Some Positive Homework Suggestions
There are several positive steps to make sure that the homework you assign is appropriate and beneficial to student success.
The first is to allow students to decide for themselves (with teacher guidance) what they need to accomplish for homework. If several students are working together, for example, and need more time to finish a project, then they can self-assign homework that involves finishing their work. While this may result in different assignments for the individuals in a class, the result is worthwhile. As often as you can, you should allow students a strong voice in homework decisions.
Asking students to keep journals, writing to learn logs, or to design puzzles, games, or other creative, higher-order thinking activities will be more likely to motivate students to learn than rote drills. While not all students have access to technology resources, research based assignments are also positive experiences.
One of the reasons many students do not read with fluency is that they do not read often. Allowing students to read for pleasure and to discuss what they read with classmates is an assignment that students, with direction and support from their teachers, will find enriching. If students are to improve their reading skills, reading should be part of every subject.
Involving students in community activities and volunteer efforts is an excellent way to bring real-life activities into the classroom. Class projects such as recycling or fundraising for disadvantaged community members present many teachable moments that can be aligned to most state standards as well as provide authentic assignments.
Taken from: http://theapple.monster.com/