Interactive Homework

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Workshops are intended to train teachers how to: (1) evaluate parents'/children's interests using "Interest Inventories"; (2) develop vocabulary lists to involve students in word study across the curriculum; (3) write clear directions for homework assignments to facilitate productive parent-child dialogue about vocabulary and inference questions or word problems; (4) encourage parents to use their experiences to tutor students during the completion of homework; (5) develop developmentally effective inference questions or word problems across the K-3 curriculum; (6) analyze the quality of students' inference making/problem solving in order to make recommendations for increasing parent involvement and student outcomes.

Parental involvement in homework involves academic performance in that it supports and improves student attitudes related to achievement such as perceptions of personal competence and self-management (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2001; Bryan et al., 2001).

The implications for teachers are that designing IH can help improve (a) parental involvement, (b) students' self-concept, and (c) academic achievement.

PARENT AND STUDENT INTEREST AS COMPONENTS OF IH Parental interest in homework can facilitate student interest, which is crucial for completing homework assignments that require self-directed and self-management strategies (Cooper et al., 2001). (2001) found a positive correlation between parental interest in homework and homework completion, whereas only a weak correlation was found between student interest, homework completion and academic achievement.

However, it appeared that elementary students' short attention spans, their inability to successfully complete homework because of its difficulty, students' poor study skills, or lack of a supportive home environment was to blame (Cooper, et al, 2001).

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