What is interactive homework?
Interactive homework puts the “home” in homework. Instead of sending homework into the void, you send homework that the student must talk with a parent or caregiver in order to complete. This helps the parents know what the student is learning and doing. To read more about it's effectiveness, read here.
So some things to keep in mind:
1. Communicate the purpose of the conversation clearly to parents. Make sure you tell parents that you are not asking them to do homework. Instead, you want to create a conversation about what the kids are learning in the classroom. Clearly state the learning objective (but please, not in “teacher-ese”—think less “students will practice dipthongs and blends” and more “the goal is to practice putting the letters '–ow' together in words.”
2. Keep equity in mind. This should be a conversation that any family can have in any language. If you think families are going to need resources to have a successful conversation, provide those resources.
3. Always invite parents to share their comments and insights.
Let’s see how it might work. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about how it may work in your classroom.
Traditional: Look through a magazine and find 10 things that start with the letter B. Cut out the picture and paste it on a piece of paper.
More Interactive: Walk around your house and ask your child to name 5 things that start with the letter B. When you find them, ask your child to stretch out the sounds like we do in class. For example, “bed” would be b----e----d. When you’re done, please tell me how it went.
____my child had no trouble with this assignment. I’m confident my child knows the “b” sound.
____my child had some trouble with this assignment.
____my child could not complete this assignment. My child needs more instruction about the letter B.
Tell me more about any of the above:
Traditional: Practice finding the average by doing these 10 problems.
More Interactive: We are working on finding the average. With the help of your family, please track the numbers of hours your family slept this week M-F. Then, before Monday, find the average number of hours your family slept this week.
M ____ T____ W____ TH___ F___ Average hours we slept:_____
Please show your work here:
Parent or caregiver: Was this difficult for your student to complete? Please explain.
Traditional: Study the three types of cells. Quiz tomorrow!
Interactive: Show an adult in your home the models of cells you created on pg 12,13, and 14 in your science notebook. Explain to them the types of cell and their function.
Parent or caregiver:
- Are the models clearly drawn? yes/ mostly/ not yet
- Did your student confidently explain the function of the cells? yes/ mostly/ not yet
- Does your student need more help understanding the three types of cells? yes/ no
Comments on any of the questions above:
Traditional: Quiz on Beowulf tomorrow.
Interactive: Read to your parent or caregiver your favorite 10 lines from the poem. Then explain why they are your favorite and how they relate to the rest of the story.
- My student can read the 10 lines clearly and with expression_______.
- My student can easily explain why the lines are his/her favorite____.
- My student can explain the story of Beowulf so that I can understand the basic characters and action____.
I think my student needs the following support with his/her study of Beowulf.
Ready to try it out? There are some great resources here and here and a handy checklist here.
Check out this electronic version of interactive homework.
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