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Re: [apstat] Homework
Posted:
Aug 12, 2012 10:31 PM


NOTE: This apstat EDG will be closing in the next few weeks. Please sign up for the new AP Statistics Teacher Community Forum at https://apcommunity.collegeboard.org/gettingstarted and post messages there.  I ran into this problem during my 1st two years in a classroom and believe that I have come up with a reasonable strategy for how to deal with it.
(1) I assign nightly homework. I believe this is crucial. Homework was assigned on a nightly basis in both high school and at both of the colleges and universities (SUNY, UPENN) I attended. I am sure some are able to do without this, but I do not know of any other way to get students to engage with the material outside of class without requiring nightly homework.
(2) I collect and grade 5 randomly selected questions from that homework (1 easy, 3medium, 1 difficult).
(3) I determine a student's maximum grade on the homework by what percentage they completed. A student can receive up to a 10 if they attempt all of the homework, a 9 if they attempt 90% of it, an 8 for 80% etc.
(4) I grade the 5 selected questions, taking off 1 pt. for each incorrect response from the potential score. I do not assign grades below 5 if students have attempted the homework. A student can receive a 0 if they do not complete a homework assignment.
(5) I will accept up to 3 late homework assignments as long as they are submitted before I have returned the same assignment to other students.
(6) I offer extra help on a daily basis so students can come ask questions about homework questions they were unable to complete.
(7) I give short, formative quizzes frequently. At least 50% of the content on quizzes is taken from the selected homework problems. Quizzes are not always announced. Sometimes they take place after homework has been returned. Sometimes they take place before. To do well, a student MUST do the homework.
(8) I immediately call the parents of any students who do well on their homework but very poorly on the same questions when they appear on quizzes. These students have almost always copied the homework. The proof is very clear to parents and the phone calls very effective in getting the behavior to change.
(9) I do not include these homework questions on tests. I feel that tests ought to assess a students mastery of the content, not their ability to memorize a learned procedure.
(10) At the end of the quarter, I throw out the two lowest homework grades and the lowest quiz grade.
Since implementing this strategy my percentage of failures has decreased each year from 24% in my first year to 5% last year. I have not tried it with AP State, but I think this is the approach I will choose.
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