The second of our lunchtime presentations on Magic Monday 3 was by Sam Bulmer from our English department, who shared with us how she is using “Takeaway Homework” to help her students take more responsibility for their homework.
The original idea came from the “100 Ideas” book by Ross Morrison-McGill.
The concept is simple:
- Provide your class with a takeaway menu full of homework tasks.
- Each week students get to choose a different task to complete from the menu, to be handed in on a set day.
The takeaway menu can be further differentiated by dividing it into sections. Sam uses:
- Appetisers (light bites)
- Main meals (hearty appetites)
- Desserts (creative and different)
Dividing your menu this way is also a useful way to increase the level of challenge, for example, you might insist that all students pick a more challenging ‘main meal’ but give them the choice of adding a starter or dessert. The point is to encourage students to want to go the extra mile.
Sam also allocates nutritional points to each task, which students record in their points tracker before being signed off by their teacher. The more difficult or time-consuming the task, the more points that are available for completion.
A points leaderboard is then used to display the top points scorers, with prizes at the end of each term for the most points.
Sam’s findings so far:
- A reduction in the amount of homework handed in late or missed.
- Increased enthusiasm from students about homework – especially the challenge and competitive element.
- Time saved not having to explain homework every lesson.
- Front loading the planning of homework tasks gives a return over subsequent weeks.