Homework Practices that Support Students with Disabilities
Preferred Homework Adaptations
- Provide additional one-on-one assistance to students.
- Monitor students' homework more closely.
- Allow alternative response formats (e.g., audiotaping rather than writing an assignment).
- Adjust the length of the assignment.
- Provide a peer tutor or assign the student to a study group.
- Provide learning tools (e.g., calculators).
- Adjust evaluation standards.
- Give fewer assignments.
Tips For Assigning Homework
- Make sure the students can complete the homework assignment.
- Write the assignment on the chalkboard.
- Explain the assignment clearly.
- Remind students of due dates periodically.
- Assign homework in small units.
- Coordinate with other teachers to prevent homework overload.
- Make sure students and parents have information regarding your policy on missed and late assignments, extra credit, and available adaptations. Establish a set routine at the beginning of the year.
"Ask students to indicate how long it took them to complete a homework assignment. The student who takes much longer than expected may not know how to do it, may have difficulties with attention, or may have to cope with distractions." Tanis Bryan, Researcher
Today, partly as a result of educational reform, many students are receiving increased amounts of homework. For students with disabilities, homework may pose significant challenges. Some of these problems are related to a student's ability to maintain attention, sustain acceptable levels of motivation, demonstrate effective study skills, and manifest positive attitudes toward homework. Others are related to factors such as how homework is assigned and the quality of communication between home and school about homework.
For over a decade, OSEP has supported researchers in studying effective homework practices, and in return, researchers have produced findings to help students participate and progress in the general education curriculum. This section features the work of several researchers who are advancing our understanding of how practitioners and families can ensure that homework is effective.
Reprinted with the permission of the Council for Exceptional Children. © 2006-2007 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). All rights reserved.
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