LEARN A WORD A DAY

Monday, July 20, 2009

What is Homework?

Homework is an integral part of the learning process, and is a fundamental key in helping our students prepare to become independent learners. This in turn is imperative in our technologically changing world and in our hypercompetive, global economy.

Let's review what homework should be and why we ask our students to tackle additional work.

First, homework is an assignment that has direct relevancy to what is being taught that day or week. Homework never introduces new concepts, ideas or material. It is supplemental in nature; thus, good homework assignments will have the student practicing what they have already learned, expanding their core knowledge about a subject with additional reading or viewing and/or responding to questions, usually in the written form, about the material and ideas that have been covered.

It is important to note that when a student answers a question either orally or in writing, they are synthesizing the new material they have learned with their own past knowledge and experience. For the student, this exercise is extremely important as it puts newly learned material into context with their existing knowledge base, and because writing poses a significant challenge, they are also left with a sense of accomplishment and belief that what they have to say has value.

Homework should not take longer than 20 minutes per subject. This is critical! Remember that the average attention span is relatively short: 20 minutes (and that is on a good day). We are asking the students to become self-governing of their discipline and accomplish a task on their own, so you must be reasonable!

Do not set them up to fail. Stick to 20 minutes per subject with only three subjects per day. When you are giving homework you also have to remember their own abilities. Many parents/teachers create homework assignments based on their own abilities and speed versus those of their students. Invariably, both parties end up frustrated and let down. Base all homework on the skills and knowledge of the student.

The only exception to the 20 minute rule is reading. We know that continued practice and exposure to reading makes better readers, so there will be instances where the homework becomes a fixed number of pages rather than time. You must decide based on your student's particular needs.

Remember, when your student is done with their homework, they should feel empowered and successful. It is not a time for extreme struggle or hardship, and if this occurs, it is a surefire way to have the student disengage from the learning process completely. This is why we assess as we teach.

DO NOT just give homework because you taught the material. You may have taught it, but did the student learn it? Remember, most homework assignments are practice - not learning on their own. It seems a bit naive to expect the student to learn on their own what they did not learn with you teaching it to them.

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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