I wanted to share some fairly out of the box homework ideas for mathematics lessons to show setting homework does not have to be a time consuming chore it is too often mistaken for. Homework should consolidate and extend the learning from the classroom or even prepare students for future learning.
These four ideas are some homework tasks that have worked well for me in the past. I find getting the students to rely on each other for completing homework often works best for ensuring accountability.
Students challenge and assess each other
Students create five questions based on what we have learned in their lesson. Two of should be easy questions, two medium and one hard question. Ask the students to assign marks for each question and create a mark scheme.
The students would give these questions to each other at the start of the next lesson and use their mark schemes to peer assess. Students could award each other merits or house points if their partner has done particularly well.
Students teach themselves
This is an idea based on Flipped Learning. Set homework based on what is coming up next lesson. For instance, if you are about to teach formulae a piece of homework could be to research the top 5 mathematical formulae that changed the world. Ask the students to write about how they changed the world and who created them.
Next lesson the students could share their findings with each other through class discussions or even creating a joint presentation.
Students teach the teacher
Students could mark your work. Give the class some of your notes, well pretend notes, you used when planning today’s lesson. Some of your working is wrong can they find and correct it?
At the start of next lesson, have the class show you where the mistakes were. To differentiate this for the less able you could tell them what the answers should have been.
Students teach their parents
Students have to teach what they have learned to their parents or other family member. As an end of term revision activity students can pick any topic they have learned to teach to their parents. Students will need to create a question sheet which their parents have to complete. Their child marks their work and feeds back to them.
Parents could simply sign their child’s planner to confirm the homework was completed. Bear in mind, depending on the teaching ability of the student some parents may write more than their signature.
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