If you ask students if they like homework, their answer would be a hard NO. This common dislike towards homework is caused due to the overload of the same. It is said that a teacher should give something to take home besides homework.
One of the most important things that teachers should understand is that homework does not replace teaching. It is just an aid to help students retain the information better and makes them more independent. So, what is homework? In simple words, it refers to the work given to students after class. It is intended to make students capable of doing things on their own and to recollect what they have learned in class. It is based on the concepts that are taught in the classroom. It can either be in written form or they might be asked to memorize a lesson. There are different types of homework and the teachers should analyze and understand what works best for their students.
If your students feel overburdened or overworked because of the homework that’s thrown their way, here are some amazing tips that you can use to make homework effective.
Homework Tips for Teachers
1.Explain your Expectations
One of the mistakes that teachers make is that they often forget to explain what they are expecting. This causes students to panic and sometimes, they just don’t do their homework or they do it incorrectly.
For example, suppose you taught your students the phrase “not only but also” and asked them to form five sentences using the phrase. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that they have understood the concept. Explaining the expectations is closely related to understanding the concept. If the students have not understood the topic, they might end up coming up with sentences like Lily is not only a flower but also an animal! The sentence is factually incorrect and the essence of the phrase is lost. Imagine your students writing five similar sentences!! To avoid such mishaps, make sure that you explain the expectations in a clear and crisp manner.
Another aspect of explaining expectations is that, if you are expecting mangoes, tell them that you are expecting mangoes. If you want a ten-page assignment, make sure to convey this!
2.Consistency is the Key
The most common excuse that students make about homework is that they forgot to do their homework! To avoid such scenarios and headaches, make sure to have a consistent schedule in place. For example, you can choose days like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for homework, and the other days, the students are off the hook. When you are consistent, the students will eventually get the hang of it. Having said that, giving the students truckloads of homework might backfire. This might lower their performance and will affect their studies. Make sure to strike the right balance.
3.Cement the Concept
The spaced practice has proven beneficial when it comes to learning and studying. To ensure that students get the maximum benefit from homework, refrain from assigning topics that you just finished teaching. You can use concepts that you taught a week before or even a day or two before. This will help students to revisit that concept and recollect what was taught in the classroom. It is always better not to provide homework from the portion that you just finished teaching. Give them space to breathe and clear doubts.
4.Say no to Impending Punishments
Given the off chance that they don’t deliver what is expected out of them or don’t do the homework, refrain from using harsh punishments. This will just instill fear in your students and that’s not what you need. Come up with creative ways to address these issues. If they did not follow something despite telling them umpteen times, you can just give them an active listener award or something of the sort. Make sure never to embarrass your students. That will just affect their confidence and academic performance. Constructive criticism is what your classroom needs.
Cut some slack! They are students and they are bound to make mistakes. Don’t be too rigid and cut off their marks if they don’t submit the homework on time. Give them a strong warning and just loosen the deadline a little. This will only increase the respect that students have for you. Quite a lot of teachers think that running a tight ship is what makes students respect you. This, however, is wrong. Understanding your students and empathizing with them is what is important.
Homework plays a pivotal role in making students independent and in making learning effective. While it is of paramount importance to assign homework, you should follow some etiquette while doing so. Ensure not to overburden your students. Now that classes have moved online, it is important to gather feedback from your students regularly and alter your strategies accordingly.
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