Category: homework

A collection of posts for NQTs.

Dylan Wiliam

Dylan Wiliam

I wanted to write a definitive post for NQTs but was struck by how many useful posts already exist. Instead of repeating what others have already written, this post will serve to index some great advice from some remarkable people. The is predominately for new teachers but will also serve as a timely reminder to all teachers at any stage in their careers.

#neverstoplearning

 

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#TMNSL 20/03/2014 – Workshop resources: ‘Differentiated homework’

Differentiated homework by Sharon Porter (@sporteredu) & Tom Leahy (@MrTLeahy)


Differentiated homework by @sporteredu

Differentiated homework by @sporteredu

Differentiated homework by @MrTLeahy

Differentiated homework by @MrTLeahy

Workshop Summary.

The workshop on Differentiated Homework came about due to us considering the differentiated lesson.  “We differentiate in lessons so we should differentiate homework…right?” Right!

How can we as teachers insist upon differentiating our classwork but then feel justified in giving the entire class the same piece of homework?  It can become boring for the more able, consistently annoying for those who are finding the work challenging and it can be boring for the teacher too!  To an outsider, it may seem strange that we are not differentiating homework, so what’s happening?  Why are we all giving our students the same homework?  Let’s consider the “Why? How? & What?” of this homework scenario

Why do you want students to complete homework?

o    Practice? 10000 hrs makes perfect (Malcolm Gladwell)

o    To cover more content? The flipped classroom (Bergmann & Sams)

How do you want them do it?

o    Paper based or On-line?

o    Weekly, Bi-Weekly?

What are the next steps?

o    How can you maintain this level of homework?

o    How much effort are you putting in when setting and marking the homework?

o    How can you ensure that your students learn from the homework and not end up with lots of pretty displays? What level of feedback/marking is the most effective (#Takeawayhmk – how can you fairly assess the homework…  S. Porter is currently researching this.)

Knowing the current approaches that are taken with homework and the completion rates, the following is a list of different homework that can be tried with classes – Differentiated Homework

  •          Two sided worksheet / laminated card

o    Basic questions on one side and an extension of the concept or a problem solving task on the other side.

  •          On line homework (SAM Learning, MyMaths, ShowMyHomework, etc)
  •          Concept Cards – some staff made their own in the workshop
Concept cards.

Concept cards.

  •          Choice Boards

Alternatives to Traditional HW

  • Suggestions by the students of Kathleen Cushman “Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery
  • Takeaway HW (from “100 teaching ideas for Secondary  Teachers” Ross Morrison McGill aka @TeacherToolkit)

Related blog post.

Presentation slides.

@sporteredu & @MrTLeahy on Twitter.

#neverstoplearning


#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

#NeverStopLearning by @DavidJesus

‘Quick wins’ #5 – Clear homework deadlines

maths homework 2

Why? – My students were always asking when their homework was due in and I had to keep looking it up or couldn’t even remember when I set it.

Possible solution – Stick a mini white board to the wall.  Every time you set homework, write it up on the mini white board so the class can see you writing it. When you are next asked when the homework is due in, just point to the board. The students will get used to coming into the room and reading it.

maths homework boards

Resources. A mini white board per class, attached to the wall.

Outcome.  Students no longer ask when homework is due in and there are no arguments about when homework is due.

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#neverstoplearning