By: Mary Grace C. dela Cruz
Do your pupils discourage you to give home assignments? Are you disheartened whenever you give them homework?
Well, don’t be because home assignments are extensions of instruction. They provide opportunities to practice and improve skills or gain further knowledge or understanding. They also teach lessons that cannot be measured such as self discipline, perseverance and time management.
Since home assignment is important in teaching and learning process, we have to encourage our pupils to have positive attitudes towards home assignments.
To create these positive attitudes, Dr. Marvin Marshal, an American educator devise these tips on improving our ways in giving and checking the home assignments we give to our pupils / students.
Home assignments need to be tempered with considerations for other demands on young people’s minds. Home assignments have modest influence on achievement in the early grades. When the number of assignments becomes overwhelming, the result is negative attitudes about school and learning. Assignments should be short, interesting and easy to complete by the pupils / students. Leave the more demanding work in the classroom.
In order to make home assignments more attractive, offer a choice of two assignments. Be sure pupils / students understand the purpose of the assignment. Periodically have as short discussion of its benefits. Ask for the input from the pupils / students. Explain what you believe your students will learn or accomplish from the assignment and then ask for suggestions.
Assignment should be focused. For example, rather than asking students to write about an open - ended theme from a novel or short story that the class is reading, ask them to pick one character and explain why that character behaved in that particular way.
Assigning a story to read before it is discussed is almost useless. The practice works only if the teacher does some pre – teaching by providing a cognitive map – an organized scheme. Providing them a cognitive map makes it easier for the students to make sense of what is being read. Give them clues about the story. Then when they are motivated enough to read, they will enjoy the satisfaction of discovery.
Reduce the correction of home assignments. Since we learn best by teaching have students become teachers. For example, before the teacher checks any essay, at least two other students should check it. When final papers are submitted, refrain from correcting them. Instead make a comment such as, “You have a spelling error in this paragraph” or “Check for a noun – verb agreement in this sentence.” This encourages self – correction and self evaluation. Save time with arithmetic by selecting only five problems to correct rather than checking all answers. The problems maybe the last five or any five problems. When students submit their papers, correct only these pre – selected problems. Looking only these will give enough indication of whether or not more time needs to be invested in the lesson or with selected students.
So there, hope that by doing Dr. Marshal’s tips on home assignments our pupils / students will learn more from them.
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