Homework – one of our ‘favourite’ and most debatable things that we do in teaching and learning. Causes the most controversy and, if you’re a parent – PAIN!!
What’s the best you’ve heard? They usually involve dogs, the cat, or small children!
What are your current reasons for giving homework?
This could be through using the computer for ‘drill and skill’ type activities.
Huge believer in intrinsic motivation and helping students find their passion and excitement for learning. Could see it in the classroom but the link to home was generally missing.
I Don't Give Homework Anymore. RSCON5 Presentation July 2014
I DON’T GIVE
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How many excuses
have you heard /
homework not being
Why Do We Give Homework?
Take a moment and think about this…
You may be thinking some of these...
❏ It reinforces learning at school.
❏ It is good practise and practice.
❏ Parents / caregivers want it.
A couple of links that support homework:
Why homework is important
Purpose of Homework
What are your thoughts?
❏ Single sheet with lots of different ‘activities’
on it. Everyone gets one of these.
❏ Homework that makes an attempt at an
individualised programme of learning.
What I Used To Do...
❏ Activities to support in-class learning;
differentiated to a certain extent.
❏ Reading, spelling.
❏ Maths - not differentiated as well as it could
❏ Activities linked to our current Inquiry.
Sometimes I think it was received like this (no matter how great I thought
It did link to classroom
...but it wasn’t engaging,
stimulating, or motivating.
Why was it important to change?
❏ Students were completing it out of compliance rather
than being intrinsically motivated to learn.
❏ It wasn’t individualised or challenging enough – most
importantly, there was little passion for learning.
❏ I was struggling with spending all of my Saturdays
providing written feedback on every little aspect.
❏ Student feedback to me showed there wasn’t the
learning happening that I thought there was.
❏ I wanted to challenge their thinking and encourage them
to take responsibility for their learning.
❏ I knew I could do better for my students and for myself.
❏ It wasn’t matching with my beliefs about how students
learn best but it fitted in with school-wide policy at the
Looking At Alternatives
I’ve always used digital tools to support and enhance the learning for my
students so I thought I’d start there.
Begin with the students’ individual learning needs. The in-class programme
was very focused on being individualised and I realised that the home part
of the programme was not matching as it should.
There was a need to challenge what ‘it has always been done like this so it
works’ thinking because it clearly wasn’t working. I wanted passion for
learning not compliance for doing.
❏ Developing a consistency between the classroom and
home - flattening the walls and flipping the classroom
and valuing anytime, anywhere learning - 2-way
❏ Challenging current school thinking on homework using
evidence and student voice.
Talking With The Students...
❏ Using student voice to make a change.
❏ Completing PMIs etc about what they liked about in-
class learning - and current homework.
❏ Asking them about how it could be improved or done
Researching The Options...
❏ Flipped Classroom.
❏ Personalised & Differentiated Learning.
❏ Developing a Blended eLearning culture of
anywhere, anytime learning.
❏ Changing thinking about where and how
teaching and learning happens - changing it
for teachers, students, parents, BOT.
❏ Creating passion and excitement for
I Don’t Give Homework Anymore.
Homework - What's the Alternative?
Alternatives to homework – a Chart for
I Do Give Prep. for Learning.
❏Creating and sharing knowledge
❏Passion for learning
❏ Planning ahead - what learning is coming up or what skills do my students
❏ What questions can I ask to engage them deeply in the learning?
❏ What platform am I going to use? (I use blogs and links to Google Docs).
❏ How is the discussion and sharing of learning going to happen - online,
(Reading is still a focus - in fact they do so much more than previously. We use Literature Circles
as one part of this along with instructional reading. Other basics, e.g. maths, spelling are
covered through online activities. Students write constantly - recording thinking, blogging,
sharing learning with ePals, commenting and questioning in online discussion, etc.).
It’s real and relevant connections…
...locally and globally.
...to each other…
Ok, but does it work?
❏ Participation in class learning / discussions showed evidence of thinking and research.
❏ Participation also increased - high expectations of being prepared to collaborate and contribute.
❏ Feedback from students and parents was very positive – many parents participated.
❏ Students reading more from a wider range of texts, writing more.
Student engagement on the class learning blogs was high.
Find Out More…
If you’d like to know more about how to get started in your learning environment with Prep. For
Learning, I’d love to hear from you!
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