TutaPoint Online Education Blog


When to Assign Homework and How Much: New Teacher Guide Tips

Posted By Ryan Duques

New Teacher Survival Guide Series Installment Two TutaPoint’s New Teacher Survival Guide series is produced to help teachers new to the classroom navigate their first few months on the job.


A teacher’s first year is often the most challenging. Learning how to manage a classroom, design lesson plans that work for students, cooperate with faculty and administrators, and manage the time to perform all of these tasks and more is difficult for entering teachers. This new teacher guide offers tips for new teachers and strategies for new teachers to help your first year be successful in seven critical areas.


New Teacher Tips: When to Assign Homework…and How Much?

Unfortunately, there is actually debate on whether homework is “good” or “bad” for students. Woefully little of this research has explored whether the timing or length of homework has an effect on student learning, but from the below studies, we can gain some insights.


§  Definitely Assign Homework. Harris Cooper, Director of Duke University’s Program in Education, found through meta-analysis that homework at all ages improves student achievement, and that the correlation was strongest for secondary school students (grades 7-12).


§  Assign homework outside of class. In “Longitudinal effects of in-school and out-of-school homework on high school grades”, Keith et al. determined that homework completed in-school, such as periods set aside during instruction periods and study halls, had no effect on student grades, whereas homework completed out of school had a measurable positive impact.


§  Don’t worry too much about parental reaction. A 2006 survey by the Associated Press found that 57% of parents believed their child received the right amount of homework, and 63% of teachers agreed. 19% of parents believed their child received too much homework, and 12% of teachers agreed.


§  Consider the ten minute rule. A new teacher tip from the National Parent Teacher Association: multiply a student’s grade level by ten to identify the ideal nightly homework load. A 9th grader would have 90 minutes of nightly homework whereas a 12th grader would have 120.


§  Keep in mind total homework load. If each teacher used the ten minute rule by subject, a 9th grader taking seven classes would have a nightly homework load of ten hours. Teachers can assist students with their homework loads by allowing them longer times to complete work and discussing homework loads among other grade-level instructors. As noted above, in-class completion time is not effective in a learning context.


§  Consider student ability. In an analysis by Ray Heitzmann, “Target Homework to Maximize Learning”, Hetizmann notes how important it is to assign appropriate homework lengths by student ability and allow adequate time for them to complete assignments.

TutaPoint Education provides live, US based online instruction aligned to the Common Core Standards. 

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