Join The Revolution!

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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)

Impact?

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;

  1. Be different
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Get creative
  4. Break down barriers
  5. Consider environmental factors
  6. Feedback
  7. Add capacity
  8. Think differently
  9. Make homework a valuable commodity
  10. 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.

shutterstock_147965891 Data fist tablet

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Features:

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]?

‘None, sir.’

‘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).

Show My Homework

 

Differentiated:

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!

Show My Homework

Demonstration:

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.

Show My Homework

 

Show My Homework offers some useful software integration, with a fantastic team of staff that is second to none. With a helpful support structure, no wonder SMH is going places!

.

TT.

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@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

4 thoughts on “Join The Revolution!

  • 20th January 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    Lots of great ideas and more – program options – dealing with Homework (HW). I’ll be Considering this and related posts in the coming days. I indeed have Considered the subject myself and indeed have written about the topic (http://johncbennettjr.com/2015/11/30/work-for-home-not-homework/ ).

    I have concluded at this point that Work for Home (W4H) as I frame it is a better option than HW. In W4H, students – based upon their assessment of work in class and previous W4H efforts, informed by interactions with teachers – determine what THEIR efforts will be at home in support of their Effective Learning on the topic. I’m very serious as to the importance of the student control of this process, providing the ‘autonomy, mastery, and purpose’ elements suggested by Dan Pink as providing the intrinsic motivation for the effective learning. But please note that the teacher’s input is crucial, providing alignment with standards most especially.

    My use of W4H (as Emeritus faculty, I’m sadly not in any classroom) would be done in conjunction with no grades. I myself would have no grades in the courses at all but believe no HW or W4H grading can be done separately. I like no grades period as then the student maintained e-portfolio can in fact document the process towards topic effective learning via teacher feedback and subsequent teacher-collaborated learning efforts.

    One issue regarding W4H that does concern me is the teacher time commitments to both feedback and collaboration on student planning. In my ongoing Considerations of this topic, these posts will no question be of value. Thank you again!!!

  • 27th January 2016 at 8:14 pm
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    Out of interest, do you have any commercial interest in ‘Show My Homework’? Do they pay you in any way for anything, or even give you ‘free stuff’?

    • 21st February 2016 at 7:56 am
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      Good question, I wonder if you will get a response? This does read like an advert. We have SMH at school and it is not perfect by any means. We still have to back up with HW recorded in paper diaries to avoid the inevitable lost mobile/internet down excuses and there are glitches that make it more complicated and time consuming than necessary.

  • 21st February 2016 at 6:58 pm
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    I am not convinced of some of your points and I agree with Martin and Susan that this reads like an advert. The old ‘command and control’ views of “Well, let’s just take a look…..” What if the youngster is telling the truth? Sounds like more of a management tool than one to improve learning and teaching. Homework can easily be set and delivered in free online applications, Google Apps, GLOW/O365 (in Scotland) Edmodo and for a small cost Showbie. Teachers need to take time to create valuable real life, relevant work to do at home, not just tick a box and provide homework for home works sake, that benefits no one….except those looking to see if homework has been set.

Comments are closed.