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Helping Your Students With Homework: A Guide for Teachers - February 1998

Tips for Getting Homework Done

6. Vary assignments

Students get bored if all assignments are similar. Try mixing approaches and styles. Since it's almost impossible for all assignments to interest all students, this approach increases the chances that all students will have some homework that they enjoy.

Short-term assignments can help students review and practice material that has already been covered in class. Math students may need to review decimals, for example, while students of foreign languages may be required to go over verb conjugations. Long-term projects give students a chance to vary the pace of their work, delve into subjects that interest them, integrate large amounts of information, and learn to manage their time and meet deadlines.

Variety can also invigorate teachers. Mrs. Harman is now in her 35th year of teaching English and French to 7th- through 12th-graders. "I rarely make the same writing assignment twice," she says. "Students deserve a fresh approach. And I try to teach one new book a year, so I'm not teaching the same things year after year."
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[5. Create assignments that challenge students] [Table of Contents] [7. Make learning personal]