Pick a class Algebra 2

What is your homework?
I assigned ~5 problems of increasing difficulty from the book as independent practice (in class or at home) due two schooldays later. It should have taken half hour max, but most of my students tended to give up at the first difficulty.

Grading homework

Homework during classtime

Not really happy with this system. Completion rates are low. Might consider trying to incorporate into grade, but I already feel that my school relies too heavily on "packet completion." The junior/senior English teacher assigned weekly homework and one student requested that I try that. I just didn't figure out how that would look.

Speak now or forever hold your peace!
I need a way to allow students to practice on their own. Where's that magic button?

We met daily for 55 min. Check for completion. (Which connected to yes/no on yellow card as well as working toward a Homework review varied. They one my students preferred was me homework pass in my class.) Went over answers projecting the problems on the board and one of them writing the as class. Was not factored into final grade this answers. I would work problems students had missed. I didn't like year. this method as much because it took up to half the class period.

Some ideas I'm mulling over for next year (clearly I won't do all of them): (1) Homework quizzes [students keep a neat binder w/all their homework. On any random day, I can say "turn to the homework assigned on April 14th and copy down all your work and the solution you have for problems 2 and 3." This way they are working for completeness and I'm not happy with it. I'm not happy with the fact that I correctness, and ask questions, because a made homework 25% of their grade, but the way I homework problem might come up on this graded homework was just for an attempt. It was an homework quiz. artificial inflation of their true understanding. I think I should have had more expectations than just to attempt problems. Some students tried and in fact did get away with doing the bare minimum. I'm also not happy with being at the board explaining the homework, and I'd rather call students to the board to do it. But even though I do that occasionally, I feel too much time pressure to get through the lesson/curriculum to do that all the time. (2) After students have checked their HW answers, have students spend a few minutes at the beginning of class talking with each other (in groups of 3) about homework problems they had trouble with. Have some sort off way for them to be accountable for the discussion. (3) Provide tiered homework, wish some required basic problems, some required medium problems, and some optional challenge problems. (4) Randomly collect homework and grade it thoroughly, to point out where students are not showing enough work. To highlight my expectations as to what is appropriate work and what is not. I used to think homework is a vital part of math, but this year, in my lowest level Algebra 2 class I did not give them homework during the fourth marking period. I told them that they needed to show me they could do it and if they could, then that person would have no homework. I would give them classtime to practice and then check it off when they were done. We were doing the hardest part of the course and the major assessment scores rose! I am seriously reconsidering the impact that homework has on learning.

I chose the homework based on where we get with the material, so it often gets modified at the end of class. I enter class with an idea of what the homework will be, and sometimes I have to totally rewrite it at the end of class depending on where we get to.

Algebra II

Sometimes the homework is material I have come up with, though sometimes (for drill work) I assign On days when we have a lot to get through, or homework from the textbook. Most problems are when I'm feeling behind, I don't check homework. odd problems so students can check to see if they are getting the problems right. Then I calculate their homework grade by: (# of pts they earned)/(# of pts possible) I intend most students to spend 20-30 minutes on homework. Homework counts for 25% of my students' grade.

This is my biggest weakness. I don't have time to collect and grade (even selectively) all homework. So I walk around while the class is working on a warm up problem, and check to see if a student has the homework and has attempted all problems. I give that student 3 pts. The student who has done less work gets less. The student who has done no work gets 0 pts.

My class meets for 50 minutes, 4 times a week. I usually spend about 5-10 minutes going over homework, if the homework was routine. Sometimes we spend 10-20 minutes going over homework, if the homework was too hard for them. When class starts, I project the solutions to the homework on the SmartBoard. (For textbook homework, I project only the even solutions because students are expected to check the odd solutions.) Students check their answers. Then I ask students for questions they'd like to go over. I write those numbers down on the SmartBoard. When we have got a good number, we go over them. Usually it's me going over them at the board. If two questions are similar enough, I work one of them and say the other one is solved in exactly the same manner.

PreCalculu s

a selection of 5 to 10 problems from the text... it should take the kids about a half hour

four points, based on how much effort they put into it... I just glance at it and make a judgement call...I have them compare and discuss for a few minutes and then we review any unanswered questions... department policy is that it is 20% of total grade

5 times a week for 40 minutes... I spend anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes going over homework... I have the students review the homework and any questions they can't answer themselves, I go over for them.

I dislike it. I can see the value in homework, but there has to be a better way. Copying is a huge problem as well as the time spent going over problems. The only reason it works in this class is because in our school, these are the advanced kids. They care.

alg 1 through precalculu s

(disclaimer: don't know how successful this is, but here it is) After I know what the objective in the class is, I look through the text to see if there are about 10 problems that nicely cover the obj in a variety of difficulty levels. If there are not enough problems, I'll cobble together a worksheet from various sources that do what I want. Sometimes I'll make the problems into a puzzle sheet, so that the kids will have immediate feedback. I think the kids spend 1/2 hour a night on hwk (or more likely slap it together the day it's due). I think more than 10 problems or so belabors the point. If they're practicing wrong, it's bad, and if they're practicing right, it's enough. I assign from the textbook. However, I do not choose evens, or odds. I assign problems that will give them practice. I usually give two or three of the type C (hardest) problems. My students spend 30 to 45 minutes on HW when assigned. (Three or four times a week.)

I grade homework on completion and some extras. At the start of class I put answers on the overhead and they correct their own homework IN A DIFFERENT COLOR. I allow for questions. Hopefully, this takes 5 or so minutes. They sit in groups of 4-6 and pass their papers to one person I've done the same method whether it was block or traditional. Now in the group, and I collect it. Here's the hwk grade: I'm on block and we meet every other day for 1.5 hours. We go over 100% - mostly done, corrected, corrected in a hwk for about 5-8 minutes at the beginning of class. different color, title to indicate where problems were from, name, date. I take off about 5% for every piece that's missing from this list. If it's late it's docked on a sliding scale. Homework is usually 25% of their total grade. All homework is completed in a spiral notebook. I put the answers on the white board, and while they are grading their own work, I make a note as to who has the HW. Each assignment is worth 2 points. HW is no more than 15% of the grade. It may be less. Class meets for 42 minutes, HW is usually discussed in the first 15 minutes. Once in awhile, it may take the entire period. Students will also stop by before school to ask questions about HW. Once in awhile, students start on HW in class.

I'm mostly happy. I'm not happy with their sloppily doing the homework the previous period on the day it's due. I'm not happy that some students then toss their homework away when they get it back. I will reflect on these things to try to "fix" them.

I think hwk is necessary. You can't be a good "player" without practicing. The purpose of hwk is to make mistakes and think about concepts and hone your skills. Ms. Cookie (math teacher mambo)


Once in awhile, I forget to check to see who has the HW completed. Also, I have caught kids trying to pawn off previous homework as the current one. I am happy with my system, and do not like HW to be a major part of the grade. (Quizzes can be redone, test grades are final)

The purpose of HW is to practice what is learned in class. I teach gifted and talented students, so my method works well for them. I also give a chapter syllabus with HW listed at the beginning of each unit. If students miss one or two assignments, it doesn't hurt their grade.

Algebra II Hon. Alg. 2 Trig

We're on block schedule. So I teach 3 days a week. They get homework after each class. The My class meets 3 times a week because of block schedule. 1 hr quickest kids actually finish it in class. I'll be I correct homework daily, but they have up until the It's worked OK for Algebra II. It would never work for and 40 min each class. We rarely spend over 5 minutes going over honest... I haven't assigned any problems from the day of the chapter test to turn it in. Algebra I . I have to collect theirs every day. hw. textbook all year. I've given them my own worksheets. Worksheet. A couple minutes. Completion only. HW is 20% of their final grade. every day, for 45 minutes. 10 minutes spent going over HW and checking it. Kids ask questions about difficult problems. Page 1 Hate it. Not sure how to improve it, though.

Block scheduling, we meet 3 times per week. Monday/Wednesday for 1hr 35 min and Friday for 55 min. Homework is due either every other day or at least once per week. I provide students with the answers on the back of Spend about 10 minutes taking questions on homework on the "in their homework and leave it up to them to check between" days that it is due, then it is due the following class at the their own work and ask questions for the ones they beginning of the period. Sometimes I forget though (because I don't were unable to get on their own during class time. usually write it on the agenda...which I guess I should), so I go over homework questions at the beginning of the class. It exposes them to the types of questions that's If its complete and on time, they get full credit. I going to be asked on the tests, though it doesn't don't check if its right or wrong. If its incomplete, If an assignment is assigned, I often give them about 15 minutes to really promote their understanding, but rather their they get it back (although I'm really bad at get started on the assignment and get initial questions out of the ability recall a "process" on how to solve a specific checking this). way. problem. But their test scores are higher now :X. Students turn in homeworks to a box and I enter them into the gradebook as I get the chance. I don't necessarily think I'm successful with this method. I use the same problem bank as our test questions, using a program called ExamView. Change up the numbers, and make them all open response problems.

Homework should be additional individual practice. It should not be graded right or wrong, but students should get feedback on whether or not they are doing the mathematics correctly. Not at all. I feel like the students don't get enough If it were my choice, I wouldn't grade homework feedback because I don't spend enough time in class or even count it as credit.. It should be going over it. Nor do I have enough time to give something that the students do if the need the individual feedback. additional practice. If they are proficient, it won't help them to do it 20 more times. And if they Students aren't accountable for their homework being don't understand it, it won't help if they do it 20 turned in. Partially my fault for being lazy and not times wrong, or copy it from a friend to get the grading them right away, but just not finding the time credit. in class to be able to hold them and know who turned it in. However, how do you keep students accountable for their own individual practice as needed without overstretching your time to meet with each one individually as they need time? I don't know what I'm talking about. Homework is to see if students can apply what we did in class on their own without me. and to see if they can make that big jump from "regular problems" to applying the concept of what we did to a new problem. Homework is suggested practice in my classes. Math is a lot like sports, some people don't need as much practice as others to be equally skilled. Also like sports, I find that the ones who practice the most are the really gifted or the ones who know they are weak. The mediocre middle tends to practice the least.

Algebra II

Algebra 1 (middle school honor's class) Math C30 (Saskatche wan, Canada) Gr.12 Advanced Functions (a prerequisit e for Calculus/V ectors in our province)

HOmework is given on a sheet (tons of copying) but it is only 4 questions: 1 standardized test question, 3 open response, 3 of the questions are directly from classnotes and 1 is an extenstion problem. My students reported to spending 15 minutes to 1 hour on the work. My homework is a variety of questions at different difficulty levels. It is practice. It also functions as part of the pool of possible exam questions. Students spend a varying amount of time on it, from very little (0-15min) (very good students and very poor students) to quite a bit (~1hr)(these are the diligent workers in the class).

I glance at the homework. Homework is graded with a check - attempted, check minus - one or more not attempted, zero - not done. Homework grades are 10% of final grade. The bigger portion of their grades are projects, quizzes and tests.

We meet 5 days for 56 minutes. We spend about 10 - 20 minutes going over homework. I glance at the homework (while they are doing bell work) and individually ask students to present their answers (we have a document camera) - Students who are asked to share work have correct and incorrect answers (good mistakes made). I have 50 minute classes, and spend the first 10 minutes going over questions from the homework. I am rigid about the 10 minutes. This usually means 2 or 3 questions can be covered, so students must choose wisely. Any further questions must be asked outside of instructional time. During class, I try to give 10-15 minutes of time to work at practice towards the end of class. If I miss 3 or 4 classes in a row, I may give a period to practice skills.

I "did" homework like this for about 6 weeks. It worked pretty good.

When grading homework (which I very rarely do), it is a cursory glance to see if they attempted the practice problems. It is given credit under the assignments portion of the class.

I am happy with my homework system. The onus is on students to complete homework, and I am not marking constantly. If a student does poorly on an assignment or a test, I only have to ask, "How much practice did you do?" 19 times out of 20, the student realizes that they didn't do very much homework.

Homework is assigned mostly every night, usually We are not allowed to evaluate homework as it is from a textbook (now that we have one). I would seen as formative. I never collect it. It does not bet that students spend, on average, 45 minutes a factor into their final grade at all. night working on their homework.

Homework tak-up is also my nemesis. In this class, I posted solutions to the more basic knowledge-type questions that students I want the time to be spent with students as the were supposed to self-check and then come to me after school if leaders. When I have tried this previously, time has problems were still there. become an issue. I am happy with the multiple representations aspect of my homework take-up I spend approximately 20-30 minutes every day at the beginning of because I can often ask more probing questions class taking up some of the more complex problems from the around the topic that perhaps weren't addressed in previous night's assignment. I usually have my laptop/lcd on so we the problem itself. Also helps visual learners and all can look at multiple representations students make deeper connections. (graph/equation/table/etc.)quickly. It usually ends up being me leading the conversation which I am not happy with.

I want to work on assigning fewer drill-type problems and more problems that are rich and challenge students to connect. I am also interested in checking out some on-line forum to address homework but not quite sure how it will work. I worry about having the time to check the correctness of posted work. Then I wonder if I could use a wiki and incoporate some sort of evaulation like what I am seeing other teachers do for on-line, end of year review tasks. Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront.

I work hard at the beginning to set up a culture of responsibility for themselves. They are responsible for making sure they understand, for asking questions, for asking for more practice or another example. When we come into class, we check the answers together. I will solve a problem or two on the A page of practice that goes along with the lesson board that I have learned over the years is of the day. A short page of review skill that keep confusing. Other than that, I expect them to ask the skills fresh in their minds. for clarification if a problem is wrong. These are provide by the textbook company, but I'm not always happy with them. I would like the time to try to come up with better practice. They probably spend 20 minutes a night on this. I do not assign it every night, but there is usually something. Very happy. My goal is to get them to master the skills. What we do between introduction day and test day is just practice and teaching to get them there. We spend about 10 minutes going over homework. I project the Homework is just a step in the path. I don't really answers, they check. Sometimes I collect the homework before care how they walked, or jumped, or skipped. All I going over it, because I want to see their performance. Usually the care about is that they get to the end of the path. They "grade" their own. If it's wrong, they are homework I collect is for a brand new skill. I think that I shared all of this in the above expected to take a minute right then to figure out Usually, we all get to the end of the path mostly responses. :) why it was wrong. Usually it's a silly mistake. If I circle the problems that are wrong, give it back to them, and tell successful. When a student doesn't, I find time to go not, they bookmark it to ask questions during our them to figure out why it was wrong. As I said, it's usually a silly back and work with them. By giving them practice next work time. mistake. But if it's not, they rework it until it's right with help from homework, or meeting with them during lunch or me. I try to follow up with more practice problems so they can make stopping by their desk with a spontaneous practice I don't give any grades. I don't assess it. The final sure the skill got cemented. problem. So homework is not some separate test/quiz is their grade. The homework is just them thing...it's just a different way to practice and learn. figuring out how to do the skills. They know they won't be graded on it. They know they won't be penalized for getting it wrong. They know that the whole point of the homework is to figure this math stuff out. If they get it wrong, they know they haven't mastered it and need to get help. Class is an hour every day. I grade for attempt. I give credit to wrong answers and right answers alike. I just need a jump-off point for discussion with my students. I give their homework a stamp at the same time I give their opener a stamp. One problem means I can have a brief conversation with each student about their work without wasting class time. Our class meets three times a week. We go over the one homework problem right after the opener. Then it's done. Homework review, next to disciplinary conflicts, has been the most efficient way I know to waste classroom time and sink classroom morale. I could probably unpack that assertion over ten pages but for the sake of time I'll leave it there. Keep that stuff short, swift. Page 2 I'm happy. I'm tempted to make homework a larger percent of the class grade to compel more completion but I'm really not certain that increasing homework completion will increase overall student achievement. I have a lot of doubt about that.

5th grade general math

Algebra 1

One problem per night. Back when I was ambitious, I would include a practice and a challenge problem. Nowadays it's just a practice.

Algebra II

I choose four to five problems from the textbook. My feeling is that if the assignment is very short, they should be embarassed not to complete it.

My class meets five days a week for 90 minutes each day. I spend I collect it at random. I give the students one extra 15 minutes daily going over homework. I normally ask them if they credit point for completion. Since I grade on a have any questions over the homework and if no one does, I move point system, this ends up being very little extra on to the next lesson. It is the student's responsibility to ask credit, but they have not figured that out yet. questions.

It is the best system I have used over the years, but it is not perfect. Most of the students start out strong completing the homework but taper off as the year progresses.

I think that homework should take very little time outside of class. If a student of mine spends more than 20 minutes on homework, I tell them to stop working.

Math Review

We have workbooks that are too long with too many problems. I choose specific kinds of problems for students to work before the next class. I don't really know how much time my students spend on their homework. Suggestion: Pick HW problems strategically. Do not assign too many problems. Work several in class. Have students create an "exit card" with one problem each day that demonstrates whether they have mastered a specific kind of problem or concept.

For my Math Review students who are college freshmen, homework is only about 10-15% of their grade. I do collect it. I do grade it. However, I am changing my method this fall. Suggestion: the "exit card" I mentioned above will be graded. However, if the student does not demonstrate mastery, then I will have them show me their homework and make suggestions for the kinds of problems they need to focus on with their tutor.

In mathematics, homework is everything. If you don't use it, you lose it. So there is some advantage to repetitious problem-solving. However, over an entire semester, it can get really old. Therefore, a more "targeted" approach, I believe, will allow me to measure I have students only two 50-minute "hours" a week with one hour of I have not been happy assigning many, many pages mastery, but also dig deeper when I find that "office hours". However, my students have several hours a week of of homework and then having to grade it. It is mastery has not occurred. I can go slower with laboratory time when they can work one-on-one with a tutor. I tedious and I'm not sure it demonstrates anything certain students and faster with others until I hit spend approximately 20 minutes of every class period on except my endurance and their persistence. I want that place where everyone grinds to a screeching "homework" and approximately 20 minutes of every class period to make my HW more "targeted", and I'm working on halt. This happened last fall. I got though 5 presenting the next concept being reviewed. Five minutes getting that plan now (during summer) when I can try out workbooks (there are 10 total) before every set up and ready to go; five minutes of closure. some different schemes. student began to have serious problems. We only reviewed two more workbooks before the end of the semester, but the last six weeks were Workbooks 6 and 7 (factoring, multiplying/dividing polynomials). That was last year's Armageddon. I'm curious to see how far we get this coming fall.


I make all my homework problems. Sometimes I take some from a textbook, but mostly they are my own. It's a lot more work, but I am able to tie the homework to what I want to teach with laser precision. Also my students don't use a textbook, which is a story for another place and time. I very very seldom actually grade homework; only if it's an interesting assignment and I need more At the beginning of class, students receive the answers to the I give students a sheet of questions at the end of information about what they know. I rely on required questions from last nights homework. They check these This system is a huge improvement over my previous most classes. Some of these are marked as quizzes for assessment, mainly. However, at the over and talk to their friends for help if they don't understand where system of spending every class going over required, but most are not. Aside from the beginning of class I walk around the room and they went wrong while I am checking everyone's homework. If assignments only half the class understood. I think it required questions, they have to do a certain check that students have done enough problems. there are some common misunderstandings, I may address them works well provided you are comfortable with rather number of additional problems of their own choice. This is also an incentive to come to class on time, before starting the lesson, but I refuse to let this homework shallow homework assignments that you won't need The questions are grouped by difficulty so students otherwise they'll miss this check and won't receive check/review process take more than fifteen minutes. My class to reveiw. The only problem is that it is quite a bit of choose the problems that are appropriate for them. credit for their homework. This, along with any meets for 45 minutes, just four times a week, so I really can't spare work, but once I have been doing this for a year, I Fewer students choose the hard problems than I'd actual homework grades, counts for 10% of their it. Students can to come to me during lunch or free periods if they should have a library of questions I can reuse instead like, but enough do that it's worthwhile. The idea homework grade. (I used to have homework count need to go over it more, but I really encourage them to help each of "reinventing the wheel" every day. is actually to leave a good chunk of questions as 60% of their grade! I'm a recent convert. In other first. undone to come back to when its time for review. classes where the problems are more in depth, I have homework count for more.) I usually aim for students to spend between fifteen and twenty minutes on homework, but I think I overshoot often and the average around thirty. Partly, this is their fault though; the number of questions they must do beyond the required problems is determined by their behavior in class. I write the ideal number on the board at the beginning of class and raise and lower it depending on how well-behaved they are. Homework is %15 of final grade. Assigned daily, collected M, W, F, with a few exceptions. We review it in class before collecting it, and I try to 5 times a week, 47 minutes. HW review at most 3 days a week, scan and post answer keys on my website. often just twice a week. Roughly 20 minutes each time. Students help me grade them during lunch (for which they get "service credit"), checking them for completeness and accuracy.

I used to think homework should challenge all students and extend the lesson, but I've come to see it more as an opportunity for individual practice and review, though it can still be a great way to give advanced students something meatier to chew on. I don't think homework should be a huge part of as student's grade as they need a safe place to make mistakes as they learn, but it does need to count for something, if only to motivate them to try it. My only truly passionate feeling about homework is that if you're going to assign it, it should be worthwhile to the student to do it. This is rarely accomplished by textbook problems, in my experience!

Alg II/Trig

Textbook: reading section, 5 - 10 practice new stuff, ~5 review

Much happier with current system than old one (daily hw review, checking HW in class). Problems: getting They need practice! And some challenge. Little them graded and returned in timely manner, HW math was learned without pounding a head copying, students not completing HW. Not sure how against a wall for an extended period. to get students to improve skills like neatness/organization.

Geometry, Alg II

One class uses a conventional text book and the other uses a book written by two math department members. The thing that works is that students have answers for the problems assigned and are required to do the homework, check the homework and come to class already knowing what they don't understand. The burden is on them to figure out what they need help with. I do check to make sure they have done and checked each assignment, but it is not a culture of me correcting homework to give credit for correct answers. They get credit for doing the HW and checking it. This works really well with my students, who for the most part of academically inclined (independent school). This is a new job for me and the first year I have used this method. Having taught for 26 years, I can say this method really works! Th kids spend 30-45 minutes on HW.

meet 200 minutes a week/4 classes total, one is a long block. spend the first few minutes going over HW questions anywhere grades of 0-3. Most get a 3, some a 2, 1 if horrible from 30 minutes to none at all if everyone is all set. and 0 if not done at all. If it is completed late (except for absence) they can earn up to 2 pts. I ask kids to let me know what they have questions on and put them Not graded on how correct it is, but on if they have on my document viewer. completed and checked it.

see above

I am thrilled this this system. I also collect hw much more in the beginning of the year and less so as they get into the habit. Any homework I collect has alreay to practice what they have learned been corrected by the students. to help them assess if they know what they are expected to know Those who use the geometry workbook never pass in homework, I walk around and look at what they have done at the start of class.

Page 3

Homework is 10% of final grade, tests / quizzes / finals combines are 75 % of final grade, and projects, in class work is the other 15%. Textbook Grading homework is by completion, we go over I try for 15 to 25 minutes of problems, with the all questions in class and answers are provided ones I assign the hardest problems in the book. 5either through the book or on the board. 7 problems. The learners will need to do more problems to do these, but how many more is up to them.

Algebra II

Homework is collected on a random basis. A dice roll for odd / even, where one learner selects odds or evens, and a different learner selects evens I rarely go over problems myself, because I know how to do the collect or odds collect. If the dice say the problems, the learners need to work them. assignment is not collected, then the grade is left blank in the gradebook. 1. In this system, students put the answers to all of the problems on the board at the beginning of class. Everyone was given a red pen to grade and correct their own work. The grading system rewarded students for correctly fixing their mistakes: 3 points for getting a problem right, 2 points for getting it wrong and correcting it, 1 point for getting it wrong and not fixing it, 1 point for not doing it before class but copying it down from the board. Then I would glance over the papers, check for accuracy, add up the points, and record their scores. 2. I graded all the assignments. This was a lot more time consuming, especially since some students took full advantage of the chance to earn extra credit by completing additional assignments. I did check for accuracy, giving both a completion grade and an accuracy grade.

I was very happy with the methods of randomization for collection and choosing. If forced the learners to be at the top of their game, because every We meet alternating days for 1.5 hours. 25 minutes going over assignment could be collected, and every person homework, 25 - 35 minutes on lesson for new assignment. could be chosen. If the dice selected you, you did not have the option of saying no. You could not claim We go over every problem asked, usually by asking a classmate to the teacher was picking on you. (of course, iep's and come up to the board and do the problem. Learners are selected other accommodations are made when legally through a dice roll, row first, position in row second if there are no necessary.) volunteers.

Homework is important, but not the end all be all. It is a method for the learners to practice, but other methods can be used as well. The more the learners feel part of the class, then the more likely they will do practice on their own. I never called it "homework", I called it "Assignments" and this year I will call it "Practice". That better describes the purpose and intent of the assignment.

Homework became not a burden, but something to do because everyone could be chosen. Very few I will also require a writing element to every learners never did their assignments, and every Practice I put on the board just to reinforce the learner was at the screen doing problems throughout idea of thinking instead of just doing. the year.

Algebra 1

I tried two different systems over the course of this past year (my first). In both cases, I created the assignments since I don't have access to a traditional textbook. 1. I created a worksheet with 5-10 practice problems directly related to what had been most recently studied in class. I deliberately tried to keep assignments short in the hopes of convincing more students to do them. Most problems were straightforward and similar to examples, but the assignments also all contained an optional challenge problem that pushed to a higher level. 2. For the last unit of the year, I tried something a little different. I created three different levels of practice problems - 10 easy, 5 medium, or 3 hard. I let the students choose which level they wanted to do, and allowed them to do more than one assignment if they wanted to. The assignments were still fairly short, but it allowed for more flexibility in terms of the students finding a level of problem that fit their skill level.

There are things I like and dislike about both systems. I'm trying to come up with a good way to combine them for next year. 1. It was consistent and clear. The students knew what was expected and the routine was helpful. They enjoyed being able to write their answers on the board, and they could quickly tell how well they had We're on a modified block schedule. Each week, my class meets for done on the assignment. By walking around and three 55 minute periods and one 102 minute period. glancing at their work, I could also get a quick feel for 1. In this system, it usually took 4-7 minutes to go over homework, which problems they'd gotten and which they hadn't. depending on the number of problems and how many questions my What I didn't like about it... it didn't engage them. students had. Once the problems were on the board, I would give Homework completion was fairly low. Some students them time to check their work and answer any questions that they refused to even copy down answers from the board had. in class, so I was still giving out zeroes while offering 2. In this system, we didn't go over the homework during class at them free points. Also, since I consistently kept the all. I graded it and handed papers back as I got them graded. problems fairly low level, it didn't challenge any of my higher-achieving students. They got used to not being challenged, and then when offered a Homework isn't a set percentage of their final challenge, couldn't figure out how to handle it. Finally, grade - I use a point system for each assignment. because I kept assignments short, some students For each unit, homework probably adds up to 100really did not get as much practice as they needed. 150 points, tests are usually 100 points, projects 2. This system had a LOT of paperwork. Since I have computers and a printer in my classroom, I just had students print ou are 100 points, plus you have other stuff thrown in there too.

During the first few minutes of class, while students are copying the assignment for the current night, checking answers to problems (which I will post, if not from a book, or give a handout for), or putting their problems on the board, I walk around class checking homework. I give a check for fully completed, a check minus if they are missing even one problem or a few problems aren't fully worked out and a zero if no work is shown, only partially complete or not done.

Algebra II A

I usually make up my own assignments. I draw from various textbooks and my own brain. In particular, I usually use real data for modelling problems and self-created problems for other applications.

I only check homework sporadically, depending on the class. I check more frequently at the We meet for 4/5 days for 50 minutes. Amount of time going over beginning of the year than at the end. I check less homework depends. Anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. often for honors classes. I count homework from between 5 - 10% of the grade (less for honors classes, more for less able classes). I probably check 10 homework assignments per quarter. If I check more, like 15, sometimes I'll drop one homework. On average, the quarter grade drops a point for every homework missed. If a student makes up a missed assignment and shows it to me later that day or the following day, I'll give part credit (check minus).

Yes. I have been teaching 15 years students of various levels, various demographics and all courses from weak Algebra I to AP Calc. (By the way, I use a very different method for grading AP Stat and Comp Sci homework). I have tried various systems over the years and this works best. I get the most homework participation.

Algebra 1

I assign HW generally in a repeat-and-review format. Students repeat a range of problems related to the work we did in class and do 5-10 review problems. Textbook. 15-20 minutes. (I teach a 45 minute middle school classes, most of my kids have a period set aside for their HW at school)

I pick it up, give it a score out of 3 points. Points are lost for missing process, headings, or sloppyness. It is not graded for accuracy - though checking answers is highly encouraged. It represents 30% of student's grade.

Somewhat. My kids are abnormally good about their HW, though I'd give my overall system a C rating. I'm 5 times. 45 minutes each. We often spend 5 minutes reviewing HW not happy about the lack of structure to the HW problems. system and I think it's missing some pizazz. I'd like the HW to fit in better with the classwork this coming year.

HW is somewhat of a means of conveying to parents a seriousness about the material at my school. Negatively, students who easily can complete their HW tend not to need it, and those who can't may struggle and give up. Yet, positively some amount of struggle is important. I'm intrigued by simplified, 1 to 2 problem HW assignments. I may have to experiment with them next year. I tried to establish a help communication line with them via gmail. It has begun to work only in the last weeks, and I hope I've the same kids next year to improve the system. The purpose in homework is to consolidate the things they learned, to exercise the abilites, gain speed and self assurance.

grade 6-7 geometry& arithmetics

Usually from the textbook. I've 4 hours a week and I alternate geometry and arithmetics so the kids usually dont'have homework for the next day but, for example, from monday to wednesday. I calculate about 15-20 minutes/night for the 6 graders and up to 30 min for the 7 graders

Everyday I check the homework (3 or 4 students help me in turn doing that, a student checks the homework of 6-7 mates then tells me and shows me his own) Then I ask if they had any difficulty in doing them and I correct the difficult ones with the class. Sometimes I collect and grade them but they count as one third of a written test (I usually do 4 to 6 written and 1 to 2 oral tests in 4 months)

I teach math & science (Italy's middle school - kids 11 to 14 years old). 4 hours math & 2 hours science a week, some double periodes, so I usually see them 4 or 5 days a week. Checking and correcting homework could take from 10 minuts to the whole lesson if they have problems in understanding them

After a year I could say I'm happy with 6 grade because they were fast learners but I should have given more homework to the 7 graders.

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Every day I do a completion check; students circle or highlight the problems they had trouble with so I can see at a glance, and if there are enough students struggling with the same one, I will I pull the most relevant problems (aligned to the address it in class. Otherwise, I post the answer practice we did in class, and scaffolded from most key (a day or two behind) and then collect the similar to more challenging) from multiple packet on quiz day. At that point I spot grade for textbooks and resources and arrange them on a correctness (if a student misses one or two, they'll worksheet-- usually about 10 problems per lesson. get an A, three or four, a B, etc.) and assign a The worksheets are stapled into a packet that grade that is primarily correctness but also a few have about a week's worth of work (the time from points based on whether or not the homework was one short quiz to another). The homework can completed every day I checked. This way students generally be completed in half an hour or less. It aren't harshly penalized for having a busy day and sometimes incorporates review or preview missing one night of homework, but there is also problems as well. incentive to keep up with the homework (and it is usually too much to do all in one night anyway). As a result, students receive a homework grade once a week on average, and all of these homework grades are worth 15% of the quarter grade

In general. Because my students aren't likely to complete homework if it isn't easily manageable, I find ways for them to get most of their independent 5 days a week; 63 minutes per class. We never spend more than 10 practice during class time. I need to do a better job of minutes going over homework, and that happens probably once or continuously spiraling review problems on the twice a week. When I've given an assignment that I anticipate will homework; sometimes I use one or two problems to raise questions, I'll add space on the next day's Do Now (silent preview the next day's lesson and generally have warmup) for students to ask specific questions, and as we go over good results so I need to consistently do that as well. it, other student will chime in to help (but not give the answer). My more struggling students would certainly benefit Students are encouraged to see me outside of class, to work with from more problems, and because I teach at a their classmates, and to check the answer key-- I tell them I have no college prep school in an area where high school problem with them turning in perfect homework every time as long graduation rates are below 48%, I think part of my as they gave it a good faith effort and then checked their work and goal with homework should be to prepare students understood their mistakes. for the rigor and quantity of homework they will have to do in college-- which is way more intense than what I ask right now.

Algebra 2 or Precalculu s

I think for these higher level math courses, say Algebra 2 and above, it's unavoidable. The curriculum is so packed that there isn't enough time for adequate practice in class. I have It's usually from the textbook, unless the topic is considered various not-too-painful ways to collect not in the textbook, then it's a worksheet I make up and grade it more often, but nothing has stuck or copy from someone else. I decide all the I usually just check it for completeness. I'm happy in that the students who consistently do it yet. For example, I could issue each student a My classes meet every day for 43 minutes. Usually I project homework assignments while planning the unit Occasionally (every 2 weeks or so?) I let them seem to perform better overall. I think the practice is bound homework workbook where they should answers on the screen as I am walking around and checking. I and give the students a calendar that shows the know ahead of time that I will collect it, and I worthwhile. I am unhappy because there's no way to write all their assignments, and collect them encourage them to ask their neighbor if they missed one and don't assignment for every day of the unit. I try to assign collect and grade it. (Usually only for worksheets. know if a student did her own work. Also my system every 1-2 weeks. I have considered daily quizzes know why. (Honors students seemed more inclined to do that.) Then a variety of problems that attack the concept from Grading free-form work ripped out of notebooks is relies on them checking their own work and figuring to assess whether they did their homework and I only do a dramatic performance of a problem if they ask me. It different directions. It shouldn't take a kid more too annoying.) I count all this for only 10% of their out their own misconceptions instead of (I think) a how much they understood, but it seems unfair to takes anywhere from 2-10 minutes. than 15-20 minutes. I think a few make a sincere grade. higher quality, more helpful interaction with me. do so before offering them assistance with what effort every night, a few don't even pretend they they had trouble with. tried, and a fair number copy their assignments. It would be easier to convince me that homework is unnecessary for Algebra 1 and Geometry. But I still give it to them, too. It seems like far less of them actually do it, though. Well, next year my guiding principle is going to be Homework as Preparation for Class Discussions. I plan to spend a LOT more time in class having students work problems and a LOT less time with me at the board. I'm studying Philips Exeter's Harkness Method as a way to help me see teaching in a different way. I think that looking at class as student-lead discussion will help create a more meaningful homework experience. Also, I don't plan on grading HW at all. You have to do the HW to learn the stuff we're trying to learn so you'd better do it. Hit me on twitter if you need more Sam. Sorry it took me so long. --welikesnow The purpose of HW is to allow the students independent time to practice what we learned in class. I don't give endless drills but a few of each type so they know and I know if they understand how to do the problem.

AP Physics

Not happy at all with the homework system. Students were to dependent on me to show them how to do the problems and always would say, "It looks so easy when you do it." They say that because the hardest At the beginning of the year I checked for I choose the most interesting problems from a thing about hard problems is figuring out how to start. completion and only about half the class was really We meet for 45 minutes on Monday, then 1.5 hours two other times pretty standard text. I think my kids spent between And I think watch ME do problems is one of the worst doing their HW. So I then started collecting and during the week. I usually spent about 20 minutes talking about the 5 minutes and 2 hours on homework, depending ways to teach that skill. I also am a very slow grader grading for right and wrong using a grading scale homework. I would do the problems on the board based on student on the kid and their commitment to learning the (two toddlers at home) so I would let the HW pile up that allowed them to get about 10% wrong and still questions. stuff. and then just whip through a pile and give everyone get 100%. really high grades. Quarter grades seemed to be boosted by at least 5% from HW, which seems like too much given then some of those kids were really not putting much effort into that HW.


Usually practice problems from the textbook. I think they spend about 20 minutes a night.

I collect it about twice a week. We grade it in class We meet 5 days for 45 minutes. We spend about 10 going over first. On the days I don't collect it I give them 10 homework. I read out the answers first and then if there are points for having the completed assignment. questions they ask at the end. textbook, no collecting, graded on effort, grade between 0 to 3, walk around room and see what they did, if they tried every problem=3, if kid doesn't do it can turn it in later for a max of 2.5, they have all the answers, we only discuss the ones they had difficulty with - at midterm and end of term I figure out their hmw average which weighs 10% - for most it is a boost, but there are always a few in which heir hmw average is lower than their quiz/test average - I do not believe in grading hmw b/c it should be a time for practice not perfection - they should be allowed to make mistakes in their hmw Problems Sets are collected every other week and are graded like a quiz or test - they count 20% towards overall average

Overall, yes. It is still a lot of work and assignments tend to pile up on my desk.

AB Calculus

textbook, nightly, 45 minutes every two weeks, a Problems Set with 6 tougher long answer problems to do on top of their nightly assignments, maybe I give them two nights off of the textbook to work on the Problem Set

4 times - 3 times for 45 minutes and 1 time for 60 minutes we go over hmw for about 15 minutes most day (but can range from 5 to 30) we list on the board which problems gave them difficulties then we only attach a handful of them - the one most commonly asked about YES - it works for me and it works in most of my - if the student still needs help it is up to him/her to seek out extra class - although I do not have Problems Sets for the help outside of classtime younger students. For Problem Sets I grade like a test and write on the work they handed in - I do not go over it unless I see a theme I want to address to entire class - otherwise, they are more than welcome to come see meoutside of classtime about what they got incorrect

practice, practice, practice

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Algebra 9th Grade (I teach in Canada)

I usually choose homework questions from the textbook that directly relate to the topic covered in class and sometimes lead into the topic for the next day. We have 75 minute periods, so I usually give them the last 15 minutes in class to start the homework, and then I expect them to spend approx. 15 minutes at home.

I walk around the class and check homework 2-3 times per week while the students are engaged in some other activity. I just ask them to take out their homework and put in on a corner of the desk so I can see it. I do not include homework completion as part of their grade, but I don't tell them that and nobody has ever asked if it counts or not. I keep a checklist for each unit, and if a student has not completed their homework 3 times during the unit they are assigned a detention at lunch to complete it.

We have 75 minutes classes, 5 days a week for 18 weeks. I don't usually go over homework. I expect the students to check their answers in the back of the book and come in for extra help in the morning if they were having difficulty getting the correct answers. Sometimes there will be a question that many students had trouble with and we will go over this one together in class.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my system. I like to put the responsibility on the students to self-evaluate how well they are understanding the material and I feel that my system does that. It is a bit tedious to walk around the class and check that the homework is complete, but it saves me collecting it and having to go through mounds of paper later on. I don't check the homework with my older students - I just tell them that I will be able to tell if they are not doing their homework by their grades. I was very unhappy with the old way of doing homework. I felt that taking class time going over work that many students didn't do took away from new instruction and began to create a terrible cycle of wasting class time. The kids who didn't do homework were not engaged during this time. Some didn't need the practice and it was a waste of their time as well. System was too tight...one size fits all doesn't work for HW. I was a bit happier with ASL, but not much. Some kids just jumped through the hoops, but some really took the opportunity to stretch themselves and try some things that they would have never been able to do. System was too loose.

I used to do problems from the textbook and/or practice workbook. Most kids would spend anywhere from 15-60 minutes on homework.

Algebra 1

This year I started doing something different and we called it "After School Learning." I gave students a list of approved activities ranging from basic skills practice to creating a GeoGebra worksheet to help explain a concept.

The old way was graded based on completion. I rarely would collect homework, but would go over answers in class and stamp calendars based on completion. Calendars would be collected at the end of the 6 week period and grade was assigned Class meets 5 days/week for 94 minutes. Old way would take at based on the number of "completed" assignments. least 15 minutes per period. I would go over answers and then work HW was no more than 10% of grade. any problems that students had trouble with. With After School Learning, I would allow students ASL takes 20 minutes once every two weeks. to share their accomplishments with their groups and they would receive a grade based on the log they kept and had their parents sign. Still no more than 10% of grade.

I still can't pin down what the purpose of homework should be. I like the idea of students being able to have some choice on what they would like to do. I am currently working on prescribing tasks students need to do based on how the do on a common formative assessment. Once the tasks are completed, then the student can re-assess. This way the homework a student does is tied to their grade, but it is indirect. The homework becomes the way a student shows that they are ready to re-assess.


I am starting my first year of teaching so I don't have any experience to fall back on besides student teaching. What I've read is an idea I'd like to try. Assign 2-3 problems each night where it is embarassing too NOT finish the work.

At my school, they tell us how much homework is worth as opposed to tests and the final. As far as grading, I think I would check for completion and then work the problems in class.

If we are doing meaningful assignments and practice in class, is homework necessary? If we Since I would only be assigning 2-3 problems per night I would are formativeley assessing each concept a As I said before, I haven't used this system, just one I definitely go over each problem. Hopefully within 10 minutes or less. student masters, then what is the point of would be interested in trying. My class will meet daily for 50 minutes. homework? Also, if we do give homework, maybe it should look like standardized tests in order to prepare them for testing. In my class, homework is an opportunity for students to practice the material on their own, much as on the quizzes and exams they will be "on their own." I limit myself to 10 problems, I choose each carefully according to what I have observed/recorded over the years as difficult concepts for students combined with some "easy" practice to maintain basic skills. Some of the warm up problems often reflect the homework questions that students typically have questions about. If they ask me to explain a problem that is parallel/similar to a warm up question, I will present the warm up solution and let them retry their homework problem. Students may turn in homework the next morning if they were not able to complete it. I want them to take my explanation of a similar problem and apply it themselves, so I give them this extra time. Homework is important as a formative assessment to gauge whether students are ready to progress on to more difficult "authentic" problems. The class should not be about homework, but the HW should prep the students to do what the class *is* about (which IMO is problem-solving). I feel like I'm doing my part and making it simple for students to do homework, and providing incentives for doing so. But I'm not happy with the system, because despite all the incentives, students still don't do the homework. They ignore the HW, do terribly on quizzes, and then give up. My system in that sense does not really work. See below for possible changes. This summer I am going with no quizzes at all and instead giving take-home assessments worth about double what a quiz would normally be, and these include basic mechanics problems as well as more advanced problems. I give students a list of exercises and expound on why they need to do them, and on the take-home assessments I give suggestions for working certain exercises from the book before trying one of the assessment problems. That's working pretty well so far. A colleague and I are also going to experiment with WebWorks, an online homework system, this fall to see if it might get students working more stuff.

Algebra 2

I choose 10 problems from the textbook. Most students spend 15-30 minutes on the homework.

Homework is collected & scored by completeness. (It is expected that all solutions are correct because of how I handle HW during classtime). Homework is 15% of the overall grade. It is scored +5 (complete) +3 (missing 1 or 2 problems) or +1 (missing 3 or more problems). Students may resubmit a +1 to raise their grade to +3.

Classes meet every other day for 100 mintues. I spend the first 15 minutes going over homework. When students enter they begin a warm up exercise that is projected via LCD or written on the boards. Before students enter I write "homework questions" on the board, followed by "page #/problem#s." During the warm up time (first 5-7 minutes) students write page/problem #'s on the board if they have questions on the problems.

I am happy with my current homework system. Students seem to think it is fair, but sometimes complain that the problems are "too hard." I would like to streamline the grading process, I prefer to focus my grading time on quizzes & other progress monitoring assessments completed in class.

Calculus (college level, first semester)

Neither grade it nor collect it, but give roughlyweekly quizzes that come verbatim from the assigned list. I include the exercise number on the quiz problem to assure students that the HW had been assigned. There are 12 of these quizzes @ Assign exercises from the textbook. Impossible to 20 points each; I count the maximum score as gauge the average amount students spend per being 220, so students can miss up to 20 points on night on this, because it varies greatly from these quizzes before having any negative effect on student to student and among all students their grade. An average score of 18 is therefore a according to the proximity of the next assessment. "perfect" score, allowing students to make some limited mistakes. (These are formative assessments, and I explain to students what that means.) Students who score above 18 on average end up with extra credit. Quizzes count for about 20% of the grade total.

4 times a week @ 50 minutes. I spend almost no time going over homework, as this is considered best left for office hours. (Again, I teach college.) In my summer class this term I do set aside 10 minutes per class for homework because office hours are hard to come by due to the unusual scheduling.

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Typically i do the following: At the beginning of each unit/chapter I hand out a list of assignments from the text (I use Geometry by Lang/Murrow). I label them "Recommended" and "Suggested." The recommended problems are the ones I tell the students are the minimum they should be able to do if they understand the topic, the suggested are if they want extra practice. I do not "require" any problems.

We have a partial block schedule. 3 normal classes of 45 minutes and 1 block day of 80 minutes. On a great day, it should appear to the students that we spend the entire period on homework. Let me explain.

Geometry Reg/Honor s

When students come in with their "3 questions" I ask them to post questions they have generated as part of the assignment on the For actual homework however I will usually tell board. I will reserve another part of the board to put up to 3 I assess for completion. Did they answer the them "Problems section 4.3" They are then to do problems. I usually ask some volunteers to work the problems on a questions I asked in a reasonable way. In addition as many or as few problems as the feel necessary. side board, and I generally only refer to them if there are significant there is a classtime component I will describe in Helping students realize that some practice is errors or one of them hit an important idea I felt was relevant. the next question. Homework is rarely more than necessary is part of my goal, along with deciding 20% of my grade, typcially 10-15%. what is reasonable to be doing. What they turn in Otherwise we start addressing the questions that were raised. Often though are the answers to 3 questions: I toss the questions back out to the students. Some questions I give 1. "What did you learn?" They can refer to definitive answers to, but not all. On the great days the questions whatever occurred in class the day before that posted - often the what if's - lead us directly into what I had intended resonated or something that they finally to cover with them, so it looks to them as if we spent the entire understood while reviewing their notes or doing period just answering their homework questions. I have found that it problems. gives them a lot of ownership, and the questions they come up with Great survey by the way! I can't wait to see the 2. "What specific question(s) do you still have?" get better and better. results. They must make the questions specific and not of the "How do you do #13?" variety. If they say they can't think of a question, I tell them to come up with a "What if...?" type question. Asking questions is a huge part of what I teach. 3. "What specific problem did you have?" This is reserved for the nights when their are problems involved (I also give assignments with just reading or other activities.). Here is where they can identify the one problem that they just could not get. They Homework is collected in a packet once a week on Fridays. However, I am always checking to see who did or did not complete a nightly assignment-that goes to work habits rather than grade. I usually assign the odd number problems because not only are the answers in the abck of the book ( so students could work backwards to solve the problems) but our school subscribes to hotmath.com which has the solutions to the odd number problems online. I expect my students to use hotmath.com-- whenever they cannot arrive at the answer. Students are required to check and mark their odd number problems with the answers in the back of the book. In fact, students will earn only 3/5 points for a homework assignment-- if they have not checked and corrected their work. Homework is worth only 10% - 15% of the grade ( 6th grade is 15%, 8th grade is 10%)

The homework I describe is for my Geometry classes where I want the students to do more thinking. Homework, in my mind, is a way of extending the work we do in class, but in a meaningful way, thus the emphasis on answering metacognitive questions rather than just drill and practice. I reserve the D&P type homework for More or less. This year I strayed from this for a specific students who need it and only as number of reasons and found less buy in than during appropriate. Additionally, I do something the years where I did it faithfully, so I will return to it completely different in my AP Calculus BC class. next year. Coming up with ways of helping the In that class it is a problem-based class. The students create questions is difficult, but we do a lot primary textbook we use is a book of roughly 400 of modeling and sharing to help. problems - many borrowed from the Phillips Exeter Academy curriculum - that we work through during the year. In this class doing the problems is essential because they are the curriculum.

Algebra 1

Homework is from the textbook with about 15-20 problems that we start in class. Most of my students tell me it takes them about an hour or so... ( some less)

We meet 5 days a week for only 46 minutes!! I usually do not spend too much time going over the homework-- because of the homework requirements. Students will come in early or at lunch if they had any problems with the homework. When I first started teaching I spent so much time going over homework that I found it difficult to teach the new concept well enough to expect them to do the homework accurately.

I do spend a good deal of time-- although I am getting faster at looking at almost 200 homework packets ( that's 4 to 5 assignments in each). I look for particular homework problems as well as checking to make sure students have checked and marked all odd number problems. It has be come easy to spot those who are attempting to 'cheat' the system by just marking the odds. Inevitably, those students will mark something correct that is obviously not.

Students need to practice the concepts taught in class-- If I had more time within my classroom-even just 15 minutes more-- I think I would give a lot less days of homework. I'd love the chance to try that system-- but with the short class periods-I am stuck having them practice outside the classroom. I do hope you publish the results of your survey!!


Of course I'm not happy. I wish that I could check I mostly make my own worksheets. They are Almost strictly based on completion. I walk around every problem on every student's assignment for typically alternate versions of problems that we did and check for completion while they are working correctness every day... and I wish that I could We meet daily for 55 minutes. I put answers to the homework in class with a couple that go beyond, require on the opener. Homework ends up counting for 15provide problems that encourage more critical problems on the board for the students to check after they complete some critical thinking (I'm not always creative 20% of their grade. Occasionally (about once a thinking at an appropriate level for each student their openers. I only spend time on the homework when students enough to come up with them). I usually give 2-3 week), I give a short quiz at the beginning of class individually (in the "regular" geometry class, there is a have questions, and I spend as much time as it takes to answer all worksheets each week and they shouldn't take in which the problems come directly from the wide range of ability levels). Also, I'm not at all happy questions - usually it doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes. more than about 20 minutes to complete on homework - students are allowed to use their with the practice problems provided by our textbook, average. homework on the quiz. and coming up with my own (particularly in Geometry) tends to be very time consuming. It varies. If a small number of students turn it in, I grade each problem. If a large number of students turn it in, I'll pick 3 or 4 problems and grade those. If almost everyone does then I grade on completion. My goal is to give the papers back after the daily warmup, if not, then at the the end of class or the next class.

To me, homework is an opportunity for the students to get some practice with the types of problems that I expect them to be able to solve, and a chance for me to find out where there are misconceptions and/or concepts that need to be remediated as a class or with an individual. I played with giving homework that is optional, but the only students that ever did it (even in my AP Calculus class) were the ones that didn't necessarily need the extra practice - of course, the students that needed the practice were the ones that took the opportunity to get out of homework. I think the key is to assign the number of problems that you are willing to grade on the day its due. Also, for the students, having homework due every class encourages them to consistently work outside of the home. One cool idea that I might try next year is to start using a Smartboard spinner (courtesy of Sam J. Shah) that will randomly decide how we check homework each day. (If it lands on 1, hw is checked by walking around the room. If it lands on 2, hw is collected and I grade it. If it lands on 3, everyone corrects their own and hands it in. If it lands on 4, trade homework with a partner and grade it. If it lands on 5, homework doesn't get checked)

Algebra 2

From the textbook (that the students keep at home), no more than 10 problems. At most 30 minutes (if they know what they are doing) and 1 hour if they don't. (Block Scheduling, class meets every other day)

Class meets: 3 times a week. Day 1 (45 minutes), Day 2 and Day 3 (1.5 hours) Yes. I go over commonly missed problems or mistakes probably 10 minutes on average. I'm not incredibly happy with the way I check homework. Since I only spend about 5 minutes checking the whole class, I feel like students can probably do a pretty weak attempt and get away with it as long as they've written enough down. I feel like the time we spend going over homework is valuable for about half the class (the half that doesn't use this time to space out). One thing that I have started doing which helps is giving the class a two or three question post-homework review quiz on a semiregular basis. This helps everyone pay closer attention during homework review.


The homework is usually odd problems from the textbook (so that students can check the problems before coming to class). Homework takes about a I usually give students a warm-up problem at the half-hour. beginning of class and come around the room and check the homework for completion. I check the 4 days a week for 50 minutes per class. We usually spend 20 to 25 In Geometry Accelerated, I scan in the page numbers, first problem, last problem, and minutes going over homework. SOLUTIONS for the students to use when glance through to see if they have shown their checking answers. This is only a good idea if work, graphs if applicable, etc. you're sure that students wouldn't simply copy your solutions.

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I have students check their own HW (by putting up the answers). They mark their own score (e.g., 5). I collect the assignments and check to see if they attempted every question and showed their work. I also assess how accurately they checked their work and deduct participation points if they My school is on an alternating block schedule (classes meet every didn't check at all or checked really inaccurately (I other day for 100 minutes), but there is a "zero" period that meets usually warn them one or two times before doing every day (for 50 minutes). I teach Geometry on both the block and this). I score each assignment out of 10 points. daily schedule. I spend about 5-10 minutes going over HW They get full credit if they attempted every problem questions at the beginning of each 50 minute class and 10-15 I usually pick HW problems from the textbook. (following the directions that were provided) and minutes in the 100 minute class. We go over every question that Occasionally I will give a worksheet. I think most showed their work. Otherwise, I estimate what students ask, unless there are a ton of questions, in which case I kids spend less than 30 minutes on HW per night. percentage of the problems the student did do and cut it off. If there are only a few questions being asked, I might toss score the assignment accordingly (students can in a couple of others (e.g., "How did you approach Problem #4?"). I score anywhere from 0 to 10, at 0.5 intervals). If I write the questions on an overhead and try to engage them in the have time (fairly rare), I provide feedback on problem-solving process, but sometimes I just do the whole problem individual problems or, if I see that a student is for them. really struggling with a concept, I just write a note to encourage him/her to see me. If it seems like the class as a whole is not understanding something, I'll take time the next day to review it. Our dept. policy is that HW is worth 15% of a student's grade.

Overall, I'm fairly happy. I'd like to spend less time grading HW, but it seems like most of the students get the hang of it within the first several weeks and I found that I was spending much less time at the end of the year than I was at the beginning. One thing I think I might handle differently next year is late work. I allowed students to turn in assignments up to one week after they were due, for up to half credit. But I found that it was a hassle to check the work and that I would often forget to transfer the score from my hard-copy grade-book to the electronic grading system. I like the idea of accepting late work (so that students have more motivation to do the missed assignment...most students won't do it if it's not worth points), but it's kind of a pain in the neck. How do other teachers handle this? This was my first full year of teaching. To me, the purpose of HW is to provide students with an opportunity to practice skills and receive feedback. It is also an opportunity for me to assess how well they are understanding the material, before they take a quiz or a test.

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