Homework??

I am really struggling with what I believe about giving homework or not giving homework right now. 

I have read a lot of Twitter conversations about homework and some blogs. I have always believed that students need practice in math that is outside of the classroom. I have never believed in assigning 1-30 problems to students but a few problems as meaningful practice.

This is what I commonly hear from parents since Common Core has come out, “I don’t know how to do this math anymore. The math I see my child doing in middle is math I did in high school. I can’t help them at home anymore.” I totally get that but the work that I have always assigned is work that students should already know how to do. I try to never send home work that is new to students. 

The majority of my students around 75% do their homework the first time assigned. 

I am also a parent of a struggling child who sees how homework affects our lives at home and wonder if it’s the same for some of my students. Do you my students parents find that it’s a struggle to get their child to do my assigned homework? Is it stressing out their family life? Is is not allowing the student and family to have time together at home? 

These are all the questions that are going through my mind right now. Along with more that I just can’t remember right off hand. 

We will be starting our fourth week of school tomorrow and for the first time in my teaching career I have only assigned homework twice so far. 

One new thing that I have done is given two exit tickets to students in class. 

I am throwing around the idea of giving more exit tickets this year than homework. The one obstacle that I am trying to get around is finding enough to time in class for students to complete the exit ticket. It’s not that the exit ticket is too long (so far 4 questions on one). I teach using Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) and I am lucky if I can get through one lesson in one class period. I need more class time (even 10-15 minutes would be GREAT). 

So this is what I am thinking. I will try to continue with exit tickets given every couple of days. I will also need to make sure that I plan time for students to complete the exit ticket during a 5-10 minute period in class. I want to then use the information I get from the exit ticket to call students in for more one on one help with topics they haven’t fully grasped. 

I would love to hear feedback from people on their ideas for homework and about giving homework. I would also love to hear feedback about my idea for homework this year. 

-Sarah

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About martinsarah

7th grade math teacher in Iowa

2 responses to “Homework??”

  1. Pam Wilson says :

    I’ve followed Cheesemonkeysf structure, along with Henri Ps lagging. Assignments, 6-10 problems, are given to students 1+week at a time, lagged at least 3 or so school days. When a set is due, Ss have 5 minutes to share/discuss/check with one another. I walk around and get #/Qs then go over 2 or 3 most have trouble with. I collect once every 2 weeks. So they have time to complete prior to collection as well.

  2. Jon Orr says :

    Every year I struggle with the “homework problem”. One strategy I plan on using instead of an exit ticket….is an entrance ticket. Have the student bring those exit ticket question in with them as entrance slips. Or have them summarize their learning from last day on the entrance slip.

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