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Homework and Practice Chapter 8

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1 Homework and Practice Chapter 8
This presentation has been adapted from the book Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners by Jane D. Hill and Kathleen M. Flynn. This book can be checked out from your school’s media center. Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners By Jane D. Hill and Kathleen M. Flynn

2 Why Homework? Homework allows students to practice, review, and apply knowledge It is an effective way to extend learning beyond the school day Why is homework important? It allows students the opportunity to practice, review, and apply their knwoledge, and it has been proven to be an effective way to extend the students learning beyond the regular school day

3 General Homework Guidelines for ELLs
Provide students with concrete, nonlinguistic examples such as photographs, real objects, visual organizers, graphics, demonstrations, notes, or outlines Give students opportunities to ask questions and discuss assignments orally Provide native language support when possible (bilingual tutors, instructions, or materials) Here are some basic guidelines for you when assigning homework to ELLs. Any time you can provide nonlinguistic examples before they leave the classroom, the better chance they will have of understanding the assignment and content once they get home. Rather than just assuming that students understand the assignment, designate some time when they can ask questions and get clarification on the assignment (either from you or other students). Sometimes it is possible to provide native language support as well, often in the form of bilingual materials. This is helpful for students who are literate in their native language, but also can provide some support for parents as they try to help their child with the homework.

4 More Homework Guidelines for ELLs
Provide a method for peer support with homework Give students modified or additional instructions Teach students learning strategies and tips they can use at home ELLs will benefit from having a peer “buddy” that can help them with understanding the homework in the classroom AND outside of school. As the teacher, you will need to set up this structure for ELLs. ELLs may also need modified instructions or additional instructions that you wouldn’t necessarily give to all of the students. Teachers should also explicitly teach learning strategies and tips students can use to be more effective and successful with completing their homework assignments.

5 How Much Homework? Amount of homework should increase as the students progress from elementary to high school. Tell students that homework is based on their level, and it should take “X” amount of time to complete (example) So how much homework should students have? ELLs will need to have their homework modified in some way, and frequently that will take the form of reducing the amount AND modifying the format. In this book, one teacher explains to his students that their homework is based on their level, and each student should spend the same amount of time and effort. A lower level student might spend 30 minutes to write two sentences, whereas a higher-level student might spend 30 minutes writing a 7 sentence paragraph. If students are spending more time that is appropriate (in this ex, 30 minutes) then the homework should be modified to fit the needs of that student.

6 Parental Involvement All parents can help by providing the place, time, and resources for their child to do homework Special issue with ELL’s parents: many do not understand the language of the assignment Encourage parents to use their native language when providing homework support and literacy development As teachers, we expect parents to provide a certain amount of support for their children at home in regards to homework…there are some special issues when it comes to parents of ELLs. Many times parents do not understand the language of the homewo, rkand therefore they are not comfortable helping with the assignments. Teachers should encourage parents to use their native language to support their students’ homework. For example, a child might tell their parent, in their native language, that they are learning about earthquakes. Evemen if the parent cannot explain the science behind plate tectonics, perhaps they can relate a story about a time they personally experienced an earthquake. The story will be rich in vocabulary and images that are related to the topic. Parents should also be encouraged to model literacy in their native language. Students don’t necessarily have the time to work on literacy skills in their native languages at school, so this must happen primarily at home. Research shows that students with a strong literacy foundation in their primary language will have an advantage when learning another language.

7 The Purpose of Homework
Make sure students know the purpose of the homework assignment: to practice/elaborate on information they have already learned, or to prepare to learn new information There are 2 purposes for homework—for students to practice a skill they already know, or to prepare the students to learn new information. Making the students aware of the purpose is important, and also keep in mind that ELLs don’t have to have the same homework assignment as other students. Don’t assign homework to ELLs that asks them to practice skills that they do not already have, for example—this will defeat the purpose of the assignment.

8 Feedback on Homework Important for student learning processes
Does not always have to be feedback from the teacher Peer feedback is also helpful Teachers should provide some method for students to get feedback on their homework assignments, whether that comes from the teacher or from peers. Be careful to steer English-only peers away from correcting EVERY single error an ELL makes, however. ELLs will benefit from seeing examples of homework from other students and hearing the explanations their peers provide.

9 Homework Policy Inform students and parents about the purpose
Estimate amount of work students will receive and time they should spend Discuss consequences for not completing homework Suggest ways parents can help Teachers should articulate a homework policy to both students and parents that includes these components: the purpose of the homework, amount and time that should be spent, consequences for not turning in assignments, and suggestions for parents to support their child. Whenever possible, communicate this information to parents in a language they can understand.

10 Adapting Homework Feedback to Different Language Levels
Level 1: a peer helping with word selection (vocab) Level 2: classmates model correct grammar Level 3: classmates model and explain how to expand or combine sentences or other processes Level 4-5: share their ideas with other students, using academic English Besides considering tiered questioning and making sure the homework assignment is appropriate for each student’s skills, teachers can also use these methods of adapting the “Feedback” aspect of homework. Level 1 students would benefit from having a peer help select unknown key content vocab from the homework assignment. Level 1 students assignments may be different from the others as it may focus only on vocabulary. Level 2 students will benefit from peer modeling of correct grammar and answers, whereas Level 3 students would benefit also from the explanations those peers can provide. Level 4 and 5 students should share their ideas with classmates, which gives them the opportunity to practice their academic English skills

11 Other Tips for Adapting Homework
Level 1: find examples of items at home or draw pictures of items studied, draw and label parts of something, any other word selection/vocabulary activities Level 2: also practice with words, but expand a bit to include adjectives, more elaboration on ideas Level 3-5: Combine written explanations with graphics as appropriate A few other tips when adapting homework…Level 1 students will need to focus primarily at the “word” level, with visual support. Level 2 students will benefit from this as well, with a little bit of elaboration. Level 3-5 students will still benefit from visual support, but should be expected to provide increasingly complex written explanations/answers as well.

12 Practice All of the above recommendations also apply to classroom practice English-dominant students need to practice a new skill at least 24 times to achieve 80% proficiency… So ELLs will need even more focused practice to master the same skills “Practice” includes not only homework but also opportunities for practicing new skills in the classroom. Research shows that English-dominant students must practice a new skill 24 times before they are at a 80% proficiency level, so ELLs will need a lot more practice opportunities with the same skills

13 Practice Tips If students are learning a complex skill or process, design practice opportunities to focus on only one of the more difficult steps or aspects Think-alouds will help ELLs to understand the conceptual basis for skills and processes ELL students will benefit from breaking down complex skills into practicing the individual steps. Think-alouds, where the teacher or another student demonstrates a skill or process while providing an explanation of the thinking behind it, will help ELLs develop a better conceptual understanding of the task.

14 ILPs (Individual Learning Plans)
The ILP classroom accommodations that correlate to these strategies are: Assign LEP level-appropriate assignments, homework, and assessments (modify length, allow extra time, alternate assignment, etc) Provide assignment instructions and other important information in both written and oral formats Assign a “buddy” to assist the student Allow use of supplementary materials in the student’s native language when available When you have an ENL student in class, you will receive a copy of their Individual Learning Plan, or ILP. One section of this form includes a checklist of some basic classroom accommodations that student should receive in your classroom. These are chosen based on the students’ strengths and weaknesses as shown from test scores, and several of them fall under the category of homework.

15 If you have questions related to this presentation, please contact:
For more information, please use Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners, available in your school’s professional library. If you have questions related to this presentation, please contact: Matt Walsh – Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Kelly Sumner – High School ENL teacher Casey Sutton – Middle School ENL teacher Adam Guthrie – Elementary School ENL teacher Lauren Davis – Elementary School ENL assistant For more information about homework, practice, and other ways to support the ELLs in your classroom, please check out the book “Classroom Instruction that Works with English Language Learners,” which is available in your school’s media center. Also feel free to contact any of the ENL staff listed here for additional assistance.

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