How to Assign Effective Homework your Students will Enjoy
- Dec 22, 2015
As a school-girl, I possessed a tendency to procrastinate to a great extent. For instance, I always found an excuse to skip my homework assignments that used to be given at school, particularly the Math and Physics assignments. Needless to say, I was not a favorite among my teachers. So naturally, I performed miserably in these subjects during the examinations.
Even today, I often observe that a majority of school students find it challenging to complete their homework.
However, my ten-year-old neighbor Sarah is an exception. During the evenings, you would find her completely absorbed in her lessons, her head bent over a textbook. Sarah works on her Math problems delightedly, after which she gets busy with her other assignments. And, let me tell you, this little girl really seems to enjoy her home assignments!
Do you know why?
Simply because Sarah’s school teachers know exactly how to leverage homework in order to enrich the learning experience of students. For, homework is quite an efficient teaching tool. It serves as an extremely important form of feedback from the students to the teachers. When students are capable of completing the home assignments successfully, teachers get to know that they have understood the basic concepts of their lecture or a particular lesson that they have taught in the class.
Let us discuss some of the best ways in which teachers can assign homework that their students would enjoy.
#1. Prepare for the Homework
First of all, you should ensure that the homework you are about to assign your students can be completed by them easily.
Your students need to feel motivated to work on the assignment and enjoy working on it. In fact, they should look forward to spending their time on completing homework, since it reinforces their learning.
If you want your students to enjoy their homework, you need to make the lessons simpler for them.
This can be done by assigning academic exercises that they should complete in the classroom. You can instruct them to write down the answers to the questions that you write down on the blackboard. They can also choose to answer the questions that are provided at the end of every chapter in the textbook.
Divide the class into teams and ask questions to your students. Students who are able to give appropriate answers shall gain points. Encourage students to ask questions about any topic that is unclear to them, so that they can work on the assignment to understand the matter better.
#2. Assign the Homework Properly
Prior to assigning homework, think about the objective of every homework assignment that you set for your students. Ask yourself, “Would my students actually benefit from it?”
Teachers need to try using various types of home assignments instead of sending similar types of assignments repeatedly.
When students are given a variety of assignments, they would be more interested to work on their tasks and also complete them within the specified deadline. Not only that, they would also learn lessons faster!
Secondly, you also need to check if your students have understood their responsibilities when you give them assignments. Ask your students to read the instructions till they have absorbed them completely. They must know exactly what is expected from them so that they do not come across stumbling blocks while completing their homework. Therefore, make it a point to ask your students whether they are unclear about the instructions.
You need to also bear in mind not to assign tasks that are completely new to students, such as giving assignments based on chapters that are yet to be covered in the class.
Once you have discussed an academic topic or idea in the class, you can send home-work based on it.
#3. Assign what Students Already Know
As I have mentioned earlier, you should always assign work that your students already know about.
The main objective of giving home assignments to students is to make them practise what they have already learnt at school. So, it would be better to assign tasks to students that they have worked on in the past and therefore, understand quite well.
For instance, if you want to assign tasks to your students associated with the climate of the Prairies, you need to explain to them about the climatic conditions of that portion of the world in the class.
Your students need to be equipped with the skillsets that they would have to utilize while completing their assignments.
If your students are uncertain or confused about a certain academic topic, you need to give it a second thought before you assign tasks related to the topic as homework. Do not assign homework that requires a great deal of discussions with parents.
#4. Do not Involve Parents in the Homework
The objective of assigning homework to students is to make them practise what they have learnt in the classroom and help them remember their lessons. Therefore, do not make it necessary for parents to be involved in their child’s homework assignments, as well.
If you do so, you are indirectly providing your students with an excuse for not completing their homework.
Homework should be a bridge between you and your students. However, if the parents of your students wish to sit with their children while they work on their assignments, it is good. Having said that, do not make it necessary for parents to assist their children as they go about finishing their tasks.
You can send a note to the parents of your students requesting them to contact you if their children face any sort of difficulty in their efforts to complete the homework assignments. I am sure parents would thank you for this and feel encouraged to support children in their education.
This way, parents can even check if their children are doing their homework!
#5. Review the Assignment
Next, you need to review the homework that you have just assigned to your students. You can set aside half an hour at the end of the school hours daily, for this purpose.Ask your students to get ready for a clarification session every day.They should be ready with their pencils, exercise books, and textbooks during the session. Furthermore, if they have any doubts regarding their assignments, they should immediately approach you with their questions. Choose students randomly and ask them what they have understood about their home assignments. If some of your students are unable to tell you what they need to do, you need to explain their duties once again.Now, you should ask one question to all your students: “Is there anybody in the class who would not be able to submit the assignment tomorrow morning?”Asking this question would help you in two ways. First, the more you communicate with your students, the more they would love and respect you. As a result, they would prefer not to disappoint you and give their best shot in completing their assignments on time.Secondly, it is likely to eliminate every excuse that your students might come up with the next morning, for not doing their homework!
#6. Check the Assignments
Once the students have delivered their assignments to you, make sure you go through each one of them.You can check the assignments in several ways and it actually depends on the kind of homework assignment that you have given your students. For instance, if you are checking English, you need to check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. You can do this before you ask your students to submit their work to you. Remember to call your students to your desk and show them their mistakes as it would aid students in avoiding similar mistakes in future.On the other hand, certain assignments might involve solving short-answer-type questions.Here is what you can do: ask your students to tell you their answers verbally, before they deliver their assignments.
#7. Grade the Assignment
All the assignments that you give your students need not be graded.Having said that, did you know that grading assignments really inspires students to complete their work? When students are aware that their homework would be graded, they make an additional effort to make sure their assignments are of the best quality. It also stops them from procrastinating.If you wish to grade the assignments of your students, you shall have to to check if all your students have delivered their homework to you.Next, you need to see if they have completed their assignments. As a child, I often came across some of my classmates who used to submit incomplete assignments to our teachers! You can assign grades for writing assignments that are inclusive of a lot of exercises on grammar, comprehension and essays.You can decide how many points every exercise in the assignments are worth.Let me offer you an idea that would enable you to grade the assignments well. You can break up the assignments into categories like ‘grammar’, ‘analysis’, ‘spelling’ and ‘content’.I sincerely hope that the above guidelines assist you in designing assignments that are effective for your students. You need to give the assignments so that your students can enjoy working on them, for homework assignments are immensely beneficial for students.
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