(Compiled by Margaret Carr, Educational Consultant, for the LDAT Conference, November, 1999)
SUCCESSFUL HOMEWORK STRATEGIES FOR TEACHERS
Teachers play a vital role in the selection, assignment, and use of homework. Research indicates
that where homework assignments are
meaningful and relevant
, student achievement increases.
Teachers will maximize the effectiveness of homework if they will:
Communicate to parents in the first meeting or correspondence of the year appropriate
areas in which parental involvement can help reinforce their children's learning rates,
performance, and confidence. Include suggestions to parents on how to provide
Compare the amount of time the students required to complete homework assignments
with an anticipated completion time, and modify assignments as needed.
Learn student feelings about homework assignments by having them circle smiling,
frowning or neutral faces on the corner of homework papers to indicate their feelings
easy, too difficult, or just right. Then modify assignments as needed.
Plan with other teachers at your school in terms of length and frequency of homework
assignments, adoption of similar homework practices, such as a standard style for
Assign activities such as age-appropriate games (made in class) or other activities that
will be fun.
Assign activities which are relevant to the child outside of the classroom. Assign
homework that enriches, reinforces, or supplements classroom instruction.
Randomly reward homework completion
"Everyone finished their assignments last
week, so you may have five minutes extra recess today."
Use a homework planner. Just as adults use calendars or other aids to schedule activities,
students can benefit from structured notes. They can be taught to enter assignments, note
due dates, and indicate completion. The planner can also be used to communicate with
parents by asking parents to sign when homework is completed and to pass notes between
school and home (and vice versa).
Communicate with parents regarding the amount of homework you plan to assign, and
approximate time required for completion. If there is a discrepancy between the child's
performance and your expectations, treat this as diagnostic information.
Suggest activities that parents can do with their children so enhance learning.