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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Should there be summer homework?

We recently held a heated Socratic Seminar on whether or not summer homework should be assigned. We researched and read articles written by homework critics, Nancy Kalish and Alfie Kohn, as well as editorials written by parents, students,and teachers. Students assumed roles as parents, teachers, authors, principals, and children and debated the topic. End result- most students agreed that summer reading should be optional because we read everyday (texts, cereal boxes, signs, etc.), BUT math homework (just a little bit!!!!!) over the summer should be mandatory! Interesting outcome!


Patrick Higgins said...

This is truly shocking, and something I can't wait to let their 6th and 7th grade math teachers know about!

I have a few questions for the classes: what was there reasoning behind not doing summer reading? Why did they choose to want to practice math instead of it? What type of homework would they want to do in math?

Also, I have to say that I am very impressed that all of you read Alfie Kohn. Great thinker!

Dennis Richards said...

Interesting. When I was a student, a teacher told me that when he was a soldier, he never went anywhere without having a book in his pocket. Other teachers encouraged me to start a personal home library of books I love. I fell in love with the joy of reading books, and it has made all the difference in my life. So...

I'd recommend you never go anywhere without a book (digital version is okay too) and begin a personal library. If you do, I guarantee it will make a more enjoyable life for you.

Required summer reading can be valuable if it introduces you to books worth reading and remembering.

You can still keep texting. Just don't let that become something that consumes you.

Dennis Richards said...

Mr. Higgins has a good question about math homework. "What type of homework would [you] want to do in math?" I also wonder what you will say.

Fschlen said...

Amazing....maybe they are fearful of forgetting things they've learned. Fantastic HartmanHoopla cite. Your students are very lucky!