You spend a lot of time preparing homework assignments for your
students that compliment the lessons they are being taught. When
students do not take the time to complete homework assignments,
it can lead to some frustration on your end. Use this guide as
a way to help you create a homework system that you can implement
immediately. It will help your students be more accountable for
their work, and help you organize and manage their homework for
Let Students Know Your Expectations
In all fairness, you should tell your students what you expect
from them in terms of completing and handing in homework assignments.
If students do not receive direction from you, they will not place
homework on their priority list, and often times fail to even
complete assignments. They need to know that there are consequences
for not turning in homework assignments, such as lower grades,
loss of classroom privileges, etc. Emphasize the importance of
homework and why it is given. Consider sending home a note to
parents in the beginning of the year that explains your expectations
for homework as well. This will better the chances that students
will take their assignments seriously.
Give Homework Assignments a Purpose
In order for students to take their homework assignments seriously,
they need to see the relevance of the assignment to what they
have learned. If you give them an assignment on something you
have not taught in class, they will feel like you have treated
them unfairly. On the other hand, if their homework assignment
is geared to help them reinforce something they have learned,
they will appreciate the assignment. If you do use a homework
assignment as a means to prepare them for class the next day,
don't make it too difficult. It should be a gentle introduction
to the next lesson.
Use Homework Assignments to Challenge Students
Consider using homework assignments to get students to think
outside of the box. Give them a way to reinforce concepts and
incorporate these concepts with other subject areas. This is a
great tool for teachers to use when they want to see just how
well their students are grasping lessons in the classroom. And,
the fact is that some students in the class may need that extra
challenge to keep them interested in their lessons in the classroom.
Vary Your Homework Assignments
Make your homework assignments interesting and varied. Giving
students the same outlines and questions will bore them to pieces.
Mix learning styles and approaches to subjects. In this way, you
are bound to give out assignments that students might enjoy.
Avoid Lengthy Homework Assignments
Students are in school for many hours. While homework assignments
are an opportunity to help them reinforce concepts, it shouldn't
be so much that they miss their entire evening of events because
they have to finish their homework. Here is a general guideline
for assigning homework:
- Kindergarten through 3rd grade: 20 minutes a day
- 4th - 6th grade: Up to 40 minutes a day
- 7th - 9th grade: 1-1/2 to 2 hours a day
- 10th - 12th grade: 2 to 2-1/2 hours a day
It is also a good idea in middle school or high school, to try
and coordinate homework with other teachers, so that one teacher
is not handing out the whole allotment of homework, thus bogging
a child down with too much work at home.
Award and Motivate Students
Praising students for a good job on their homework will work
to your benefit. It encourages them to complete assignments because
they know you appreciate their hard work. You might also want
to offer incentives, such as small prizes, for the entire class
when everyone completes their homework within a given week. This
gives the entire class a sense of unity to work towards a goal.