How Can I Make Homework Effective?

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Check Out the New Blog HowCanIMakeHomeworkEffectiveHomework is assigned to strengthen and promote learning and to teach students to take responsibility for their own learning process. To design homework that strives to attain these goals, can be a daunting task for many. Here are five strategies that can help you make homework effective.

The big ‘3’: Bear in mind three essential factors while planning out your homework. One, it should focus on revising the material taught in class and not test for any new learning. Two, ensure the homework is challenging, yet not so hard that it requires parental assistance for completion. Three, the homework assigned should encourage the application of these skills in real life situations to make learning more interesting.

Format: Incorporate various creative and innovative ideas to make your homework more appealing to the students. It could involve learning through a simple experiment, interviewing local personnel, creating an art project or a short trip to a local museum.

Begin at school: Spend the last five minutes of your class preparing your students for their homework. Go through the instructions and make sure that all the students understand them. Clarify if needed. Provide them with a brief outline of the purpose and skills targeted through the homework. In some cases, you can also help them prepare in advance a list of materials necessary for the completion of the work.

Accountability: Once instructions are given, it is understood that students are expected to complete the work. Before dismissing the class, ask, if there is any student who feels they might not be able to finish the work and why? By asking such a question, you are holding them accountable for their work and eliminating the different excuses they might provide you with.

Check the work: As part of your class routine, ensure that you set aside time to check homework. This is not to evaluate the work in detail, but rather to make certain that the students have completed their work. Instruct students to place their work on their desks and check their work. Students may then be asked to form pairs or small groups and spend the next five minutes reviewing their work. This allows them to discuss, clarify and teach each other, thereby facilitating transfer of information and expanding knowledge. Students with incomplete work can either be allotted this time to complete their work, or asked to complete the work along with the present day homework.

Since homework is meant as a practice tool, it is best to give students a credit or no credit for completion instead of grading them.
Once the material has been reviewed, move ahead to the next part of your class.

Discuss here: How much homework do you think is “good” or “effective”?

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