Kids don’t like homework. That’s no surprise to any teacher or, for that matter, to anyone who has ever been a kid.
So it might surprise grown-ups to know that there are homework assignments that students appreciate and even enjoy.
They’re not necessarily the easy ones. The Washington Post sponsored a panel discussion about homework some years back, and students said the best homework assignments they ever had were ones that challenged them and taught them. They liked assignments that were relevant to their class work. Most of all, they liked assignments that taught them something.
“Homework should be something expected that will have problems and challenging ideas that will hone the skills we acquired that day of the lesson or before and shouldn’t go further than that,” said one high school senior.
One eighth-grader said she liked an assignment from the year before, in which she had to write an essay about Japanese interment during World War II and whether it was good for America, it took a lot of research, she said, but it was “fun.”
Teachers would love to give their students edifying homework that they can tackle with enthusiasm. But teachers also have lesson plans to prepare, classes to teach, papers to grade and conferences with parents to attend,
There’s plenty of help available, though. Several websites offer ready-made worksheets that teachers can print and use for homework assignments. They cover just about all subjects and all grade levels, and if your students are a little bit smarter than most kids, you can just give them the sheets for the next grade level, which should give them a little extra shot of self-esteem.
Here are a few of the worksheet sites that teachers may want to investigate. You may have to register but the materials are all free to teachers.
This site is mostly aimed at younger students, up through fifth grade. There are counting exercises for preschoolers, rhyming games for young readers, and open-ended questions that encourage older students to research planets in the solar system. The site also offers tools for teachers and “build-your-own” worksheets.
In addition to standard worksheets for students from pre-K through high schools, and in subjects from language arts to music to physical education, ABC Teach offers Common Core posters and self-evaluation forms and Power Point presentations. The worksheets have excellent graphics; you’ll get the most out of them if you have a color printer.
As the title implies, this site features math worksheets for grades one through five. Unlike many sites, Math Fact Café’s worksheets are more easily customizable. Teachers can pick the grade level, type of worksheet (word problems, multiplications tables, money) and difficulty level (easy, medium or hard). They also can customize the size of the solution space, and print a teacher’s guide with the answers included.