We know that there are many components that need to be addressed in order for kids with ASD to be able to understand, complete, and turn in their homework. One strategy that has been used successfully is a homework template to keep track of assignments. Many schools provide an assignment book where the assignments are written down with a due date. If this is working for your student with ASD, congratulations! For many students, the act of writing is so laborious that they get too frustrated by the process of trying to put pencil to paper and don’t get the assignments written into their books, or can’t read it later when they need the information. Even when a student records the information, and completes the assignments, it can be difficult to turn them back in. Going from an assignment, to completing the work, to turning it in, is a multi-step process; here’s one way to support your student in completing the entire routine:
- Teacher writes homework in the same place at the same time each day and puts it on her classroom website or online school management site (e.g. schoology).
- Teacher clarifies all materials that are needed to complete the assignment.
- Provide a set time each day or class for student to capture information in the homework management system (written, apps, online).
- Teacher has a set place and time for turning in assignments. If a student is turning in late work, there is a set place and procedure for that as well.
Now that we’re a few weeks into the school year, you and your kids are probably coming to terms with the homework load. There’s no app to help your kids carry their books, but there are apps that can help you and your child keep track of all those homework assignments. There are even a few that can lend a hand when your kids need help with math formulas you’ve long forgotten.
iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows 8, Web, Kindle; Free
MyHomework lets you track homework assignments and classes. When you add an assignment or test you can indicate the class, due date (time optional), and priority level (color-coded as low, medium or high). You can set up reminder alerts, which are saved to your calendar. You can then see your homework assignments by your calendar or in a queue by class, priority or type.
Another function allows you to add classes, either by time or by period, so it’s helpful for middle school, high school and college students.
Teachers can sign up to use the app to send students announcements, and hand out syllabi, reading lists and other materials to students who also have the app.
My GradeBook: Student Grades (Also called My Grades and Homework)
iPhone, iPad, Android; $0.99
Maybe you want to track your child’s grades as well? My GradeBook focuses on tracking grades as well as homework assignments. It’s a bit friendlier toward grade-school students.
Start by adding courses, indicating the instructor, term, units or credits, grade style (points-based or weighted) and grade scale. Once you’ve added all your classes, you can add assignments by clicking first on the class, then on the notepad icon. You can assign a due date and time plus notes. Mark the assignment as “submitted” once it’s completed.
When it’s graded, simply add the points earned out of the total and My GradeBook will calculate the overall class grade based on all graded assignments. Then it calculates overall GPA. My GradeBook also syncs to DropBox to backup your data.
Other options to consider for tracking homework include:
So far so good. Now about that math homework? A few apps can help your middle and high school students when your own memory of algebra fails.
iPhone, iPad, Android; free
Gone are the days when you could only graph on a clunky Texas Instrument calculator. This app is a graphing, scientific, matrix and statistics calculator. Not only is there an app, you can also use it online.
iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook; $2.99
This app solves equations. Just plug in the problem.
Is this too much homework help? Creator Conrad Wolfram answers that question in his TEDx talk. Basically, it depends on how you’re using it — and how important it is to your child’s teacher that they learn to calculate by hand.
The app can be used to walk students through problems so they more clearly understand equations and the steps needed to solve them. It’s probably more helpful to students in advanced math courses than for 6th graders.
What about when homework includes studying for a test?
iPhone, Android; free
One helpful tool is StudyBlue. This app allows you to create your own flashcards and use flashcards used by classmates and friends. It optimizes study by tracking which cards have been mastered so students can focus just on what they still need to learn. Cards can be text, images or audio.
And you’re set! Now if only there were an app to make homework more fun.