About Ginny Hoover...
Ginny Hoover took an early retirement after 31 years of teaching in Kansas public schools. Her experience spans the 5th through 8th grades. During the last ten years she has functioned as a trainer of teachers in a variety of areas in her district, surrounding districts, professional organizations, and teacher service centers. At the state level Ginny is a state trainer and a writing assessment grader for the KS State Writing Assessment (based on the Six Traits Writing Model), a member of the Kansas Social Studies Committee for writing the social studies standards, benchmarks, and indicators, and the lead trainer for the state in government and civics.
Recently, Teacher TimeSavers has published a variety teaching units and tutoring hookups that Ginny wrote and designed. These include a literary unit for Taming the Star Runner, Hookups for Language Arts, Transcripts of Trials for Goldilocks, The Wolf, and Mr. Dad, and Tactile/Kinesthetic Activity Patterns.
The Gifts of Children by Hoover and Carroll Killingsworth, a book about recognizing, acknowledging, and refining the gifts of children, is scheduled to be published some time this year. Visit Teachers Helping Children--The Gifts Project for additional information.
Ginny's Eclectic Middle School pages
The Gifts of All Children
by Carroll Killingsworth and Ginny Hoover
The Eclectic Teacher|
by Ginny Hoover
There has been some controversy about the value of homework on the Teachers.Net chatboards. Let me offer one person's opinion. From those discussions it is SOOOOO evident that teachers themselves have had different experiences. Of course, it is important to consider more than just skills and ability. If it must be given . . .
- Judge the value of the work---How will it help the student? Does it meet the needs of the curriculum?
- Carefully estimate the time required---keep in mind your slowest moving students and make adjustments for them
- Assign homework only when appropriate---not just to fulfill a time requirement
- If time allotment or difficulty is misjudged provide an opt out without embarrassment
- Don't mandate parent involvement---it assumes too much
- Homework as a minor factor in the grade
I've had children in my classroom who were totally responsible for their families. Upon returning home from school, these children cleaned house, helped their brothers and sisters with their homework, prepared supper, and put their younger siblings to bed. Some came from single parent families, others from parents working the B and C shifts (which means they were at work when the children came home from school or asleep after their night shift). It was important to think ahead when signatures were required as some only had "speaking" contacts with their parents on the weekends. In addition, most of these children were also functioning in homes where English was the second language and parents could have offered very little help even if they had been there. Giving these children the extra workload of homework was unthinkable. Instead, we designed tutorial classes for them that provided support in learning the information presented in class. The support was provided in non-traditional ways…hands on learning materials.
But then I don't believe in children being made to miss class trips, class parties, music, physical education, or recess. Children most often required to stay in for recess, etc. are those who need the exercise/break the most. Some recent research agrees with my instincts saying that homework in the elementary does much to destroy the child's love of school. Don't get me wrong; I'm not against homework, just excessive homework. I believe time must be reserved for the family to have time together without homework being the dominating factor. Check out http://www.brains.org/hottopics.htm for some current research information on homework.
Visit Ginny's Educational WebPages!
Ginny Hoover is a frequent contributor to the Teachers.Net Gazette. Other articles written by her are;