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Hacking Homework: 10 Strategies That Inspire Learning Outside the Classroom (Hack Learning Series) (Volume 8) Paperback – October 26, 2016
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Starr Sackstein and Connie Hamilton have assembled a book full of great answers to the question, "How can we make homework engaging and meaningful?" The "hacks" they offer are practical and authentic, and resonate for teachers at every grade level. Theirs tep-by-step directions move readers from theory to action. Best of all, the advice in this book applies to in-school learning, too!
Dr. Doug Fisher and Dr. Nancy Frey, Professors at SDSU, Authors, and Researchers
Ken O'Connor,Educational Consultant and Author
A must read for all educators, Hacking Homework provides educators the insight they need to re-think the homework they are assigning. In addition, educators have applicable hacks to ensure they are moving their classrooms in the right direction. Educators have been having the homework debate for years, finally a book comes along that can move teachers in a direction of best practices that aligns with the research.
Craig Vroom,Principal, Hilliard Weaver Middle School. Hilliard City School District. Ohio
Starr and Connie believe that shaking up our homework policy is one of the best decisions they have ever made for kids. I agree! Hacking Homework shows how teachers and parents can take the stress out of homework and focus on what really matters. They emphasize why family time is simply too precious to continue the homework policy of handing out mundane assignments. Hacking Homework provides multiple alternatives to"homework" that bridges the gap between play and learning.
Barbara Bray, Author, Co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC, and Owner/Founder of My eCoach and Rethinking Learning
Experienced educators Starr Sackstein and Connie Hamilton provide a wealth of practical ideas to help teachers reflect and improve how they think about, and implement, homework practices. I can't think of a better resource out there dealing with this issue, and it's a challenging one for all of us in the classroom.
Larry Ferlazzo, HighSchool Teacher and Author
Sackstein and Hamilton provide a sound game plan to monumentally change learning cultures during and outside of the school day. Personal anecdotes from educators in the field provide a glimpse into the headaches of homework and how teachers can make learning relevant.This book will change your outlook on homework and improve your practice as an educator.
Brad Currie, Founding Partner of Evolving Educators
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I've come to really enjoy the "Hacking" series of books as they truly do push education books in a new, and quite effective, direction. This one is no different. Hamilton and Sackstein make excellent use of the "Pushback" section (one of my favorite parts of the series; and one that feels quite novel), and provide readers with multiple strategies to help those who are more risk-averse explore positive instructional shifts. I also believe the selection of educator vignettes to be spot on, and LOVED the inclusion of student comments (we need more of this in our educational texts, truthfully).
The authors deftly navigate the "What You Can Do Tomorrow" segments with true "small steps" that can easily make a difference in classrooms, schools, and across districts, and I really enjoyed how Sackstein and Hamilton put much thought into the implementation steps provided for each hack. Sometimes, implementation models get caught in the granular day-to-day strategies too early; in Hacking Homework, the authors take time to share the larger culture and community-building necessary that accompanies "hot button" topics like homework.
Hamilton and Sackstein's seasoned writing experience comes through in the text, and I was struck by how much passion they put into describing the need to move from seeing homework as a "task" to exploring outside of school learning as a "support". This ties in nicely with the importance of examining mindset and meeting learners where they are. I also thought the "Boomerang Model" of questioning for homework assistance further puts the emphasis on learning, rather than the chore. Nicely done.
I found all the hacks to be interesting and worthwhile reads. I do wonder if ten hacks are needed, however. In a number of cases, such as fostering voice, and using the digital realm, the hacks felt just as much about engagement, and to some extent leadership, as they did to homework. This didn't take away from the text by any means, but it did make me question whether the number of hacks was key, or whether the hacks tied to a given topic was more important, or neither.
Overall, a must read book to shape current and future conversation about homework, and why we do what we do.
Starr and Connie provide the formula for reinventing what we do and how we do it. Their own life illustrations will cause you to believe. This text will give you the knowledge and impetus to do this task differently. Main topics addressing how to break the habit, organization, building rapport with your students, harnessing social media, and giving students and their families a voice blend nicely to provide a framework enabling us to change what we do and how we do it.
“Hacking Homework” will give you the confidence to be a leader in the drive to eliminate busy work and provide purposeful activities that lend themselves to your class content, school and district goals, and build strong relationships with your students, their families, and the community.