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Homework over Holiday Break??
Old 12-14-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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I have a quick question - do you give homework over the holiday break? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I waffle between feeling like they shouldn't be off for almost 2 weeks with no real intellectual stimulation and thinking that it's more work for their families than necessary. What do you guys do?


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Old 12-14-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Mine have to do 100 minutes of reading and complete their reading log. That is it. (6th grade)
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No Homework Here!
Old 12-14-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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I encourage them to read and practice their multiplication facts. Do I really think that their going to do it? Probably not. I make sure that I don't have any school work over the break. I need time for myself, and I think they do too.
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No Homework
Old 12-14-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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My school district does not allow elementary students to get homework over a vacation. I agree with this policy. I hope the children spend quality time with their families and not have to worry about completing an assignment.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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No homework. The last day of school before break is the end of our quarter, so we'll be starting all new things anyway. I am giving an extra credit project this year that is an extension of a literature unit we did and includes reading the sequel to the novel. I know some of them have said they will do it, and others have said they won't. So we'll see how many actually do the project.


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No homework
Old 12-14-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I don't like to give my third graders homework over long vacations. Personally, I want to forget about school for awhile, so I would guess my kids want to as well.
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holiday homework
Old 12-14-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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I do give homework but in my class students earn stickers and then get prizes when they finish homework. So for the holidays their homework is worth 2 stickers if they do it. It is not difficult work and for some they enjoy doing it. Those who don't feel like doing it or don't have time just don't earn those extra stickers.
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Would you believe...
Old 12-14-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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...that homework is not only required in my district during our breaks, but is GIVEN by my district? In the past, I have provided assignments and activities (for extra credit) to enrich my students' literacy and math skills. When we got a new Superintendent, he started putting together homework packets for every student in our district.

From the packets I've seen for our past breaks, they are not exactly tailored to meet the diverse needs of my students. Of course, I can "supplement" the packets, but I don't feel that it is right to impose "more busy work" upon family time during our breaks. I feel that my job as a professional is being degraded and the learning of my students is being disrespected. Talk about micromanagement!

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Holiday assignment
Old 12-14-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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Instead of giving homework i plan to give a holiday assignment. I am going to ask each of my grade 6 students to help at least three different people in some way over the holidays (shovel snow for an elderly person, offer to babysit, etc.). Using any form they choose (written, pictures, photographs, etc) I would like them to document their acts of kindness/helpfulness. I am giving each of them a journal and pencil for Christmas, so I am hoping that many of them will choose to use their new journal to complete this project.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Mr. Mark that's a great idea! I usually just tell me second graders to read and practice flashcards. If thier parents sign thier reading calendar they get a reward after break.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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I am going to give my kiddos their mission reports to start working on. I am year round and have January off, so my kids have close to 7 weeks of vacation. I think starting to work on their mission reports during this long break is not a bad thing...most kids get board anyhow. I put it all into a folder for them, and they do not seem to mind.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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No homework! I like to take a break and the kids do, too. However, I do ask that they read to take AR tests when they get back.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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No homework! I suggest that they continue to read as much as the possibly can, but nothing is required.
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no homework
Old 12-14-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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I do encourage them to study their X's facts (4th grade) and read, but don't assign anything. It's break!!
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No homework.
Old 12-14-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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We don't even give homework on the evenings of important meetings or programs. Families need a break, mine being one of them, from the stress.
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Homework
Old 12-14-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Yes my district gives both a reading and math packet for them to complete over break. I honestly don't see anything wrong with it. It's not a whole lot of work for them to do and they have a whole 2 weeks to complete it.
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Homework
Old 12-14-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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No Homework over the holidays--although, reading will be encouraged
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I teach JK
Old 12-14-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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so no homework.

Mr. Mark I just had to say what an awesome idea you have for your students! I would not be in favour of homework over the holidays but your idea is fantastic! I think your students are lucky to have you! What a thrill it will be to get those back and see all the goodness that your little assignment created! Cheers to you and your students!
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No homework
Old 12-14-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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over the holidays. I ask them to read but no homework. The kids need a break, the parents need a break, and I need a break! This should be a fun, family time.
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No homework
Old 12-15-2008, 04:16 AM
 
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Their homework is to have a fun and relaxing time with family. I do not want to do any school related work over the break so would not assign it tp my students. Reading is always encouraged for daily practice.
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Packets
Old 12-15-2008, 07:28 AM
 
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We have requirements to give packets to our students during holiday breaks. The students are often rewarded if they complete the work. I don't think it's a big deal. Yes, we all need a break from school, but I don't think doing a little reading and practicing some math skills is going to kill them. Besides, when I was a kid, 2 days after Christmas with the "new-ness" of everything worn off, I was often bored. I had a lot of my students ask me if I was going to give them a packet before I even said anything about it.

My packet for my reading intervention students [grades 2-6] is a Reading A-Z book at their level, along with a graphic organizer related to the reading, and some sort of reflection piece. Then they also have a writing assignment. In this case, it's a blank book off Reading A-Z that they'll be filling in. I tried to make the assignments fun and engaging so that it doesn't seem to tedious to them.
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no homework
Old 12-15-2008, 08:29 AM
 
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I don't usually give homework over long holiday breaks. But like others, I do encourage them to read and practice addition and subtraction facts.
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No homework
Old 12-15-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I don't give homework over breaks, but do encourage reading and studying multiplication facts.

Love the sticker idea. I may try that!!!

MrMark, I love your idea. What an awesome way to help our students remember the spirit of Christmas.

Those whose districts give homework packets: Who checks the students' work?
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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I print an Accelerated Math 20-Objective Diagnostic Test for those who want it (or if their parents request it). This is on a volunteer basis only for those kids who want to get ahead of their AM goals so they don't have to worry about it as much when they come back in January.

Other than that, I feel that it's a time to be at home with your family, and you only get to enjoy being a kid once. So I don't assign any other homework.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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I can't imagine doing homework over the break. But, we've been told we have to give a packet to students who failed the latest benchmark test. Yeah - like they're the kids who are going to do homework. I think it's a waste of my planning and paper to run it. I'm still looking for an idea that doesn't involve worksheets.
Bah humbug!
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packet
Old 12-15-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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Yep, homework. We have 3 weeks off, and are required to give homework packets. Mine consists of having the students read at least one book and fill out a simple response sheet (characters, setting, B/M/E). I also give them math review worksheets, which works out to about 1 sheet per day (10 min. max). I also try to make sure that the students who have not mastered counting by 5s and 2s will learn them over the break.

Our team has a project for those students who want to do it. They can bring back a diorama of an animal they have "researched." This has always been a big hit with the kids and their families, so we continue the tradition.
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no homework
Old 12-15-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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I teach second and we don't do anything other than encourage reading like pps have stated.

I also have a second grader and hope that she doesn't get hw over break....of course we will read, but I think we both just need a break from school!!!!
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teamteacher...
Old 12-16-2008, 06:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Those whose districts give homework packets: Who checks the students' work?
The teachers are required to check and grade it

I honestly don't have a problem with ME assigning HW, which is usually journal writing (kids get extra credit for each page they write..even if it's copying text exactly as it is written) and math flashcards. The kids enjoy it and their writing actually improves by the time they return.

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Homework
Old 12-16-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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I've never sent homework home over a break; however, we were told today that we had to send home math and reading packets for the break. The announcement not only told the teachers we had to do it, but it also told the kids it would be a grade. Thanks for the notice.
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Yea, homework! :-)
Old 12-16-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Yes, I do.

Always.

But then, I assign homework on Fridays, too!
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Nooooo!!!
Old 12-17-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I do not give homework although I do encourage reading. I will send home a reading log for the break for them to fill in IF they would like to do so. They can earn extra classroom "bucks" if they bring it back .......with entries on it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Our school has a NO homework policy anyway besides 20 minutes of reading every night during the school year. I think kids need a break just like we do! Why do they need the stress of homework when they are traveling here and there over the holidays? Let them be kids.
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Extra Credit
Old 12-18-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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Some over-achieving students like something to do over break, so I offer extra credit. Then you have those few kids that just hate the word homework so if they think they don't have to do it....go figure....they WANT to do it. Extra credit fits the bill, keeps them thinking over break, and doesn't drive me crazy trying to chase after it for the ones who don't have time to do it. I like to assign something a little out of the box....something they could make or do.

Extra Credit
One idea that my kids just loved.....
We were studying nouns, so students were asked to cut out as many nouns as they could find from magazines and glue them into a shape. The top 3 students with the most words received a prize.

Over Thanksgiving Break.....
Students filled shoeboxes with items for a needy child and wrote a letter to include in the box. {snuck the letter writing in there, so students didn't even realize they were really doing work}
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:44 AM
 
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I give a "Winter Reading Challenge" and invite each child to read at least 100 minutes over break. If they fill out the chart and bring it back, they will get a prize from the treasure box and I put their picture in the class newsletter.

This year one of my kids (first grader) said he was going to read 800,000 minutes! hahaha
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I teach first...
Old 12-20-2008, 06:05 AM
 
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so it might be a different situation for some.

Bottomline for me - No. I feel weekends and vacations should be for family.

These days with so many parents working such long hours and weekends, vacations might very well be the only time they really get to spend with parents and relatives.

Yes, they could use the intellectual stimulation but in the end, I feel they need time with their family more.

As a side note, at one time I did give homework and only a small handful would return it so was it really worth it. And the ones that did it seemed miserable about having to do it.

I guess, call it a holiday present from me - No homework!

Just my thoughts,
Shark
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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When my fourth grade students walked in yesterday morning (last day of school), their eyes bugged out when they saw the long list written on the homework board. Then they actually read it and started laughing. Then I told them I expected to copy all of it down in their agenda...and I was the only one left laughing.

Here was their homework:

- read every day
- practise multiplication facts
- play outside
- have fun with your family
- sleep lots
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- be nice to your brothers and sisters
- listen to your parents
- have a wonderful holiday
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