When I was in elementary school, homework was mostly photocopied dittos. These “skill and drill” worksheets were tedious, boring, and were easily completed on the bus ride to school. In my opinion, the classroom is the place where practicing skills is most beneficial, where the teacher can provide targeted instruction, and the community can provide expert feedback. The home provides a more comfortable, less formal learning environment that allows children to take manageable risks as they follow their interests. Nontraditional homework harnesses the benefits of learning from home, and flips the traditional model of homework that I grew up with.
In Thirdgradia this week we just had our second round of presentations, and each of them was rigorously researched, intentionally crafted, and passionately delivered. For the first round, children were limited to people (fictional or real) and their chosen topics encompassed a broad range of personalities. Although all presentations incorporated a poster board, each student’s personal style was on full display.
I was genuinely moved by the hard work evidenced by these presentations. I look forward to seeing the rest of the community present, and you can look forward to another blog post soon to document their efforts.