hashtag to promote what I am doing and to share out awesome ideas to send home instead of traditional homework. Please consider joining me!
What are your thoughts? Are you ready to ditch homework this year?