A New Fall Lesson Plan
Does homework really work?
I didn't grow up in Rochester. I grew up in a small town outside Chicago. My sophomore year, our new high school principal thought it was a good idea that we should have at least an hour's worth of homework from each class. On top of a full seven-hour school day.
Is more homework better? Is it effective? Does it work?
Brandy Young is a second-grade teacher in Dallas. She says no. Less is actually more. She done her own homework on homework. She's developed a new lesson plan for the fall. She sent home a note to parents outlining her plan.
The only homework she's assigning her students is finishing work that started in the classroom. Her research shows that more homework is not better. Her note to parents says, that "Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance." But the right kind of homework is more effective. She suggests her students work on a plan that makes a greater impact at home. Like having dinner as a family, reading together with their parents, playing outside and getting a good night's sleep. Young calls this, "things that are proven to correlate with student success."
All three of my kids were in the Newcomers Program. They all worked very hard to learn English. My wife and I worked very hard with them on the homework they had. I really enjoy working on homework together with my kids. There have been a couple assignments that I helped my son Justin with that I am most proud of. One was a project for Dickens, A Christmas Carol. We wrote a letter to Scrooge from his nephew, inviting him to Christmas dinner. We even crafted an invitation.
The parents of Young's students have been pretty receptive to the idea and some other teachers in the district are thinking of trying the new lesson plan. Think that's something that may catch on here? We'll have to wait and see.