In the elementary division of Lahore American School, homework is an important component of the academic curriculum and although the responsibility for completing independent practice rests primarily with the student, parents are encouraged to play an active role.
A better word for homework is independent practice. School work completed at home should be done independently with a minimum of assistance. At LAS we consider independent practice to be an essential element in a student’s learning.
Research has indicated that students do their best when independent practice is done at regular times each day, in a well lit room that is free of distractions. Given these conditions, the length of time a student takes to complete a given assignment may vary greatly from one student to the next. As a rough guide, the following times may assist teachers in assigning an appropriate amount of homework to be completed from Monday through to Thursday evening.
- A maximum of 15 to 30 minutes of homework is assigned in grades 1 and 2.
- A maximum of 20 to 45 minutes of homework is assigned in grades 3 and 4.
- A maximum of 30 to 60 minutes of homework is assigned in grade 5.
Values of Independent Practice
Through independent practice your child is able to:
- Practice and refine skills.
- Be prepared for the next class meeting.
- Learn to plan and budget time.
- Extend assignments.
- Apply learning to different practical situations.
- Complete long range projects.
- Extend the concept of learning beyond the classroom.
- Develop responsibility, independence, self discipline, strong study skills and positive work habits.
- Use independent research skills.
- Involve the family in a learning project.
Although the primary responsibility for completing homework rests with the student, homework responsibilities should be equally shared between student, parent and teacher as follows:
- Completing assignments on time and to the best of his or her ability.
- Assuming responsibility for completing work missed when absent.
- Scheduling school and non school activities to allow successful completion of homework.
- Making sure assignments are written down and clear before leaving school each day.
- Asking for help from a parent only when needed.
- Establishing with the student a specific agreement concerning a time and place to complete homework.
- Providing an appropriate physical and psychological climate to complete homework that should be quiet and well lit.
- Monitoring and assisting when asked but remembering that this is intended to be independent practice.
- Initiating communication with the teacher when concerns arise.
- Providing meaningful learning tasks that support and supplement work introduced in class.
- Evaluating and returning all assigned homework in a timely manner.
- Monitoring student assignments.
- Communicating with parents when concerns arise.
In the elementary division of Lahore American School, parents are invited to take an active role in their child’s education and are strongly encouraged to maintain regular communication with teachers.
The school year is comprised of three trimesters in elementary, the first running from August to November, the second from November to March and the third from March until June. As an important point of communication, parent/teacher conferences are held in November and student-led conferences are held in April for the purpose of reporting and educational planning. Parents may also meet at any other time during the school year by arranging an appointment in advance via email or a personal note to the relevant teachers.
Development Reading Assessment (DRA)
The DRA is an individually administered assessment of a student’s reading ability. The DRA is administered as indicated below. The results of the DRA assist teachers to make data-driven decisions about the learning needs of each student.
Grades 1 and 2 The DRA is administered three times annually, generally in August, January and May
Grades 3, 4 and 5 The DRA is administered twice annually, generally in August and May.
Mid Trimester Progress Reports
Mid trimester reports show the progress of a student in a particular class at the halfway point of any given trimester. This serves as an important alert to parents that their child is not fulfilling subject requirements and conveys transitional information. Mid trimester progress reports may also be sent home to commend a student for achievement or improvement in his or her efforts or.
Parents are required to sign mid-trimester reports and return them to the appropriate teacher. A copy of the report is kept on file in the Principal’s office. In addition to signing and returning the report, parents are advised to meet with those teachers who have issued the mid trimester report as their child may be at academic risk.
Students are issued with standard-based report cards in pre-school through to grade 5, three times per year at the end of each school term. A Standards Based Report Card gives parents a better understanding of their child’s strengths and needs and encourages all students to do their best. The most important difference between standards based instruction and reporting compared to traditional practices is the focus on what students actually learn, not just what is taught.
The purpose of this new reporting system is to provide parents with more detailed information regarding their child’s progress toward meeting the academic learning standards in our school’s curriculum (Common Core State Standards). This standards based report card allows parents and students to understand more clearly what is expected of students and how to help them be successful in their educational career.
There are four performance levels descriptors: E, M, P, and N. These descriptors are not intended to equal a percentage or letter grade. Grades are determined by the evaluation of daily class participation, class work, weekly and unit assessment and class projects. The grading symbols for grades pre-kindergarten to grade 5 are as follows:
E = Exceeds the Standard
M = Meets the Standard
P = Making progress toward the Standard
N = Needs Improvement.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAPs)
Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 take MAPs (Measures of Academic Progress) twice a year in September and May. Standardized MAPs tests are given to determine instructional levels of students and to measure academic growth throughout the school year and from year to year in the areas of Mathematics, Reading and Language Usage. MAPs are unique computerized tests that adapt to a child’s individual learning.