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Best Idea Ever: Student-Designed Homework

Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity! 

When Valerie Grimes saw that her fourth- and fifth-grade students were becoming disenchanted with her day-to-day homework assignments, she found a solution -- have students design their own homework. "I start by sending home a letter to parents at the beginning of school explaining that once a month, in lieu of an assignment I make up, students can bring in their own homework project," Grimes says. "And, when they submit their projects, they receive credit for a regular homework assignment of their choice."

Whether it is cooking, shopping, or going on a trip, students are instructed to design assignments that require thought and display creativity. They also have to be prepared to share with their classmates what they learn through their self-designed activities.

Submitted by: Valerie Grimes, Creighton School, Phoenix, Arizona.

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