First, lets review the research. (I know, maybe not the most thrilling reading in the world, but I'll make it short and sweet. And . . . while maybe not thrilling, it is so important to make sure that what we are doing with our precious time will bear the fruit of learning!)
The research is actually pretty clear. Students gain very little when they do homework. Actually, according to a meta study by Hattie (1992) that reviewed 110 experiments on homework, it only raised achievement by 1%. So, there are better ways for you to be spending your time.
How much time do you spend making and grading homework? I suggest that you create a simple template that you can use over and over.
What does raise achievement?
- Teaching students summarizing strategies and having them write summaries also raises achievement by 35%.
- Reinforcing effort raises achievement by 20%.
- (All of the statistics were taken from Classroom Instruction that Works.)
For my readings, I recommend short non-fiction passages. There are many great books out there. One I really like are the Teacher Created Resources Daily Warm-Ups. Of course, you can use any resource you want. What I like about these books?
- There is one reading for each day of the year.
- There is both a non-fiction and mixed non-fiction/fiction book.
- They have a reading level index at the back.
- The topics are all interesting! (according to me and my students that is)
- It is very little prep time for me, but gives high returns for my students.