Students never enjoy doing their homework. If they thought they could get away with it, they wouldn’t do it at all. Often tutors and teachers get frustrated by the abysmal quality of homework submitted to them and wonder, “How do I help my students to score better?” Especially teachers scoring subjects like mathematics, chemistry and biology. These subjects are so technical and specific that it is difficult to come up with innovative homework assignment topics that would interest the students and motivate them to submit quality work and score better.
Why is Mathematics homework important?
Homework in any subject is an important part of the curriculum. It encourages self study, learning, time management and accountability. Mathematics homework is especially important as it gives students practice. Math is one subject where you learn concepts and equations and theorems in class but you learn to use and apply them in homework assignments. Math homework gives students the regular practice they need in order to score better in their examinations and tests.
Why do students score badly in their Mathematics homework?
Mathematics is one of the least favoured subjects of assignment. Students dislike mathematics homework mainly because it bores and scares them at the same time. This fear and disinterest causes them to submit slipshod work and score far lower than their potential.
How can teachers and tutors motivate students to do their Mathematics homework and score better?
- Start early:
Lay out your expectations at the start of the academic year. Let students understand that that homework and assignments are important and must be completed.
- Incentivize effectively:
Assign credits to homework so that students understand the consequences of not submitting their assignments. Maths teachers tend to set a lot of practice homework but it must be graded in order to motivate student and monitor their progress.
- Be consistent:
Work on a schedule that assigns work regularly and consistently. For example, assign homework every Friday and collect it every Monday. This makes it easier for students and guardians to remember when assignments are set and when they are due.
- Set assignments with a goal in mind:
Different kinds of assignments address different needs. Homework maybe set for any of the following purposes-
- To revise what has been taught in class.
- To practice the application of formulae explained in class.
- To apply formulae in innovative ways to real world problems in the form of field work.
- To encourage and empower students to conduct their independent research.
- To test the students understanding of concepts and to monitor their progress.
- Innovate :
Math assignments need not all be dull. With fields like statistics, algorithm and geometry there are numerous unusual topics that maybe assigned to students. For example, students may be instructed to conduct a survey on any topic of their choice and present their findings in terms of statistics using percentages, pie charts and histograms. Set different kinds of assignments as students need variety in order to stay engaged. You may assign group projects to encourage students to work together and build team spirit and cooperation.
- Invite suggestions:
Involve students in the process by allowing them to choose some of their homework assignment topics. Explain why you assign a topic for homework. Students are more likely to feel motivated to do their homework if they understand why it has been assigned in the first place. So a small refresher homework assignment on Simple Interest will make sense when you begin to explore Compound Interest in the nest class.
- Enlist help:
Math needs to be understood and applied to different problems. Concepts explained in class often need to be revised at home and applied in homework assignments so that they are understood and remembered. Communicate with guardians to enlist their cooperation and encourage their wards to be more productive.
- Be involved:
Follow up regularly on unfinished assignments and give detailed feedback for the best results. Feedback is essential for students to understand and correct their mistakes. In a technical subject like maths, constructive feedback helps clear doubts and encourages students to be more confident.
- Be compassionate :
Different students learn at different speeds. A lot of students develop a fear of mathematics because the foundations of their basic concepts are not clear. It is important to understand these differences and address them with special assignments and remedial lessons wherever possible.
- Understand your limitations:
You can motivate your students, clear their doubts and guide them, but you cannot do their work for them. Understand that point where you need to take a step back and let the students fend for themselves.
With these ten tricks up your sleeve there is nothing that can get in the way of you giving your students the best help you have to offer to help them score better with their mathematics homework.