“Non-traditional” homework in third grade

Why do we give “non-traditional” homework in third grade? 

Our goal is to make sure that student learning outside of school is enriching and that our students have opportunities to pursue their own interests. We think that homework should allow students to deepen their understanding as they delve into subjects that are of interest to them.

What is “non-traditional” homework?

Our “non-traditional” homework works on a four-week cycle.

  • Week one: students choose a topic that interests them. Sometimes these are connected to a specific theme for the class and sometimes the choice is entirely up to the student with teacher guidance.
  • Week two: students gather resources and do research. Students present at least five facts that they’ve learned and learn how to create a bibliography with proper citations.
  • Week three: students work on physical presentations of their subject in the form of a poster board, a video, a powerpoint, a 3-d model or a demonstration.
  • Week four: students practice and then deliver their presentations to their class. this is a time for students to share their new knowledge with the rest of the class, which has practiced being an engaged audience. Being an engaged audience means that peers may ask questions and give feedback to the presenter.

Here are some examples: