Negotiating homework


This is a task for negotiating homework.

The purpose:

  • give me an opportunity to assess thinking skills (engagement in the activity)
  • give me an opportunity for me to see what they think about homework/know my learners better
  • give them the opportunity to think about homework and how important they think it is/how necessary for them

The task:

  • Ask learners if they know what a brainstorm is (not everyone knows!). Elicit answers.
  • Explain instructions/rules (give them on a separate sheet to keep) suggesting:
    • Select a scribe with post its and a pen
    • Write the first things that come into their head – there are no right or wrong answers
    • Try to get as many ideas as possible, making sure you let everyone put their ideas forward
    • Every idea has equal worth
    • Think about other people’s ideas and write any further ideas you’ve got, discussing them with each other
    • Give them a time limit (something which I sometimes forget to do, then remember a minute later!)
    • Then…give them the topic – homework.
  • The class will be a small group, so get feedback throughout – I can hear everything that is said, so there’s not much point in doing it twice, although presentation skills would be put to good use/selecting a team member to feedback (but will work on this in other ways)
  • Depending on how it’s going (and whether they are naturally listing positives and negatives), give learners a positive and negative heading, and ask them to categorise their answers. If their answers are more general, ask them to now think of homework for themselves, as opposed to kids, and add some positive and negatives of homework
  • Get them to choose their top 5 reasons to do some homework
  • Allay any concerns they have about their bottom reasons for not doing homework!
  • Plan accordingly. Homework is not compulsorary!

If all else fails, I can just have a 121 discussion.

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