Homework Guidelines Teachers Can Use In their Class (Part 1 of 2)
Posted by: | on July 26, 2012
When I was still teaching (both in regular and school for children with special needs), I make sure that there are ground rules for turning in homework/assignments and projects both as a subject teacher and a classroom adviser. In my opinion and based on my experience, it helps students become more prepared in class when they are aware of their teacher’s expectation about homework submission.
Proper homework submission is one of the recurrent issue and concern of most students. However, today we will be talking about homework submission for teachers. Below is Special Education Philippines‘ Recommended Teacher’s Homework Tools which I have tried and tested as both a parent and a teacher to help my child and my students manage their homework. There will be a slight difference between the two situations – home and school – but for this post let’s discuss first what I did as a teacher.
1. As a homeroom adviser -
In the previous special school I worked for, homeroom advisers are given 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the school day for homeroom class. During homeroom, different skills are discussed and practiced such as study skills, inter and intrapersonal skills, etc. Homework is one of the study skills tackled in homeroom. At the start of the schoolyear, I have the following materials for monitoring homework submission:
a. homework chart - a weekly chart for listing subjects that have homework for each day. A similar chart is printed on paper for my student’s in their personal binders to help them track their homework everyday.
b. star chart – a rewards chart to record the class’ performance in submitting homework. This is posted on the wall of the classroom.
There are many guidelines you can use to help your students submit their homework on time. You can even call this homework guideline using different names: homework policy, homework rules, assignment schedule, assignment list, etc. You can also be creative in naming and designing your homework guidelines but the important thing is to keep it simple. Below is Special Education Philippine’s Homework guidelines:
1. All students who have finished their homework may submit their assignment at the beginning of homeroom class so the adviser can give their homework early to the subject teacher for checking.
a. I noticed that students who frequently submit their assignments early feel a sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the day. They also feel more prepared to learn. This boosts their confidence to do their work for that school day.
b. It helps the subject teacher to know ahead of time how many students have completed their homework and if he/she has free time he/she can start checking the homework already before she meets the class. He/She can even use the homework as review and focus on the items most of the students missed.
c. For the homeroom adviser, it helps to know who are regularly submitting their homework; who has difficulty submitting assignments on time; and which subjects were the students able to finish their assignment.
Why is it important to note observations connected to homework submission?
a. If your school considers behavioral observations or anecdotal reports, this is something you can add in your report or mention to the parent during Parent-Teacher-Conference.
b. If there is a student who is having difficulty with their homework then as homeroom adviser it is your responsibility to alert your head teacher and the guardians of the child so that the issue can be addressed right away.
c. Finally, you can also observe which subjects the students find it easy to complete their homework. If you notice that for a week most students are late in turning in their Science homework then during weekly meetings with your teacher group you can mention this incident. If they find it easy to accomplish their Math homework, you can also report the same. This observations are data which can help the team – you, the child and the parents – maximize the learning environment.
2. For those students who cannot submit their homework during homeroom class in the morning, they still have time to catch-up to finish their homework during homeroom class. If homework is not finished during homeroom class and there is still break time or lunch time before homework is due, then the student can use this time to complete the assignment. The student can also use any free time available during the day to finish his homework. If its a “bring a thing to school” then the student can call home and ask a guardian to bring his assignment to school. Personally, I allow this kind of assistance to students because the students I have handled have a difficulty in organization and management skills. So instead of punishing them and making them feel bad for their missed homework, we teach them to be creative and resourceful in looking for alternative solutions to their problem.
Watch out for the continuation of Special Education Philippine’s Homework Guidelines post tomorrow on how the opportunity to learn study skills and accomplishing homework can be maximized. It will also be discussed how the values of cooperation and teamwork can be practiced by the class by monitoring homework submission. Also, there will be more strategies for teacher’s to use in helping them address the issues connected to homework submission.
What do you think of the strategies mentioned above? Have you tried something similar in your classroom? Do you think you can do this also at home? Tell us what you think by commenting below about your own teacher’s homework guidelines.