Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Question About Homework

I often get a question about how much homework being sent home or there isn't enough homework sent home. The problem about sending home homework is if the child can do the work without help - does the child need homework? If the child can't do the homework - the homework won't get done causing stress and frustration for the child, parent and the teacher.

Here is an interesting article about homework that was recently on CJOB. http://www.cjob.com/2014/03/12/homework-homework-wont-work/

Making children do homework to keep them busy will likely result in the child not enjoying the work and reducing motivation which can result in a lack of interest in doing any work.

The best thing that all children can do is read. Read non-fiction and material that is relevant and fun for the child.

Another way to keep your child engaged with school while at home is through my Showbie account (click here to learn more about Showbie) which all students can access on their iPad.

I have a Showbie Account which all kids  have (well, should have...) enrolled in. In this account I will often send home questions for students to have a voice at GWMS and just to see what kids think. These are questions that are higher level in nature.

These are questions that children can't study for, they can't find the answer in google; these are their thoughts. They are never wrong. It's a great way for me to learn more about each child at GWMS. Ask your child to look my Showbie account on their iPads. Take a look at the questions that have been posed already. It's a great thing for you to do with your child as well and to see some of the great things that each child can do on their iPad. 

The questions aren't worth marks either. They are just an ongoing conversation between your child and their principal (me!).

Showbie can be accessed through iPads, Macs or PCs. Parents are also invited to join 'the class' to see what we are doing at GWMS. To be added to my Showbie account go to http://www.showbie.com/, create an account as a student. The code to sign up is MDUL4.

Here is an example of what what shared with all students before our Christmas break in my Showbie account:

Mr. Mead's message to students in Showbie:
Watch this short video. https://www.google.com/trends/topcharts?date=2013 /
Reply to Mr. Mead and explain about one thing or person that inspired you in 2013 and why it or that person inspired you.

If you are unsure of what some of the images in the video mean or who they are please sit with an adult at school or at home and have them help you find out who they are and why they are important.

A Response from a grade 8 Student
10 videos. Somebody who inspired me was Nelson Mandela because he fought for freedom and he knew what he was doing wrong and went to jail for it but never gave up he knew what was right to do and I think that's how he fought for freedom.

This is a great response from a student. It showed he looked at the video, analyzed it and came to a thoughtful response. 

As a parent,  if you are ever looking for something for your child to do at home to stay engaged with school. A couple of great options are

  • help them find a book that they are interested in reading and give them time to read it. You may want to get the same book and read it as well and talk about the book.
  • look at Mr. Mead's Showbie account and answer the questions that are posed.
This isn't to say that GWMS will never send homework. It's just important to keep homework in perspective and there are many ways for children and their families to learn and to keep engaged with school.

Feedback is great! Email me with your thoughts at amead@sjsd.net

Mr. Mead

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