I have written before about being anti-homework and I need to clarify this. I don't grade homework. I don't make it mandatory. My students know all of this. However, I believe that learning should continue throughout the day. Therefore, I have my students use the following approach to homework:
1. It is not optional. If you are too busy with extracurricular activities, I understand. If your family requires you to babysit, that's fine as well. I'll give you some class time to keep a journal about your sports or your babysitting time and you can consider these activities a part of your homework. I might ask you to keep a log of what you are doing or a short journal where you write a few paragraphs as a reflection, but I will be respectful of your personal time.
2. It is not graded. I'm not going to punish you or reward you for homework.
3. It is open: Homework is a chance for you to extend the learning from school into your life and from your life into the classroom. I would love to have you bring in your work and share it with the classroom community somehow. I'd love to have it on our website and allow you to do in-class activities based upon what you worked on at home.
3. It is assessed: I will provide feedback on any homework you provide: If you do a drawing and want some help with shading or perspective, I'll meet with you and help you. If you do a video and want help editing it, I'm here as well. If you are choosing to do community service for homework, I will give you a chance to do a reflection and I will leave a comment on it. If it's writing you are choosing, I'll edit it.
4. It is not time-bound: I do not need you to do one assignment per week. If you want to write a book over the course of a year or do a History Day project or Science Fair, these are all great options. Run with them. I support your decision to think long-term. If you'd rather go short-term, that's fine as well.
5. Technology is optional: If you have access to a computer at home, I fully support a tech-integrated project. If you don't, that's okay as well. You won't be punished or rewarded for what gadgets you own.