A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Helping Your Students With Homework: A Guide for Teachers - February 1998
Tips for Getting Homework Done
15. Give praise and motivate
Adults and children alike respond to praise. "Good first draft of your book report!" or "You've done a great job" can go a long way toward motivating students to complete assignments. Praise must be genuine. Children recognize insincere compliments.
- Competitions help motivate Ms. Orlicek's 12-grade English students. She seeks local and national contests for individual students or the entire class to enter. The winners get their poems, essays, or short stories published or recognized. The competition motivates the students to write because they know they will have an audience other than the teacher.
- One Iowa teacher uses stickers and stamps to encourage her high school French students. Jill Olsen-Virlee distributes paper fleurs-de-lis each day to students who complete their homework. The fleurs (flowers) shaped like irises, are a symbol of royalty in France. Students also collect fleurs if they catch Ms. Virlee making a mistake -- misspelling a word, for example, or forgetting an accent mark. "This keeps them sharp in class," she says. Students who collect enough fleurs can turn them in for French play money, which helps students master the country's monetary system.
- Ms. Allen motivates her high school art students by encouraging them to submit their best pieces for consideration in the school's permanent art collection. "It's a big deal to get your piece in the permanent collection," Ms. Allen says. "They get to leave a piece of themselves that will live at the school forever." In the three years since her Illinois high school began establishing this collection, 45 pieces have been selected. A range of individuals and institutions in Harrisburg sponsor the pieces and pay for their matting and framing and a plaque. Students whose pieces are selected by a committee of teachers, parents, and students have their art displayed at the school and get a picture in the local paper.
[14. Provide constructive feedback]
[16. Give help as needed]