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

Tips for Getting Homework Done

1. Lay out expectations early in the school year.

Before handing out the first homework assignment, go over the ground rules. A written explanation of the homework expectations increases chances that assignments will be completed successfully.

Let students know that:

All students need to be held to high standards; research shows that students make greater academic gains when teachers set and communicate high expectations to them.

Let students know how much and when homework will be assigned. Many teachers believe a consistent homework schedule helps students remember to do assignments--every Monday and Thursday night, for example. A consistent schedule can also help busy parents remember when their children's assignments are due.

Parents or other caregivers also need to understand the teacher's homework policy and expectations, particularly parents of younger students, who will be more actively involved in the assignments. All parents, however, need to know that their support and encouragement can be critical to the successful completion of assignments.

Teachers can communicate this information in many ways. Some teachers write notes home laying out their expectations, which parents or caregivers are asked to read, initial, and return. Some talk with parents about homework at back-to-school night. Some telephone parents and caregivers. Special efforts should be made to communicate with those who are hardest to reach.


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