UAS Secondary School Homework Guidelines

The Uruguayan American School Secondary School Homework Guidelines are built on the following premises:

  1. Reasonable and relevant homework provides reinforcement, application, and enrichment of what is taught in class, and contributes positively to student learning.
  2. An excessive amount of homework diminishes its effectiveness and is counterproductive to learning.
  3. Effective homework practices allow students and their families to establish a healthy balance between commitments in school, after school and at home.
  4. Ensuring that time spent on homework is productive is a responsibility shared by students, teachers, administrators and parents.

“Homework” refers to a variety of activities but generally means work to be completed outside of class. Examples of homework include:

  • Completing sets of math exercises
  • Working on physics or chemistry problems
  • Reviewing notes after class or preparing for a test, quiz or presentation
  • Completing unfinished class work
  • Writing (e.g., an essay on a topic similar to one studied in class, a laboratory report, a drama or PE journal, projects)
  • Reading (e.g., class novels, textbooks, newspapers or magazines)
  • Researching (e.g., collecting materials or specimens, conducting online searches for sources, contacting a source of information)
  • Observing (e.g., T.V. news, newspapers, online video, sporting events)

The length and complexity of homework assignments should be appropriate to the age and developmental needs of the student as well as to the subject being studied. As students advance through school, the amount of homework expected of them usually increases. The UAS homework guidelines loosely follow the “10-minute rule”, which states that the combination of all daily homework assignments should take about as long to complete as 10 minutes multiplied by the student’s grade level. Therefore, teachers should use the following parameters when assigning homework:

Minutes per day

Minutes per day/class

Total per week*

Minutes per week/class**

Grade 6

60

12

6 hrs.

60

Grade 7

70

14

7 hrs.

70

Grade 8

80

16

8 hrs.

80

Grade 9

90

18

9 hrs.

90

Grade 10

120

24

10 hrs.

120

IB SL & HL

Based on a full IB diploma, students in grades 11 and 12 students should expect to spend an average of approximately 3 hours per night, or 15 – 20 hours per week* on IB course homework***.

* The school week is 5 days. The weekend (with homework due on Monday) counts as 1 day. A full homework week is therefore 6 days.

** Assumes that students in grades 6-10 have 5 academic classes per week.

*** During certain times, such as IB internal assessments, students may need to exceed the recommended homework time. This should be the exception rather than the norm.

 

Homework Responsibilities

Students’ responsibilities:

  • Record all assignments for all classes.
  • Ask for help if the assignment is not clear.
  • Set a time each day to do homework.
  • Select a quiet place, free of distractions.
  • Create a daily homework schedule that includes time for both long-range and short-range assignments.
  • Check work and, if possible, explain it to an adult.
  • Maintain the highest quality work on homework assignments.
  • Do your own homework.
  • Take home all necessary resources, such as textbooks, notes, and study guides.
  • Submit completed homework to your teacher when it is due according to his or her instructions.
  • Complete assignments missed when absent from school.
  • Make necessary corrections on the returned homework and share the teacher’s evaluation of homework assignments with parents.
  • Understand that time spent on social media sites (e.g., Facebook), or time spent texting, chatting, surfing the web, etc., does not count toward time spent on homework.
  • Understand that assessment activities that have been announced well in advance, a test for example, may require additional preparation time in addition to regular homework time.

Teachers’ Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that homework assignments are high quality tasks that can be completed independently by the student.
  • Follow the guidelines for the amount of time designated for homework, including special projects (see chart above).
  • Communicate homework assignments to students before they leave class. Allow time for students to record the assignment.
  • Post homework assignments on your teacher website no later than 4:00pm of the day the homework is assigned.
  • Periodically monitor student progress on long-range projects and assignments.
  • Differentiate homework assignments to fit individual needs. Homework may be differentiated by length, by difficulty, or by the specific concepts students need help understanding. Homework may need to be differentiated for students with specific learning needs or a significant ELL background.
  • Provide feedback on homework in a timely manner.
  • Notify parents as soon as possible about homework problems and about repeated missing assignments.
  • Recognize the need for balance among the many learning activities besides homework in students’ lives.

Parents’ Responsibilities:

  • Provide structure, a site free of distractions, and tools needed to help the child organize and complete homework.
  • Help your child create a daily homework schedule that includes time for both long-range and short-range assignments.
  • Provide support and encourage good study habits.
  • Be available to provide supervision and support, but do not do the assignment.
  • Review and discuss completed assignments.
  • Monitor the completion of all homework and review corrected homework returned by the teacher.
  • Check teacher websites for homework assignments and check PowerSchool for grades.
  • Communicate often with your child and his or her teacher, giving feedback to the teacher when there is a homework concern.
  • Help your child establish a realistic balance between academic and non-academic activities.

Administrators’ responsibilities:

  • Ensure that homework is consistent with the UAS educational goals.
  • Facilitate communication between the school and home.
  • Monitor and support teachers in the implementation of homework guidelines.
  • Encourage teachers to use homework as a tool to reinforce learning.
  • Be aware of the assignment of major projects and their impact on students’ overall educational program.
  • Support the need for balance among the many learning activities besides homework in students’ lives.
 
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