Definition of HLTA 5: Planning common homework (independent practice) assignments for the unit
"No more p. 238 5-57 the odds for assignments, no more 32 “drill and kill’ math worksheets, no more 90 minute homework assignments, no more going over homework the next day for 25 minutes of class, no more assigning homework at the last minute, no more students not knowing the answers and being able to check your work as you practice, no more homework filled with only lower level cognitive demand tasks! Homework will be worthy of our students’ best efforts? Right?." - Tim Kanold
Using effective homework protocols
1. Homework purpose: The primary purpose of homework is to allow the student the opportunity for independent practice on essential learning standards mastered in class. Homework can also provide a chance for the student to practice mathematical tasks that relate to previous learning standards or tasks that reflect prerequisites learning standards for the next unit.
2. Homework length of time: Think no more than 25-30 minutes K-5 and 35-45 minutes grades 6-12 of student time outside of class each day.
3. Homework problem set/task selection: Homework that provides review of previous work and helps to prepare for work to come has been linked to improved student achievement as well (Cooper, 2008).
4. Providing Homework answers: When Students are provided answers to the homework problems they can check their solutions against the answers, and if their end result does not match the provided answer, they to rework the problem to find their error. In other words, students receive immediate and formative self-assessed feedback of their work (similar to what happens when playing an electronic game). Moreover, a compelling reason to provide students the answers to the homework in advance of the assignment is the time saved not giving out answers during the class period.5. The role of homework in class:
Once the homework to be assigned is determined (before the unit begins), your collaborative team’s discussion should focus on how the homework will be addressed in class, the type of feedback that will be given to students, and what will occur if students do not complete the homework. If most of the class time the next day is spent going over the homework then you lose the impact of successful independent practice on student learning. Your students may be choosing to wait to do homework problems, precisely because
they know you will go over the problems the next day. Since the purpose of homework is independent practice, limit the amount of time given in class to grade, score, or go over the practice problems. These daily and unit processes and procedures should be consistent from teacher to teacher within your collaborative team.
Tim's Homework Resources:
Tim's Full Blog Post: The Secret To Homework: It's Independent Practice!
Collaborative Homework Discussion Questions - Teacher Team Tool.pdf