During conferences with parents, we frequently hear, "there is no homework." Although it may be no specific homework has been assigned outside of class, we still encourage students to spend a time reading, catching up on late assignments/missed classes, preparing for tests/quizzes, or working on future projects each night so they don't become overwhelmed when everything starts piling up.
Working together, we need to stress to our students that study, in contrast to specified homework, includes (but is not limited to):
- Rewriting classroom lecture notes or lab reports.
- Checking lecture notes while they are still fresh in a student's mind; in terms of understanding material, a short time spent reviewing as soon after lecture as possible is worth spending several hours cramming a few days or weeks later.
- Outlining an English or Science chapter to use to review for a quiz or chapter test.
- Rethinking, e.g., using foreign language vocabulary words by making up sentences and transcribing them in the foreign language.
- Reviewing, e.g., reviewing theorems in geometry so one knows them verbatim and can apply them to problems not previously assigned.
- Getting a good night's sleep before a test -- no cramming! Research indicates that sleep aids in "sealing in" information.