The State of Homework Today
Homework is a powerful tool at a teacher’s disposal. Many teachers use homework as a means to benchmark students on their knowledge of a lesson or concepts. This is important as it can let students and teachers know which parts of the lesson need to be reproached before an exam. Also repetition through homework is another way to reinforce concepts and lessons that will be built upon later in the class. There is a downside with many students wondering why homework is so boring? I want to discuss some ways teachers can make homework more approachable and interesting for students.
As classes get more rigorous homework becomes more and more intense. The time commitment outside of the classroom for AP classes has skyrocketed and many students are left anxious or despondent outside of school. Our article here goes over the reasons why homework should not be assigned for students on the weekends. This is important as students will become less motivated to do homework making it boring for them. Students should be excited to learn, not resenting it.
That being said, homework shouldn’t be eliminated entirely, just the presentation of it should be more interesting. Many teachers get around this by assigning projects or group work. This can be an effective approach to making homework more fun, but it needs to be done the right way.
Project Based Homework
Project work is a great way to make homework more engaging and interesting for students. When one thinks of project work they assume that it’s a large, multi-week project. While this is true for a lot, it undermines the benefit of having small project-based homework assignments. Homework where you’re encouraged to work with each other is a great and fresh way to get students engaged outside of the classroom. It also eliminates cheating, as students are actively encouraged to work together to solve problems. This can sprout new relationships among peers in the classroom, while the students help each other with learning complex concepts.
Homework can be incredibly predictable. How many times have you been assigned homework in math class that is just a times table to complete? Homework that looks and feels similar to what you did a night before can become mentally taxing. It’s necessary to have the repetition for ingraining the lesson into your brain but there are more creative and fun ways to present these repetitive lessons. Maybe instead of a times table, it’s a math related board game. Gamifying homework is a great way to connect with this younger generation of students. With the constant stimuli in our environments these days, students have more difficulty than ever before focusing on worksheets.
Embracement of Technology
Technology is becoming more apart of our lives as developments are made. The next generation of students are growing up with tablets in their hands while many teachers are fighting technology use in the classroom. Embracing the advent of technology and incorporating it into homework is another great way to make homework more interesting and engaging. Students won’t be asking themselves: “Why is homework so boring?” if their homework is gamified and on their tablet at home. Now there are downsides to adopting technology such as distractions and lack of focus. It can become tempting as a student to even cheat when you can just google the answer as well. That being said it is still a very powerful tool for teachers to adopt inside and outside their classroom, while driving up engagement among students.
Creativity is a muscle all students want to stretch. Not every student wants to be an artist or a musician, but every student wants the opportunity to work on something creative. Implementing creative ways to approach and solve homework is a great way to keep students engaged and not bored. An example would be assigning a coloring-based worksheet. Homework like this can be a breath of fresh air for older students. Especially high school students taking AP classes where most of the homework they do is straight from a textbook.
So Why is Homework So Boring?
Homework is a necessary evil in a student’s life. Many students accept that homework is something that will always cut into ones free time and socialization at home. With the creative ways we covered today, we hope some of these ideas will make homework more appealing to students and teachers alike. Homework, even at the upper level, does not need to be boring. There are many creative ways that teachers can approach lesson planning and homework assignments to make it more approachable and sociable through group work, creative based assignments, and implementing technology!
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