Setting Homework

Practical Teaching Advice from English Teachers in Japan.

This page provides practical advice for teachers on assigning homework to students, including considerations such as how much homework to assign, when to assign it, and how to make it meaningful and relevant to students' learning. The page suggests various types of homework assignments that can be used in different contexts, as well as tips for managing homework completion and feedback. Additionally, the page emphasizes the importance of communicating with parents and students about homework policies and expectations. The advice here is applicable to all, although specifically useful for those teaching ESL, EFL English in International Schools and Kindergartens in Japan.

  • Assigning Homework - The Purpose of Homework

  • These notes were written by The Magic Crayons while working at Japanese Kindergartens with students and after school students aged 3-10.

  • Assigning Homework - Marking Homework

    Assign a Worksheet etc. to the class. The children retrieve all they need from their school bags. Start checking homework from the first child that sits down.
    • Give a brief one on one review and mark the HW.
    • Give written and verbal praise and, maybe most importantly, give the student a fantastically amazing stamp or sticker!
    • Write the date on the new HW page and move on to the next child.

  • Assigning Homework - If homework is not being completed

    Be tactful. There might be good reasons why the child isn’t completing it.
    • The student doesn't get a HW sticker.
    • Gently remind the parent in person.
    • Have a teacher write a note in Japanese on the HW page to the parent.
    • Ask the students regular teacher to remind the child or parent.

  • Assigning Homework - Teaching Tips

    Ensure your classwork content enables the student to confidently and successfully complete the HW.
    • Model homework clearly.
    • Avoid where possible non relevant Activity Book pages such as colouring.
    • To quickly mark a lot of LSP books open them all to the same page and mark en masse.
    • If the homework involves writing, ask the child to point to their best written letter or word. The child will remember this when they go to write next time.
    • If you think the homework page is too easy, set two pages.
    • If possible model the homework again in front of the parents and ask a few questions to reliable students. This helps those parents who can’t do the homework themselves and also shows what a great teacher you are.

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