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Topic: [ap-stat] Homework
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 12, 2012 10:31 PM

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Glenn Ravich

Posts: 6
From: Maryland
Registered: 7/29/12
Re: [ap-stat] Homework
Posted: Aug 12, 2012 10:31 PM
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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, 3-medium, 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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