Monday, October 4, 2010

Homework....Where's the Beef?

Does she give tons of homework? It's a question asked by students from middle school all the way up through college. The thought of answering questions for students is often enough to achieve a sufficient grade and keep their parents content. Are teachers assigning meaningless questions?Plock's post Homework: From Chills to Thrills on TeachPaperless offers a history's teacher take on this timeless debate. Thrilling is the adjective used to describe how homework should be to students. Everyday teachers face students who complete assignments and while the reward in homework is partly the act of completing it , the lack of enthusiasm to discuss their ideas lingers. Plock suggests homework be thought of as a cliffhanger for students, sending them out of the classroom, unable to wait until they have a moment at lunch, in study hall , or on the bus to try out those problems that were left to "open"at the end of class. As a student I have been there....... so excited to return to class because the learning environment encouraged conceptual understanding and effort.

I'll admit my thoughts of cliffhanger prior to reading this post have always been related to the PBS show "Between the Lions", where a man, Cliffhanger spends every episode trying to get off the cliff, only to end up there every time at the end. Even though I know that he will be stuck there in the end, I enjoy the process of him exploring the infinite amount of solutions to achieve his ultimate goal. In this day and age students need to value what they do at school and relate it to there lives as often as possible. So excited to get back into the classroom and using these great suggestions from teachers working hard everyday to help kids set and reach their goals.If you are interested in finding ideas for meaningful homework assignments, be sure to check out the post, in addition to history suggestions, there are also ideas for english and photography courses.

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