**UPDATE! I now have a video that walks you through step-by-step use of the Homework Hotspot. Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out the video!
My favorite thing to do all summer is think and plan ways to make next year’s classroom even better than the last. I think my favorite new idea this year is my Homework Hotspot. This is my new homework management system where my students turn their work in every morning. It has been a classroom management dream to have this as opposed to different subject baskets. I can easily see who is missing what, and I have a student whose job it is to be the “Homework Hotspot” checker each morning. Not only does it help me to see who has turned in assignments that day, but also when it’s time to enter grades, all I have to do is grab each paper out of the spot in number order and my student’s papers are in alphabetical order for easy grade entering. No more disorganized papers in baskets. No more shuffling through papers trying to put them in alphabetical order. Also, if I have a no name paper it’s easy to see whose paper it is based on where it falls in my already ABC ordered pile. I also have noticed students looking at their Homework Hotspot number at the end of the day while filling out planners.
I usually give my students some time to start homework at the end of the day and sometimes a few will forget if they have turned in their work already or if they shoved it back into their homework folder. A quick glance to our Homework Hotspot and they can see if their number slot is empty or has their homework paper it in. So, it helps the students stay organized, too! Organized teachers AND organized students?? Yes please!
**UPDATE! I now have a video that walks you through step-by-step use of the Homework Hotspot. Click HERE to check it out!
Filed Under: Classroom Design, Freebie, Management
No homework? No problem!
One Texas teacher is causing a stir with her controversial no-homework policy, which she shared in a letter that has gone viral.
Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher at Godley Elementary School in Godley, Texas, wrote that after “much research over the summer,” students will not be assigned any homework other than any school work that was not finished during the day.
“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” Young wrote in the letter, which was given to parents during a Meet the Teacher night on Aug. 16. “Rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success.”
Samanatha Gallagher, whose 7-year-old daughter, Brooke, is in Young’s class, shared the letter on her Facebook page, in a post that has since been shared more than 70,000 times.
Gallagher tells PEOPLE that she and her husband were “taken back” by the letter, but “in a good way.”
“I think at the age Brooke is, 8 hours of school is enough. While reinforcing what they learn at school is important, the things they learn at home through creative play and family time are equally as important,” Gallagher says.
“This will allow more time in the evening for her to just be a kid,” she continues. “She loves to read and do gymnastics and this will allow more time for those activities.”
And since starting school on Aug. 22, Brooke is loving it as well.
“She is super excited about the policy and absolutely adores Mrs. Young,” Gallagher says. “She says her classroom is a lot of fun!”
For her part, Young says is “blown away by the response” her policy has received.
“I’m excited that we’re having this conversation,” Young, 29, tells PEOPLE. “Every decision I make is in the best interest of our learners.”
Young also says she has the full support of her school’s administration.
“It wasn’t anything I had to seek approval on, I shared my idea with them and they gave me their support,” says Young, who has been a teacher at Godley for 8 years. “The administration trusts its teachers.”
But just because her students aren’t going home with assignments every night, that doesn’t mean they’re totally off the hook.
“They’re excited, but they do understand that not having a homework packet doesn’t mean learning ends when they leave classroom,” she says. “I’m encouraging them to develop new skills and spend time with their families and find something that engages them.
Young also says that she thinks she herself would have benefited as a young student with this policy.
“I think it would have been tremendous, it would have been nice to develop non-academic skills,” she says. “But I don’t think I had nearly as much homework as kids do today.”
And she says she’s received nothing but positive feedback from her students’ families.
“All of my parents have been really enthusiastic and supportive,” she shares. “We’re partners in educating our children.”
Young says she hopes her policy will start a larger conversation about homework in all grades.
“Any homework that’s given just needs to be meaningful. The kids are so busy and they work hard days, and when they go home, they don’t need busy work, let’s just make sure we’re not giving busy work,” she adds.