Tackling home assignments

Manju Gupta

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Practically every working day, we are faced with situations that beg for solutions. We talk to our colleagues and sometimes find ways to cope with difficult students, challenging teaching tasks, classroom management issues, and a host of other aspects of school life. This column is an attempt to provide a forum for those questions and challenges. If you have a query you would like addressed or discussed, do write to us and we will – together – initiate a search for solutions.

How do I make sure that the home assignments given to my class are done and submitted on time?

-Preeti Vidyarthi, Pallavi Model School, Secunderabad.

The basic idea of giving homework assignments is to reinforce what the child has learnt in class.

  1. The first step to make sure that students do their home assignments is to make them understand the need to do homework. A simple flow chart will help the child to internalise the need to do homework.
  2. The second step is to design effective and interesting home assignments which will also help the child to think. Homework need not necessarily be based on the day’s work but can be a sort of review to reinforce concepts learnt earlier. It should cater to the level of the average child and should not be complex.
  3. Providing very clear instructions is the third important aspect. Enough time should also be given. Some reference work can also be included wherever possible. Illustrations, graphic organisers, etc., stimulate children’s interest and creativity. These should also be appropriately included.
  4. Be firm about deadlines and think of rewards for those who meet deadlines.
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  5. The assignment explanation must be clear and children must know how it is going to help them. It could be a part of the grading system.
  6. Reiterate the fact that learning is not restricted to the classroom but takes place in every activity/assignment they do. Assignments are a part of the learning process.
  7. After they submit their assignments, make sure you correct and return them on time. Encourage them with suitable positive remarks and advise them about how they can improve.
  8. Involve parents and give them feedback about assignments during PTMs (Parent-Teacher Meetings) and encourage them to support their children.
  9. Make sure that the assignments can be done by the child without help, as all children may not get help at home.
  10. Avoid boring and repetitive assignments.

On the whole the teacher needs to plan assignments well in advance and must be clear about the aims and objectives.

INTERNALISATION is the key word to solving the homework problem!

Manju Gupta is Principal, Pallavi Model School, Hyderabad.

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