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Homework Protocol

CORAL GABLES SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

HOME LEARNING PROTOCOL

There should be approximately 120 minutes of homework per day. Since we are on a 4x4 scheduling, this translates to 30 minutes per class per day.

Homework will not be used for the following reasons:

To discipline or punish students

To introduce or practice skills the student does not understand

To assess a student’s learning without reference to other work.

All teachers are expected to adhere to the above policy so students will be able to complete homework requirements and fully prepare for tests. Although a student is responsible for their time management, homework should not reach the point that it overwhelms the student and they either do not perform well in class or have to sacrifice extracurricular activities which are a part of their high school experience.

PURPOSE OF HOME-LEARNING ASSIGNMENTS

PREPARE information or materials for future learning activities (e.g. gather resources, read something for a class discussion, or rehearse for a presentation).

PRACTICE new knowledge OR new skills (e.g. read for pleasure, practice physical skills, practice a musical instrument, use knowledge to complete a project, or practice basic literacy and math skills.)

ENRICH students’ understanding of a topic and apply it in new ways (e.g. research local news, investigate a science experiment, write daily or weekly reflections in a journal, or apply skills to a class project).

EXPECTATIONS OF TEACHERS

Be sensitive to family time when assigning homework, specifically during recess/holidays.

Consider the student’s home learning environment as it relates to homework assignments

Make instructions related to homework clear and provide, when necessary, a short period of supervised study or a period of questioning to ensure that the students understand the assignments.

Check, review, evaluate, and/or grade student homework, according to the teacher’s individual methods, and in keeping with a system that is clearly explained to the students and parents.

EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS

Contact teacher early if the student begins to develop a pattern of late or incomplete work.

Contact the teacher to clear up any misunderstandings, troubleshoot problems and be better informed about the students' learning progress.

Ask teacher about parent workshops and/or online tutorials available to help them understand the skill being taught to better assist their child with home-learning assignments. Supportive Resources include: Gizmos, Questia, Richter Library @ UM, Khan Academy, YouTube, and Math Nation.

RESEARCH NOTES

Homework does have a positive correlation with success in school. (Cooper, 1988; Win, 1985)

Students are given flexible time frame in which to complete assignments (e.g., weekend).

Homework is most effective when it covers material already taught; however, giving an assignment on material that is taught the same day is not as effective as an assignment given to review and reinforce skills learned previously. (Cooper, 1989)

Schools in which homework is routinely assigned and graded tend to have higher achieving students.

Teacher-assigned homework should have a clear purpose.

Follow-up with parents when students do not complete homework assignments. It is an opportunity to communicate with the home, inform parents of the academic status of their son/daughter in your class, glean pertinent information that may help you in the classroom with the situation, and ultimately let the student know you care since you are taking the time.

Homework should be necessary and useful, appropriate to the ability and maturity level of students, well explained and motivational, and clearly understood by students and parents.

Homework should be tied to current subject matter, assigned in amounts and levels of difficulty which students can complete successfully and should be checked quickly, with feedback to students.

Giving homework on a regular basis may increase achievement and improve attitudes toward learning.

Homework is taken more seriously by students when teachers prepare written directions, discuss what is to be done with students, integrate the assignments with classroom instruction, and give a grade for homework. (What Works: Research About Teaching and Learning, 1986)

Homework produces uniformly positive effects on the factual, conceptual, critical, and attitudinal aspects of learning. (Walberg, 1984)

Characteristics of good homework assignments:

Assignments are not just unfinished class work.

Students find assignments interesting and they lead to further exploration and study.

Assignments stimulate creativity and imagination in the application of skills.

Assignments stimulate home and class discussions about the topic.

Assignments use information and materials that are readily available to the student.