Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3 Reasons to ZAP Homework Blues

Photo by ms4jah
Attribution-NonCommercial License
One of the tenets of a Quality School is to encourage students' confidence in making choices that promote quality participation in school, I would suggest that ZAP, Zeroes Aren't Permitted, has the potential to help a school community accomplish this.

Students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning when they participate in ZAP when they learn to complete their homework. Once they organize their work process, students usually turn in most homework, completed in a timely manner.

ZAP is a process used in many schools, since the last century, to encourage homework completion that can, with the help of parents, teachers and other significant adults improve student's work completion skills. These are 3 primary expectations of a well developed ZAP program.

* Encourage student to improve work habits

1. students have opportunity to finish homework
2. students will receive one-on-one collaboration
3. major stakeholders are included in the collaboration
4. students will receive training on how to complete homework

* Involve parent in the conversation

1. share the visiion of the positive impact of ZAP
2. encourage parents to ask questions before beginning
3. explain the process
4. obtain buy-in or agreement to participate
5. expect follow through at home

* Use a collaborative, measured, well documented program

1. stakeholders follow the plan
2. teachers and parents help student have opportunities for best choices, based
on student performance in work completion
3. students understand that work completion gains positive feedback
4. ZAP program is ended when appropriate choices about work completion are made
over time

As you learn more about the Quality School Teacher, using the best instructional strategies and developing a positive student learning plan based on these ideas, you will see fewer behavioral and academic problems.

Remember, ZAP, Zeroes Aren't Permitted, is ONE tool, from a vast Teacher Tool Box. It was never meant to be used in a punitive manner.

The supportive idea behind ZAP, and similar tools, is that students make choices that can improve their quality of life. When a child's quality of life and learning improves, they will trust their teachers, parents and the rest of their community to have their best interests in mind in future educational adventures.

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