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Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Homework: How to Stress Less and Have Success Judith Stein, Ph.D. Institute for Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Homework: How to Stress Less and Have Success Judith Stein, Ph.D. Institute for Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Homework: How to Stress Less and Have Success Judith Stein, Ph.D. jstein@ildlex.org Institute for Learning and Development October 3, 2013

2 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 The Institute for Learning and Development Creating pathways to success for all learners The Institute for Learning and Development (ILD) is a professional practice that provides psychological and educational services customized to meet the needs of each student.

3 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Outline Homework – Why and how much Creating a positive emotional climate Deciding on your role What our children need to be successful with homework – executive function skills Strategies that work Stress less about homework

4 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Why is homework so stressful? Busy families; Balancing act Our expectations don’t match our children’s attitude & behavior Clash of learning styles and skills Demands exceed capabilities

5 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Here’s a boy who was bad and his teacher gave him a lot of homework that was very hard. He couldn’t finish it and the next day the teacher gave him even more homework. He tried to finish it all but he just couldn’t. The next day his teacher gave him even more homework and this kept happening until finally, he just couldn’t even START the homework.

6 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Why Homework? Homework provides opportunities for : practicing skills applying principles to new situations, problems learning in “real world” situations at home and in the community developing personal initiative, responsibility, and self direction. developing critical and creative thinking skills

7 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Homework Policy  Grade K – Occasionally  Grade 1 – 15 minutes nightly  Grade 2 – 20 minutes nightly  Grade 3 – 30 minutes nightly  Grade 4 – 40 minutes nightly  Grade 5 -- 45 minutes nightly

8 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Homework Policy  Grade 6 – 1 hour each night  Grade 7 – 1 ½ hours each night  Grade 8 -- 2 hours each night  High School – homework time = class time per week

9 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Creating a Positive Emotional Climate Understanding your child’s learning style and impact of your own style Establishing a routine with your child’s input Letting go of our expectations and a certain outcome Make space for mistakes, time wasters, struggles Approach task with curiosity, compassion, collaboration

10 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Self Care Can you identify your own reactions and re-group before responding? Can you be compassionate with yourself? Can you be flexible and willing to compromise?

11 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Parent Roles Communicator (talking to teachers) Organizer (time, place, materials. resources) Overseer (monitor progress, completion) Encourager (pep talks, rewards) Reviewer (editor, checker) Assistant (scribe, reader, test) Teacher (explain concepts, skills, vocabulary)

12 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 What does it take to do homework successfully? Time Energy Motivation Mindset Academic Skills Executive Function Skills

13 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Motivation Motivation = Expectation of success x Value (interest/importance)

14 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Mindsets Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset The belief that one’s qualities can’t be changed (e.g., intelligence) The belief that ones’ qualities can be improved through effort “I’m not as smart as my peers so I will never do as well as they do” “I can do better if I learn new strategies and work harder”

15 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Executive Function Processes: What are they? Planning Organizing Prioritizing Initiating tasks Working memory Self-monitoring Flexible thinking Emotional control Research ILD 2009

16 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Research ILD 2008 Executive function is the ability to integrate a present awareness with future anticipation and past experience to develop a reasonable plan (accounting for space, time and people) for present action. Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP

17 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 How are EF processes related to learning? Weak EF processes affect areas that require the integration and coordination of multiple subskills such as: –reading comprehension –written expression –math problem solving

18 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 How are EF process related to learning? Weak EF processes affect areas that require independence and coordination of multiple elements: –Managing and completing homework –Long-term projects –Studying –Test-taking

19 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Early Elementary 3 rd Grade Monthly Book Report ResearchILD 2010 Assignment: Select a book and read it over the course of a month. Write a summary that fits inside a whimsical shape.

20 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 ResearchILD 2010 3 rd Grade Book Report EF ProcessRequirement of Assignment Organizing Remember to bring home materials each day to work, organize a plot summary, organize work on the page, turn in work when done Planning Break down project into smaller parts, manage time over the course of 4 weeks to finish reading book and finish project Prioritizing Select book from an array of choices, identify favorite part of the story, differentiate key plot elements from details Shifting Transition between different parts of the project, shift from main ideas to details while reading & writing, shift from overall goal to parts of project Working Memory Hold directions in mind while working, sort & evaluate information while reading, hold in memory what has been done & what is left to do Checking/Self- monitoring Monitor understanding of the book, keep track of reading pace, edit/proofread written work, check finished product against directions Emotional control Sustain effort and interest over a long time period, manage frustration, anxiety, & perfectionism

21 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 High School Midterm Study Guide for English Given: A review sheet one week prior to exam containing literary terms and works of literature read during the semester Assignment: Study for midterm exam containing material from September through January ResearchILD 2010

22 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 High School English Midterm EF ProcessRequirement of Assignment Organizing Locate and organize all notes, handouts, homework, & tests from the entire semester, create an organized study guide Planning Break down the task into smaller parts, use a calendar or planner to decide which part to do which day Prioritizing From notes, handouts, homework, & tests, differentiate which information is the most important to put on study guide Shifting Shift among different works of literature, sort and evaluate main ideas and details, and try to take perspective of teacher Working Memory Hold details from several different works of literature in mind while studying, perhaps juggle other subject midterms at the same time Checking/Self- monitoring Make sure that have all of the correct information and did not miss any class notes or homework, check to make sure all information is accurate, monitor your understanding to make sure you know it well enough to be tested Emotional control Sustain effort and interest, cope with test anxiety or perfectionism, manage frustration level if content is difficult ResearchILD 2010

23 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Dimensions to Consider for EF Interventions Time Space Materials Task Analysis Self-assessment and regulation

24 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 What Helps? Structure Strategies Technology Outside resources Back-up systems

25 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Critical Metacognitive Steps Say or verbalize the structure Use the structure consistently Evaluate the structure: “Is it working, or not? Adjust the structure: “How can it be made to work better? ResearchILD 2010

26 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Are you using your time effectively? List assignments in order of priority Estimate time each will take Use a timer to monitor use of time Reflect halfway through: Am I on track? –Do I need to adjust approach? Does this work meet teacher’s expectations? Check work only ONCE

27 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Estimate and Record Work Time Subject Science Math English Social Studies Estimated Time 45 minutes 30 minutes 1.5 hours 10 minutes Actual Time 45 minutes 1.25 hours 5 minutes

28 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Have Students Set Mini Goals ResearchILD 2010 SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday Jan. 678 Assignment Given 9101112 Library research 13 Read and decide topic 1415161718 Topic Due 19 20 Begin reading 21 And taking notes 2223242526 2728 Write thesis 2930 Thesis Due 31Feb. 12 Organize notes 3 Make outline 4 Outline Due 5 Begin writing 6789 10 Revise and edit 1112 Paper Due

29 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 P.A.C.K. Strategy for organization Purge – remove papers from binders and backpack Accessorize – find organizational tools that work (iphone;calendar) Categorize – sort and file important papers Keep it up! – set aside time each week to organize

30 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Templates Recording assignments Notetaking Writing assignments Studying Topic Sentence Introduce quote Quote Explain relevance of quote Concluding sentence

31 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 3-Column Notes – Triple Note Tote Research ILD 2008

32 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Technology Take picture of homework; notes Smart Pens – records as you take notes Text to Speech software – Voice Dream; ibooks; Task Management – iprocrastinate (iphone, ipad or Mac); google calendar (alarms); Speech to Text – Dragon Dictation Organization of Writing – Inspiration Study aids – Quizlet (phone or computer); Flashcards*

33 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Flexible Thinking

34 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm….. Confucius

35 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Strengthen Flexible Thinking Riddles (Jar of Riddles) How many ways can you use a …pencil, book, cup??? Create different story endings Switch roles in the family Board games or sports – switch players/teams Games

36 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Emotional Regulation Emotional self-regulation is the ability to recognize, modify, and express one’s emotions appropriately

37 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Impact of Emotions Level of emotional arousal and mood states affect: –Attention –Concentration –Memory –Impulse control –Shifting/Flexibility –Organization –Effort and motivation

38 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Children shut down or explode when…. the demands exceed their capabilities

39 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Changing the Situation Make a plan with your child as to how to handle stressful homework Encourage breaks when frustration is building Give choices for time/place/assistance Provide accommodations when needed Modify homework as needed

40 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Re-focus Attention Shift lens Distract Get some distance Change perspective Review the facts

41 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Re-frame Experience Connect experience with others Discuss worst case scenario Access past success Access strengths Visualize success

42 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Immediate Stress Relievers Take 3-5 deep breaths Pay attention to the sounds in the room Attend to your seat, feet, and hands Movement – walking, stretching, shoulder shrugs Music – listening, singing, Grounding – press hands together, gently rub forehead, stroke thighs

43 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Parent Interventions Can you reduce demands or change environment? Can you shift your child’s focus ? Can you re-frame the situation for your child? Can you encourage him/her to take a break and to calm down?

44 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Responding to Anxiety Help your child label the feeling Ask your child to rate how strong it is Encourage him/her to get some distance from it (give it to a worry doll, put it in a box, imagine it’s in a picture) Use a relaxation or calming strategy Model encouraging self-talk (It’s a false alarm; I’m safe;I can cope; It will go away soon; I can get help if I need it).

45 Institute for Learning and Development 2013

46 Make a Plan –What do I need to do? –How will I do it? –What might get in my way? –What strengths do I have that can help? –What can I say to myself to help? –What can I do if I get anxious?

47 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Explicitly Teach Self-talk

48 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Problem: Math anxiety Thoughts I can’t do it! I might get stuck I won’t finish It’ll take forever Feelings Paralyzed Overwhelmed Restless Worried Behavior Daydream Walk around Chat with friend Shut down

49 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Solution: Future template Thoughts I’ve tried these problems before, I can do it again… If I get stuck, I can ask for help.. It’s OK if I make a mistake. Feelings Calmer Less worried Fog has lifted Behavior Take deep breath Get out helpful materials Look over problems – do easy ones first Ask for help if stuck.

50 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Worst Case Scenario Probability of Feared Outcome? 1/20 Fail. Impact of Feared Outcome: So, I won’t get into …

51 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Responding to Helplessness Tasks have to match capabilities Tasks have to be broken down into small steps Scaffold the experience – model, guide, practice Tap into strengths and interests –What does s/he want to learn about?

52 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Responding to Anger Identify common triggers Use an angry scale Encourage expressing feelings in words or pictures Use a calming strategy (counting, deep breathing, giving away the feelings) Go for a walk; walk away Think about a solution

53 Institute for Learning and Development 2013 Firing Up the Frontal Lobes Ask a factual question Be curious about the situation Quantify the feeling Collaborate – we can find a solution together Get some distance from the feeling Widen or narrow the focus – time and space Change perspective – what would you say to a close friend?

54 Stress Less About Homework Enjoy your children and appreciate who they are Keep homework in perspective Homework doesn’t define who your child is or what the future holds Institute for Learning and Development 2013


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