No HW assignments for 2016? Can it be done?

I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer reflecting on my best practices for teaching. I’ve been seeing all these apps that do students homework (see blog post below) and thinking about how much copying transpires amongst students and I’m debating – just hear me out – assigning NO homework for the upcoming school year. Now I teach history to high school juniors and seniors in AP (Advanced Placement courses) which I know are traditionally rigorous and the bane of most students homework woes BUT what if instead of assigning them textbook readings and excerpts from historical books to read out of the classroom – I assigned them healthy tasks to do.

Students should go outside and play baseball, volunteer at a homeless shelter, babysit their sibling, hold a door open. Would they become better more AWARE people by the end of the year? Would their test scores be the same anyway?

I’d love to hear from YOU. Would you try this in your classroom? Have you ever tried this before?  In Finland they engage in this practice but its hard to find out HOW.

Should we force our students to enjoy their adolescence instead of spending their days inside under high anxiety and stress? I say, no homework for you.


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3 thoughts on “No HW assignments for 2016? Can it be done?

  1. I have!!! And it works! I give my students a bingo sheet and they chose fun things to do outside of the classroom in the target language (French) that I teach.

    1. We agree! It’s so freeing to have them go outside and do something instead of reading a textbook all night. This year I have tried to assign them to “pay it forward” HW which they loved . They had to give up their seat on the train/bus to someone in need, hold a door open, or volunteer etc. They really found meaning in helping someone besides themselves especially when they were stressed out throughout the year. It also gave them some control when they felt the world was spiraling out of control. So glad you have found joy in this activity!

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