June 2009
Vol 6 No 6

Current Issue » Cover Page Cover Story Harry & Rosemary Wong Columns Articles Features
Back Issues
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.6 June 2009

Cover Story by Graysen Walles
Teaching – The Power of Influence
The impact of teaching is clear, and the influence of the profession is immeasurable. All it takes is one moment, one situation, one discussion to turn the life of a young learner.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Nine Year Summary of Articles, 2000 to 2009
On April 26, 2009, President Obama hosted the four 2009 finalists for America’s top national teaching honor, the National Teacher of the Year award. Alex Kajitani, who teaches mathematics at Mission Middle School in the Escondido Union (Elementary) School District in San Diego County was one of the four finalists.

»The Three R’s for Summer— Rest, Relax and Recharge! Sue Gruber
»Buddy Programs for Elementary Schools Leah Davies
»Moving to September Todd R. Nelson
»Ronald Reagan and the Art of Influence Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Substitute issues: Bathroom Passes & Anger Management Barbara Pressman
»Preparing Students for Travel: Films and Immunizations Josette Bonafino
»A Message to Share with Parents about Summer Learning Dorothy Rich
»Classroom Clean-Up and Clay in a Can Rick Morris

»Schools and Filters: Ice Age, the Meltdown Matt Levinson
»Effort: It Can be Taught! Deborah Granger
»Homework: Damned if you do, and if you don’t Alan Haskvitz
»Parents Are Recruits, Teachers Are Responsible, Kids Are Victims, and Schools Are Culpable For At-Risk Problems Bill Page
»12 Ways to Stop Conflict in its Tracks! Susan Fitzell
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VIII Hank Kellner
»The Writing on the Wall Tim Newlin
»More Brain Teasers Steve Sherman
»Teacher of Facts - and of Life Rachelle Ann A. Abad
»Grant Writing Tips Kimberly McCloud
»Bald is Beautiful! Teachers, Students Lose Locks to Fight Childhood Cancer David Peter Marchesseault

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Video Bytes; Literacy Empowers (Illiteracy Awareness), The Underground Railroad, Wikis in Plain English - CommonCraft tutorial, Twitter in Plain English – a CommonCraft tutorial, Naturally 7 music group on Tavis Smiley Show, Tour the International Space Station!
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Printable - Ice Cream in a Baggie Recipe
»Featured Lessons, Wisdom from the Chat Achives, and Timely Printables Especially for June!
»What Is A Document Camera? What Does It Do?
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Graysen Walles

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Graysen Walles, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Dorothy Rich, Rick Morris, Matt Levinson, Deborah Granger, Alan Haskvitz, Bill Page, Susan Fitzell, Hank Kellner, Tim Newlin, Steve Sherman, Rachelle Ann A. Abad, Kimberly McCloud, David Peter Marchesseault, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, and BattleShip Ron.

Submissions: click for Submission Guidelines

Advertising: contact Bob Reap

Subscribe for free home delivery

Alan Haskvitz

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Homework: Damned if you do, and if you don’t

About one of the most controversial issues in education… what’s a teacher to do?
by National Hall of Fame Educator
Alan Haskvitz
Continued from page 1
June 1, 2009

Research suggests that the more parental support, the higher the standardized test scores and that support does not consist of doing the homework for the child, but letting the youth learn self-reliance. A youth who develops the habit of doing homework first and playing afterward is learning to make an important decision in terms of time management. Homework is not a punishment, but a means to an end. The youth who does not see that connection will use a variety of tactics to avoid it. This includes being too tired, sick, or “not understanding” the homework. It is can difficult for a parent to muster the pluck to insist that the work be completed versus reverting to a mothering position.

It is mindless to have a formula for the amount of homework by grade level. It simply depends on the curriculum being covered and the need for remediation. The rule of thumb should be that the homework assigned reflects the maturity of the student and their attention span.

Everything from reading and taking notes to creating castles to Internet research are all lumped into the homework category. That is why homework has drawn flies from all types of researchers and others who want to put an objective stamp on this fluid subject. Even brain research about the maturation of a child’s thinking process has been used to defend positions in the homework battle. The problem is that some research does not measure favorable results. For example, homework completion frequency has been shown to correlate with a student's grades achievement. It may also help forge a connection between school and home (O'Rourke-Ferrara, 1998).

Sadly, despite all the brouhaha about homework, I failed to find any research that homework has a negative effect upon a child’s success. Yes, some families rightly point out that it is hurting their family togetherness and that some youngsters don’t have parents that can help them, but where is the research that shows it impedes a child’s future? (article: Homework hurts, but hurting helps homework)

Furthermore, the completion of homework creates in the child an intrinsic reward and these types of rewards have shown to be far more beneficial than extrinsic ones. Alfie Kohn in his Punished by Rewards, lays out arguments against extrinsic rewards as they fail to produce any long term learning commitments. In other words, correctly doing a homework assignment helps build confidence and self-respect.

Of course, none of this really helps the teacher when confronted with the decision to give homework that is based on the educator’s years of training, education, and instincts. Experienced teachers know full well that assigning homework creates more work for them and yet they clearly see the value in helping a student become better prepared for the next day and for life. And that should be the ultimate goal of every educator.

Homework Help Sites

Enhancing your child's success in school: homework help

Helping Your Students with Homework: A Guide for Teachers

Increasing Student Engagement and Motivation: From Time-on-Task to Homework

Hints for new teachers about homework

NEA Summary

» More Gazette articles...

About Alan Haskvitz...

Alan Haskvitz teaches at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., and makes staff development presentations nationwide. In addition, he serves as an audio-visual evaluator and design consultant for his county department of education; a tutor to multi-cultural students in English and art; and an Internet consultant.

Haskvitz's career spans more than 20 years. He has taught every grade level and core subject, has been recognized repeatedly for innovative teaching and has received the following honors, among many:

  • USA Today All Star Teacher
  • 100 Most Influential Educators
  • Reader's Digest Hero in Education
  • Learning Magazine's Professional Best
  • National Middle Level Teacher of the Year
  • National Exemplary Teacher
  • Christa McAuliffe National Award
  • Robert Cherry International Award for Great Teachers
In addition, Haskvitz publishes articles on successful educational practices and speaks at conferences. He has served on seven national committees and boards.

Haskvitz maintains credentials and training in special and gifted education, history, administration, bilingual education, journalism, English, social studies, art, business, computers, museumology and Asian studies. He holds these credentials for Canada, New York and California. His experience also includes staff development, gifted curriculum design, administration, community relations and motivation. His background includes 10 years of university education.

As a teacher, Haskvitz's curriculum increased CAP/CLAS test scores from the 22nd percentile to the 94th percentile, the largest gain in California history. In addition, Haskvitz and his students work continuously to improve their school and community. His students' work is often selected for awards in competitions in several subject areas. For more details about Alan and his students' work, visit his page on the Educational Cyber Playground.

Haskvitz works tirelessly to improve and advance his profession, which is why he developed Reach Every Child.

Alan Haskvitz Articles on Teachers.Net...
Related Resources & Discussions on Teachers.Net...