Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Elias caught in the act of homework.
I'm putting together the next East Side Monthly column about homework's benefits and limits. My daily perspective is limited to elementary school, so I'd love to hear from readers who are in or who are family members of middle or high school students about your sense of role homework plays (or does not play) in supporting young people to make meaning of what they're learning. And of course, elementary folks too, please weigh in.

My own view: homework has its limited uses. However, what makes a real difference are extended school days featuring longer classes that allow time for students to work independently or in groups with the right kind of support in suitable learning environments.

More to come. What do you think?


  1. It seemed like at Bishop It was inconsistent. Most nights were reasonable. However many nights w/ none and some nights w/ way too much. I like a more balanced approach. I have to say I always hated homework when I was in school. Now I think it is good practice and allows lessons to sink in (math & science). Reading and writing about what one has read is invaluable. (English & social studies). I could always focus more at home than at school.

  2. Homework is essential to learning but it must be meaningful. I teach mathematics at the middle level and assign approx. 20 minutes of routine homework almost every night. My objective is for the student to be successful and build confidence. Students self correct the next day and I am walking around checking for completion and also looking at one problem in particular. If I assign a longer more complex problem, I offer two days, so my students can ask questions and receive guidance before having to turn it in.