Make homework meaningful for your students with this easy teaching strategy. By getting students to be responsible to each other, homework serves a purpose bigger than just making the teacher happy.

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The major take-away from this article is the importance of motivation: in order to do homework and do it well, students must first be motivated to do it. I think that while motivation during classroom activities and lessons is stressed, homework is not considered in the same light. Teachers give extra-practice worksheets for homework that do nothing to motivate students about the actual content of the work. As a student myself, I was motivated to do my homework because I wanted to please my teacher and get good grades. It was rare that my motivation was based on the content or the learning itself, meaning that I quickly forgot what I was learning.
In my future classroom, I want homework to be a time when students are able to make lasting connections and do meaningful and engaging work. I want their motivation to be the source of a passion for learning as it was for the students discussed in the article. Although it takes time and effort to develop, having students be motivated to do their homework will enhance their learning greatly and help them extend their knowledge beyond the classroom.
Reading this article, I learned that homework is being banned in many schools. Although I realized this was a growing debate, I would have never thought an entire school would ban homework. I understand how homework could hinder student's, but all homework does not have to be worksheets, or does it? Is banning homework banning the teachers from getting creative and thinking of other means of homework, or is it allowing more creativity? As a future educator, I would like to give my students worksheets for homework as a review not as often, but having an option would be great in my opinion. |
This website offers a great breakdown of ways to assess how effective and meaningful a certain homework is. I think that the most important thing to consider is what the purpose of the homework is and if it accomplishes what it is meant to. If we are not sure why we are giving homework, then why are we giving it? Everything that we give to our students should have a purpose. I believe that one of the most important uses for homework, especially in math, is to bridge the gap between school and home. The students in my class began the year with a disposition that math is only used in school; those who said that they did math at home cited "homework" as how they saw math at home. It is important that we raise a generation of students that understand the usefulness of math. If they believe it has no place in their lives outside of school, they will be less likely to be motivated to learn it.
In my own future classroom, I hope to be able to give meaningful homework that also allows the students to take ownership over their work. The article mentions having students do independent research; in math, I think that having students conduct investigations and returning to school to share their ideas with classmates is an effective way to engage the students and show them how useful math can be outside of school. Homework is an opportunity for students to make choices and express their understanding in unique ways. |

This video showed me a technique that I plan on using in my future classroom. When giving students homework a way to make it more meaningful is having the students discuss their homework with a small group. They can compare strategies that they used in order to get their answers. By doing this the students are able to teach each other and solve problems that they have on their own. This will also allow for the teacher to answer less questions and allow the students to run the classroom. This technique also allows for the teacher to observe how the students work together and communicate to one another. For students that are lost or confused on the material, this gives the students a chance to teach each other. It also allows for the students to see multiple ways of how a problem can be solved. Sometimes students get stuck in math because the way a student is trying to solve a certain problem may not be the way that makes the most sense to them. The technique also saves time in the classroom. Becuase the students are helping and teaching one another the questions that they ask the teacher at the end of the sharing are usually things that the entire class needs clarification on. This allows for the teacher to be going over material that the entire class has questions on, rather than going over something for one student that everyone already understands. I really like this technique and find it very useful. I plan to use it in my future math classroom, just like the teacher did in this video.