Reviewing Homework In High School Classes

Setting homework has no real value unless the teacher has a regular review process. Without this review, students will not see homework as important because they feel that the teacher doesn’t see it as important enough to review.

Homework is designed to consolidate learning that has occurred in class. What your review does is to further consolidate that learning through the recency/frequency aspect of learning.
Below is how I went about reviewing homework. First, there was my preparation.

I instructed my students to write down any questions that arose as they did their homework on the page where their homework was done, ready for them to ask during the next period’s homework review.

Personally, I would review the homework tasks beforehand, deciding what I needed to emphasise or reteach (if necessary). I might also prepare answers in hard copy form if I deemed it an advantage for my students.

Now, here is what I usually did at the start of the next lesson in reviewing homework.

• I would check to see who had done their homework. (If students had not done or been able to do their homework, they were to see me before the lesson to discuss the issue).
• I would look around at the rest of the class observing body language that might suggest that others had not done their homework.
• If there were signs, then I would have all the students turn their books to the front so I could check. (This emphasised that I was serious about homework). I would note these defaulters and talk to them in their time.
• Next, I would ask if there were any questions from the homework. These I would answer plus any follow-up questions.
• I would model my answers to the class, i.e. I would do this verbally and on the board. I might later provide a hard copy of my ‘model’ answer.
• Following this, I would discuss any other issues I felt were important to stress about this topic, e.g. misconceptions, frequent student errors and so on.
• Next, after setting the work to be done by the class for this lesson, I would work with those students who say ‘they don’t understand’. Here, I would ask them where they ‘got lost’ and proceed, from that point, to reteach the topic to them to create the best understanding I could for these students.
• It is important to have a follow-up for the defaulters. A first step for them might be to do their homework during the next break and bring it to you at a specified time. Consistent defaulters might incur more serious consequences. I kept a diary record of all defaulters. This was useful at parent teacher interviews and at reporting time.
• Lastly, I never believed that students had no problems with their homework. I know from experience which areas would give students problems. Therefore, I would ask students questions in those areas as a review of the homework. I would highlight any other important points before I went on with the teaching program.

Remember:

• The review of homework is as important as the students doing that homework and,
• Homework is a component in the process of learning study skills. That is important for future academic success.

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