Approaches toward homework vary among teachers

Jody Bisgrove, a math teacher at Holmes Junior High, shares a common teachers point of view on homework; assigning homework regularly throughout the week.

According to Bisgrove, assigning homework on a regular basis enhances learning for her students. “I assign homework on a nearly daily basis. I absolutely believe it benefits students. How can I can expect them to learn the material themselves without some practice first?  Practice is where they can learn, and learn from their mistakes.”

Some suggest teachers to assign the students’ grade level with the corresponding minutes of homework. For example, second graders might spend 20 minutes on homework and in third grade that might increase to 30 minutes and so on.

“The one time I typically don’t assignment homework is the day of a test or quiz. Sometimes after having done a class review, I will not assignment further homework in the hopes that students are actually studying for the upcoming test,” Bisgrove said.

She said she rarely ever gets complaints about the amount of homework she assigns, “Students know that in order to learn math they have to practice the math. Occasionally I’ll have some incompletion, but most students have figured out that if they don’t get their homework turned in on time that there will be consequences such as ALT, and I will assign them to ALT.”

ALT (Alternative Learning Time) is a chance for students to make up work outside of school hours. Teachers refer students to this time if they come unprepared for class. Bisgrove said, “My students really don’t want to be in school much longer after school is out, so it’s never very much of an issue for me.” ALT runs from after school until 3:50 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays in the Tigers Den, and to their assigned classrooms at Holmes and Peet.

Stacey Yoder, another math teacher at Holmes Junior High has a different point of view on homework. She said she believes it to be more beneficial to assign less outside of class and instead focus in on the fundamentals during class.

“I assign assignments. Most of the time I give enough class time to complete the assignment. If the assignment turns into homework, then it is usually takes 10 minutes max to complete,” Yoder said.

She said she believes that students learn better when they can do it in class alongside a teacher so that confusion is cleared up and she can be there to answer any questions.

She said, “I don’t believe they learn by doing lots of problems incorrectly. This is the reason why most of my assignments are done during class time. This way I can help students who are struggling.”

Yoder said she feels very strongly about her viewpoint on homework. She only gives assignments out three times a week, sometimes less. “I rarely ever get complaints from my students about their homework because I give out a very reasonable amount,” she said.

As Yoder doesn’t give out much homework, incompletion is hardly an issue for the classes she teaches. “Every once in awhile I will get incompletion. This is mostly due to when a student is absent and they now have to be responsible and use time outside of class.”

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