Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Homework: Getting Started

 As a teacher, parents are constantly frustrated  with their child not doing their homework, having trouble getting started, and figuring out what to do next. I started writing down the beginning and ending procedures in my class for students who have trouble getting started. I added these tips below from Stowell Learning Center for students who have trouble focusing in my class. I've had success with all my students who use these guidelines in my classroom.

"Have you ever had this dialogue with your student?   
"I don't know what to do on this assignment!"

"What did your teacher say to do?"

"I don't remember."

"What part don't you understand?"

"All of it!"
There has to be a starting place, an anchor, a comfortable and familiar beginning point that students can rely on to get them started."

Homework Tip
Homework Problem:
"How Do I Get Started with EACH Assignment?"

Some students struggle to get started because they are unsure about what to do. They often fail to read or understand instructions. Some really need to be shown, as well as reading or hearing the instructions.

We want students to be as independent as possible on homework, but getting them started and reassuring them that they are on the right track can alleviate a lot of wasted time.
Homework Solution:
Use The "Getting Started Questions"
Here are 5 questions to ask your child to answer at the beginning of each assignment:
  1. What should I do first? (Put my name on the paper)
  2. What do the directions say?
  3. Is there an example I can look at?
  4. In this assignment, are there questions I will need to answer after reading something?  If so, where are those questions?  Read the questions before reading the section (paragraph, chapter, etc.).
  5. Do I need to ask for help?
Are there other questions that should be asked at the beginning of every assignment?
  • Write all the questions on a card that your child will use every time he does homework.
  • Now "walk" your child through each question. Direct your child through using the questions on several assignments.
  • Finally, have him try to use them independently.
Once you have gotten your child in the habit of using the card at the start of each and every assignment, homework becomes much faster to get into and to finish...which means more time for fun!

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