Day 98 (of 184) Why I don’t send homework on vacations.
If you can keep up with the class with a series of handouts and readings….I’m not doing a good job in the classroom.
That’s the nuts and bolts of my rationale for not sending home a week+ of ‘work’ for a student going away.
I have moved far away from textbooks and worksheets in math. They didn’t support my curiosity of math as a youth not anyone else’s I knew – math geeks emerged because of the teachers & internal curiosity not because of a colourful textbook.
My science and socials are emerging as much more experimental and ‘as relevant’ – a salt & sugar project started last year: I dumped a bunch of salt and sugar into different jars and challenged students to get me the powders back – is almost at an end (evaporation works wonders) and we are rediscovering mapping as a way to discover countries of the world as related to the Winter Olympics.
Yet my class has a big focus on student directed learning (a principal I am walking the walk I want others to try) via #geniushour and SOLEs (Self Organized Learning Environments). Even my Recreational Mathematics has student ownership as part of its ‘delivery’.
What can students do while absent? Reading is good. Writing too. Follow the class via twitter (I always post our Rec Math & SOLE queries via @sorrento83 ). And working at home on genius hour work (I differentiated working at home and homework as I’m a fan of one and work against the other).
When asked, will the child be behind the class when they return, the answer is likely ‘yes’. But as I’m not sure how (or if) I could replicate or predict what will happen in my classroom while an individual child is away…..I feel more confident in having some gaps to work on upon return if the family feels that a prolonged absence is needed.
The classroom experience should be something special and not something that can be duplicated while a student is away. That is why I feel regular consistent attendance is vital for long term academic success. Enjoy being away – whatever the reason – and be ready to do some learning upon the return!