Homework

Homework

Some teachers believe in homework, while others do not. Some teachers give a lot of homework, while others give very little.

I believe that homework has its place and the amount needs to be reasonable to the age of the students, however most importantly it needs to be relevant.

Giving students homework for the sake of getting homework is pointless. I believe activities should be assigned that correlate to the work being completed in class. Homework should be planned ahead of time in correlation with the units of work.

For the older students, a homework table for the entire term may be given which could be placed in the front of their homework books. Each school week is listed in the table with activities to be completed by the student for that week. The activities are specific to a KLA and relates to the work the students are completing in class. This helps the students to reinforce the concepts learnt in class and also allows the teacher to observe the students’ understanding.

I also like the idea of including an activity pertaining to family life or a fitness/sport activity. You could also leave this in blank for the students to come up with something on their own.

For example:

No matter how you choose to set out the homework, whether it be a table like the one above or simple worksheets, ensure that the work you set is relevant.

Another important note regarding homework is to ensure that the homework is gone through together as a class if possible. This ensures the students understand the homework if they had any difficulty. Teachers should also provide students with feedback when marking their homework.

What do you think about homework?
Do you have any homework tips?

 

Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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8 thoughts on “Homework

  1. Interesting thoughts. Homework most definitely needs to reflect the topic at hand. It’s also important that said homework is stimulating the students’ and getting them to think about the topic. In the table, your religion example reflects this really well as it gets the student to think about the moral values of the commandments and not just that they were God’s law. In some subjects it might not be easy to give out homework as stimulating (math comes to mind) but with subjects that allow plenty of room for experimentation students should be using their heads to think and not memorize.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts! You make a great point that homework needs to be stimulating – just like all tasks in the classroom. It takes thought and creativity. Perhaps maths can be stimulating through the use of open ended questions and allowing the students to come up with their own examples.

      Thanks again,

      Ashley

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      1. I’m no math teacher or expert by an stretch of the imagination, but if I were to teach math to a primary school student I’d given them more open ended homework (age appropriateness accounted for always). For instance, students just learning to add usually get the regular assortment of 1+4 = ? type of homework. They’ve been blasted about this during class so why not give them a question that says “Give me 5 additions that end with two-digit numbers”. For more challenging you can specify what the second digit always is.

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  2. Very thought-provoking. I agree with your statement that giving homework for the sake of giving homework is pointless, and it’s been something I’ve grappled with since starting full-time in a classroom last year. I’m not a huge fan of homework, but if the task is relevant, age-appropriate and engaging then I don’t usually have a problem with it.

    At my school there is a minimum/maximum amount of homework set per year level as part of the school policy (including take-home readers). The homework that I’ve set for my prep students over the last two years has depended on what’s happening in the classroom – usually it might be a class sentence for them to read and trace and share with their families, letter/letters of the week focuses for students to explore at home and the occasional bit of numeracy work (if there’s an engaging and open-ended activity that extends on work done in the classroom). Usually it’s just one task set on Monday and we share responses as a class on Friday mornings. My biggest focus has been on encouraging daily reading and conversations to develop students’ skills.

    Interestingly enough, this year we had parents from our prep cohort complaining about not enough homework. Which makes me wonder whether there is now an expectation that even very young students need to be doing homework (beyond reading) every night. Which is a shame because all students need time each day to relax and process their learning and experiences.

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  3. Thank you for such great reflections! I like how you added both age appropriate and engaging to list and a minimum and maximum rule sounds like a good idea. I especually love how you have been setting homework depending on what is happening in the classroom – that is exactly the point I am trying to get across.

    I also think it is a shame that parents complain about the amount of homework and not the content. Students definitely need time to relax – there needs to be a balance.

    Thanks again,

    Ashley

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