Where my boys still had to hand in each night's work the following day, I gave my students the freedom to plan out their weeks and the packet was due on Friday. While well intentioned, and while most parents loved it, they weren't ready for it. I hadn't scaffolded the time-management planning well enough, and what I ended up with was a lot of poor quality homework, done at the last minute. While some handled it well and appreciated the ability to decide what to do when, depending upon their other after school commitments, most procrastinated. I also found myself with 23 packets of work to correct every weekend, instead of doing a little each day--exactly what I didn't want them to do! Finally, it didn't allow for quick feedback--so important for them.
I nixed the packets and went to nightly assignments again, but I think my current kiddos are ready for packets version 2. This time, the plan is:
- The Homework Packet goes home on Monday with a weekly schedule as a cover sheet.
- The packet will have notes regarding any particular issues for the week (long term assignments, holidays, for example).
- Homework is due the next day, as it would be if assigned daily.
- Feedback is critical--I have to correct daily if I want the homework to have any meaning.
Here's this week's cover sheet: