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Homework - something different?

Discussion in 'Secondary' 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. DM

    DM New commenter

    Don't bother with homework at all?
  3. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    As well as the detentions and other sanctions, a reward chart for those who hand their hw in ON TIME. They get a stamp on the chart and every 3 stamps gets a prize (only something small). Works well with lower ability year 7 and 8 anyway.
  4. We have recently tried something with Yr8 called 'Art Challenge' as an alternative to the usual homework. Pupils conducted research on 2 artists whose work they liked (we made some suggestions for weaker pupils). They then produced an art work in any media they chose in response to the work of the artists they have looked at. They had about 6 weeks in total, though the artist reseach studies were handed in earlier than the final piece. Pupils could come and work on it during lunchtimes so that they weren't disadvantaged with materials etc - and loads did which was great. The outcomes were variable but we have found it to be much more productive than everyone doing the same thing - and much more fun to mark. As a creative subject this shows us much more about the pupils own ideas and responses, independence and creativity. The pupils assesseed the work too using a framework we gave them. We are hoping to exhibit a selection of the work this term.
    We have found this to be much more informative in terms of level progression and overall pupils have enjoyed the task much more than they would normally.
  5. Set it on Yacapaca. Marks it for me. Give prizes to teams who complete the most etc
  6. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    I like DM's response... whats the point in it anyway??
    • Kids hate it
    • Most teachers hate marking it
    • Most teachers hate having to issue and carry out sanctions when its not done
    • Its usually a completely half @rsed job anyway.
    To get round this, I set what i like to call "elective homeworks" My subject (DT) lends itself to this quite well as i can issue....
    "practice this ....."
    "find out about this...."
    "bring in this...."
    It'll make next lesson much easier for you
    (or something along those lines)
    They are things that aren't really quantifiable and therefore aren't strictly speaking "markable" or indeed do they need to be completed. It is assumed (i know assumption is the mother of all *uck ups) that if then students want to do well and have an easier time in class, they will do the work and get better as a result. When classwork is marked, it will be clear which students are or aren't doing the homeworks.
    I know there'll be loads of people disgusted at this attitude but they're just jealous because they haven't thought of it first. [​IMG]
  7. I agree that homework is wrought with issues. Personally I think different things will apply to different students/teachers/subjects, which is why I object so much to a whole-school homework policy dictating what homework should be set.
    I agree that having maximum amounts in place can prevent students being overloaded but I doubt this would really happen much if teachers were left to their own devices.
    I hate feeling like I have to set homework. With my lower sets, it causes nothing but hassle - they can't do anything independently and so whatever task I give is done poorly, there's huge disparity in what parental support is available and the resulting issues of non-completion are an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction from teaching. I like the idea of 'elective homeworks' for this type of group. However I know it's difficult as some parents want to help children with their homework and not setting it deprives the children of this benefit. It's also hard to set tasks of a set time limit - it's impossible to know how long it's going to take to complete, and different kids can take hugely varying times!
    However, with my top set year 10s sitting GCSE early, homework is very useful - it consolidates their understanding, most of them get it done without major problems, and it prepares them better for independent study later on when revising for exams and doing A-levels/degrees etc.
    So I wish teachers could choose what was right for their class.
  8. Hear hear.
  9. pomunder

    pomunder New commenter

    When teaching in the UK, I completely ignored homework policies which dictated the day I must set it. I DID set it, recorded it in my planner, took it and marked it. I don't give sanctions for homework other than a letter home, copy to Year Head. Never had a complaint about it, either.
  10. cindy5147

    cindy5147 New commenter

    I teach A levels and vocational 6th form courses. I rarely set homework. I carried out an experiment a few years ago when I had 4 A level groups-for 1 group I did not set homework but completed 'homework'tasks in class- 10/20 got an A grade. They were appreciative of the lack of homework and motivated in class-I tended to offer a choice- to complete the homework in class or at home. Everyone knew we had a certain amount of work to get through and it kept the class on task. Have pretty much carried on in the same vein-sometimes I set the kind of advance work that students seem to enjoy 'find out about..' 'design a poster which summarises the meaning of a key word' I still have to mark. the students still get feedback and this way they all do the work. Just a suggestion?
  11. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    But this attitude presupposes that the teacher has remained a human with original thoughts and has not become a brain-dead automaton, just as our wonderous Secretary of State requires.
    Personally, I'd steer clear of showing one iota of originality as it will surely lead to capability!! [​IMG]

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