Read, Write, Practice Your Math Facts!
Because we know:
- That homework can be a valuable way to extend and refine learning ...
- That reading is the best way to become a better reader …
- That writing supports reading and helps develop critical thinking skills...
- That knowing math facts at a level of automaticity - or instant recall - provides a solid base for engaging in more complicated mathematics...
And we know:
- That there is abundant research which shows that “criminalized” homework practices (like graded or corrected packets, worksheets, etc. which can result in lost privileges in school) can cause significant stress for students and families, and has a generally negative impact on students’ perceptions of school and learning.
- That homework should not be graded (because there is no way to ensure who did the work)
- That correcting homework takes a lot of time (time that could be spent designing excellent lessons)
- That homework should not have new learning, but should rather expand what students are learning during the school day
- That, to be effective, homework should be customized for each child (not a one-size-fits-all approach). There should be options.
- That homework should promote a positive home-school connection.
- We will ensure that every child has a book at his/her independent reading level to read each night. Of course, if a child has another book at home that they want to read--that works, too!
- We will ensure that every child has access to notebooks, pencils, and other supplies to promote writing at home whenever they need it.
- We will provide parents with guidance for supporting the development of math facts at home. (** We have a subscription to the Reflex math system, which is an online, responsive math facts-practice application which tracks student growth, time spent, and more).
- We will promote a home-school connection through occasional assignments such as:
- Having students tell 2 people at home what they had learned about electricity (or another topic)
- Having students use their home environment to make connections to school (draw a map of your neighborhood, find things that come in pairs, find various shapes in your environment)
- Providing opportunities for extensions for interested learners, such as themed backpacks or supplies to bring home to extend school learning
- Finally, we will work with individual families to reasonably accommodate special requests.
Simply put, the homework policy at Sandburg is:
Read, Write, Practice Your Math Facts
(With a recommendation of 10 minutes per grade per night)
There will be some teachers who will send home packets, but teachers are discouraged from collecting, grading, or punishing students for work on packets or other homework.
We strongly recommend nightly routines of "homework," especially reading high-interest texts, and emphasizing:
- That this is the best way to increase one's reading skills (and)
- That having the discipline to do this work is connected to a range of character traits (grit, self-control, etc.)