Homework Policy

Science Homework – General Information

Purpose of Homework: For middle school students (grades 6 through 9), research shows that achievement improves slightly with even a minimal amount of homework (less than one hour). In other words, even a small amount of reinforcement of classroom learning seems beneficial (Cooper et al., 2006, Cooper, 2007).

There are five basic purposes for science homework:

1. Pre-learning – introducing material that we will be covering in the next day or two.

2. Practice – using a skill or content we worked on in class to help you learn the material and see if you have any questions about it.

3. Checking for understanding – to see if you understand what we have been studying – often done with journal entries or other reflective writing pieces

4. Processing – helping you apply or synthesize information we are covering in class; often done with long-term projects or longer assignments

5. Review – helping you prepare for upcoming tests, quizzes or other assessments.

Additional Information

Daily science homework is typically assigned from Monday through Thursday night. Students are expected to complete these assignments and have them ready for checking in class the following day. Students are usually given the opportunity to start homework during class time; many students complete these assignments in class. Often the classwork and the homework are the same assignment.

When assignments need to be completed at home, students should typically spend about 15 to 25 minutes on daily assignments, they should not spend more than 45 minutes at home on one daily assignment. However, long term assignments will require more time, which is why students are given multiple days (and sometimes weeks) to complete long term assignments.

In the upper left hand corner of each daily assignment, students are to monitor their own learning by doing the following:

1) Write an estimate of how much total time you spent on this assignment (in class, study hall & at home)

2) Put: A smiley face :) if you understood & felt good about how well you did on the assignment;

A neutral face if you sort of got the assignment, but are unsure of some parts of it; or

A sad face :( if you didn’t get it, or were totally lost.

Assignments will be scored using the homework rubric below:

Advanced (4) = 10 points

Proficient (3) = 7 to 9 points

Partially Proficient (2) = 6 points

Science Classwork / Homework Rubric Unsatisfactory (1) = 0 to 5 points

The link below goes to the homework grading rubric:

HomeworkGradingRubric

What to Do if Unable to Complete Work

When students are unable to complete a daily assignment, parents should either write a note on the assignment or on a separate piece of paper that is turned in with the assignment. This information will be used by Mrs. Du Houx to determine how much credit has been earned on the assignment.

Uncompleted Homework Information – to be completed by PARENT

Please turn in with partially completed assignment – Parents need to write the following either directly on the assignment or on a note attached to the assignment.

1) Total amount of time student spent working at home on this assignment

2) Give the reason(s) your student was unable to complete the assignment:

Examples of reasons:

a) Assignment was too hard or too lengthy for my student’s working speed.

b) Student could no longer focus on the task.

c) Student was too tired to complete the assignment.

d) Student did not understand the assignment.

e) Student did not have the necessary materials to complete the assignment.

f) Student did not have enough time because of other outside activities.

3) Parent, please sign the note or assignment

Suggested Guidelines for Parental Involvement in Homework

(Modified from Rethinking Homework – Best Practices the Support Diverse Work; By Cathy Vatterott; 2009, ASCD, 180 pp., ISBN 978-1-4166-0825-7)

Parents are encouraged to…

• Ask their student about what the student is studying in school

• Ask their student to show them their planner (where MS students should be writing down their homework assignments)

• Assist their student in organizing homework materials

• Help their student formulate a plan for completing homework

• Provide an appropriate space and materials for their student to do homework

• Check on Infinite Campus ( IC – the district grading program) to monitor how their student is doing

• Regularly check the classroom BLOG and Infinite Campus (IC) to stay informed

Parents may, if they wish…

• Help their student interpret assignment directions

• Proofread their student’s work, pointing out errors

• Give practice quizzes to their student to help prepare for tests

• Help their student brainstorm ideas for papers or projects

• Complete and sign the Form for Uncompleted Homework if needed

• Check out teacher blogs, websites and/or newsletters to keep abreast of material being covered in class

Parents should not…

• Attempt to teach their student concepts or skills the student is unfamiliar with

• Complete assignments for their student

• Allow the student to sacrifice sleep to complete homework