Ideas to Help Students Compete and Get Excited about HomeworkDo you have difficulty getting students to complete homework? I assign 4-10 problems and allow 10 minutes (sometimes more) at the end of...

Ideas to Help Students Compete and Get Excited about Homework

Do you have difficulty getting students to complete homework? I assign 4-10 problems and allow 10 minutes (sometimes more) at the end of class for them to get started on it so I can help, if needed; and STILL have many, many students are not attempting the work. What have you done to get students to practice the skills?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

First, look carefully at why the work isn't getting done. Some students don't know what to do, and others are not even motivated to start because they don't think they can do it. You really have to address it on a case by case basis in order to see how you can help each one.
engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Right on, cburr. If mom, dad or guardian isn't at home "pushing" the idea of completing homework, chances are it won't get done. The other obstacle students seem to face is that of time management.

"But I have a basketball game today" or "We have practice tonight" doesn't sound like a valid excuse for not completing homework, yet in the student's mind, if there is even one other activity planned for a night with homework, the assignment becomes eclipsed by the sport or extracurricular.

Schools do give too much homework at large, but to their defense, many states are now mandating it, labeling it as a contribution to rigor and relevance. There are enough places where the finger could be pointed, but in the end, homework remains a necessary part of school life and academic preparedness for the real world. 

cburr's profile pic

cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

In my experience, the key factor here is whether doing homework is valued in the home. 

To be sure, there are some families where this is difficult.  Perhaps the parents are poorly educated and can't help with the homework -- or, since we're talking about math, perhaps the child has reached a more advanced level than the parents did.  

If a child comes from a family where there is no emphasis on education and homework, or where the child can't get the support they need, try to find afternoon options for the child so they can get the support they need.  

I'm a firm believer that many schools assign way too much homework, especially to younger children.  However, extra practice is important, and kids are ill-served if we don't help them get the structure and support they need to develop good habits around homework.    

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

I find that strong communication with parents helps with homework. If I have a problem with a particular student not turning in homework, I email the parents, and that usually does the trick, at least for awhile.

mrsdavies's profile pic

mrsdavies | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

With middle school students I had a system of individualized assignments that students could work on at their own pace. Instead of assignments being due daily, the assignments were evaluated weekly, as to accuracy and progress.Since the classroom was heterogeneously grouped, the assignments varied from what I called "Practice" to "Challenge". This allowed students to work ahead, if they had the time. But if they were confused, they had the time to get help and then to continue to work on the problems. There was usually class time to begin work on the assignments, so that questions could be asked.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

It all depends on the philosophy of the school or department. If they view portfolios as too subjective to grade, then you should look to more objective assessment. I am not sure if you could fight the policy.

melesp's profile pic

melesp | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

We are requiring students to make portfolio for math but this year we were told that portfolio will not be graded and is not not anymore part of the computation for the final grade.  What are your thoughts about this? HELP!

neela's profile pic

neela | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Doing home work is good. But I never did it. Had I done it, it would have been better.  But I used to enjoy it to help my friends solve a petty math problem  for piece of chocolate or their words. That only aroused my desire more than the teachers and compesated against the shameful situation of not doing it. But my math teacher never used to scold, but stare with a stern look. That look itself is a dignity and respect,he never had a bad word.

On the last day of leaving my middle school,he thanked me saying  that I did more home work than any other, as he came to know about the history of the chocalates. He said that I reduced his tension also.

Please raise the curiosity of children in maths ,try to understand them . This may help them to do homework. But every one cannot be a maths lover but let them not hate it.

 

kahurt's profile pic

kahurt | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Reward students for class participation                               For Example: Give a student a token for each question answered during class (these could be off of the homework)...and then at the end of the quarter/semester, allow them to purchase free locker passes, or maybe even test points (don't make them too cheap)

-Have class contests to Review for the Tests                      For Example: Divide students up into random groups.  Pass out a practice test and allow the students time to complete.  Then go over the test.  Whichever group has the best score gets a prize.

-If you have more than one class...you may choose to correct homework on random days...but be sure to stagger the dates that you correct homework in different class hours to be sure that classes later in the day do not get an early heads up.  In this way you may keep your students better on their feet.

-IN GENERAL MAKE YOUR CLASS FUN...When kids sleep through your lectures...and better yet...when you assign the homework...they are much less likely to do it!

 Are you a teacher in the making???  Thanks for the input.  Sometimes when people have been teaching for awhile they get stuck in a rut.  Great ideas from someone who is still there in the "trenches".  =)

giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Ideas to Help Students Compete and Get Excited about Homework

Do you have difficulty getting students to complete homework? I assign 4-10 problems and allow 10 minutes (sometimes more) at the end of class for them to get started on it so I can help, if needed; and STILL have many, many students are not attempting the work. What have you done to get students to practice the skills?

First of all, at the very beginning, I try to evaluate students in my class and I try to understand them and communicate with them all the time, in a relaxed manner. So, the so-called assignments, are no more "homework", but something that "need to be done", not "has to be done". Imposing something to someone, it becomes very clear that it won't be done at all.

mathmath-teacher-mom's profile pic

mathmath-teacher-mom | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Our math department uses homework calendars to keep track of homework.  We walk around and check homework and stamp the date on the students' monthly homework calendar.  We run these on colored paper and students keep them in their notebooks.  At the end of the month, we take up calendars.  Our students start the month with a 100 homework grade.  For each homework stamp they are missing, their homework grade drops 8 points.  This grade is then counted as a test grade.  The calendar gives the student a visual reminder of their grade and some of my "less-interested" students will start doing homework around the last 10 days of the month to keep their homework grade above 70.  I'd rather they did HW every night but, when you have parents who don't value education, see the purpose of HW and kids who work full time jobs on top of going to school, sometimes you just gotta take what you can get.

Like one of the other posters, I also give quizzes based on the week's homework.  I usually announce these and some of the kids actually go back and do homework (no credit on the HW calendar for late HW) they hadn't completed so they can get the correct answer on the quiz.

netuser's profile pic

netuser | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Reward students for class participation                               For Example: Give a student a token for each question answered during class (these could be off of the homework)...and then at the end of the quarter/semester, allow them to purchase free locker passes, or maybe even test points (don't make them too cheap)

-Have class contests to Review for the Tests                      For Example: Divide students up into random groups.  Pass out a practice test and allow the students time to complete.  Then go over the test.  Whichever group has the best score gets a prize.

-If you have more than one class...you may choose to correct homework on random days...but be sure to stagger the dates that you correct homework in different class hours to be sure that classes later in the day do not get an early heads up.  In this way you may keep your students better on their feet.

-IN GENERAL MAKE YOUR CLASS FUN...When kids sleep through your lectures...and better yet...when you assign the homework...they are much less likely to do it!

netuser's profile pic

netuser | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I am not a teacher, and therefore, cannot see everything from your viewpoints, but as a talented HS Senior, who took AP Calc BC as a Junior and AP Stats as a senior, I do not do my homework.  I see the value in doing the homework for students that do not fully grasp the topics, and also the fact that teachers cannot clearly dilineate/discriminate, by giving only the strugglers homework, but for me, homework is not the way that I learn.  I am luck enough to be able to absorb most material through Teacher's lectures.  Anyways my general point is that homework and lectures are not always the most effective ways to teach your students.  My next post (because of this stupid word limit) contains some suggestions for bettering conceptual learning and the overall value of a class to a student (compiled mainly from my AP-Stats class):

 

marycatherinecarnes's profile pic

marycatherinecarnes | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Ideas to Help Students Compete and Get Excited about Homework

Do you have difficulty getting students to complete homework? I assign 4-10 problems and allow 10 minutes (sometimes more) at the end of class for them to get started on it so I can help, if needed; and STILL have many, many students are not attempting the work. What have you done to get students to practice the skills?

I generally check homework everyday- not just for correctness but mainly for completion.  Also, almost every day, after we go over homework, I give a quiz using the exact homework porblems that I have assigned.  It seems to work pretty well.

marycatherinecarnes's profile pic

marycatherinecarnes | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Here's another tip that I have found that pays off.  Every now and then I take up students notebooks and check for an orderly notebook and to see if the students are correcting the problems that we have gone over in class.  There is always a mad fury before I do this, but I find that as the year goes on, it seems to pay off.

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