While schools around the nation reconsider homework policies, teachers, students, and parents continue to ride the wave of either too much, too little, too easy, or too hard homework assignments. In the expectation that children complete homework, sometimes they are assigned mindless "busy work." Kathy Collins and Janine Bempechat take on the stormy topic of homework by re-focusing the conversation from "to assign or not to assign" to how we can design engaging homework that harnesses children's interests and fosters their learning. "Janine and I give you a research-based rationale and a more expansive view of homework that enables you to envision meaningful alternatives to worksheets, packets, and tasks that simply occupy children's afterschool time," Kathy writes. As Janine notes, "More than just 'getting it done,' homework can be an opportunity to foster positive beliefs about learning, establish meaningful habits of mind, and forge an academic identity."

With strategies for adding choice, differentiation, relevance, and authentic feedback into homework assignments, you'll discover how to reimagine homework in ways that promote lifelong learning habits in your students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325092812
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 04/13/2017
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Kathy Collins is coauthor with Matt Glover of the Heinemann title I Am Reading. Kathy is the beloved author of Growing Readers as well as Reading for Real. She presents at conferences and works in schools all over the world to support teachers in developing high-quality, effective literacy instruction in the elementary school grades. Kathy has worked closely with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, and she was a first grade teacher in Brooklyn, New York.

Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor of language, literacy, and culture and faculty associate in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Duke received her Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke's work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator on projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Duke is the recipient of the American Educational Research Association Early Career Award, the Literacy Research Association Early Career Achievement Award, the International Reading Association Dina Feitelson Research Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award, and the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award. Nell is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters as well as the books Reading and Writing Informational Text in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices; Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to Five; Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent's Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5; and her most recent book, Reading and Writing Genre with Purpose in K - 8 Classrooms. She is also editor of The Research-Informed Classroom book series, co-editor with Ellin Keene of the Not This But That book series, and co-editor of the book Literacy Research Methodologies. Duke teaches preservice, inservice and doctoral courses in literacy education, speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. She has served as author and consultant on a number of educational programs, including Buzz About IT, iOpeners, National Geographic Science K-2 and the DLM Express. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the U.S. Nell is currently overseeing IRA's Literacy Research Panel blog, which you can follow here:

Dr. Janine Bempechat is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Wheelock College. Her research has been published in leading journals and supported by the Spender Foundation and the W.T. Grant Foundation. She is co-editor, with David S. Shernoff, of the NSSE Yearbook, Engaging Youth in Schools: Empirically-Based Models to Guide Future Innovations.

Ellin Oliver Keene has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, non-profit director, and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She served as Deputy Director and Director of Literacy and Staff Development for the Cornerstone Project at the University of Pennsylvania for four years. Ellin works with schools and districts throughout the country and abroad with an emphasis on long-term, school-based professional development and strategic planning for literacy learning. She serves as senior advisor at Heinemann, overseeing the Heinemann Fellows initiative and is the editor of the Heinemann Professional Development Catalog-Journal. Ellin is author of Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning (2018), is co-editor and co-author of The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching (Heinemann, 2015); co-editor of the Not This, but That series (Heinemann, 2013 - 2015); author of Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Understanding (Heinemann, 2012), To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension (Heinemann, 2008), co-author of Comprehension Going Forward (Heinemann, 2011), Mosaic of Thought: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, 2nd edition (Heinemann, 2007, 1st edition, 1997) and author of Assessing Comprehension Thinking Strategies (Shell Educational Books, 2006) as well as numerous chapters for professional books and journals on the teaching of reading as well as education policy journals. Ellin is a Heinemann PD provider, presenting One-Day Workshops, Webinars Series, and all forms of On-Site PD. She is most sought after for her long-term professional development residencies in partnership with Heinemann Professional Development. Click here for an overview of the Keene Residency. Listen to Ellin and Tom Newkirk reflect on the 20th anniversary of Mosaic of Thought on The Heinemann Podcast. Follow Ellin on Twitter @EllinKeene.

Table of Contents

Introduction Nell K. Duke ix

Section 1 Not This: Assigning "Just Because" Kathy Collins 1

To Assign or Not to Assign? That Is One of the Questions 2

Homework Viewed From Different Perspectives 3

Teachers' Time Well Spent? 4

Purposes for Homework 7

Homework to Practice Skills and Solidify Concepts 8

Homework as a Scaffold Supporting the Development of Time Management and Organizational Skills 9

Homework as a Method of Communication 10

Behind-the-Scenes, Off-the-Record Rationales for Homework Assignments 11

Homework as a Public Relations Tool 12

Homework as a Comfort Object for Grown-Ups 15

Homework as a Curricular Overflow Container 15

Homework: Families and Educators Share Similar Homework Benefits and Frustrations 16

The Difficulty of Differentiation 16

The Dearth of Meaningful Feedback 19

Section 2 Why Not? What Works?: Homework That Promotes Lifelong Learning Behaviors Janine Bempechat 21

The Ebb and Flow of Homework Practices Over Time 22

How Much Homework Do U.S. Students Do? 23

What Are the Benefits of Homework? 24

The Power of Adaptive Learning Beliefs 27

Self-Regulation 27

Families Matter! 30

Scaffolding Self-Regulation 33

Modeling a Positive Attitude About Homework 34

Teachers' Critical Role in the Homework Process 38

Competence Through Focused Tasks and Timely Feedback 40

Authentic Purpose and Relevance 42

Autonomy 43

The Discourse Against Homework: Concerns and Solutions 43

Homework: Not the Only Pathway, But an Opportunity 46

Section 3 But That: Homework Reimagined Kathy Colins 47

Characteristics of Play That Can Inform Homework Practices 51

The Importance of Choices-Having Them and Making Them 51

Choice Opportunities 52

Choices About the Content of Homework 54

Differentiation and Homework: One Size Can't Fit All 57

Relevance: Opportunities to Bridge the Gap Between School Life and Home Life 59

Opening the Lines of Communication Between Home and School 60

Reversing the Direction: Bringing Home Into School 61

Look Around and Explore Your Life for Signs of School Learning 62

Stories and Settings From Home 62

Feedback and Reflection That Are Meaningful to the Teacher and the Learner 65

Crowd-Sourced Homework Review 66

Reading at Home 67

Again, Choice Matters 67

Differentiation Matters 68

Reading Homework Accountability 69

At-Home Reading Tied to School Work 70

Homework That Is Informed By Children's Passions and Interests 71

Afterword Ellin Oliver Keene 75

References 77

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