Posts tagged homework

11 results

Homework and SBG

As the year draws to a close, I look back to see what went well and what didn’t go so well. Since I am doing Standards Based Grading, I have not been grading homework/practice problems. In fact, since I stopped grading homework, I have done a rather poor job of even checking to see if my students have done the homework/practice problems at all. This needs to change for next year. Somehow, I need to not only check to see if my students are doing practice problems, but I think I need to factor it into their grade somehow. At least if it’s in their grade, they do make some attempt most of the time (even if they copy it). However, I am not real thrilled about putting in some sort of homework grade. I feel that if it’s practice, they shouldn’t be graded on correctness. They are still learning the material and won’t necessarily have it all correct. When […]

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HW Feedback 1st Time

In June, I had blogged about something I thought may work in my class as far as getting feedback to students on their homework. I decided I was going to try it Friday after I gave my first practice problems. As I was getting it ready, it dawned on me that there would be students who wouldn’t have completed the assignment. Rather than doing the whole sheet that Hedge did, I added a line at the bottom: I did not do practice problems because ________________. Here’s the page I handed my students Friday (2 to a page); These were the directions I left on the SMART Board for them: Warm Up Please pick up a half sheet of paper from the stool and copy your work from your paper onto it as directed. Please hand it to me when you are finished. Once you have done that, begin checking with your neighbors to see if you got the same answers on […]

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HW Solution?

I, like many of you, have been debating what to do about homework. I don’t want to grade it. With doing Standards Based Grading,  I don’t feel it makes sense to grade it (I’m not rehashing this discussion). However, students aren’t practicing like they should be. As I was in a session with Cathy Hamilton over the last two days, she made the point that students will not do any homework that does not receive any feedback. This was the brainstorm that hit me as I was listening to her today. Students would come into class and pick up a half sheet of paper that looks like this: (obviously this is the full page I would send to the copier) On the paper, they would fill in the top and copy (from their homework) a practice problem that they felt good about how they did on it (on the left) and a practice problem that they need some feedback from […]

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Post Spring Break Blues

We have 37 days left with students (yes, I finally counted) and I’m real concerned on how the rest of the year is going to go. We returned from Spring Break yesterday and I started into adding and subtracting rational expressions. I did the guided notes thing I’ve been doing and I really felt like the lesson didn’t go well. I had planned on doing the Ghosts in the Graveyard activity to have students practice and after my first class, I scrapped it until tomorrow. I called it “Flowers in the Garden” because it’s spring and I used post-it flowers instead of ghosts. I had put 2 problems per card and most groups only got through 2 problems in about 30 minutes. They had no clue. For my second and third classes, I gave them the Pizzazz worksheet I planned to do tomorrow and sat down with some students for some one-on-one (or small group in some cases) tutoring. Their work […]

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How Much is Enough?

When I first started teaching 20 years ago, I was happy that my textbook had a guide to let me know what problems (and how many) to assign my students. I had no real idea how much was enough. Of course, at that point, most of the assignments were like #1-39 odd. I learned that it was a good idea to look at the problems before just assigning #1-39 odd carte blanche. Fast forward to now, 20 years later. Assigning 20-30 problems a night doesn’t work. I’m struggling to get my students to complete any outside assigned problems at times. So, as I was mowing the lawn today, I was wondering, how many problems is enough practice? Can you put a number on it? What practice do you assign on a regular basis? I look forward to reading your comments. This post originally appeared on An “Old Math Dog” Learning New Tricks.

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Practicing in Class Update

Over the last few weeks,  I have been complaining about my students’ lack of practice and being able to work on their own. I did want to give a quick update, but first I need to give a shout-out to my great twitter friend @druinok for her blog post on practicing that she put together after my complaining. I have tried some of her suggestions and I am grateful to have had a one-stop resource to start looking for ideas. My Math 1 students had a test today and I used the colored folders activity from Mrs. Graham’s Math with them on Monday. I took some 12″ x 12″ card stock and cut it into 4 6″ x 6″ squares and wrote review questions on them. Each color had the same type of problems on them. With my Math 1 students, I put the answers in the folder they would get next so they wouldn’t just copy the answers. I felt my students worked […]

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Revelations?

I am so fed up at this point. I don’t know if it’s just my lack of snow days/break, but I’m just fed up. I need Spring Break soon.So, as a follow up to yesterday‘s questions/ponderings about how to get students to practice more, here are some excerpts of a conversation that @druinok and I had:S: But part of the problem is on a practice day, how to make them do the practiceS: I pretty much stopped giving worksheets like that and do it other ways insteadme: ..But I don’t know all those things. Where do I find them?S: Speed dating is from Kate’s blogme: However, it still doesn’t address the other issue – if you weren’t planning on having a “practice day,” how do you make sure they practice?me: I know speed dating. I can’t remember what other ideas I’ve seen.S: You don’t… the way I see it, the only way to ensure the practice is do it in class.S: […]

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Spring HW Blues

Spring fever has hit here and it is only the second day of spring. Our weather warmed up considerably last week and it felt more like May 15th than March 15th here. Of course, since the weather has warmed up, the students’ focus has gone down. Yesterday, I had taught my Algebra 2s the last part of graphing quadratic equations, using the axis of symmetry to find the vertex. It certainly wasn’t my most spectacular lesson. As I was getting ready this morning, I just had the sense that my students didn’t do the 5 problems I assigned for practice. On the drive in, I had thought about doing a matching activity similar to what I had done with my Advanced Algebra 2 students when we did transformations back around Christmas. As I thought about it, if I gave them the equations and the graphs, I felt that enough of my students would just try to substitute the points from the […]

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No Answers, Just Questions

I gave my Algebra 2 students a quiz this week on multiplying polynomials and factoring. I didn’t put any feedback problems on it this time. We have been working on factoring for the last week to week and a half and it was time to see how well they knew it. We are getting ready to move to solving quadratic equations and I plan on giving students another opportunity to assess on factoring on the next quiz, but it was just plain time to give that assessment. Two weeks ago, I had given the assessment with feedback (details here) if you want the back story. I do have to say that the students did much better on multiplying polynomials than the first time around. I would have liked to see a few more 4s and 5s – but for the most part, students were where I had expected and hoped they would be. Factoring, well, I’m still not so sure […]

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Homework Ponderings

I have been pondering the whole homework issue on and off lately. With doing SBG, I don’t grade homework. It’s actually been rather liberating – I don’t grade every little thing and students’ grades reflect what they know. However, I am really seeing this year that my students don’t do much of the assigned homework problems. We can make the list of excuses reasons as long or as short as you want. But the bottom line is that many of my students don’t practice their mathematics outside of class as they should. I suppose I could ponder as to why this is and we could all come up with a pretty long list. But I guess the bottom line is that as I look at students today versus 15-20 years ago versus about 25 years ago (when I was in school) is that society and home lives are much different now then when I first started teaching or even when […]

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