Homework. The word alone evokes strong emotions from children, youth, parents, and teachers. For most teachers, this word sits right between rock and hard place. Assign too much homework, and teachers run the risk of complaints, if not outright misery, from parents, students, and—feeling the need to give feedback on all that homework—themselves. Assign too little homework, and teachers risk being seen as “soft” and lacking in rigor, and because homework can feel like it helps “cover” the curriculum, feeling further behind. And that just regards the issue of how much homework. Then there are all the complexities around what kinds of homework.
Every so often we like to ask our authors about the books that most affected their teaching, the books that served as turning points in their practice or opened their eyes to a new way of approaching their work, thinking about education, or seeing children. In this installment, we bring you the professional book top five of Vicki Vinton, a literacy consultant and writer who has worked in schools and districts across the country and around the world. She is the coauthor of What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making and The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language, and most recently is the author of Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach. You can also find Vicki online, at the popular literacy blog To Make a Prairie.
Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series! This month we explored cultivating literacy-rich classrooms.
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October flowed with posts sharing content and ideas to support our thinking about literacy-rich classrooms that honor student independence. Scroll through the links below for a recap of shared videos and downloads, PD opportunities, and links related to this month’s blog series.
Research shows that students who have positive home support for homework activities not only find the homework experience more rewarding but get more out of it. Parents, in most cases, are eager to help their children do the homework necessary to augment their classroom learning, but conflict can enter the picture when kids push back— which is often the case. Many students view homework negatively, but there are several simple practices parents can put in place to help mitigate the negativity and influence the homework experience for the better.
Research tells us that when schools provide rewards as incentives for reading, despite their best intentions, the results lead to a decrease in long-term reading motivation for students. Authors Barbara A. Marinak and Linda Gambrell led the study on this topic and, combined with their classroom experience, have written No More Reading for Junk: Best Practices for Motivating Readers. Below is a section from the opening of chapter one, written by Barbara. This is followed by a video of Barbara talking about one reluctant reader who made it clear she wasn't interested in reading. Or was she?