Habits Of Mind Homework
But lost in this clinical sequence are the Habits of Mind that (often predictably) lead to success or failure in the mastery of given standards. In fact, it is not in the standards or assessments, but rather these personal habits where success or failure -- in academic terms -- actually begin.
habits of mind homework
The habits themselves aren't new at all, and significant work has already been done in the areas of these "thinking habits." However, in a 21st century learning environment -- one often inundated with information, stimulation and connectivity -- there may be a newfound context for their application.
Remind students to avoid the vagueness and abstraction -- and imprecision -- of terms like always, never, all, everybody, teachers, celebrities, technology, they, we, should and must. Post these kinds of words or phrases where students can be reminded of them -- and know to avoid them. And hopefully know why they should avoid them.
When it comes to something easy, such as grabbing a coffee at your local Starbucks on your way to school, it might take only a few days for a habit to form. But if it is a habit that is challenging, studies have shown that it may actually be more like 66 days. Or for very challenging habits, it could take up to a year!
Nearly all successful people, regardless of their profession, have mastered these habits. This makes teaching the Habits of Mind crucial as we strive to teach the whole child. Since they are cross-curricular, they can be applied to all subjects and grade levels.
These habits are not as easy to master as that daily Starbucks stop, so it is important that the language and mindset is woven throughout instruction. This way, students have an opportunity to practice frequently to help them become automatic. Additionally, it results in resilient students who are able to tackle real-world problems without giving up.
We know time is the enemy, and we try to teach more and more content. Just a few minutes of routine Habits of Mind thinking a day is very beneficial. Not only is it quick, but it reaps great rewards because students who apply the habits are more successful in your content and activities.
Moreover, this quick routine works well as a series of Morning Meetings, or as a quick introduction at the beginning of class. This way, students have a habit in their mind as they work through your lesson. As you notice students using habits of mind, point it out, explain what you see, and how it may connect to future successes and praise them.
Remember, forming a challenging habit takes lots of repetition, so the more real-time examples a student can see, the better. Use common language and be very specific when you point out examples, and you will notice that students will begin to do the same. Then, students can be more intentional about applying the habits across subject areas.
Obviously, incorporating and teaching through a set of mindset principles is an important part of the education process. But are the Habits of Mind hype or do they really help in and out of the classroom?
In the video below, we explore each of these sets of Habits and break down why they have been outlined for each content area. Each content area is unique, but all contain common intersections for mindsets.
Habits of Mind can also be used as an integrated instructional tool to address different learning styles, abilities, and interests. These habits can help develop problem-solving skills, infuse higher-order thinking attributes, and promote collaboration within the lesson plan format.
These habits are especially important in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, says researcher Ryan Stowe of Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., which conducts biomedical research. Stowe works with STEM teachers in Palm Beach County.
The first series comes from the Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Two years ago Ms. Hossink and Mrs. Truong attended a science conference at VAEI and brought back a tool called Habits of Mind. These habits support the SJCS mission to provide exceptional teaching and curriculum that engages and transforms culture for Jesus Christ.
Tasks are easiest to accomplish when tied to specific routines. By establishing daily routines for homework completion, you will not only make homework go more smoothly, but you will also be fostering a sense of order your child can apply to later life, including college and work.
Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom. It is a quiet location, away from the hubbub of family noise. Other children become too distracted by the things they keep in their bedroom and do better at a place removed from those distractions, like the dining room table. Some children need to work by themselves. Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Ask your child where the best place is to work. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location.
Step 2. Set up a homework center. Once you and your child have identified a location, fix it up as a home office/homework center. Make sure there is a clear workspace large enough to set out all the materials necessary for completing assignments. Outfit the homework center with the kinds of supplies your child is most likely to need, such as pencils, pens, colored markers, rulers, scissors, a dictionary and thesaurus, graph paper, construction paper, glue and cellophane tape, lined paper, a calculator, spell checker, and, depending on the age and needs of your child, a computer or laptop. If the homework center is a place that will be used for other things (such as the dining room table), then your child can keep the supplies in a portable crate or bin. If possible, the homework center should include a bulletin board that can hold a monthly calendar on which your child can keep track of longterm assignments. Allowing children some leeway in decorating the homework center can help them feel at home there, but you should be careful that it does not become too cluttered with distracting materials.
Step 3. Establish a homework time. Your child should get in the habit of doing homework at the same time every day. The time may vary depending on the individual child. Some children need a break right after school to get some exercise and have a snack. Others need to start homework while they are still in a school mode (i.e., right after school when there is still some momentum left from getting through the day). In general, it may be best to get homework done either before dinner or as early in the evening as the child can tolerate. The later it gets, the more tired the child becomes and the more slowly the homework gets done.
Step 4. Establish a daily homework schedule. In general, at least into middle school, the homework session should begin with your sitting down with your child and drawing up a homework schedule. You should review all the assignments and make sure your child understands them and has all the necessary materials. Ask your child to estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment. Then ask when each assignment will get started. If your child needs help with any assignment, then this should be determined at the beginning so that the start times can take into account parent availability. A Daily Homework Planner is included at the end of this handout and contains a place for identifying when breaks may be taken and what rewards may be earned.
Many children who are not motivated by the enjoyment of doing homework are motivated by the high grade they hope to earn as a result of doing a quality job. Thus, the grade is an incentive, motivating the child to do homework with care and in a timely manner. For children who are not motivated by grades, parents will need to look for other rewards to help them get through their nightly chores. Incentive systems fall into two categories: simple and elaborate.
Building in breaks. These are good for the child who cannot quite make it to the end without a small reward en route. When creating the daily homework schedule, it may be useful with these children to identify when they will take their breaks. Some children prefer to take breaks at specific time intervals (every 15 minutes), while others do better when the breaks occur after they finish an activity. If you use this approach, you should discuss with your child how long the breaks will last and what will be done during the breaks (get a snack, call a friend, play one level on a video game). The Daily Homework Planner includes sections where breaks and end-of-homework rewards can be identified.
Building in choice. This can be an effective strategy for parents to use with children who resist homework. Choice can be incorporated into both the order in which the child agrees to complete assignments and the schedule they will follow to get the work done. Building in choice not only helps motivate children but can also reduce power struggles between parents and children.
Step 1. Describe the problem behaviors. Parents and children decide which behaviors are causing problems at homework time. For some children putting homework off to the last minute is the problem; for others, it is forgetting materials or neglecting to write down assignments. Still others rush through their work and make careless mistakes, while others dawdle over assignments, taking hours to complete what should take only a few minutes. It is important to be as specific as possible when describing the problem behaviors. The problem behavior should be described as behaviors that can be seen or heard; for instance, complains about homework or rushes through homework, making many mistakes are better descriptors than has a bad attitude or is lazy. 350c69d7ab