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any ideas for literacy homeworks which require no marking from me?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by anon63, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. I teach in year 6 and we set weekly maths and literacy homework. In maths I've got it sussed, three way differentiated worksheets - I go through an example of each level and then the following week the children swap sheets and we mark them, discuss strategies and clear up any issues. Problem solved. Parents happy, children happy, me happy.
    Literacy is a different kettle of fish though :-( I really do not want to have to spend my time marking literacy homework on top of all the class marking I do. I don't want my marking scrutinised by parents and many other reasons why I don't want me or my team to spend time marking 32 literacy homeworks a week. Have any of you solved this problem on a weekly basis? (I can think of one-off things that don't require marking - a presentation, research etc. but not a regular routine that works for everyone.)
  2. man501

    man501 New commenter

    I was in one school which did 'discussion' homeworks where children discussed good words, sentences, text types with family members and made notes then were allowed to use their notes when they did their work during the week related to the homework.
    e.g. Say your doing adventure stories a discussion homework would be set to consider words to create suspense and adverbs that could be useful. When they write their stories or plan them they pull out their notes - written on the homework sheet and use them. Thus the homework involving parents, being useful while not requiring marking.
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    We do talk homework for Big Writing but only half the children ever actually do it and some parents cannot be persuaded that it's 'real' work, so it doesn't get done. That's no reason to abandon it, of course.

  4. Reding journals? To go alongside watever the children are reading, they can write reviews, an extra chapter, draw comic strips etc etc. It can be something that they hand in 1/2 termly, pair share or present to the class.
  5. I think parents, SLT, Governors and OFSTED will expect to be able to inspect your pupils homework books and observe that you have marked it effectively - with appropriate comments/praise etc - as well as revised what and possibly how you teach based on work which the children have done.
    However, you can set some literacy homework which is quick and easy to mark including that based around vocabulary and comprehension. For any subject but especially writing, how can you know if pupils are achieving their individual targets if you don't look at the work they produce at home?
  6. I am SLT and we don't inspect homework books and neither do the governors and OfSTED have never asked to see any homework either. Glad I don't work in your school!

    We do 'big writing' once a week and also a 'before' and 'after' cold piece for each literacy unit, these let us know if they are meeting their targets.

    I like the idea of a reading journal type thing. Or maybe a longer term project on another area of the curriculum which they present once a term/half term maybe. This could take the form of a powerpoint with accompanying talk. Good idea.
  7. Give them websites to go to with activities that self-mark. Better still, set up a class blog with lots of links to websites and other resources to look at. Here's mine: http://year6moscow.wordpress.com/
  8. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    How can you by looking at the work they do at home? How do you know their parents didn't help? OFSTED didn't ask to look at any of our homework books. Good thing I suppose as we don't have any this year.
  9. I totally agree about "inspecting". It is not part of a Governor's job to "inspect" anything and I have never known Ofsted inspectors make an issue of it - it is not, after all, compulsory. We would be very pleased if many of our parents showed the slightest interest in their child's homework, leave alone inspect it.
  10. ginawina

    ginawina New commenter

    That is absolutely ridiculous!!!!! At my twice outstanding school we never mark homework. The children work so hard during the week that any homework set is simply a continuation of what we've done that week, we're hardly going to teach them anything new, so why mark and assess it?! Don't know about you but after 3+ hours marking lit and num the last thing I want to do is mark another two sets of work. Obviously I'll look at it, but there's no way I'm going to waste time marking it properly and nor am I expected to. Never heard anything like it!!!
  11. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Astonished at the idea you'd assess a child's progress based on homework - homework is often the result of very hard work by the parents, not the child!
    I'd go along the lines of what others have said but also say just reading! A lot of children this age aren't reading much outside school. I'd ask them to make some kind of record of their reading session so you can check up on them - you could use reading journals as others have suggested or simply ask them to keep a reading diary with dates, what they've read and a short comment on what they thought about it.
    As you do a Big Write every week, also some planning for their Big Write as homework - just do this in some kind of rough book and obviously you can justify not marking it because you'll mark the Big Write itself.
  12. I wish I worked in a school where 'many Y6 pupils read silently at home' I'd say 50% of mine never read. This infuriates me. I believe parents have children and should love, feed, clothe them and help them to learn to read!
  13. manic28

    manic28 New commenter

    I just do a Maths, English and Spellings sheet. Go out on a Friday, Returned on a Monday. Promply cross-marked and then recycled (discretely). There is NO WAY as a Y5 teacher I can find the time to sit and mark 3 lots of homework as well as everything else.
  14. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I have just explored some of the learning logs........do they work in inner city schools and with large numbers on low ability children and EL2 kids?
    I can understand them working with some children ,and particularly where parents are involved with thier children's learning.....but in many cases just to get a homework back is a triumph...and i always mark mine and reward them for effort
    I see no point in settig work you dont intend to value or mark.... and the kids soon suss out that you dont value it!
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Well I work in such a school, ok quite a good and small city so not with the problems some people face, and it has been fabulous for us.
    Most of my year 6 are low level 3 high level 2 children for writing and not much more for reading. About 40% do not have English as their first language and some speak very little English at all.

    The beauty is the children want to do them and so I almost never have to chase children for homework or hassle them about it. Yes I do still get a very wide range of effort and outcomes, but hey the homework is generally done, there are still one or two who never do any, but I don't stress about those. And for the first time in 14 years I look forward to looking at the homework each week. Takes me about 15 mins to mark the lot and the logs are starting to look fab, albeit a little messy with all kinds of things glued in.

    Oh and do remember that people only put their very best logs on the web. Most children's are not quite at that high standard.
  16. I was getting fed up of pushy parents asking for more homework ('well what is my son supposed to do in the evening if he has finished his homework in half an hour?'), and just started looking at some of the research about the benefits/disadvantages. Not enough proper research has been done but the general conclusion is that at primary level there is no link between achievement and homework, and in many cases, it could be negative (children who don't yet have independent study skills; fights about it; intrusion on precious family time; lower ability children spending disproportionately longer).But teachers, parents and schools have got into the habit of thinking it is a 'good thing'. I would can it altogether.
    BTW I use Nelson spelling worksheets, differentiated 3 ways. They don't do anyone much good, but certainly don't do my marking box much harm. Keeps the parents quiet and because they are on paper, you can throw them away from time to time when it all gets too much!
  17. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    How do you find the responses of EL2 parents...did you use a translateor to explain or hold a meeting for the parents?
    i assuume the kids dont just do their own thing but yu direct them to the areas you would like them to cover?
    i am interested but as long term supply i have to think for the class teacher of sick...and not setin place things she may not want continued.
  18. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    We, both year 6 teachers use learning logs, had a meeting for parents at the start of the autumn term. One of the many things we talked about was learning logs as homework. All parents who mentioned homework at the December parents' eve were positive about them.

    We didn't do anything special for any parents, just set homework and explained it to the children and left them to it. The homework is slightly differentiated, so all children can access manage what is set. If parents want to get involved then fab, if not then the children can do it themselves.

    We set things like:
    Short: Create a WANTED poster for the fox.
    Long: Convince me of your view on whether the fox should be captured.

    Short: Let me know about 5 different recognisable 3D shapes from your house.
    Long: Make a model from a variety (at least 5) recognisable 3D shapes

    We do a short and long task so those without much time that week can do the short one and those whose interest is captured can make as much of the long one as they wish. The children can answer in any format they wish. Draw, computer, writing, making, photographs, whatever they decide.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    thank you for your reply.ill consider that ..i like the idea but its not my school....and i would think many of the other teachers might be opposed or disinterested.
  20. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    No reason for them to object, unless you share a year group then maybe.

    You could refrain from using the term 'learning log' and just give the children more creative homeworks. If you are responsible for setting the homework while you are there, then you have a responsibility to set the most useful you can. If you believe that to be learning log creative style then do that.

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