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Homework Hotline Philosophy

About This Classroom Special 
Each week Homework Hotline will suggest homework assignments aimed at grades K-1 and 2-3. Homework Hotline is maintained by Buzz Eyler,  former Teachers Network web mentor. E-mail Buzz.

What Is Homework Hotline?

Welcome to The Teachers Network's Primary Homework Hotline. Each week you will find suggested homework assignments aimed at grades K-1 and 2-3. If this is your first time accessing this site, please read our philosophy of homework. Feel free to print out the assignments and give them to your students. If parents have access to the World Wide Web, encourage them to check in teachersnetwork.org

Homework Philosophy

Children, upon entering kindergarten, have a different feeling about school. Many have been in preschool programs which have encouraged play and exploration. Now they are "in school" and want to do all the things that implies: write, read and have homework are examples.

Homework is especially important to the child and parent, but can be a challenge for the teacher. Homework assignments should reinforce learning in the classroom or prepare the student for what will happen sometime in the future (reports, speeches, studying for tests, etc.). How do you, in a primary classroom, schedule meaningful homework which meets these criteria when these are not things you do in the room?

If the teacher thinks in terms of "What can I assign that will reinforce class activities or prepare for future learning?" in a primary class, a whole world of possibilities emerges.

Traditionally, preparing for spelling tests, math worksheets and handwriting pages have been assignments. Other teachers have assigned a number of minutes to read or be read to. Initially, the children eagerly complete these tasks and bring them back to school. But this routine soon becomes just that and the excitement of this opportunity to extend learning is lost.

The creator of the Homework Hotline wants you to think of homework in a different fashion. It should relate to real learning activities, be timely, and be consistent. For primary school children, we would add immediate. By that we mean, most of our activities must occur after school and, if they are to be returned, the next day.

The parent should serve as a facilitator rather than "doer." If the parent must do the work, children learn early that mom and dad will bail them out. Also, if the assignments are so difficult that the parents complete it, what has the child learned? This is not to say that no homework can involve the parent, but keep his/her role focused.

We try to assemble the activities we post here each week to meet these criteria. We know that each of you has unique classrooms and students and not every activity meets your needs. But we want you to start thinking in these terms, we provide a point of departure.

These ideas are for you to use. Print the page, alter them in any way you like and check back each Friday evening for next week's ideas. If you would like to submit ideas, please do so by clicking the appropriate place on each homework sheet. We would love to hear from you.

Buzz Eyler


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