Hello, friends! I hope your school year is off to a fabulous start! For many of you, this is probably your first day back in the classroom. For others, myself included, the school year is already in full swing! I’ve been meaning to share this post for a few months now. Since we’re back to school I figured this was the perfect time to talk about my changing views of homework, and why I no longer assign it.
Here are the main reasons I don’t assign homework in my classes:
- My In-Class Flip –> A few years ago, I flipped my classroom and required all of my students to view instructional videos that I created for them at home. I found that students who completed the video assignments as homework were well-prepared for the class activities while those who didn’t, surprise surprise, were not ready to work when they came into the classroom. Instead of relying on many variables falling into place at home (more about this in point 2!), I decided to restructure my class time to include time for students to complete their instructional video and accompanying assignment. This is FANTASTIC for many reasons, but mainly because the students have multiple resources available to help them with content they may not understand from the video – their classmates and ME. Already this year I’ve found that I’m able to provide more personalized and individualized instruction for my students as they’re completing their flipped video assignments in class. I have tables organized into pods in my high school Social Studies classroom. While students are engaging in video assignments, I walk from table to table with my iPad or Chromebook and re-explain certain concepts, draw out examples, etc. It’s awesome to be able to engage with my students in a more individualized setting! I’ve even heard from students, “I feel like I’m actually learning something this year, and it’s only the 2nd week of school!” Score!
- I use A LOT of technology –> Instructional technology tools are fantastic and, used properly, can greatly enhance the classroom learning environment. However, along with using classroom technology comes relying on steady internet access. When I originally flipped my classroom and required students to complete videos at home, many students who didn’t complete their assignment at home had limited, if any, internet connectivity at home. How could I justify penalizing students for not completing an assignment if they didn’t have the tools outside of the classroom to do so? I couldn’t … and wouldn’t!
Basically, outside the walls of my classroom, I’m not in charge. I’m not in charge of the home environment of my students. I’m not in charge of whether or not my students work until 11:00 at night or if they have sports practices or games in another town.
I introduced this concept to parents and students at Open House this year. I told the parents and students present that I will not assign homework this year. I clarified my statement to specify that the only homework my students will have is what they don’t finish in class. AND … based on how my class is set up, if they have homework, they probably aren’t using their class time well 🙂
What’s your homework policy?