I’m not someone who sets a heap of homework. In fact, I think over the whole course of last year I might’ve set less than 10 pieces. Or even 5. Truth be told, there’s so much variation in quality that it’s often not worth setting. And sometimes it doesn’t get completed.
That’s my fault though, I’m well aware of that. I haven’t set expectations of homework the same way that I’ve set expectations in the classroom before. I’m quite sure that’s the cause of the variation; the parents at the school where I work are very supportive and would definitely encourage their children to get their homework done.
This year, I’m going to put a little more time into homework, making use of a 20 minute / half an hour task that can be completed over the span of a week. I’ll be especially focusing on reading and spelling, due to the emphasis the current government guidelines place on these areas. I’ve mapped out my first half-term’s worth of homework (with some weeks off) and matched it to my medium term plan. It’s not something I’ve done before; homework has often been almost a second thought for me.
Anyway, I thought I’d shake up the whole homework situation a little and ‘borrow’ a great idea I found on Pinterest: Homework monopoly. Or Homeworkopoly as I’ll be calling it.
I managed to find a monopoly board online that I could edit using Photoshop. It was a bit busy for me, so I simplified and altered the colours. I’ve never liked the brown on the board… What I thought was going to be a really quick thing to edit turned into a little labour of love. I ended up using the template for the original dimensions and then re-making it from scratch meaning that it’ll be super easy for me to edit should I ever need to. After all, the original template was created in 2008 and Photoshop tools have moved on a little since then.
The idea behind it is that the children will hand in their homework and move their piece around the board as a reward for their hard work outside of school. The prizes don’t cost anything (or not much) and, fingers crossed, will motivate the kids to strive to meet my new and improved homework expectations.
Oh, and there’s no jail. They are only kids after all.