How can teachers set homework that adds value to a child’s learning? And how can teachers manage homework better?
Many parents and teachers – sometime students – are not convinced by homework. Some claim that homework adds no value to learning, but research has claimed that it does, if set with context.
If you try to get rid of homework in primary schools many parents judge the quality of the school by the presence of homework. So, don’t get rid of it. Treat the zero as saying, “It’s probably not making much of a difference but let’s improve it”. (Source)
On closer inspection, “… studies show that the effect size at Primary Age is d = 0.15 and for Secondary students it is d = 0.64.” (@headguruteacher). An effect-size of 1.0 is typically associated with advancing learners’ achievement by one year, or improving the rate of learning by 50%.
Hattie explains our obsession with homework:
The worst thing you can do with homework is give kids projects. The best thing you can do is to reinforce something you’ve already learnt.”
I have discussed 10 Reasons To Love Homework before, citing the simple reasons why and how homework can make a difference to learning;
- Be different
- Plan ahead
- Get creative
- Break down barriers
- Consider environmental factors
- Add capacity
- Think differently
- Make homework a valuable commodity
- Be reflective.
Read more here.
Show My Homework:
For the past 15 months or so, we have been using Show My Homework (SMH) at school. When we moved over to digital homework, this benefited our students in many ways but also questioned ‘the purpose of the school planner’ and ‘access to homework facilities for students after school’.
We are not there yet, but with SMH we are about to break through the mould.
Using Show My Homework has made ‘homework excuses a thing of the past, keeping all homework online and visible’ to students, parents and even every teacher. Schools can have this transparency globally, not just within their school; placing class homework online which is never hidden behind login details with all the homework your students need. Using SMH has many benefits for everyone. All adults have access to online homework and anyone in (or out of) the school can now help explain better and support students with their homework with the click of a button.
Transparency is a fantastic feature. Giving the ability for all staff, not just teachers, with access to homework provide equal-access to work and standards set across the school. This is particularly important as a form tutor or on those occasions where (any member of) staff may have conversations with a student after school;
‘So, what homework do you have in [subject]?
‘Well, let’s just take a look at Show My Homework and see …’
Everyone can support the wider curriculum and students in their independent learning. There is no reason for not being ‘in-the-know’. For me, this is a significant culture change in any school.
Below is an image of what my homework calendar looks for my year 7 design technology classes (this week).
Ever struggled to tailor a piece of homework to different levels in your class? It’s easy with our Differentiated Homework tasks, increasing in difficulty or task type to cater for every child. You may want to consider my version of Take Away Homework?
After all, not every child learns in the same way, and not every homework will suit the same style. Keep every learner engaged with medium-term learning that is something students control.
Share best practice:
A lot of technology is pushed into schools without care and attention given to every user and it can end with a system only being used by the enthusiastic minority. Show My Homework offers consistency for teachers, parents and students – and consistency is key in any school – and training helps provide that. Training is offered in-house and online.
In terms of sharing best practice within school – or within the SMH community – a colleague may have an amazing piece of homework. Want to share this? It’s made easy with SMH which saves time and reuse their resources, ensuring a quality that’s consistent across the school. You can even magpie great ideas from all homework in your school or within the SMH website!
A software solution of choice for setting and creating homework the smarter way.
- Get back to the day job
Get detailed overview, frequency and parents’ evening reports and be up to date in seconds, not hours.
- Raise standards
Powerful insights into homework activity so Senior Leaders and teachers can easily identify gaps in learning.
- Make savings
Manage homework with a single solution for teachers, students and parents. iOS and Android apps for access on the go.