Homework is generally perceived as an essential extension of classroom study. Yet, not all traditional homework garners desired outcomes and student engagement outside of school.
There's an array of voluntary, alternative approaches to homework that not only successfully complement classroom instruction, but also promotes invaluable natural, authentic learning. Varied approaches can teach responsibility and time management skills. Whether this type of learning is facilitated through outdoor activities, volunteerism, or extracurricular activities, the choices are inexhaustible.
The following personalized projects link real-world application and relevance to class lessons. It doesn't matter if the connection reinforces a mathematic, English Language Arts, science, health and physical education, or social studies curriculum—the ultimate goals is design and redefine student learning beyond the classroom.
Community Resources – Visits to these venues promote an extended learning experience to emphasize class discussions on specific topics.
- Aerospace, art, children’s, cultural preservation, history, military, science, and wax centers, galleries, and museums
- Archeological dig sites, construction sites, power plants, and water treatment plants
- Airports community facilities, community gardens, creeks, farms, historical sites, lakes, and parks
- Government offices, financial institutions, and libraries
- Musicals and plays
Health/Physical Activities – Tangibly compare active, healthy lifestyle practices with knowledge obtained in classroom environment.
- Establish daily exercise routine
- Dance classes
- Determine calorie intake and usage
- Healthy living regimen
- Team sports activities
- Tennis, swimming, marital arts, self-defense, yoga, skateboarding
- Walking tours/hiking trails
Interactive Technology – Online activities and assignments present occasions to put emphasis on lesson instruction and curricular content.
- Email transmissions
- Hand-held devices
- Mobile devices
- Online research, downloads, applications
- Social Networks
Routine Activities – Integrate student lifestyles outside of the classroom into what is being learned in class.
- Grocery shopping offers practical opportunities to educate students about money management, deductive reasoning, and measurements to name a few things.
- Everyday chores and home goings-on (e.g., cleaning house, cooking meals, and yard work) are opportunities to creatively complement study topics.
- Social interactions with friends and family can reinforce classroom education (e.g., dining in restaurant, shopping, watching television, and going to the movie theater).
There are a myriad of alternative learning opportunities for educators to consider outside the classroom. Surely, traditional homework assignments are not the only option on the table. In the end, students need to be inspired and engaged to participate in the progression of their education—in and outside the classroom.
How can everyday happenings translate to reinforce classroom instruction? Share your ideas on our wall!