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20+ creative alternative homework ideas for teachers
When giving homework, it must always be based on learning goals your students have to reach, just like in your lessons. But it’s sad to see that lots of teachers are using homework as extra lesson time. Of course, as a teacher, you’re on a clock. But that doesn’t mean your students have to suffer from it and keep working on those boring textbooks and worksheets at home.
Consider goals like attitudes, real-life experiences, and practice, physical exercise, social encounters, creative solutions, and philanthropy as crucial as your lesson goals. These are things students don’t just pick up in your classroom. These are things they pick up in life.
In this blog post, I’ll give you some innovative homework ideas that will engage your students more. These alternatives to traditional homework will thereby also teach your students new things that can’t be taught in the classroom. You will find a variety of homework ideas: online and offline.
I will mention homework alternatives for primary school and high school. Some of these ideas can be changed a little bit, so they are the perfect fit for the right audience.
20 Creative homework ideas
You can divide homework tasks into the following themes or categories:
- Crafts & arts
- Outdoor activities & outings
- Games and activities
- Physical activities
- Digital or computer activities
- Philanthropy & social work
💡 Good to know : all the ready-to-use homework activities are created with BookWidgets . You can easily create activities like these yourself or duplicate an activity below for free, edit it if needed, and share it with your students. You can do so in the examples separately, or you can find all the homework examples in the BookWidgets Blog group folder .
Crafts and arts homework
1. prepare a dish from a recipe book.
2. Make a board game
3. Create a birdhouse
4. Transform a fictional book character into a hand puppet
Outdoor homework activities and outings
5. coupon game.
Students can also go grocery shopping with their parents. Here, they have to read the ingredients of the products and help their parents choose the healthiest products for the best prices, figure out the best deal between the sizes of items, …
6. Visit the zoo
7. Visit the local dumping ground or container park
8. Build a tree house
Games and activities as homework
9. bookwidgets games.
11. Play Cards
12. Play Zoo Tycoon or Rollercoaster Tycoon
Physical homework activities
13. rope skipping.
Many rope-skipping songs let your students do different tricks while rope-skipping. This is an excellent opportunity for homework as well. Ask your students to transform a rope skipping song into a song with lesson content. Let them count or spell or even sum up the different states or capitals. To engage their lifestyles even harder, you can additionally give them the assignment to create a TikTok in which they are jumping and singing.
Click here to see how you can get Tiktok more involved in the classroom.
14. Walking quest
If there aren’t any walking quests in the neighborhood, you could ask your students to create a walking quest like this for their fellow students. What a fun day it will be!
15. Obstacle Quiz
In order for students to answer the questions, they have to run and pass a challenging parkour. This is a fun homework exercise, and in the end, it’s a great lesson starter or lesson end.
16. Swimming games
After the activity, they can fill out an Exit Slip:
Digital or computer homework activities
17. create a picture album.
This teaches them to handle the online software, add pictures and write without spelling mistakes. And of course, creating memories is so much fun!
18. Video job application
19. Your life in 10 minutes - video
20. Email pen-pals
Is it still too complicated? Read the messages from your students, before they send them, and provide them with some feedback.
Philanthropy and social homework
21. grow a community garden.
22. Help in a retirement home
23. Help at a homeless shelter
24. Collect litter
Here’s another homework tip: Don’t call homework “homework”. Call it a challenge. Homework has become a negative word for students, and I bet they start rolling their eyes as you even mention the word.
Still looking for more inspiration? Check out the blog on short films and lesson activities that spice up your Google Classroom . Tip: even if you don’t use Google Classroom, there is a lot of inspiration back here.
Above you have read single assignments. But, you also have the option to involve your homework in a project. Find out more here .
So, as I mentioned earlier, there are many fun alternatives to traditional homework. Now it’s up to you to apply this in the classroom as well. In this folder , you will find all the examples you have come across.
Which idea do you or perhaps your students like the most? Let us know on Twitter . Of course, there are many more alternatives. If you have other ideas, you are always welcome to share it with other teachers in our Facebook group .
One more thing: don’t forget to say hi👋 on LikedIn .
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6th September 2020
Creative Homework Ideas
How can you create homework assignments that build on the day’s lessons and encourage creative, student-led learning? It’s a challenge for most teachers, especially as motivating pupils to complete homework can add a whole extra layer to your lesson plans. But it’s essential to bridge the gap between teacher and student learning – the skills gained through independent study reinforces knowledge from your class, as well as a host of other benefits:
- Extended learning time – outside of the constraints of the school day, students are free to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.
- Independent learning – vital skills for exam preparation and higher education
- Teaches students to be resourceful and to overcome challenges independently.
- Gives students the freedom to be creative in their learning, gain valuable problem-solving skills and confidence in their own abilities.
Tips For Setting Creative Homework
- Plan independent learning both in and out of the classroom – you can monitor students effectiveness and address issues that may arise in the classroom before they become problematic for pupils at home.
- Don’t leave homework assignment to the end of the lesson, rushing through the task might leave some students confused which inevitably leads to a lower homework completion rate. Write plenty of time for explaining homework assignments into your lesson planning – read our Beginner’s Guide To Lesson Planning here
- Homework should to not too easy nor not too hard, offering pupils a challenge that reinforced the topics learnt during the day
- Give room for creative expression – allowing students to add their own diagrams, decorations or chose their own project topics from a selection.
- Try using peer or self-assessment to mark homework – a double whammy of reducing your workload and allowing pupils to take control of their own learning.
- Include timings and explicit steps for completing more complicated assignments, especially for pupils that you anticipate might struggle. Comprehension of the task is the biggest hurdle in getting pupils to work on an independent basis.
- Self-driven projects, posters, creative tasks and research are more exciting than standard comprehension tasks and might encourage pupils that find sitting and writing dull or hard to complete the homework set – give students the freedom to learn and be creative in their home study.
- Provide specific instructions and internet safety reminders for research-led assignments. It’s very easy for children to find research overwhelming with a vast amount of information available online. Provide suggested websites and links in your homework to keep things on track!
- Don’t introduce a new topic for homework – keep it to topics that you’ve already covered in class
- Taking note of the subjects that excite and engage your class and set homework accordingly – try keeping dryer topics and for the classroom so that you can monitor engagement
- Mark work promptly – essential to keep students motivated to complete work in their own time!
- Offering students the opportunity to select the homework that they would like to do from a selection guarantees a higher rate of completion. We’ve seen some teachers create grids or sheets of homework assignments for the pupils to select, or offer baskets of activities for younger children to take home and complete with an adult.
Creative Homework Ideas For All Ages
Coming up with innovative ways for students to reinforce their knowledge at home can be difficult – many of these ideas would be suitable for lots of subjects with a little tweaking!
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10 entertaining homework ideas for online English Language Learners
Did hearing the words, “do your homework,” when you were a child excite you?
For most of us, the word homework doesn’t conjure up exciting or fun memories.
Homework was likely one of the last things you wanted to do as a student!
However, what if you could make homework fun for students? What if homework was entertaining?
In this article, we share some entertaining homework ideas for English language learners to help them improve their English while having fun!
You might be familiar with lots of ESL games and activities for your students , but assigning the right homework can feel overwhelming.
This is particularly true if you don’t want to burden your students with a tremendous amount of information.
Have you ever thought about combining games with homework?
There are many alternative ways to create memorable lessons, such as incorporating karaoke songs to learn English.
Here are 10 fun and entertaining homework ideas for your ESL students:
- Cafe hopper
- Tiktok star
- Let’s go to the movies
- Hello Mr. Teacher
- Interview a stranger
- Shine like a Karaoke star
- Expert on the loose
- 24 hour challenge
- It’s a wrap!
- Masterchef in the making
1. Cafe hopper
Most people love checking out cafes and this is an easy homework task to assign to your students.
Have your students visit a variety of cafes as part of their homework.
Then, consider what they could do for homework in a cafe of their choice.
Here are some fun ideas for turning cafe-hopping into homework:
- Practice ordering in English off of the menu.
- Take a photo of the cafe’s and share the differences and similarities with you in class.
- Speak to a stranger in each cafe in English and ask them some interesting questions about their life.
- Interview the barista about their favorite kind of coffee or beverage.
This is a stress-free homework idea that your students will love, especially if they are coffee or tea lovers!
2. TikTok star
Tiktok is a fun social media application where you can watch videos and songs from creators. You can also watch creators lip-synching to catchy tunes.
Show some fun examples in your class of some famous TikTok songs being lip-synched to by others and practice doing one together.
- For homework, have them choose their favorite song on TikTok.
- They can lip-synch to the song and download the song to their camera album without having to actually post it to TikTok.
- Have them share their creation with you in the next class!
Depending on the age and location of your student, TikTok might not be an option for them. If you are teaching older students or adults , then it might be easier for them to use social media for this homework assignment rather than young children.
If they are too young to use the app, have them find an online video of their favorite song and ask a parent to record them singing!
3. Let’s go to the movies
Going to the movies doesn’t sound like homework, does it? Well, as you might already be discovering, homework doesn’t have to be conventional!
Find some interesting movies that are playing in your students’ area or ask them to watch a movie of their choice in English.
Tell them that their homework is going to be based on the movie they watch.
Here are some ideas for making going to the movies part of their homework:
- Have them write a summary of the movie or their favorite part.
- Tell them that they have to give you a movie review in your next class.
- Have them act out their favorite part of the movie with a sibling or family member and record it (in English of course!).
- Ask them to make a poster advertising the movie with captions, titles and text to accompany any drawings.
If you are struggling to find movies they can go and watch in the cinema, you can always use these ESL movies and TV shows as a resource.
Students can also watch movies from the comforts of their homes.
4. Hello Mr. Teacher!
Students love playing the role of the teacher!
This can work for in-person or online ESL classes.
Tell them that as part of the next classroom activity, the first 5 – 10 minutes will be their time to shine as the teacher!
For homework, ask them to:
- Think of one topic that they know a lot about (This could be a sport, musical instrument, game, topic, etc…).
- Have them prepare 5 important things that someone needs to know about their topic.
- Tell them that in their next class they will be the teacher and share their knowledge! (They can even give you homework!).
Have fun with this homework idea and role-play the student where you ask them questions after they finish.
Your students will love this one!
5. Interview a stranger
This one might need some parent support and guidance if you are teaching children, but having them interview someone is an entertaining homework idea for English language learners.
- It encourages their own voice as they come up with ideas.
- It helps with writing skills as they write out their questions.
- Interviewing encourages conversation and role playing which is a fun way to learn English.
You could have your younger students interview a family member and ask questions related to that family member’s childhood.
Here are some sample questions you could help your students form:
- What kind of things did you like to do when you were my age?
- What was your favorite thing about school?
- What types of sports did you play when you were young?
- Tell me about what life was like when you were a child.
Have them choose and write out 5-10 questions and come back to class to report on their findings!
6. Shine like a Karaoke star
Who doesn’t like a bit of karaoke? Imagine….singing your heart out to “I love rock n roll” in the privacy of your own home!
You don’t need to go to a karaoke place to actually sing karaoke songs. There are lots of great karaoke songs available online to learn English with your students.
YouTube is a great place to start, just by searching for your favorite song + “karaoke lyrics” in the search bar.
In class, help your student(s) choose a song and task them with finding the online karaoke lyrics to sing along.
Have them sing this for homework! You could even ask a parent to help them record it if they are comfortable with that.
Here are some fun and popular karaoke songs online to learn English:
- “I Will Survive” with Gloria Gaynor
- “Livin’ on a Prayer” with Bon Jovi
- “Summer Nights” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
- “Don’t Stop Believin’” with Journey
7. Expert on the loose
There is an expert in all of us, including your students!
In this fun and entertaining homework idea, have your student share their expertise on something!
To add a different dimension to the homework idea, “Hello Mr. Teacher,” task your students to dress up as the expert and make a short speech on their topic of choice.
Here are some examples:
- Harry Potter
- Michael Jordan (to talk about basketball)
- Favorite sports athlete
- Insect scientist
- Astronaut (if your student knows a lot about space)
- Presidential candidate
- Pilot (for students who know a lot about countries)
Even if they are not an expert on the topic, part of the homework assignment could be to do some research and learn more about their chosen field.
You could even ask them to dress up and come to class in the role, ready to share their knowledge with you!
8. 24 hour English challenge
This one is self-explanatory and incredibly fun!
Set a challenge for your student to only speak in English for 24 hours.
This means that you might need to get parents involved with the homework assignment, so that they can help out.
The idea is that they have to speak only in English (as much as is possible given their situation) when interacting with family, friends and at school.
Your students might already be immersed in English environments, but, oftentimes, they are speaking their native language at home with family and friends.
Having your students force themselves to only speak in English is challenging and a great way to encourage English outside the classroom.
9. It’s a wrap!
Lots of students love to rap! Rap music is poetic and encourages a lot of ESL language skills that we want to build in our students.
This is an activity that you can model with your students in class and assign it for homework for them to create their own rap.
Again, they can come back to class and rap their new song to you! It might, however, work better with older students who have a good base level of English, to begin with.
Here are some fun homework assignments incorporating rap:
- Create their own rap if they are the creative type
- Find a well known rap online and practice it to present in class
- Assign your students to find a rap online that they sing and record with their friends
10. Masterchef extraordinaire
For the food lovers, creating a homework assignment that includes cooking can be really fun.
Most kids love the idea of cooking, especially if it centers around cooking their favorite food!
When considering this as a homework idea, consider these possible assignments:
- Create and write out a recipe for a unique culinary dish.
- Make a video about the cooking experience.
- Record a tutorial of how to cook something.
- Turn it into a competition if you have multiple students.
Plus, this works with physical and online classrooms.
Of course, if you have a physical classroom with multiple students, this could be a really fun in-class experience with some homework assignments to accompany it.
Who doesn’t love a food-related assignment?
If you choose Masterchef extraordinaire, allow your students to share the food they make with the class and encourage lots of conversations in English.
Homework doesn’t have to be boring!
As you can see, homework doesn’t have to be boring!
Most of your ESL students have a lot to do even outside class, and that’s why assigning homework that doesn’t feel like homework is ideal!
This is an opportunity to get creative, creating excitement for your students to learn English.
If you use some of the homework ideas mentioned here, make sure you document the experience and continue to discover new activities that bring laughter and joy to the classroom.
And when you are applying to online teaching jobs , be sure to share how you plan to creatively incorporate class assignments and homework for your students!
Enjoy the process and make learning an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to share.
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Creative Homework Ideas For Your Students
Setting appropriate homework tasks is a big part of your teaching role. Setting homework is an opportunity to ensure that your students have absorbed the lesson and can apply what they've learnt to individual study. Homework allows students to reflect on your teachings and broaden their understanding of a particular subject or topic.
However, motivating your class to view homework this way might be something of a challenge! Most young people find settling down to complete homework outside of school hours challenging. If the task feels overwhelming or difficult or seems monotonous, they might just go through the motions of getting it done rather than giving it their full energy and attention and completing it the best they can.
So how can you ensure students' love of learning continues outside the classroom and that they not only give their all to completing homework but actually enjoy it too?
By getting creative with the work you set and thinking about how you can engage and motivate students to complete their homework, you will undoubtedly see better results.
Here are some excellent homework ideas to help encourage creative, student-led learning.
Exciting, engaging homework ideas to keep your students paying attention
Write their own lesson plan.
If you want to give your students a chance to step into your shoes for the day, why don't you ask them to create their own lesson plan around a topic they've learnt about or are about to learn? This will give them a chance to showcase their knowledge, do research and think creatively. You'll also learn more about how your students like to work and what would make a good lesson from their perspective, which could help inform how you shape your lessons in the future.
Write a speech or story from a different perspective
If your students are learning about a famous historical figure or studying a classic text, why not get them to think about different perspectives? You could ask them to embody someone influential from a particular period or a character from a play or story and write a speech or story from that person's point of view.
Create a board game
Gamification is always a fun idea to try to inject energy into the classroom, and getting your students to create their very own board game is a fantastic way to keep things fun while also getting them engaged in their learning. Games could centre around a particular topic; they could be quiz-based, matching games, or number games - let them get as creative as they like. You can then have fun in class playing the best ones too.
Go on a treasure hunt
As a fun homework task that will get your students out and about, ask them to go on a treasure or scavenger hunt, finding certain things that are related to your topic. For younger children, this could be as simple as collecting leaves, flowers, or twigs they might find in their local park, or particular shapes or colours, but older children can benefit from this kind of task too by setting more complicated challenges.
Create a collage
Creating collages can be a fun and interesting way for students to demonstrate their learning, improve their research skills and use their creativity and imagination and can be based on a variety of different topics so they work well across lots of subjects. Encourage them to stick cutouts, fabrics, tickets, photographs, and any other relevant materials to make up their collages, and then they can take turns presenting these in class.
Film a video
If your students are older and have mobile phones, you could set a video-making task for them to do at home. This could involve interviewing friends and relatives about a topic or filming themselves talking about a specific subject, or answering a particular question. Students could share their videos in class and will love being able to use their phones in school for once!
Create a crossword
Get your students to think creatively about questions and answers by asking them to create their very own crossword puzzle, using the material you've taught them in class as a basis. You can ask them to bring all their crossword puzzles into class and then swap them with each other to see if other students can fit the answers in correctly.
Find fun facts
Almost every subject has weird and wonderful facts surrounding it. Did you know, for example, that the word 'hundred' derives from an old Norse term 'hundrath,' which actually means 120?! Or that water can both boil and freeze simultaneously? Encourage your students to find the most obscure or interesting facts about the subjects you are teaching them, and then you can all share your findings in class.
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- Teaching Tips
20 Interactive Classroom Activities for College Students [Plus: Free List of 45+ Activities]
Planning to use interactive classroom activities intentionally can really transform the learning dynamic. Here are 20 activities to get you started.
Top Hat Staff
How interactive are your classroom activities? Do you have less energy for class than you used to? Do you find student grades declining? And are the teaching methods you’ve always relied on not working as well as they once did? We spoke to two college instructors, Chris Merlo and Monika Semma. Their strategies for interactive classroom activities will energize your class and get the discussion moving again.
Table of contents
- Why are interactive activities important in college?
6 community-building activities
5 communication activities for college students, 3 motivational activities for college students.
- 6 team-building activities for college students
Interactive classroom activities, in short
Why are interactive classroom activities important.
Merlo, a computer science teacher, says that interactive classroom activities are not new to students, and one main reason why teachers have trouble connecting is that they fail to adapt to their students’ perspectives.
“My six-year-old son doesn’t find iPads amazing; to him, they’ve always just existed. Similarly, to a lot of students today, experiences like team exercises and flipped classrooms, while foreign to many instructors are not new.
“If we care about reaching today’s students, who seem to have a different idea of student responsibilities than we had, perhaps we have to reach them on their terms.
“In my thirties, I could still find a lot of similarities with my twenty-something students. But now, in my forties? Not so much. What I’ve started to realize is that it isn’t just the little things, like whether they’ve seen Ghostbusters. (They haven’t.) It’s the big things, like how they learn.”
Semma, a humanities TA, found that the chalk-and-talk approach failed on her first day in front of a class. “It was a lot like parallel parking in front of 20 people,” she said. “I looked more like a classmate. I dropped the eraser on my face whilst trying to write my name on the board. One of my students called me ‘mom.’”
“I chalked it up to first day jitters, but that same quietness crept its way back into my classroom for the next tutorial, and the next tutorial and the next. While nearly silent in class, my students were rather vocal in the endless stream of emails that flooded my inbox. That way I knew they wanted to learn. I also knew that I had to find a way to make tutorials more engaging.”
From these experiences, Merlo and Semma now share some interactive classroom activities for students and for teachers that can turn a quiet classroom full of people unwilling to speak up to a hive of debate, making the student learning experience more collaborative for everyone.
Energize your college classroom and get discussions flowing. Download The Best Classroom Activities for College Courses to engage and motivate students.
1. Open-ended questions
Chris Merlo: Open-ended questions don’t take any planning. All they take is a class with at least one student who isn’t too shy. I remember a class a few semesters ago that started with nine students. Due to a couple of medical conditions and a job opportunity, three of the students had to drop the semester. The problem was that these three students were the ones I counted on to ask questions and keep the class lively! Once I was left with six introverted people, conversations during class seemed to stop.
By luck, I stumbled on something that got the students talking again. I said, “What has been the most difficult thing about [the project that was due soon]?” This opened the floodgates—students love to complain, especially about us and our demands. This one simple question led to twenty minutes of discussion involving all six students. I wasn’t even sure what a couple of these students’ voices sounded like, but once I gave them an open-ended opportunity to complain about an assignment, they were off to the races. A truly successful classroom activity.
2. What’s wrong with this example?
Chris Merlo: Students also love to find a professor’s mistakes—like me, I’m sure you’ve found this out the hard way. When I teach computer science, I will make up a program that, for instance, performs the wrong arithmetic, and have students find the bug. In a particularly quiet or disengaged class, you can incentivize students with five points on the next exam, or something similar.
If you teach history, you might use flawed examples that change a key person’s name, such as “King Henry VIII (instead of King John) signed the Magna Carta in 1215,” or match a person to an incorrect event: “Gavrilo Princip is considered to have fired the first shot in the Spanish Civil War (instead of World War I).” Beam these examples on the whiteboard, and let the students’ competitiveness drive them to get the right answer before their classmates.
3. Let students critique each other
Chris Merlo: This can go badly if you don’t set some ground rules for civility, but done well, classroom activities like this really help open up collaborative learning. One of my colleagues devised a great exercise: First, give students about half of their class time to write instructions that an imaginary robot can understand to draw a recognizable picture, like a corporate logo, without telling students what will happen later. Then assign each student’s instructions to a randomly chosen classmate, and have the classmate pretend to be the robot, attempting to follow the instructions and draw the same logo.
After a few minutes, introduce a specific student who can share their results with the class, then ask their partner to share the initial instructions. This method gives students a chance to communicate with each other (“That’s not what I meant!”) and laugh and bond, while learning an important lesson.
This exercise teaches computer science students the difficulty and importance of writing clear instructions. I have seen this exercise not only teach pairs of such students meaningful lessons but encourage friendships that extended beyond my classroom.
4. Pass the “mic”
Monika Semma: As an instructor, it’s amazing how much information you can gather from a student-centered review session. Specifically, if you leave the review in the hands of your students, you can get an easy and thorough assessment of what is being absorbed, and what is being left by the wayside. The more you encourage participation, the more you’ll see where your class is struggling and the more comfortable students will become with course material. Here’s how to transform a standard review into one of your more popular classroom activities:
- A week before the review, ask students to email you two to five key terms or theories that they feel they need to brush up on. Take all that data and compress it until you have a solid working list of what students want to review most.
- In class, provide students with visual access to the list (I found writing all the terms on a chalkboard to be most effective). Instruct the class to have their notes out in front of them, with a pad of paper or blank Word document at their fingertips, and encourage them to take notes as the review is in progress.
- A trinket of sorts (I highly recommend a plush ball), used as a “microphone,” helps to give students equal opportunity to direct the review without putting individuals on the spot too aggressively. The rules are simple: she or he who holds the “mic” can pick one term from the list and using their notes, can offer up what they already know about the term or concept, what they are unsure of, or what they need more elaboration on.
- Actively listen to the speaker and give them some positive cues if they seem unsure; it’s okay to help them along the way, but important to step back and let this review remain student-centered. Once the speaker has said their piece, open the floor to the rest of the class for questions or additional comments. If you find that the discussion has taken a departure from the right direction, re-center the class and provide further elaboration if need be.
- Erase each term discussed from the list as you go, and have the speaker pass (or throw) on the “mic” to a fellow classmate, and keep tossing the ball around after each concept/term is discussed.
Students will have a tendency to pick the terms that they are most comfortable speaking about and those left consistently untouched will give you a clear assessment of the subjects in which your class is struggling, and where comprehension is lacking. Once your class has narrowed down the list to just a few terms, you can switch gears into a more classic review session. Bringing a bit of interaction and fun into a review can help loosen things up during exam time, when students and teachers alike are really starting to feel the pressure.
5. Use YouTube for classroom activities
Monika Semma: Do you remember the pure and utter joy you felt upon seeing your professor wheel in the giant VHS machine into class? Technology has certainly changed—but the awesome powers of visual media have not. Making your students smile can be a difficult task, but by channeling your inner Bill Nye the Science Guy you can make university learning fun again.
A large part of meaningful learning is finding interactive classroom activities that are relevant to daily life—and I can think of no technology more relevant to current students than YouTube.
A crafty YouTube search can yield a video relevant to almost anything in your curriculum and paired with an essay or academic journal, a slightly silly video can go a long way in helping your students contextualize what they are learning.
Even if your comedic attempts plunge into failure, at the very least, a short clip will get the class discussion ball rolling. Watch the video as a class and then break up into smaller groups to discuss it. Get your students thinking about how the clip they are shown pairs with the primary sources they’ve already read.
6. Close reading
Monika Semma: In the humanities, we all know the benefits of close reading activities—they get classroom discussion rolling and students engaging with the material and open up the floor for social and combination learners to shine. “Close reading” is a learning technique in which students are asked to conduct a detailed analysis or interpretation of a small piece of text. It is particularly effective in getting students to move away from the general and engage more with specific details or ideas.
If you’re introducing new and complex material to your class, or if you feel as though your students are struggling with an equation, theory, or concept; giving them the opportunity to break it down into smaller and more concrete parts for further evaluation will help to enhance their understanding of the material as a whole.
And while this technique is often employed in the humanities, classroom activities like this can be easily transferred to any discipline. A physics student will benefit from having an opportunity to break down a complicated equation in the same way that a biology student can better understand a cell by looking at it through a microscope.
In any case, evaluating what kinds of textbooks, lesson plans and pedagogy we are asking our students to connect with is always a good idea.
Group size: 10 students (minimum)
Course type: Online (synchronous), in-person
This activity helps build rapport and respect in your classroom. After you tackle a complex lecture topic, give students time to individually reflect on their learnings. This can be accomplished through guided prompts or left as an open-ended exercise. Once students have gathered their thoughts, encourage them to share their views either through an online discussion thread or a conversation with peers during class time.
Collaborative concept mapping is the process of visually organizing concepts and ideas and understanding how they relate to each other. This exercise is a great way for students to look outside of their individual experiences and perspectives. Groups can use this tactic to review previous work or to help them map ideas for projects and assignments. For in-person classes, you can ask students to cover classroom walls with sticky notes and chart paper. For online classes, there are many online tools that make it simple to map out connections between ideas, like Google Docs or the digital whiteboard feature in Zoom.
Group size: Groups of 5–10 students
Propose a topic or issue to your class. Group students together (or in breakout rooms if you’re teaching remotely) according to the position they take on the specific issue. Ask the groups of students to come up with a few arguments or examples to support their position. Write each group’s statements on the virtual whiteboard and use these as a starting point for discussion. A natural next step is to debate the strengths and weaknesses of each argument, to help students improve their critical thinking and analysis skills.
Compare and contrast
Group size: Groups of 5–10 students
Ask your students to focus on a specific chapter in your textbook. Then, place them in groups and ask them to make connections and identify differences between ideas that can be found in course readings and other articles and videos they may find. This way, they can compare their ideas in small groups and learn from one another’s perspectives. In online real-time classes, instructors can use Zoom breakout rooms to put students in small groups.
This activity will improve students’ problem-solving skills and can help engage them in more dynamic discussions. Start by proposing a topic or controversial statement. Then follow these steps to get conversations going. In online classes, students can either raise their hands virtually or use an online discussion forum to engage with their peers.
- Assessment: What is the issue or problem at hand?
- Diagnosis: What is the root cause of this issue or problem?
- Action: How can we solve the issue?
Group size: Groups of 3–7 students
Provide students with a moral or ethical dilemma, using a hypothetical situation or a real-world situation. Then ask them to explore potential solutions as a group. This activity encourages students to think outside the box to develop creative solutions to the problem. In online learning environments, students can use discussion threads or Zoom breakout rooms.
Group size: Groups of 4–6 students
Course type: In-person
This activity exposes students’ ideas in a controlled way, prompting discussions that flow naturally. To start, share a list of discussion questions pertaining to a course reading, video or case study. Put students into groups and give them five-to-ten minutes to discuss, then have two students rotate to another group. The students who have just joined a group have an opportunity to share findings from their last discussion, before answering the second question with their new group. After another five-to-ten minutes, the students who haven’t rotated yet will join a new group.
This or that
Course type: Online (synchronous or asynchronous), in-person
This activity allows students to see where their peers stand on a variety of different topics and issues. Instructors should distribute a list of provocative statements before class, allowing students to read ahead. Then, they can ask students to indicate whether they agree, disagree or are neutral on the topic in advance, using an online discussion thread or Google Doc. In class, use another discussion thread or live chat to have students of differing opinions share their views. After a few minutes, encourage one or two members in each group to defend their position amongst a new group of students. Ask students to repeat this process for several rounds to help familiarize themselves with a variety of standpoints.
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Snowball discussions .
Group size: 2–4 students per group
Assign students a case study or worksheet to discuss with a partner, then have them share their thoughts with the larger group. Use breakout rooms in Zoom and randomly assign students in pairs with a discussion question. After a few minutes, combine rooms to form groups of four. After another five minutes, combine groups of four to become a larger group of eight—and so on until the whole class is back together again.
Make it personal
Group size: Groups of 2–8 students
After you’ve covered a topic or concept in your lecture, divide students into small discussion groups (or breakout rooms online). Ask the groups questions like “How did this impact your prior knowledge of the topic?” or “What was your initial reaction to this source/article/fact?” to encourage students to reflect on their personal connections to the course concepts they are learning.
Group size: 20–25 students (maximum)
A statement that has two possible responses—agree or disagree—is read out loud. Depending on whether they agree or disagree with this statement, students move to one side of the room or the other. After everyone has chosen a side, ask one or two students on each side to take turns defending their positions. This allows students to visualize where their peers’ opinions come from, relative to their own.
Group size: Groups of 3–8 students
Course type: Online (synchronous)
Place students in small groups (or virtual breakout rooms) and pose a broad question or problem to them that is likely to result in lots of different ideas, such as “What was the greatest innovation of the 21st century?” or “How would society be different if _____ never occurred?” Ask students to generate responses by writing ideas on pieces of paper (one idea per page) or in a discussion thread (if you’re teaching online). Once lots of ideas have been generated, have students begin grouping their ideas into similar categories, then label the categories and discuss why the ideas fit within them, how the categories relate to one another and so on. This allows students to engage in higher-level thinking by analyzing ideas and organizing them in relation to one another.
Group size: 20 students (minimum)
Ask students to prepare for a discussion by reviewing a course reading or group of texts and coming up with a few higher-order discussion questions about the text. In class, pose an introductory, open-ended question. From there, students continue the conversation, prompting one another to support their claims with evidence from previous course concepts or texts. There doesn’t need to be a particular order to how students speak, but they are encouraged to respectfully share the floor with their peers.
Group size: 20 students (maximum)
Students form two circles: an inner circle and an outer circle. Each student on the inside is paired with a student on the outside; they face each other. Pose a question to the whole group and have pairs discuss their responses with each other. After three-to-five minutes, have students on the outside circle move one space to the right so they are standing in front of a new person. Pose a new question, and the process is repeated, exposing students to the different perspectives of their peers.
Making your classes more interactive should help your students want to come to class and take part in it. Giving them a more active role will give them a sense of ownership, and this can lead to students taking more pride in their work and responsibility for their grades.
A more interactive class can also make things easier for you—the more work students do in class, the less you have to do. Even two minutes of not talking can re-energize you for the rest of the class.
Plus, these six methods outlined above don’t require any large-scale changes to your class prep. Set up a couple of activities in advance here and there, to support what you’ve been doing, and plan which portion of your class will feature them.
The reality remains that sometimes, students do have to be taught subject matter that is anything but exciting. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make it more enjoyable to teach or learn. It may not be possible to incorporate classroom activities into every lecture, but finding some room for these approaches can go a long way in facilitating a positive learning environment.
And let’s not forget, sometimes even an educator needs a brief departure from the everyday-ordinary-sit-and-listen-to-me-lecture regimen.
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28 Ideas On How To Make Homework Fun For Students
Do your children seem to need continual nagging to complete their homework? If your answer is “yes,” then don’t worry; we’ve all been there. Parents naturally want their kids to advance and do well in class, but after a full day of paper, pens, and books, many students won’t feel like doing their assignments.
No matter what the ages or grades of the students are, academic burnout may happen to any student, which affects overall learning and development. To solve this issue, we have brought 28 ideas on how to make homework fun and interesting for students of any age. Not only for parents but also if you are a tutor, these tricks and tips will come to your use.
28 Ideas on How To Make Homework Fun for Students
Homework enables the students to revise and evaluate the classroom learning and develops a habit of self-study, which in turn helps the students to score better. But it can be energy-draining, challenging, monotonous, and difficult to focus upon for students of any age.
Getting students to enjoy their homework and assignments could be immensely difficult at times. Especially after a long break or vacation, they find it difficult to focus on homework. Simultaneously, the importance of home tasks cannot be ignored. Wondering what the solution is?
It’s easy – why not make the homework fun and engaging? Yes, this is the ALL-IN-ONE solution to create a spark of interest in homework. There is practically a plethora of ways to let students feel enthusiastic while doing homework. However, not every strategy suits every student.
For instance, some students love to go outdoors and complete their homework or study amidst nature. On the other hand, some students simply want to stay indoors and complete home tasks in their study area.
So, while implementing a strategy or adopting ways to make homework fun and interesting, you must make sure you are doing the right thing for the right individual so that the student receives maximum benefits.
Here are 28 brilliant ideas that will guide you on how to make homework fun for elementary, middle, and high schoolers. Take a look:
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1. rewards are magical motivators.
It’s nothing new to provide children with little rewards in the classroom. But when it comes to the concept of homework for students, these approaches are rarely used. Instructors aren’t always aware of what’s offered or if it’s useful, and some parents may create their rewards. A great idea is to offer rewards inside the classroom.
Giving out vouchers, stickers, snacks, toys, or meal coupons that let youngsters earn money by doing their homework is something we advocate. The advantages of these magical motivators include having a friend sitting next to you in class, access to the internet, and unscheduled time in the classroom. If they link accomplishing their tasks to positive classroom experiences, students will be more engaged and motivated both inside and outside of the classroom.
2. Get Some Favorite Snacks
How to make homework fun and captivating? Let’s face the truth: A hungry student will be disinterested, uninspired, and miserable. Give them something healthful and palpable to eat while they do their schoolwork because most young kids are ravenous when they get home from school. Some options are apple slices, popcorn, grapes, crackers, flapjacks, and cheese.
If you want to attempt something a little more systematic, make a list of nutritious after-school snack suggestions and recipes and try them out every day. A delicious, crunchy apple is one of the healthiest nutrients for youngsters’ brain development. Some other nutritious and palpable snacks for students are Pancakes, Butter Popcorn, Fruit-flavored Yogurt, nut mix, sliced pears with ricotta cheese, Banana Smoothies, etc.
3. Beat the Clock
This is perfect for young kids who are reluctant to complete their schoolwork. Try it out, and you’ll thank us later. Young children like competing in races. By creating timed tasks, you may make schoolwork feel more like a race. For instance, keep track of the number of words they can spell properly or the number of arithmetic problems they can do in five minutes. Challenge your child to beat their previous best the next day.
To make it more fun, a little competition with siblings or best friends will work great. Nevertheless, make sure that the competition is healthy and doesn’t turn into an aggressive one. Often, students’ psychology works differently, and they tend to be violent in these kinds of situations.
4. Get A Homework Buddy
Allow your child to have a buddy or two over to study if they struggle with a particular topic or have difficulties concentrating in a quiet, empty room. If a second child is too distracting, set an example by helping your youngster. You may pay bills, prepare supper, respond to emails, or even work on a crossword puzzle or other mental exercise while they are doing their schoolwork.
Working on homework teaches children that work is a part of life, not just school, and fosters friendship without being overpowering.
5. Design an Awesome Workspace
Improve the area where your kids complete their schoolwork to increase efficiency, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Have tools and materials available, such as cool notepads or notebooks, colored pens, highlighters, and sticky notes, to assist students in completing difficult projects.
Use calendars, whiteboards, chalkboards, corkboards, or even simply paper and tape to help them visualize and keep track of all they need to complete. You may also decorate it with art and other items that inspire you. For pupils older than 5 years old, you may also hang up some aesthetically pleasing motivating quotations and photos in their study space to help them stay focused and goal-oriented.
6. Make Them Feel Comfortable
The comfort level of the students is the first and foremost thing you have to take care of while making them complete their homework. Not every learner has the same comfort level in the same ways, and these levels tend to differ from one person to another. It’s the responsibility of a parent or a teacher to understand their comfort zone and then plan accordingly.
For instance, provide them with a variety of alternatives or let them design their strategy. You might also inquire as to what time they like to complete their assignment. You won’t need to repeatedly remind people of their duties if you reach an agreement.
7. Incorporate Intervals and Breaks
Some learners might be able to finish their entire load of homework in one sitting. If your class has any pupils that can’t sit still, think about introducing breaks into the assignment process. Weekly study regimens can accommodate breaks.
Give a food break, allow them to complete one level of a video game, or let them talk to a buddy during a quick break. To establish expectations for when and how homework breaks should be taken, teachers might talk about these concepts with parents and students.
This functions in two main ways. It first rewards pupils for finishing their schoolwork. In addition, it gives them a mental break so they can come back to their job reenergized and motivated.
8. Role Plays Work Wonders
Create your little school and let your youngster take the role of the instructor to make enjoyable learning-based games. Assume the position of the student, and have your youngster explain a concept to you in the teacher’s role. This game will help players better comprehend the topic and develop their logical and reasoning abilities. It works especially well with courses that call for theory, like science.
By letting your kid pick their favorite stuffed animals and playthings and placing them in their little classroom, you can make schoolwork enjoyable. Begin by registering, saying “mummy,” “gift,” “Mr. Teddy,” etc. Since kids love to pretend to be teachers, you’ll soon notice that your kid is becoming more self-assured.
9. Make Them Stay Positive and Focused
Ensure to keep the students’ attitudes toward school and the values of their schoolwork are always positive. To keep them inspired and on track, shower your youngster with compliments on how great they’re doing. If they are getting pissed off with the pressure of homework, make them understand its importance and how positively it can impact their learning.
Spend five minutes after each homework session going over your child’s accomplishments. Have a look at our selection of free-to-download home learning packs if you’re out of things to do. To keep them motivated, you can reward or recognize their achievements in front of their peers. This will not only boost their confidence but also will help them maintain a positive outlook toward homework and studies.
10. Take It Outside
Outdoor learning is one of the most feasible ways to do homework with fun in a natural environment. If the weather is good, create a cozy and safe study space outside and let the student finish all the homework outdoors.
Studies also demonstrate that being outside, nearer to nature enhances productivity. The fresh air can aid students’ attention if they have spent the entire day in a classroom. In between jobs, rewarding them with a brief game of football or Frisbee will keep them engaged. You can conduct some fun outdoor Math or English fun homework activities.
11. Altering the homework concept
Many kids feel burdened by their homework assignments. What if, though, you adopt a whole new approach to homework? It can be argued that schoolwork has a lot of unfavorable associations. These concepts usually start early in life and persist into college.
By referring to assignments in different ways, teachers can change these mental habits. Better ways to describe homework include home learning, brain workouts, and study time. You might try using these phrases in place of homework in the classroom.
12. Get Help If You Need
Homework can be frustrating if your child doesn’t understand the material or gets bored easily. Furthermore, excessive pressurizing or insisting on too much can mess up the student’s psychology. To be honest, in extreme cases, none of the methods will work. If your child or student is struggling beyond the normal limit, get them some expert help!
Education Advisors have plenty of advice for students who are not able to cope with homework. They also conduct counseling sessions from time to time in case it’s required.
13. Go for Audio-Visual Resources
Engaging additional senses in the at-home learning process is another technique to cheer up your boring assignments. Focus may be improved by using a child’s perception of touch, smell, or taste in a unique manner.
Sending kids home with instructions for making scented play dough, for instance, improve learning. The dough may be used in classes including math and spatial concepts. Plus, the aroma of scented/colored clays keeps kids focused while they work. Additionally, it enables children to link the smell to what they learned, improving memory and recall.
Another item that teachers might give their pupils as a take-home is a stress ball. Before, during, or after tasks, using a stress ball can encourage creative thinking and anxiety reduction positively.
14. Meditation Can Reduce Stress
Stress is not something that happens only to adults. With the increased competition in academics, young learners nowadays are suffering from severe stress, which ushers’ negative impacts on their mental health. Sometimes, both the little children and older students can’t express this stress and fail to explain how they are feeling.
Homework pressure often creates such challenging situations which disrupt the emotional equilibrium of youngsters. In situations like this, meditation can reduce stress and improve focus. Positive thinking, fear and the tension and anxiety that lead to depression may all be lessened by meditation. Being aware without judgment is one of the foundational elements of meditation, and this attitude of acceptance may ward against unpleasant thoughts.
15. Make It a Group Effort
Since time immemorial, team working is super effective for any activity. The same applies to homework as well. If students sit for the home task in a group, they will be able to wrap all the assignments up quickly.
Now the question is – how? Teamwork involves group discussions as well as brainstorming, which gives rise to new ideas. Students try to develop new ways to complete homework through mutual discussion.
16. Take Help from Learning Apps and Libraries
If your child struggles with their homework, it can be difficult for you as well. Games and visual examples in amusing math practice applications may be a terrific way to give your youngster practice with things he is having trouble with. Therefore, make schoolwork enjoyable for your youngster by downloading an app that simplifies the subject.
There are so many online applications and libraries that will help students enjoy fun and encouraging homework sessions. If the toddler or an older student specifically refers to a particular app or a website, talk to him/her about it properly. Then visit the online resource, and if you think it is a legit and helpful one, let your child or student use it during his/her homework time.
17. Tell Them Not to Take It Too Seriously
There are more important things in life than homework and grades. Too much focus on grades can affect your child’s love for learning. Think about what values you want to instill in your child and make sure the homework is not getting in the way.
If you believe your child’s teacher is giving out too much homework after you see your child demonstrate an understanding of the subject, don’t be afraid to voice your concern. Even if nothing changes, it will show your children that you care and empathize with them. That matters a lot!
18. Storytelling Can Be a Great Idea
Storytelling is a fantastic idea to make children complete their homework without facing any boredom. Especially for specific subjects like Math, History, and Literature, storytelling develops a context that allows the students to grasp things very easily.
If you find a student is finding it difficult to understand a concept and complete assignments on it, you can give a try to the storytelling method a since it works well. Storytelling has the power to captivate learners and keep them engaged irrespective of their age and grades.
19. Create A Homework Mood
Creating a mood for homework is a bit difficult for younger students but setting the right environment can help them complete the tasks as quickly as possible. However, it’s not an issue for the senior students but can be a bit overwhelming for the little kids.
You can select a comfortable location for them to study and use their favorite stickers, lights, etc., to decorate the space. Keeping in mind the results as well as their abilities to take the pressure, set goals and establish rewards. It’s vital to make them understand the goals and disclose a bit about the rewards but don’t let them know exactly what’s going to happen. This will create an enthusiasm to complete the homework in no time.
20. Turn on Some Music
The psychological effects of music are undeniable. Music brings concentration and helps to focus on a particular work pleasantly. Then why not use it for your children’s homework? Science dictates that music is the best aid for studying.
Play some soft music while the student is doing his/her homework and this will help to create an ambiance. You can also play cool, energetic, upbeat music since it radiates energetic vibes and the student will find immense energy as well as positivity to complete the tasks.
21. Ask Them to Do the Tough Tasks First
One more cool thing to try out is doing the tough tasks first. It’s a perfect strategy if the student has a list of various tasks of different levels of complexity. You will be able to realize how much time he/she needs to complete the tasks and edit afterward if needed.
Completing the more complex tasks at first enables a student to think and decide critically. The remaining time can be enjoyed with much lower stress while doing the easier assignments. If your child gets bored very quickly you can try this method out.
22. Get Creative
Wondering how to make homework fun creatively? Homework doesn’t sound exciting to students. To be more specific, solving sums after sums or writing science projects doesn’t sound fun alone. Rather, if you mingle these tasks with an artsy adventure, the same old boring homework sessions become interesting.
For instance, you can ask them to paint out the math problems, prepare a model for their science projects, or act a portion of the history or literature books. Some other effective ideas may include creating a range of paintings while explaining a paragraph to a child, making clay characters, and doing some moves with the music.
23. Doing Homework at School
Nowadays, as the syllabuses are changing, students have too much pressure from homework to deal with. After coming home from school, it’s quite natural for them to feel exhausted. At times it becomes impossible for a kid to keep their eyes open for homework.
The best remedy here is to complete the majority of their homework at school. Your child also doesn’t have to stay up all night looking for answers or trying to understand how to remember academic facts. They can use their free time at school to complete some of the homework to stay relaxed later. Also, completing homework with peers involves so much engagement and fun.
24. Ask Them to Work on Different Subjects in a Session
Are you trying to know how to make homework fun without putting in much effort? Plan a routine for your child so that they can work on different subjects in a single session. Try to mix and match the subjects to make them feel comfortable with the pace of the study.
Working on a maximum of 3 subjects a session will help a student to get rid of the homework quickly without considering it as a pressure. Ensure they are not in a rush to complete one subject after another. Make it as systematic and orderly as you can to avoid any unwanted confusion.
25. Get Academic Help
Getting a little homework help is a feasible way to make homework fun. Nevertheless, you must make sure that none of you, the teachers, or the program facilitators are not spoon-feeding them, or else it will affect the student’s development in terms of learning.
If there is a math problem that is too difficult to solve or a paragraph with heavy words, you or the tutor can give your helping hand to the student so that he/she can complete it on his/her own. For instance, you can give a clue to solve the sum or narrate the context of the paragraph.
26. Planning Is the Key
Planning is a powerful habit to make homework sessions fun and organized. Not only at school, but also this habit will help a student throughout his/her life. It’s required for a student to be extremely serious about homework in a studying period and systematic planning can help in completing all the assignments on time.
If your child is in high school or middle school, you can guide him/her to make homework routines. However, elementary school kids and preschool students need their parents’ or teachers’ assistance to make advanced homework plans.
27. Ask Them to Write on Their Favorite Topics
Working on something you love will make you feel more connected to the work. The same applies to both the kids’ homework and older students’ homework. If you are thinking about how to make doing homework fun, you can ask them to write a paragraph or a short essay on their favorite topics.
To implement this strategy, first, talk to the students on a one-on-one basis and try to know their individual preferences in terms of writing. Then assign them a task where they will write whatever they want on their favorite topics. This will act as a warm-up session before doing the homework.
28. Provide Choice
One of the key reasons why younger and older students become disengaged with their homework is they find it meaningless. This is where the mentors and the parents have to play the biggest role. They need to make the student understand why homework is important and how it can benefit them in the future.
This will make the kids’ homework sessions more engaging and they will be able to connect emotionally or personally. How to make homework fun in this way? It’s simple, provide the students with more choices while assigning the homework. For instance, if there is a tough project, they can choose to work alone on it or work with partners.
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Elementary school homework tips.
Homework gives elementary students a way to practice the concepts. But you have to be very careful while making them do the home tasks as at this age they don’t develop an understanding regarding the benefits of homework. To them, homework is just something that parents and teachers use to restrict them from doing what they want.
Below are some effective tips on how to make homework fun for kindergarten students.
- Make sure kids have a creative, engaging, and well-lit place to do the homework.
- Give the kids delicious snacks from time to time so that they don’t get distracted due to hunger.
- Encourage the children to complete their homework by giving them small rewards or recognizing their efforts to make the entire process more manageable.
- Instead of dictating to them what to do and threatening them, be a mentor, a leader, and a motivator.
- Create a homework routine for elementary students manually or use desktop app for planning your homework. Don’t forget to keep short breaks in between.
- Try to keep distractions to a minimum. This means no phone calls, loud music, and TV during homework time.
Set good examples for them but without comparing them with anybody. Have you ever seen your little one saving money? Point that quality out, praise him/her for it, and set it as an example.
Middle School Homework Tips
Middle school students develop a fair understanding of the importance of homework. So, you are not supposed to face much trouble to make them complete their tasks. Check out these middle school homework tips below. These tips will work wonders if you are looking for ways to make homework fun for 7th graders or 8th graders.
- Designate a specific amount of time for homework. This will help them to complete work on time.
- Help them prioritize which tasks to do on a priority basis. In this way, they will develop the ability to make decisions.
- Continuously encourage them to evaluate their work so that they can find the mistakes and correct them on their own.
- Put away the phone to prevent them from being distracted from time to time.
- When needed, help them to complete homework instead of spoon-feeding the whole thing. Give clues to solve a sum, point out some important areas, or explain them in a paragraph so that they can complete the next tasks by themselves.
- Don’t pressurize or force yourself to do homework. Parents need to know when to stop, especially when they are feeling exhausted, frustrated, and confused.
High School Homework Tips
When it comes to homework, high school students are better able to manage their time, stay focused and finish their tasks. This enables them to understand the value of homework. They don’t do any tantrums and get less distracted because they understand the consequences of not completing home tasks on time. But if you want to know how to make homework more enjoyable for high school students throughout the school year, here are some effective tips:
- Tell them to write down their homework every day in a notebook, or a planner to keep it more organized.
- Ask them to write their homework with a blue pen on a white sheet to remember their writing. Also, it’s the best combo to do homework faster.
- Help your teens to divide their homework schedule in a planned way and keep short breaks to freshen up their minds. For instance, if they work for 30 minutes, they can take a 5 minutes break.
- Doing homework with buddies is a proven method to complete homework on time and also in an accurate manner.
- If they get stuck while doing any specific homework, ask them to take help from online resources, libraries, video demonstrations, and journals.
Homework Dos and Don’ts
Let’s face it – nobody loves homework although it’s super important for your child’s learning and development. While high school students understand the importance and need of doing school assignments at home, elementary and preschool children can’t develop the understanding at their age.
Several things are to be kept in mind while expecting homework from students in proper time. To make the students complete their homework happily, we have brought some amazing dos and don’ts that parents or teachers need to follow:
1. monitor the answers.
After your child has completed his/her homework, check it once to find what went right and what went wrong. If you find any mistake in his/her work, try not to point that out directly. Instead, give your youngster clues so that he/she can find out the mistakes now.
2. Remove the Distractions
Thinking about how to make homework more fun for your child? Remove the distractions from the study room first including social media on the computer, mobile phones, unnecessary toys, etc. Remember, a decluttered environment is the reason behind a decluttered head. They will be able to focus more on the homework when there isn’t a pile of distractions around them.
3. Be A Cheerleader
Always be your child’s motivator when he/she is doing homework. Students may not be correct always but humiliating them may make them demotivated and frustrated at the same time. Celebrate small successes such as completion of the tasks within time, the maximum number of correct answers, the maximum time the child has devoted to homework, etc. Give treats like candies, stickers, pens/pencils, and colored boxes to celebrate their success.
4. Work in Collaboration
The parents and the children need to work together in terms of homework. There must be a proper channel of communication between both parties so that the child’s overall performance can be monitored.
1. don’t force them to homework.
Forcing a student to do the homework can bring immensely negative results. Children won’t like homework – it’s quite normal but forcefully making them do it is tremendously fatal as it will develop a permanent fear or discomfort that will hamper their overall growth.
2. Don’t Show Them Your Frustration
Kids have a lot of tantrums. Especially, the tantrums increase while doing homework. Often teachers and parents get frustrated but showing them the frustration is not at all a good idea. Not only will the child become stubborn but also, they will develop a fear of doing assignments or getting help from you. If you want to make homework fun for 6th graders or students of any other grades, don’t show your frustration in front of them.
3. Don’t Compare with Their Peers
Comparison is something that demotivates a child to a great extent. It develops a deep resentment in their mind which doesn’t fade away even after growing older. Comparing their grades or skills with their peers is probably the worst idea to make students do homework.
4. Don’t Keep Electronic Devices in Front of Them
Yes, you can give the students electronic gadgets for a few minutes as small rewards but don’t keep the devices in front of them all the time when they are doing homework. This may loosen their concentration and will make them distracted from their respective tasks.
How A Homework Planning App Can Help a Student?
A homework app is the best time-management tool that enables students to organize everything they need to do throughout a week, month, academic year, or semester. It’s an easy way to keep your homework sessions organized. In case you are still thinking about how to make homework fun for your child, software with proper features of homework planning can help him/her out.
The academic pressure on school children sometimes becomes too difficult to handle, especially when there is so much to do. This is where student planners for their home assignments are found to be beneficial. Here is an explanation of how an efficient home assignment planning tool can help students finish their tasks on time:
1. Gives Students A Break
It might also be helpful to make sure that kids have some downtime to unwind and not become overburdened with assignments. If teachers are assigning homework through software, they will see how long a piece of homework will take to be completed, and they can allocate the tasks accordingly scheduling breaks in between.
2. Reduces Stress
Homework pressure may not sound like a big deal to you because you have already left those days behind but to your child, it’s a headache. The fear of being scolded by parents/teachers is one of their biggest concerns to them. Thanks to digital planners, these tools know exactly how to help each student in a customized way.
3. Increases Productivity
How to make homework interesting? Students who use a school planner are more productive and can manage their time more effectively. Students today struggle with procrastination because the internet age offers so many diversions. However, if they have noted down the tasks they must complete, they will be more motivated to complete them.
4. Easier for Parents and Teachers
A homework app with intuitive features of planning helps to complete an assignment within time in a systematic manner. Younger students who still rely on the help of their parents and teachers to do their schoolwork often fail to inform them about their homework status. Having homework software can easily sort this problem out and reduces mentors’ work and hassle.
How to make homework fun with clarifi.
To assist students to achieve their highest potential, Clarifi is a homework software that acts as an ideal digital homework attention coach. We are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals. The pupils may complete their homework independently with the help of this digital planning app for homework.
It is a straightforward and uncomplicated desktop program that gives them more confidence to finish their assignment as quickly and effectively as possible. It is the only research-backed desktop application that enables children who are easily distracted to do their schoolwork without a parent watching over them. Monitoring student behavior is the only way to be sure they are doing their assignments.
However, keeping track of pupils’ activity is a time-consuming and important duty. However, Clarifi is available to make this procedure as easy as possible. With the aid of this program, students can effortlessly enter each homework assignment and keep track of the due dates for each one based on the class or the current day.
They receive prizes from the automated coach for maintaining concentration and doing their homework. When all pupils turn in their schoolwork on time, they will receive diamonds as a reward. This element motivates pupils to develop the positive habit of finishing their home assignments on time. Clarifi is an easy digital homework attention planner that provides kids with the ability to filter out distractions, improve their executive functioning, and keep all of their assignments organized in one location.
Clarifi guarantees to raise their capacity for concentration and focus as well as their academic performance. It incorporates functions that provide users the means to remain centered, motivated, and organized while finishing their schoolwork on their own. When kids use the app, it is specially designed with cutting-edge technology that blocks all other apps.
Generating an undistracted and focused environment for students with Clarifi is the answer to “how to make homework less boring.”
Students Can Now Complete Homework with Fun!
With these tricks and tips, students can now efficiently engage themselves in homework. Learners need to study and complete their homework/assignments with a positive mindset and not forcefully. As soon as a student starts doing his/her homework strenuously, the interest is eventually lost, leading to mistakes and burnout.
But with the tricks mentioned above, homework sessions can now be immensely fun and interesting. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or student, these are some tried and tested ways to complete home tasks engagingly. Stay tuned to Clarifi for similar informative blogs like this. If to need help with your children’s homework and know more about how to make homework fun get in touch with Clarifi today.
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5 Most Creative Homework Assignments: Homework That Works
Most esl teachers agree that homework assignments are an absolute must in an esl course..
But ESL students, on the other hand, may disagree. Adult learners will argue that they have busy schedules and a life outside the classroom, which translates into “ no time for homework ”. Young learners and teens may come to terms with the fact that they have to do homework, but do we want them to do it because they are compelled to do it... or do we want them to do it because they are excited to do it? Which would you prefer?
The only way to get young students excited about doing homework, and get adults to set aside some time for it, is through highly creative and thoroughly engaging homework assignments . And here are 5 examples:
Homework Assignments That Work
A Word Book
A Word Book or Vocabulary Journal is a classic among teachers of very young learners who are not adept at using dictionaries; here they have a chance to make their own. Help them design their very own Word Book from scratch, out of construction paper, cardboard, or any materials you have on hand. At the end of a reading task or activity, make a list of the words they have learned for the day. Their homework assignment is to enter each of the new words in their Word Book. The littlest ones simply copy the word and draw a picture of it; older students can use the word in a sentence that illustrates its meaning. There is no need to copy “dictionary” definitions. They may also cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers and get as creative as they like. But one thing is certain… these will be words they won’t easily forget!
Do My Research!
This is an extremely engaging way to provide extended practice of any grammar point. Say you want your students to practice comparatives and superlatives . Tell them you need information on this year's Oscar nominations. Tell them to go to Oscar.go.com and give them a list of questions they must answer:
- Which of the nominees for Best Picture is the longest film? Which is the shortest? The most popular? Earned the most money at the box office?
- Which film has the most nominations?
- Which in your opinion is the best film?
- Compare two of the actresses nominated for Best Actress. Who is older? Younger? Taller? Prettier?
You may assign any number of research tasks: ideal places for a family vacation ( LonelyPlanet.com ), best restaurants in the city ( Zagat.com ), or anything based on local information. Just make sure you give them a website to go to, a set of questions to answer or a task to complete, and above all don't forget to plan the assignment with a grammar point or learning objective in mind.
In the News
This is an ideal assignment for adult students. Most read the newspaper anyway, right? Or watch the evening news. Ask them to choose a news story that has piqued their interest, and have them:
- Write a report on the news story
- Write a dialogue in which a journalist interviews someone involved in the story.
- Answer a question like, “ What could have gone differently? ”, thus prompting them to use conditionals , for example ( If the truck driver had not answered his cell phone, he would not have caused the accident. )
This is clearly one of the homework assignments that works best with adult learners or those who specifically study Business English . Give them an email to read and ask them to write an appropriate reply. Or give them a situation that would require them to compose a message, like a complaint over a bad service experience or an inquiry into vacation rentals.
Choose a TV series that is shown in English, either with or without subtitles (you may ask students to cover the subtitles). Choose a show that is suitable to your students’ ages. Tell your students that their homework for that night will be to watch an episode of Modern Family , whether they usually watch the show or not. Give them a task to complete after viewing the episode: a synopsis of the episode, a character description, or a questionnaire (Do you usually watch this show? If not, would you start watching it? Why/why not?)
Another great way to get students actively engaged in their homework assignments is to ask them to come up with some ideas for creative assignments on their own and share them with the class. They may surprise you!
And if you’re still stumped as to which worksheets to assign to practice grammar , vocabulary , or reading , BusyTeacher.org is always available to help, 24/7, with wonderful ideas for activities and great ready-to-print worksheets.
If you have any ideas for other wonderfully creative homework assignments, share them below!
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To assign or not to assign esl homework: that is the question.
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13 Fun Homework Ideas: The Best Ways To Make Homework Fun For Kids Quickly & Easily
Figuring out how to make homework fun can be a tricky task for parents.
Does it feel like you’re constantly nagging your kids to do their homework? If your answer is yes then worry not as we’ve all been there! It’s natural for parents to want their children to progress and do well in school, but after an entire day of paper, pencils, and books many youngsters will resist getting on with their homework – and that’s putting it mildly!
Top Tips To Make Homework Fun:
- Work together
- Use rewards and incentives
- Sort them a snack
- Make it visual
- Try different learning apps
- Set up a homework play date
- Turn it into a game
- Let them play teacher
- Use a timer
- Create a special homework space
- Remember to be positive
- Get help if you need i t
Thankfully, there are ways of making homework less boring and that little bit more fun for your child. Whether they need to practice spellings, learn their times tables or revise for an important exam, our top fun homework ideas will help you to magically take the ‘work’ out of homework.
KS2 Maths Games and Activities Pack
A FREE downloadable games and activity pack, including 20 home learning maths activities for KS2 children to complete on their own or with a partner.
1. Work together
Adults often work best in the company of others, and the same can be said of kids, so why not sit with your child while they’re studying and get on with some of your own work or life admin?
Whether you’re returning emails, doing your online banking or organising the next primary school PTA fundraiser, creating a shared workspace and modelling focused work is a great way to spend quality time together while they complete their homework. Win-win!
Quick win : Whilst your child is tackling their fractions homework, you could sit down with them and take a look through your finances or even test yourself on the work that your child will be doing in their SATs .
2. Use rewards and incentives
Rewards and incentives are great when it comes to getting your children to follow your household rules and routines, and homework is no different. Things like stickers or the promise of time on their iPad or games console for slightly older children can all work wonders in getting them to do their homework without a battle.
Quick win: For every few questions they answer they could get a minute of screen time!
3. Sort them a snack
Let’s face it: A hungry child is an unfocused, unmotivated and unhappy child.
Most children come out of school ravenous, so let them nibble on a nutritious after-school snack while they get on with homework; things like popcorn, apple slices, grapes, flapjacks, or crackers and cheese are all great snack options.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Netmums has a list of healthy after-school snack ideas and recipes to try.
Quick win: One of the best brain foods for kids is a nice and crispy apple! So when your child is craving something sweet just cut up an apple and let them munch away.
4. Make it visual
Help to eliminate the late night ‘Oh, I forgot to do that’, and create a weekly homework chart so your child can see what they have to do each day and check off each homework ‘To Do’ as it’s been completed.
Again, Pinterest has some great free printables to help keep kids organised. Get them involved by letting them colour it, or decorate it with their favourite stickers, and pin it up somewhere at their height, where they will see it easily every day as a reminder. Some exciting new stationery and colourful pens might help too.
Quick win: An easy way to make homework fun is to grab a piece of paper and get your child to draw out and decorate a ‘homework chart’ consisting of 5 days. Stick it on the fridge and add a sticker to each day after they’ve done their homework, when they’ve collected 5 stickers they get a treat!
5. Try different learning apps
If your child prefers to be online, there are some great online apps around that children will have fun using, yet encourage learning too. Here are our favourite free maths websites for example. Speak to your child’s teacher too and see which apps the children use in school so you can support what they’re doing at home.
Quick win: One of our favourite apps that makes homework fun is Times Tables Rockstars!
6. Set up a homework play date
Holding a homework playdate where your child can invite one of their best school buddies over to do homework together can be a great way for them to learn and make sure the work gets done, especially slightly older primary children.
Plus, it’s likely that their parents will be delighted!
Younger children may need a bit more support and guidance but can still gain a lot from the experience of learning together with a friend – think of this as a mini-educational play date for them – with a special tea afterwards of course!
Quick win: Let your child and their friend play for a while, and then get them to work through their homework with the incentive of a yummy ‘tea party’ when they’ve completed all of their homework.
7. Go outside
If the weather allows, create a comfortable outside study space and allow your child to do their homework outdoors.
The fresh air can help kids with their concentration if they’ve been stuck in a classroom all day, and studies also show that being outside, closer to nature, can increase productivity. The reward of a quick game of Frisbee or a kick-around of a football between tasks will help them stay motivated too.
Quick win: Check out this fun outdoor maths activity for some inspiration of ways you can make homework fun.
8. Turn it into a game
Who said home learning had to be boring? If children enjoy what they’re learning, they’re more likely to remember what they’re being taught, so turn their learning into a fun game. Using sweets like Smarties to help with maths and number work can turn the experience from a chore into a treat. If they get the right answer, they get to eat some!
Another trick that you can use when your child is learning spellings is to write them in foam or in magnetic letters. It sounds simple, but we can guarantee that it will make homework a lot more fun for your child.
These maths games for kids and times tables games are a great place to start.
Quick win: If you’re looking for some fun homework ideas then check out this simple multiplication activity you can do at home, it’ll even get in one of your child’s five a day!
9. Let them play teacher
Make another fun homework game by creating your own mini-classroom and letting your child step into the role of teacher.
Have your child explain a concept to you as a teacher, as you, or their sibling, plays the role of the student. This game works particularly well with subjects that require theory, like Science for example, as it will improve their understanding of the concept and build logic and reasoning skills.
Quick win: Make homework fun by getting your child to choose their favourite teddys and toys and setting them up in their own mini classroom. Start off with registration, ‘mummy’ ‘present’, ‘mr teddy’ ‘here’ etc. You’ll soon notice that your child is growing in confidence regardless of the topic as children love playing teacher!
10. Use a timer
Some children may have difficulty working for prolonged periods of time without a break, so using a timer can be great for getting them to complete homework without the whining. For example, if your child is given 20 maths problems for homework, you can say “Complete the first 10 questions then we’ll take a 5-minute break, then complete the next 10 questions”.
Many children will need a mental break and will work more effectively when given the opportunity to take one. At the end of the task, they get to pick an activity of their choice. If your child gets easily distracted, a timer game can work well to keep them focused on the task in hand.
Quick win: Put the timer on your phone so that your child can see the countdown whilst they’re working.
11. Create a special homework space
A special study space can make homework more fun and help motivate your child to get it done! Choose a space in your house that’s least likely to distract your child, and create a simple, organised, and kid-friendly homework HQ.
You could hang up some of their artwork above the desk, and have all their school essentials nearby so everything is close to hand.
Quick win: Make sure that they aren’t surrounded by things that will distract them. Televisions and iPads are a no go at homework time!
12. Remember to be positive
Remember to always be upbeat and positive about school and the importance of their homework. Give your child lots of praise and encouragement about how well they’re doing to help them stay motivated and on track.
Quick win: After every homework session spend five minutes talking through what your child has accomplished. If you’re running out of activities to do, have a look at our list of home learning packs – all free to download.
13. Get help if you need it
Homework can be frustrating if your child doesn’t understand the material or gets bored easily. If your child is struggling, get them some expert help!
Quick win: Third Space Learning has plenty of advice on learning maths for kids and parents but if you need more support, our primary school maths tutors are easy to organise and very affordable.
Online 1-to-1 maths lessons trusted by schools and teachers Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of primary school children with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions . Since 2013 we’ve helped over 150,000 children become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote to speak to us about your needs and how we can help.
Primary school tuition targeted to the needs of each child and closely following the National Curriculum.
FREE Ultimate Maths Vocabulary List [KS1 & KS2]
An A-Z of key maths concepts to help you and your pupils get started creating your own dictionary of terms.
Use as a prompt to get pupils started with new concepts, or hand it out in full and encourage use throughout the year.
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15 active learning activities to energize your next college class
The evidence just keeps growing – postsecondary students engage more, learn more and accomplish more with active learning. In yet another proof point, a meta-analysis from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that student exam scores improved 6% when active learning approaches were used. And students in traditional classes were 1.5 times more likely to fail than those being taught with interactive methods.
During uncertain times like these, it might feel simpler to stick with what’s familiar. But even if your classes have moved partially or fully online, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to lecturing. Even taking 5 or 10 minutes to shift from knowledge intake to interaction can make a difference.
Are you ready to move to a different way of teaching but need some ideas to get you started? Or maybe you’ve been running your courses this way for years but want ideas that work for the new reality. Whether your classes are in person, online or somewhere in between, here are 15 active learning activities to try with your students this semester.
In this twist on think-pair-share , pose an open-ended question to your class and ask students to come up with their best answer. Next, pair learners up and get them to agree on a response. Get two pairs together, and the foursome needs to do the same thing. Continue until half the group goes head to head with the other half. If your students are online, breakout rooms in your conferencing software let you do the same thing virtually. Here’s how it works in Zoom .
2. Improv games
If your classroom is museum-level quiet no matter how you try to liven things up, try some low-stakes (read: not embarrassing) improv activities. In the three things in common game , pairs figure out the most unexpected things they share (this can also be done online in breakout rooms). Or challenge your students to count to 20 as a group with one person saying each number – but no one is assigned a number, and if two people talk at the same time, everyone starts again at 1. (If some students are in the room and some remote, you’ll need classroom audio with full-room coverage for this to work. Here’s how Nureva audio can help .)
You’ve probably tried brainstorming, but have you tried brainwriting ? In this approach, students are given time to come up with their own ideas individually before sharing them out loud or posting them to an online whiteboard or other shared platform. Building in space for individual reflection leads to better ideas and less groupthink.
Help students build accountability by teaching each other. Start by dividing them into “home groups” (4 or 5 people works well). Again, breakout rooms in Zoom or Google Meet make this simple even if everyone is remote. Assign each person in the group a different topic to explore – they’ll regroup to work with all the students from the other groups who are exploring the same idea. Once they’ve mastered the concept, students return to their home group and everyone shares newfound expertise.
5. Concept mapping
Collaborative concept mapping is a great way for students to step away from their individual perspectives. Groups can do this to review previous work, or it can help them map ideas for projects and assignments. In pre-COVID times, you may have covered classroom walls with sticky notes and chart paper – now there are many online tools that make it simple to map out connections between ideas.
6. The one-minute paper
How much could you explain in one minute? At the end of class, set a timer and ask students to record their most eye-opening revelation or biggest question. This activity lets students reflect on learning and build writing skills – plus you’ll get a window into their understandings and misunderstandings. Here are more prompts you can use to get students writing.
7. Real-time reactions
When students are watching a video, a mini lecture or another student’s presentation, have them share their real-time reactions. This helps students spot trends and consider new points of view. You can set up a hashtag to allow for live tweeting , or use the chat function in your conferencing software.
8. Chain notes
Write several questions on pieces of paper and pass each to a student. The first student adds a response (use a timer to keep things moving quickly) and then passes the page along to gather more responses. Multiple contributions help build more complete understanding. A digital alternative involves using shared documents that multiple students are invited to edit. Then your class can examine the responses and identify patterns and missing pieces.
9. Idea line up
Choose a question that has a range of responses, and then ask students where they stand – literally. If you’re not social distancing, have them come to the front of the classroom and organize themselves in a line, based on where on the spectrum of answers they find themselves. In a blended classroom or a physically distanced one, get them to place themselves on a virtual number line instead.
10. Mystery quotation
Test how well students can apply their understanding of an issue or theoretical position. After they’ve explored a topic, show them a quotation about it they’ve never seen before. Their task is to figure out the point of view of the person behind the quotation – and justify it to the class. Students can debate this issue in small breakout groups before beginning a whole-class discussion.
11. Idea speed dating
Have students cycle through your space, or through breakout rooms in Zoom or Google Meet, sharing insights about a topic or their elevator pitch for an upcoming project. As they present their learnings multiple times on several “ speed dates ,” students’ presentation skills and perspectives will grow.
12. Peer review
The process of peer review is as old as academia, and it’s never too early to start. Have students swap drafts of their essays, proposals or lab reports, and then come up with comments and questions for each other. Make sure to be clear about what the goals are (using rubrics helps). For example, students could identify compelling arguments, unanswered questions and holes in logic.
Ever played Jeopardy? Then you’re ready for quescussion . It’s like a standard class discussion but only questions are allowed (students call “Statement!” if someone slips up). If you play this game at the beginning of the course, the questions can help shape your course. If you have students both in the room and calling in from a distance, make sure the remote learners get equal airtime and that your audio system is picking up student voices clearly.
Instead of taking traditional lecture notes, try getting your students to sketch a picture that represents what they’ve learned during class. Remember, it’s not about the quality of the art – it’s about how drawing prompts students to visualize their understanding and look at their learning from a different perspective.
15. Empathy mapping
Take a page from the designers’ handbook and get students to explore deeper by embracing a perspective. It’s deceptively simple – write down what a person says, thinks, does and feels . The ability to slow down and immerse yourself in another point of view is valuable. In design thinking, empathy maps help designers create better products for users. But this process can be just as valuable for analyzing characters from literature, historical figures or political stances.
Checklist: 8 audio essentials for HyFlex and hybrid learning
Do your higher ed audio systems support active learning? In a hybrid classroom, students need to be able to hear each other easily, no matter where they are. Instructors need to be able to change the room layout for different activities, as often as they like. See what else is on our audio essentials list – download your checklist today (no email address required).
Editor’s note: This post was originally published August 2018 and has been updated.
Topics: Higher education Active learning Hybrid learning Learning Activities
Posted on April 2, 2020
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