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Homework - does anyone do anything different?

Discussion in 'Science' started by sammo1980, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. I am currently doing my masters on homework and was wondering if anybody did anything different in their schools.
    Most people I have spoken to and the schools I have worked at have the general homework timetable, an indication of homework days and length of homework, guidelines for feedback and detentions/sanctions for students not handing it in.
    Was looking for any different approaches. Any suggestions?
  2. I often set intervention homework to rewrite an exam paper in terms that the pupil understands what they actually are being asked. Its an interesting exercise which produces interesting results
  3. Not really.
    BUT who is homework for? SMT? Parents? Class teacher? Pupil?
    Should a pupil who doesn't do the work (no facilities / other demands / ???) be denied access to the full range of knowledge and skills demanded by exam entry requirements?
    How much time is devoted to "sorting out" the failures and do they stay "sorted"?
  4. I'd love to know if homework actually improves attainment. Has there been any meaningful research on this?
  5. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I'd like to know the answer to this too.
    I'd also like to know if the time spent on kids who haven't done their h/w is actually worthwhile? How does it take away from other tasks the teacher would be doing instead?
  6. jermar

    jermar New commenter

    I read this article when it first appeared and put it on the deputy heads desk!

    Canadian parents win legal battle against homework
  7. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Occasional commenter

    I do not think my comment here is really applicable to science, I only use it with mathematics.

    I tell parents I only set maths exercises which the students can do, and liken it to the practice required when learning to ,play a musical instrument, for instance. All being well they get all their sums correct, so checking their homework is simple and quick!
  8. A very mixed picture here. Some research saying yes, some saying no, but all saying that there are so many different influencing factors it is difficult to guarantee.
  9. At KS3 we have something called Extended Learning Assignments.
    What this means is that they get a science ELA once or twice per term and they get a week to do it. This is a pretty meaty piece of work, usually a booklet of about 10-12 pages.
    There is a school wide timetable and each week has a subject allocated to it. So, for example, a pupil might do and English ELA week 1, a French week 2, etc.
    There are benefits and drawbacks to the approach. It does give parents a much clearer idea of what their child should be doing and there has been some improvement in parental involvement and support.
    The evidence that homework is beneficial is debateable. I suspect that it often does more harm than good.
  10. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    We're trying (with KS3) for the 2nd year to give an extended project too...we are getting them to write it in weekly and keeping tabs along the way (needs some refinement in that sense) and having it handed it at end of term with through levelled feedback and comments to improve so that they can be used for the next one. This means we can have them do some independent decent work, minimise impact on lesson time (and endless sanctions) and encourage self-management (and avoid those who genuinely do have difficult weeks for whatever reason becoming disadvantaged). On the plus side I've seen some incredible work going way beyond - like displays made, lengthy projects etc. I also seem to get most handed in. On the negative side some don't put enough time in (which raises possibilities, questions and philosophies) and the odd one will try and rip off someone elses or just rush it at the last minute. Still seeing how it goes...may refine things a bit but at least it's consistent and organised.

  11. I think Studying at home does improve attainment which homework is susposed to improve. Kids who study/read/work on academic/investigate/learn outside the class tend to do better. However of course the question is does homework actually get those kids who aren't doing this to do this effectively.
  12. We do tasks which the pupils are expected to do over several weeks. We have level assessed task sheets for these and they are expected to put a fair bit of time into completing them. They take a while to mark but are easier to chase up than lots of little pieces.
  13. susiejay

    susiejay Administrator

    We are doing a simliar thing (KS3), but run in connection with the whole school.
    There will be a general topic for example "Brighton" and each department in the school will put together a little levelled booklet with 2 or 3 tasks they need to complete. They get it once a term and at the end of term all the booklets from each subject are put together to form a big booklet on that topic

  14. There is no evidence that homework improves attainment even with many studies having taken place.

    Promoting meaningful independent study is better in my opinion.
  15. Masfar

    Masfar New commenter

    I don't know....I give past paper questions once a week based on the topic we have been studying in Science. Considering that I have one year to teach IGCSE Combined Science, the past paper practice is invaluable in getting my pupils ready for the exam. Especially since they are learning in a second language so understanding what the question is asking is really difficult for them.
  16. I believe the approach is important. I grade the effort put in, not to penalise mistakesi.e. 'mistakes allowed'. This is to encourage engagement and reflection. In class we go over the homework with model answers and discussion. For Juniors I issue a 'Science Merit' sticker for each three assignments thoroughly attempted. The task must be relevant e.g. Seniors assignments modelling final external assessment tasks, Juniors assignments highlighting the skills and knowledge required. When a pattern of non-engagement occurs I interview the student and contact home, keeping our tutor/dean informed. Initially, this is hard work, eventaully I get 90% compliance. At the end of the day there is not enough time to get everyting completed in class so homework is essential.

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