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Homework Alternative: The Weekly

Updated: Feb 22

To give or not to give? Homework is such a debated topic in the educational space. In my teaching practice, I had to find that middle ground.

The Weekly was the answer.

A weekly is a summary of tasks that students have a week to complete. They receive it on a Monday and it is due that Friday. The weekly best serves learning targets previously taught, as it allows students to demonstrate their independent understanding of material after having had some time to grapple with it. The weekly can reflect the learning targets of that week, however, the teacher would have to make sure that each day goes as planned so that students learn the targets before being asked to demonstrate their understanding of them. Regardless, the purpose of the weekly is to reinforce learning and skills, practice new concepts, and extend learning beyond the classroom.

The weekly saves time and energy for teachers and takes the guesswork out of the homework process. A weekly template and rubric can be established so that the only changes that need to be made are the questions asked. Teachers don’t have to worry about collecting and grading homework at random, and know that on Friday’s, students will be turning it in.

For students, the weekly also provides structure and flexibility. Students know that the weekly is going to cover recent or current skills, and that they will have to demonstrate their understanding of the material. The consistency of the grading rubrics provide them with clear expectations of outcomes. At the same time, students have choice as to when they complete it. It also gives students an opportunity to ask the teacher for help throughout the week if any questions arise.

None of the weekly process is an exact science! It can consist of open-ended questions, multiple choice, can be in any format, and can be of “any amount” that the teacher wants.

The weekly is a framework. The teacher decides what goes on it, how much goes on it, and what it all looks like.

Share the weekly option with your teachers, especially if homework is not always the most productive or useful.

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