Currently I don't give any type of homework at all. And I love it. Homework seems like such a hassle for so little benefit. I don't feel like my students have learned any less without homework. But I will say I try to spend the majority of class with them working problems in some format- which is why I don't feel guilty about being homeworkless.
Most popular reasons that students don't do homework:
- Don't want to take anything home
- Forget about it
- Don't know how to do it
- Have no one at home who can help them
- No time due to job/sports/family things
I've been brainstorming a way that homework can literally work and avoid these issues. My big brain child is:
What if homework assignments are based solely on vocab? Then they can't use some of those excuses. It is still math related, class related, and requires some outside thinking beyond class time. It's also a way to build academic vocabulary and writing in math. A way to increase responsibility and accountability. And I don't want them to be completely floored by the amount of homework given in college. But they aren't in college yet so I am not going to run my classroom like that.
I just came up with this idea and so this post is mostly to think things through rather than persuade you to agree with me.
I'm thinking that students will have a notebook (separate from my math binder) just for vocab. Then maybe two vocab activities a week and I'll collect notebooks once a week or once every two weeks?
By vocab activities, I'm thinking of things like Venn diagrams, drawing a picture of what the word means, writing analogies, and...okay that's all I've thought of so far.
The more I think about this idea, the more I like it.
It lends itself well to another idea I would like to try. I want to develop essential questions for each unit and then make that an open response or essay question. This is my favorite idea for naturally integrating writing into my classroom. I could have the students help create a rubric as well. Maybe even some self-assessment?
I know that there is never a huge amount of motivation for homework but I think it might hook some of the students who are creative thinkers and enjoy writing. I think it would be less intimidating than sending home a worksheet. I also think by not collecting it every day that students would have enough time through the week, at some point, to complete it. It would also be an option for students who get done early to work on in class.
My English teacher bestie is on board and agreed to do the exact same thing that I decide to do in her class as well. I think that will go a long way toward increasing vocabulary overall and showing some unity in our school culture. And it will help train them real good. =)
I obviously need to come up with some more activities for said vocab notebook but I think I like where this is going.
FUN Ways to Teach Vocabulary
Building Academic Vocabulary
Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement