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Homework: The Curiosity Project

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Overview Homework is a quintessential part of a student’s expectation of school. Homework can vary in length, task, and difficulty level. A student’s motivation to complete homework can be purely self driven, but parents and teachers can also contribute t a student’s desire to complete their assignment. (Van Voorhis, 2011, p. 220). Project based homework, such as The Curiosity Project, can help students stay motivated with homework completion by having clearly defined roles for students, parents, and teachers. This can help create a strong home school connection and avoid the typical stress that comes with homework.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to increase participation in weekly science homework by implementing
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One grandmother recalled, “That one homework where we went out and observed the night sky, that was the best homework because it not only taught my granddaughter something, it also created memories for us,” (Belk, personal communication, October 14, 2016). With an interest in projects and working as a family to complete homework assignments, shifting homework from a nightly extension to what was taught in the classroom to project based learning would potentially increase the completion of science homework.
Research Questions

In order to promote participation in weekly homework, it is beneficial to reevaluate the current homework implementation. Transitioning homework into a more project based experience that is a collaborative experience for both student and their families will make homework more enjoyable and motivating. Questions considered will include:
1. Does a decrease in nightly homework increase weekly homework completion?
2. Will in class discussions and explanations of homework allow for more students completing tasks?
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There are seventy-one students in first grade. Twelve identified as African American and fifty-nine students refrained from providing race and ethnicity information. These students are divided into three inclusive classroom. Starting in first grade, the school is departmentalized. Students have different teachers for reading, math, science, and writing. Students see anywhere from four to six teachers a day.
This project focused on one first grade classroom. It was selected because the science teacher also acts as the homeroom teacher. As the homeroom teacher, the teacher spends an additional thirty minutes with this first grade class. Students see the science teacher during breakfast and morning meeting. The class then was able to have more time to discuss and review homework expectations. This homeroom has three Latin American students, one of which is an English Language Learner, and twenty African American students.
Students receive a weekly homework packet at the end of every Monday. This packet consists of a reading log that must be signed nightly and worksheets for writing, math, and science. Every subject is required to include a worksheet for every day of the week. Homework is checked daily during breakfast and morning meeting. Students are not briefed on the contents of the packet, but worksheets reflect the weekly learning objectives of each content
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