To function well in the classroom you must do homework as required by the teacher. The District has a homework position paper. It is summarized as follows:
- Homework assignments also teach students to be independent learners. Homework gives students experience in following directions, making judgments and comparisons, raising additional questions for study, and developing responsibility and self-discipline.
- Student achievement rises significantly when teachers regularly assign homework and students conscientiously do it.
- Well-designed homework assignments relate directly to class work and extend students' learning beyond the classroom.
- Homework is most useful when teachers carefully prepare the assignment, thoroughly explain it, and give prompt comments and criticism when work is completed.
To help assure some reasonable consistency among schools and to assure that school homework policies conform to good educational practice and the board's own policy, the Learning Services Department reviews and approves all proposed homework policies for individual schools.
The staff at Douglass Valley view homework as an important piece of the school curriculum at all grade levels. Homework contributes to effective learning by providing opportunities to practice and extend skills learned at school. Regular homework assignments also help students learn responsibility, self-discipline, and time management. Students discover that learning takes place all the time, in school and at home.
Homework provides a link between home and school by giving parents valuable information about the school curriculum and what their children are learning. Homework also provides one-on-one time for parents with their children.
There are four basic types of homework, each having its place and value in supporting the curriculum. Generally, it is good to have a variety of the following types over the school year.
- Practice: These are assignments which are often given on a day-to-day basis, offering students opportunities to practice and master new skills which have been presented in the classroom. This type of homework also includes opportunities for practice and preparation for classroom assessment.
- Preparatory: Such assignments provide students time to review background information to gain maximum benefits from an upcoming classroom lesson (e.g. read chapter in preparation for discussion).
- Extension: Students need a strong grasp on underlying skills and concepts for this type of assignment. Here, students transfer specific skills and concepts to new situations (i.e. engage in productions versus reproduction)
- Creative: These assignments challenge student to apply higher order thinking abilities as they integrate skills and concepts from many different subject areas to produce a major original project. Most often, these are long term assignments.
How much time should we spend on homework? While research supports regular daily homework, excessively long periods of homework can be counterproductive. Because we feel that homework is important, we ask that the following times are taken into consideration when planning your child's extracurricular activities.
- Kindergarten: Reading with or to your child 10-15 minutes each day; other homework may include special projects to be done at home.
- First-Second Grade: 15-30 minutes per day; in addition a student is expected to read 10-15 minutes at home daily.
- Third - Fifth Grade: 30-45 minutes per day average; in addition a student is expected to read 15-20 minutes at home daily
How do absences affect school work? We feel it is important that instruction occur before assignments can be completed; therefore, no work assignments will be provided ahead of time. We can however, provide packets that provide practice on skills. Students are responsible for finding out what assignments were missed and will receive assistance from the teacher before completing them. Students will be given an extra school day for each day missed to complete make up work. Long term assignments will be handled on an individual basis by the classroom teacher.
Guidelines for homework: Allow your child some time to unwind before beginning homework. Make homework a habit, set a regular study time. Communicate to your child that homework is important and that extracurricular activities will not be an excuse for unfinished homework. Provide a comfortable, well lit area with the basic materials. Help students understand that homework is a personal responsibility. Hold your child responsible for getting homework to and from school. Have your child write down daily homework assignments. Recommend that your child work on tough assignments first, when his/her energy level is high. Show confidence in your child's ability. Don't do the work for him/her. (It's okay to explain directions.) Help your child with time management by showing him/her how to keep a calendar of deadlines.
Report Cards and Conferences at Douglass Valley
Report cards are issued four times a year, after each nine-week grading period. Twice a year we have conferences. This is the time when parents and teachers talk about kids, their progress in school, and their individual needs. At Douglass Valley, we think both parents and teachers are educators, in other words, partners. Please join the teacher in finding the best way to help your student learn. The teacher will have information to share with you. Because time for conferences is limited, we suggest you think about what you'd like to ask the teacher in advance. You may ask for more conferences anytime during the year. In addition, if you ever have a question, your child's teacher is no further than the telephone.