School-Based Intervention Idea from


Math Homework: Motivate Students Through Reinforcers, Interesting Assignments, Homework Planners, and Self-Monitoring  (Bryan & Sullivan-Burstein, 1998)

Improve students’ rate of homework completion and quality by using reinforcers, motivating ‘real-life’ assignments, a homework planner, and student self-monitoring.

(1) Reinforcers: Allow students to earn a small reward (e.g., additional free time) when they turn in all homework assignments for the week. (2) ‘Real-life’ Assignments: Make homework meaningful by linking concepts being taught to students’ lives. In a math lesson on estimating area, for example, give students the homework task of calculating the area of their bedroom and estimating the amount of paint needed to cover the walls. (3) Homework Planner: Teach students to use a homework planner to write down assignments, organize any materials (e.g., worksheets) needed for homework, transport completed homework safely back to school, and provide space for parents and teachers to communicate about homework via written school-home notes. (4) Student Self-Monitoring: Direct students to chart their homework completion each week. Have students plot the number of assignments turned in on-time in green, assignments not turned in at all in red, and assignments turned in late in yellow.


Bryan, T., & Sullivan-Burstein, K. (1998). Teacher-selected strategies for improving homework completion. Remedial & Special Education, 19, 263-275.

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