Homework doesn't mean good practice if it implies practice at all. Typically it's a magnificent drudgery of epic proportions no student or parent wishes to tackle while it's one the teacher wishes not to grade.
Why it's dumb to grade homework:
- It's practice which means it's formative which means any data should be used to guide instruction.
- It's done in a space where a teacher can't facilitate learning.
- It's skill specific which means practice is done in isolation.
- There's no larger context of learning.
- It's passive vs. active.
- Students don't benefit from it.
- Grading homework perpetuates school as a game and not as learning.
Alternatives to homework:
- Give entrance tickets or exit tickets using Kahoot!, Plickers, Mentimeter, or use a district wide or school learning management system.
- Make homework part of an ongoing larger project.
- Let students design their own practice work.
- Students peer assess each other before class starts and help each other understand their mistakes.
- Write what they learned on a particular day about a learning target. This could be a blog post, completed on Padlet, posted on Twitter, a class Facebook page, or as a comment on a teacher blog.
If you've decided not to give homework to students, why not?