What is homework?
Homework is “work that students do at home to practice skills, consolidate knowledge and skills, and/or prepare for the next class” (Growing Success, page 148). “Assignments for evaluation must not include ongoing homework that students do in order to consolidate their knowledge and skills or to prepare for the next class” Growing Success, page 39).
Homework is a planned part of the education process designed to enhance student learning, and is directly connected to The Ontario Curriculum Learning Expectations, Learning Skills, and Ministry of Education Growing Success, Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 2010. Homework supports the development of life-long learning skills and work habits such as responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, initiative, and self-regulation (see Growing Success, page 11), and builds student’s confidence as learners.
Homework is an opportunity for parents/guardians to have meaningful conversations with their children about their learning, and to provide support and encouragement. It is also a means of building partnerships between home and school.
What are the types of homework?
Homework supports learning in a variety of ways:
- Introducing New Content: provide background or an introduction to a new topic
- Checking for Understanding: determine what students have already learned
- Practice: practice, review, and reinforce a skill or process students can do independently
- Elaboration: elaborate on information shared in class, reflect on concepts, think of new questions, and synthesize information
- Extension/Creative: provide opportunities for students to explore topics or skills of their own interest
What are the characteristics of effective homework?
- Clear academic purpose and benefit to student learning
- Positive effect on students’ sense of competence and confidence
- Personally relevant
- Respectful level of challenge
- Appropriate amount
- Differentiated based on learner needs and interests
- Provide a clear purpose and goal for the homework to both students and parents
- Assign appropriate homework at instructional levels that are respectful of students’ skills, interest, learning style, readiness, circumstances
- Provide feedback on their homework
- Establish a partnership with parents and students that promotes timely, regular communication (e.g., monthly calendar, communication booklet/log, etc.)
- Teach skills necessary for successful homework completion (e.g., materials organization, time management, problem solving)
- Create supports to organize and communicate homework. Journals, agendas, and other tools help students organize assignments and support communication between student, teacher, and parents.
- make sure she/he understands the homework
- complete all homework to the best of her/his abilities
- manage time and materials (e.g., bring home necessary materials, bring homework back to school at appropriate time, communicate any problems to teacher)
- provide a suitable environment for working at home
- participate appropriately in homework experience (e.g., clarify expectations, establish homework routines, provide guidance as needed)
- communicate regularly with teacher(s)
- monitor and encourage student’s progress and homework completion
- establish a balance between homework and other activities
Homework Time Guidelines
Note: Teachers use professional judgment and discretion to alter quantity and time frame of homework to meet program needs in the classroom, or with specific students.
*Parents are encouraged to read with their child 10 to 20 minutes most nights
*Parents/guardians are encouraged to check student agendas regularly and class/teacher websites, where applicable.
Homework Help website for Grade 7-10
Grade 7 to 10 math students now have access to live, interactive online math help through the expansion of a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Education called Homework Help. It is free, real-time math tutoring by certified Ontario teachers. Student can log in from Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST for 20 hours a week of individualized confidential math tutoring. There are discussion rooms for each grade where students can join in and see what questions other students are asking, watch the tutors draw on the whiteboard – and ask their own question for on-the-spot help.
Access it here.