Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prepare Students for Life Beyond School---Build Relevance Into Homework

Homework is assigned to just about every class on a daily basis.  However, the purpose behind it is sometimes not clear to students or their parents.  What are the students expected to learn from it or is it just a continuation of unfinished classwork?  Do students receive additional insight into the topic or just complete a worksheet? For homework to have purpose, it should have students applying newly acquired knowledge to the real world which generally involves ongoing problem solving in team settings for the most part.

So what is the key to motivating students to want to do any type of assignment after school?  Well, it must be interesting.  Students must be excited about trying the assigned task.  Teachers must set the tone by tempting them with an approach that resonates with them.  For example, if studying biology, why not have students create a garden on school grounds.  This would involve a team effort to plan and tend the garden from the planting of the seeds to the harvesting of the vegetables and fruits.  This type of activity adds meaning to ecology.  Further, the produce can be taken home to add to meals or given to homeless shelters to feed those who are struggling.  This "homework" would not be a one day event, but would span the semester and would involve math, science, internet research, reading, writing/blogging, etc.  In this type of team setting, one student could also be the groups official chronicler (one who would blog team's progress).

Take a look at this article on  homework  for more ideas on getting students jazzed about doing homework! :)


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