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.
Welcome the PLC Series April Round Up! This month, we reflected upon building lifelong literacy habits for all, from honoring the work of our smallest readers to our reflecting on our own practices as adults.
Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month we discuss building lifelong literacy habits for all, from honoring the work of our smallest readers to our reflecting on our own practices as adults.
Why is it that, when asked to read, some young children will do so right away and others announce that they cannot read?
Children are doing important, strategic work long before decoding. By noticing, naming and honoring this, we can encourage our littlest readers to engage in different ways with books, helping them to build positive reading identities before they even decode print.
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.
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.
In Choice Time, Renée Dinnerstein gives you everything you need to set up choice-time centers that promote inquiry-based, guided play in your classroom. Renée summarizes the research, describing the different kinds of play and why they are important. In this post, adapted from the foreword by Kathy Collins, learn how valuable choice-time can be for a robust, child-centered classroom.