While the debates about homework continue in local newspapers, via social media threads, and amongst teachers and families, our team is trying to strike the balance between at-home practice and learning and time for families and one's own passions and interests.
|Students' shared their creations by drawing models|
and/or emailing teachers pictures of their work.
As fifth grade teachers, I believe, we feel the need to establish some kind of home-school routine that fosters the study skills students will need in Middle School, but we still know that our students are young so we'll choose to assign homework that's "loose-tight" giving the assignments the wiggle room that's important to a diverse group of students with differing levels of interest, at-home academic support, after school activities, pace, and time.
For starters our homework assignments included the staple--read each night, a get-to-know-you assignment, and gumdrop towers. We gave each student a package of spaghetti-gumdrops-marshmallow in order to give them a chance to try out a STEAM activity on their own that
we'll complete as teams next week. Thanks goes out to our PTO who supported the activity supplies purchases.
Like most things in education, I don't think homework has to be an either-or decision at fifth grade, but instead a decision that matches the interests, needs, and opportunity of the students you teach.