A little creativity goes a long way towards getting kids to do their homework!

My students do not do homework. Okay, maybe the young man from Vietnam. And he does it neatly, completely. But he is the exception.

Homework should allow students to practice what they’ve learned. They have to see a reason to really learn (aka understand, put in context, synthesize…), so this year my students will be required to videotape themselves explaining to another person (or their dog, or to me) what they have learned that day. They will need to include one new problem to be solved, with the solution. Extra points for the originality in the WAY they deliver their explanation!

Once uploaded to our class website, they can be viewed, commented upon and used in class for discussion. I also anticipate having a way for my students to see growth in their learning over time.

A side effect I anticipate is closer listening in class, and an enhanced collaborative spirit: this will force new ways for students to “share” homework. (Students are the original Creative Commons licensers!)

There are lots of great tech innovations for collecting, sharing, commenting on this type of assignment. Feel free to comment if you have a better (free) way of setting this up. I am in a BYOD school, and I want to get my students involved in texting comments during an assignment (about the actual assignment!), blogging, and more. I feel that getting multiple senses involved, and having them more involved in teaching/creating their own lessons, will generate more learning.

As a side note, I also plan to have them create other assignments on line: a magazine page on a topic; a cited problem solving journal article on one or more of our math topics: online posters illustrating concepts, a word wall, and more. This way they can incorporate music, visuals, and color. I may have to purchase a monitor for letting their creations run in a constant loop, like one of those electronic picture frames!

I will track their progress. Algebra II, here we come!


#MTBoS I am going to try this 30 day thing AGAIN! Here’s my challenge: school’s out. No kids to write about!
Let’s just see what a teacher does with summer!
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