Hello Murch Families,
I hope your children had a productive week of learning. If I were to poll the Murch community about what the homework policy should be from grades K-5, the response would be varied with a variety of pros and cons.
Proponents of homework say that it improves student achievement and allows for independent learning of classroom and life skills. They also say that homework gives parents the opportunity to monitor their child’s learning and see how they are progressing academically.
Opponents of homework say that too much may be harmful for students as it can increase stress, reduce leisure and sleep time, and lead to cheating. They also say that it widens social inequality and is not proven to be beneficial for younger children.
It is my professional belief that if homework is given, it is twofold. It can help students to extend their learning after mastery of content. It can also prepare students for upcoming lessons, building background knowledge and introducing new vocabulary and content.
It is also my professional belief that if homework is given and students are asked to complete a homework product, the expectation is that written or verbal feedback from the teacher is given to the student in a timely fashion. Students should benefit from knowing how to improve and the steps they can take to move toward proficiency and mastery.
What is the appropriate amount of time for homework? We wanted to come up with a sensible approach to homework that was consistent across all grade levels. The recommendation our teachers and I came up with is based on the 10-minute rule.
Kindergarten – No Homework
Grade 1 will provide a menu of options parents can complete with their child which is communicated in the weekly email. Reading to their child for 10 minutes can be one of the options.
Grade 2 will provide a menu of options parents can complete with their child which is communicated in the weekly email. Reading to their child for 20 minutes can be one of the options.
Grade 3 – 30 minutes with flexibility for assigning reading and math minutes
Grade 4 – 40 minutes with the time split between reading and math – long term assignments for science and social studies
Grade 5 – 50 minutes with the time split between reading and math – long term assignments for science and social studies
NO HOMEWORK ON WEEKENDS
With any new initiative/policy, we will give it time and examine whether it is meeting the intended outcomes we expected. If it needs to be tweaked, it will be, but it will also be tweaked based on available data and evidence.
In addition, teachers in grades 3-5 will begin to send home weekly progress of completed student work from the week. This will give you an idea of what students worked on and what work was completed. I will also ask teachers to give a preview of what is upcoming for the week ahead in the content areas so you have a sense of what students will be working on. Grades K-2 will begin weekly updates at a date TBD soon.
I hope you all enjoy your weekend!