Homework helps consolidate learning

Does homework help primary school children or is it unnecessary stress?

The following are ideas that can assess understanding, practice a skill, consolidate something learned in class or maybe just to engender some enthusiasm for our subject. With some thought they can be adapted to any topic. If you have some good ideas of your own, perhaps you could friend and message me on Creative writing on psychopath homework helps consolidate learning I can include them in my next blog fully credited of course!

Simon Porter teaches physics for premium international schools operator Nord Anglia Education. Skip to main content. How homework can help homework helps consolidate learning students consolidate their learning and create more enthusiasm for science. Simon Porter. Share this. Also very quick and easy to mark! The word limit and intended audience means students really have to think how to do this in simple language and it is a great way to assess their understanding of the lesson.

The 50 words also again makes this quick and easy to mark. Students have to consider the implications of the headline and fill in the gaps in the reports. This can be adapted to just about any subject. Again, a good assessment of their understanding. This will tell you much more about what they have learnt than them simply answering the questions.

You can ask them to do creative writing diploma canada simple practical at homework helps consolidate learning for their parents. Put a coin in the bottom far side of a mug and move your head so the coin is just out of view. Pouring water in causes the coin to appear as if by magic. This type of homework can also be done using internet simulations. This could be adapted for any planet too. A fun way to get them to research information on space.

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Homework helps consolidate learning



Its contents are as follows:. Homework is an important component of the learning process and has always been an area of concern of the educators and parents. Since the Curriculum Reform, most primary schools have made reference to the guidelines provided by the EDB for drawing up a school-based homework policy. To summarise what is seen over the last decade, the design of homework has become more and more diverse, and it not only aligns with the development of the curriculum but also caters for the learning needs of students.

Explain how teachers should set homework that suits the abilities of students and provide students with effective guidance and feedback on homework.

Formulating a school homework policy helps to achieve the following:. It not only consolidates classroom learning but also prepares students for new learning and facilitates self-learning. It helps students understand their own progress and problems, and provides them with opportunities to learn to solve problems.

It provides information on the knowledge students have acquired and the skills, attitudes and values they have developed. It gives effective feedback on the planning and implementation of the curriculum. Parents can understand the requirements of the school curriculum so that parents and schools can work together to help students improve their learning.

Well-planned and well-designed homework can help students consolidate their knowledge, explore different issues and apply what they have learned.

It also enables students to learn to take up their responsibility, build their confidence and develop their capabilities in independent learning. In setting meaningful homework, the following should be taken into account:. Well-defined goals: The homework given aligns with the school curriculum and has clear learning goals. A piece of homework should not contain too many concepts. In addition, the goals and requirements set for the homework should be easily grasped by students.

They should not be too hard or too easy but motivate students to do their best. Diversification: Different types and formats of homework can be assigned to motivate students in learning. Interesting and challenging tasks can be designed for students, e.

Students can be invited to give oral reports based on the findings from their observation or discussion with parents and friends, or given homework such as model-making and other learning activities that interest them.

Using learning resources: Students are asked to make effective use of different learning resources including libraries and other community resources, the Internet and e-learning platforms so as to develop their learning to learn and independent learning capabilities. Flexibility and tailor-made materials: Homework with the same design may vary in requirements and allow flexibility to cater for students of different abilities and learning styles.

Meaningful and appropriate amount of recitation: Recitation or other forms of memorisation, such as comprehension, appreciation and memorisation of literary texts, should be selectively used to help students build a good language foundation. Adjustment in learning progress: Make use of homework to help students plan and monitor their own learning progress so as to develop a good habit of learning. Assignments that last a longer time such as projects and book reports allow students to plan their own pace of work, delve into subjects that interest them, and integrate various information, ideas and opinions.

It allows upper primary students to take the initiative in selecting themes, planning and employing appropriate thinking strategies for compiling and recording the information obtained from reading.

Students can achieve their personalised targets within the scheduled time and experience the process of self-directed learning. Students can also choose to complete the journal either individually or in collaboration with their classmates, which helps to cater for individual differences.

A Mathematics teacher provides a pre-lesson worksheet, which contains tips on preparation steps, revision mnemonics, practice exercises and self-assessment, to help students prepare for the lesson on specific topics effectively. The homework set can vary in design to achieve different learning goals and outcomes. Table 8. Examples of homework design. Placing emphasis on helping students to develop good learning habits such as reading habits and positive values and attitudes including self-discipline, self-reflection, responsibility and passion for learning.

Giving students opportunities to connect concepts, develop their thinking skills and spirit of enquiry, and ability to apply their knowledge, skills and attitudes in different contexts. Allowing students to decide the amount and depth in their participation according to their needs, in order to arouse their motivation and interest in learning.

For Reflection and Action. What can be done to further improve its design to help students learn better? Collect homework of different types from various subjects. It is the quality rather than the quantity of homework that matters.

An appropriate amount of meaningful homework should be assigned to motivate students to learn. In addition, students should be given sufficient time so that they are willing to complete their homework. To this end, schools should note the following when they assign homework to students:. A holistic homework policy should be formulated through collaboration between subject departments. The Vice School Head or Primary School Curriculum Leader can be assigned to oversee and coordinate the homework policy across different subject departments, and monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the policy.

Class teachers can check the amount of homework assigned by different subject teachers to avoid assigning too much homework on certain days. When assigning project work within or across key learning areas, teachers should check if the total number of projects for a particular level or class is reasonable. Currently, there is a wide variety of homework including worksheets, lesson preparation, note-taking, research, book reports, oral practice, newspaper clippings, drawing and handiwork.

When formulating the homework policy, schools should draw on their previous experience and strike a balance between quality and quantity. Homework which helps to consolidate and facilitate learning should be given as much as possible. Schools should flexibly arrange the timetable and encourage teachers to make effective use of double lessons, tutorials and class-teacher periods to guide students in completing some of their homework with a view to reducing their pressure and enabling them to enjoy more leisure time.

Is the quantity of daily homework for different levels appropriate in your school? How are the guidelines for teachers on setting and allocating homework formulated in your school?

How can schools help teachers to strike a balance between the quality and quantity of homework? Do you think this is feasible?

Do you think this practice can serve as a reference? Do you think this practice works? Teachers should ensure that students know the meaning and purpose of homework, which is to help them enhance learning effectiveness. Teachers should let students understand their expectations of homework at the beginning of the school year.

It is a common practice for some teachers to ask students to sign a contract on their personal goals for the academic year. Mutual expectations of homework e. When setting homework, teachers should provide sufficient guidance and explanation in order to ensure that every student understands the requirements and ways to complete the homework. Schools should encourage students to complete their homework.

Schools and teachers should look into the reasons when students persistently fail to complete their homework. A range of supportive programmes can be set up to help students with different needs. Parents can be informed of their involvement and the extent to which they are expected to support their children with homework. This facilitates effective parent-school communication and cooperation as well as evaluation of homework policy.

Exemplar 2. Teachers also discuss with parents to facilitate their understanding of and involvement in particular support programmes. Specific and constructive feedback should be given to students to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses and to enhance their learning. In addition to scores, grades and written comments, feedback should include specific suggestions for students.

Feedback through online platforms might also be provided for students. Self-evaluation should be encouraged to help students understand their learning progress and weaknesses so as to adjust their learning plan and strategies. Parents' feedback can help students to understand their learning performance from different angles.

Students are encouraged to improve their writing skills after reading the feedback from various parties. What kind of problems do your students usually encounter in their homework? How can your school encourage students to solve these problems to improve learning? To draw up an overall school policy on homework, schools should have adequate communication with teachers, parents, guidance teachers or educational psychologists, and listen to and accept opinions of different stakeholders including those of students, where appropriate.

The following should be taken into consideration when drawing up the school policy on homework:. Homework should be designed to achieve the goals of the school curriculum, e. The needs of students at different levels should also be addressed, e.

More advanced study skills should be incorporated gradually in homework at higher levels so that students can gradually grasp such skills. Schools should take into account the time students need for participating in after-school activities when setting the type and amount of homework for each class and each level. Schools should conduct regular review of the school homework policy to meet the needs of students and the curriculum development. Schools should involve teachers of different subjects in the evaluation of the quality and quantity, variety and balance of homework.

Schools should explain the homework policy, specific implementation arrangements and appropriate parental support strategies to students and parents at the beginning of the academic year. Schools should also communicate with parents frequently and help them understand the purpose of homework and explain that quality is more important than quantity, so as to gain their understanding and cooperation.

A primary school has conducted an action research to draw up the homework policy for Mathematics at Primary Two. They set up three principles and the results are as follows:. As most of the homework is completed at home, schools should help parents understand that they play an important role in helping students develop good habits and learning skills.

Schools should help parents understand the learning objectives and learning focuses of homework so that they can provide suitable guidance for their children. They should help their children develop a sense of responsibility, instead of doing the homework for their children.

Parents can help in setting a regular schedule for homework and creating an environment at home that enables learning to take place, e. Parents may also help their children develop a good habit of rest and work and help them plan their homework based on the requirements and priority, make schedules and start working well ahead of time to ensure that the homework can be completed on time.

They should care about their children as well as appreciate and acknowledge their efforts. When their children encounter difficulties, understanding and encouragement should be offered. Parents should ensure that their children have sufficient time to rest so that their children can enjoy extra-curricular activities such as reading, sports and arts programmes.

All-round and balanced development, both physically and mentally, should be fostered. Life-wide learning or parent-child learning activities arranged by schools require the support and participation of parents.

Does Homework Improve Learning?

Your youngest forgot to mention their spelling test on Tuesday. And Telegraph columnist Judith Woods argues that homework puts families under undue stress. But does it actually help? Are the family rows worth it because it helps children get ahead?

One such primary school that has implemented this new style of homework is Littletown Primary Academy in Honiton, which changed its homework policy last year. Now, instead of formal English and maths homework, children are expected to do 20 minutes of reading each evening and are given a list of optional activities each term, related to a topic they are studying.

For homework to be effective, it has to cater to all the pupils in the classroom. T his is easier said than done, according to Perkins — especially if there is a range of abilities in the classroom. H omework can impact children differently depending on the support they have at home. Certain children are at a disadvantage, Balfour agrees.

The word limit and intended audience means students really have to think how to do this in simple language and it is a great way to assess their understanding of the lesson. The 50 words also again makes this quick and easy to mark. Students have to consider the implications of the headline and fill in the gaps in the reports.

This can be adapted to just about any subject. Again, a good assessment of their understanding. This will tell you much more about what they have learnt than them simply answering the questions. You can ask them to do a simple practical at home for their parents. Put a coin in the bottom far side of a mug and move your head so the coin is just out of view.

Pouring water in causes the coin to appear as if by magic. This type of homework can also be done using internet simulations. This could be adapted for any planet too.

The role of homework

“The research seems to indicate it doesn’t really consolidate learning. When children aren’t given homework, they don’t learn at a slower pace then when they are given homework,” he says. The authors, who included a long-time advocate of traditional educational policies, claimed the results demonstrated that homework had “powerful effects on learning.”[5] But another researcher looked more carefully and discovered that only four of those fifteen studies actually compared getting homework with getting no homework, and their results actually didn’t provide much reason to think it helped.[6]. Homework which helps to consolidate and facilitate learning should be given as much as possible. Excessive mechanical drills and copying such as copying texts or words and penmanship practice should be avoided in consideration of students’ levels and practical needs.


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