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Ask the Teacher

Posted by on Aug. 31, 2014 at 8:33 AM
Max
  • 197 Replies
5 moms liked this

Welcome to Elementary School Kids,

"Ask the Teacher" post!

Ask anything and we will do our best to give you an honest, informative reply. 


I've been teaching elementary school for 17 years. My master's degree is in reading education and I'm certified in Exceptional Student Education, and ESL. I've taught a variety of grades and more kids than I can count. 

If you'd like to check out the hundreds of questions that have already been asked and answered check the old post here and here


by on Aug. 31, 2014 at 8:33 AM
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Replies (1-10):
NeonGirl9583
by Bronze Member on Aug. 31, 2014 at 8:41 AM
Why do teachers give a child 6 hours of homework and about 18 hours worth on the weekend (which is sat to mon here)? My Ds is in 3rd grade and its been like this since kindergarten. My son is smart so he's able to do activities after school still but it wears him out doing that much homework when he has muscle problems and can't even hold a pencil. I end up doing the writing for him half the time. Why don't the teachers just give a kid a break and cute the homework to an hour worth?
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Aug. 31, 2014 at 9:15 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting NeonGirl9583: Why do teachers give a child 6 hours of homework and about 18 hours worth on the weekend (which is sat to mon here)? My Ds is in 3rd grade and its been like this since kindergarten. My son is smart so he's able to do activities after school still but it wears him out doing that much homework when he has muscle problems and can't even hold a pencil. I end up doing the writing for him half the time. Why don't the teachers just give a kid a break and cute the homework to an hour worth?

I don't do that and I don't know any teachers who do. I give one written assignment and expect another 30 minutes of reading and studying each night. Including reading practice there is no way it would take my students anywhere near an hour. 

I will say that I've had parents complain the homework takes hours. But that's not because of the actual assignments, that's the student stalling and being difficult for the parents. When I show the parents how long it takes the student to complete a similar assignment at school they realize the issue isn't really what I give for homework. 

If your son is being given that much work I would document it and speak the teacher and principal about the school policy. That seems very excessive to me. 

NeonGirl9583
by Bronze Member on Aug. 31, 2014 at 9:22 AM
I think the teachers expect too much. My friend (who's son is in 3rd also but a different class) was up until 2 am doing his homework (I think he had football practice or something). Teachers get at school at 6:50 and get off at 6 pm so I know being there for almost 12 hours is hard on them but it seems like they take it out on the kids. My son is in cub scouts and he takes his homework to meetings sometimes (him and another boy are the only 2 from the same school). Other schools give like 20mins of homework. My Ds don't mind reading the 20-30 mins.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting NeonGirl9583: Why do teachers give a child 6 hours of homework and about 18 hours worth on the weekend (which is sat to mon here)? My Ds is in 3rd grade and its been like this since kindergarten. My son is smart so he's able to do activities after school still but it wears him out doing that much homework when he has muscle problems and can't even hold a pencil. I end up doing the writing for him half the time. Why don't the teachers just give a kid a break and cute the homework to an hour worth?

I don't do that and I don't know any teachers who do. I give one written assignment and expect another 30 minutes of reading and studying each night. Including reading practice there is no way it would take my students anywhere near an hour. 

I will say that I've had parents complain the homework takes hours. But that's not because of the actual assignments, that's the student stalling and being difficult for the parents. When I show the parents how long it takes the student to complete a similar assignment at school they realize the issue isn't really what I give for homework. 

If your son is being given that much work I would document it and speak the teacher and principal about the school policy. That seems very excessive to me. 

KChinapps
by New Member on Aug. 31, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I was wondering how does this new(ish) Common Core State Standards (NY) affect kindergarten? I was wondering what is different and how it is having a negative affect on children beause kindergarten is the new first grade. I hear they're doing more math and reading now in kindergarten, what is that like? I heard that they aren't doing nap time anymore, which I didn't even know was new because I didn't have nap time in kindergarten 20 years ago. Thanks!

t1gger143
by Member on Sep. 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM
How long do you take for assessment? Ds seems to be doing not much of anything 2 weeks in. He brings home stuff he could do in his sleep. I'm also getting concerned that his teacher hasn't figured out that he's in the second grade. She sent him home with sight words that are way too low, his 1st grade words were harder. He's in special ed, so he's in a room of 1st- 6th graders.
Teaching high school is way different than elementary school.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Sep. 1, 2014 at 10:00 PM


Quoting t1gger143: How long do you take for assessment? Ds seems to be doing not much of anything 2 weeks in. He brings home stuff he could do in his sleep. I'm also getting concerned that his teacher hasn't figured out that he's in the second grade. She sent him home with sight words that are way too low, his 1st grade words were harder. He's in special ed, so he's in a room of 1st- 6th graders. Teaching high school is way different than elementary school.

I start off very slowly the first few weeks. My focus is on assessing the students and building a community. I want their first experiences to be good ones. The third and fourth weeks are when we really ramp up the academics. 

The younger kids need more time to get used to being back in school. And you have to be more flexible with the pace to meet their needs.  I wouldn't worry yet. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Sep. 1, 2014 at 10:03 PM


Quoting KChinapps:

I was wondering how does this new(ish) Common Core State Standards (NY) affect kindergarten? I was wondering what is different and how it is having a negative affect on children beause kindergarten is the new first grade. I hear they're doing more math and reading now in kindergarten, what is that like? I heard that they aren't doing nap time anymore, which I didn't even know was new because I didn't have nap time in kindergarten 20 years ago. Thanks!

It really depends on the old standards they are replacing and what kind of curriculum your school is using. 

My son just finished Kindergarten and honestly the math work could have been harder. He was ready to do more. Reading didn't seem all that different than what was expected before. The most obvious difference is K is that students are being asked to talk more about their learning. The Common Core standards for K are not at all difficult.

Nap time has nothing to do with Common Core. Our schools have never done naps in K. 

t1gger143
by Member on Sep. 1, 2014 at 11:27 PM
Thank you. I feel better now. In high school they get 2-3 days to be assessed and then we are back full force. I brought home 6 hours worth of grading this weekend.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Quoting t1gger143: How long do you take for assessment? Ds seems to be doing not much of anything 2 weeks in. He brings home stuff he could do in his sleep. I'm also getting concerned that his teacher hasn't figured out that he's in the second grade. She sent him home with sight words that are way too low, his 1st grade words were harder. He's in special ed, so he's in a room of 1st- 6th graders.
Teaching high school is way different than elementary school.

I start off very slowly the first few weeks. My focus is on assessing the students and building a community. I want their first experiences to be good ones. The third and fourth weeks are when we really ramp up the academics. 

The younger kids need more time to get used to being back in school. And you have to be more flexible with the pace to meet their needs.  I wouldn't worry yet. 

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Sep. 2, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Have you or has your district administered the Smarter Balanced assessment in elementary school? If you've seen it in action, what is your opinion of this assessment as an educator?

Just genuinely curious. It is being rolled out in my state this year, but I know several other states have administered it in years previous. I'm hearing a very negative reaction from teacher friends here. That said, none of them have actually administered the test.

I don't really love the trend of computerized/standardized testing dictating so much of how the school day is structured. But I have often appreciated the perspective the educators bring to this group on hot button issues like changing standards, challenging students appropriately, etc. So I'm wondering if this is something you've seen, and what you would say about it.
sarah427
by Member on Sep. 5, 2014 at 10:24 AM
My son came home with a D on a test. The instructions said for him to read the article on the page and answer the questions that followed. There were only a few questions, so the point value was high. He answered with exactly the info within the article, and he answered with a full sentence. He had -3 on his answers for " no evidence". He was provided one short article, answered according to the info provided in the article, and there's no sources for facts listed within the article. So how could he provide evidence, without just making it up entirely?
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