- Never pair homework with a punishment. When this is done, students associate homework with unpleasantries, and it can have a negative impact on future assignments.
- Don't call home assignments, "homework." Who wants to take their work home? Besides, when it is called work, it becomes work. Personally, I like to call it, "home fun!"
- Create enticing names for home assignments. For example, I never teach script or cursive. I teach roller-coaster letters!
- Generate excitement about upcoming assignments by sharing your own excitement and enthusiasm for the content.
- Bring creative options such as drawing, sculpting, and music into assignments.
- Introduce the fun factor to your lessons. Many students enjoy making games as well as playing them, so try to weave these into the curriculum. Encouraging these entertaining options can make academics more memorable too.
- Bring color into assignments. Instead of requiring your students to write in pencil or a black pen, encourage them to use an array of erasable colors, highlighters, and pens. Personally, I love to use Frixion pens, highlighters, and markers.
- Offer a variety of assignment options. Students possess different strengths, and they also have their own preferred ways of learning. Providing options allows them to share their knowledge and choose an approach that appeals to them.
- Limit the amount of homework. Students are often cognitively exhausted after a long day of schooling, and they need time to relax and also get involved in other afterschool activities.
- Offering students extra credit for completing home assignments can be very motivating. One of my favorite assignments is offering students the opportunity to make test corrections. This way, students can learn from mishaps and any misconceptions can be corrected.
- Offer homework passes: We all need personal days.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.
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