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Topic: Homework

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Subject:   RE: Homework
Author: kscoastie
Date: Sep 20 2006
I teach middle school math and science.  I rarely to never assign homework
without an answer key.  I expect the students to practice correctly and the only
way to do that is to know what the answer is to be able to assess the practice.
I agree with the sports analogy and have used that for years.  Homework should
be practice of what is already known and not a time to "learn" the work.  I give
quizzes nearly every day over previous work.  I ask for questions over problems
that were difficult or students couldn't get the correct answer easily or just
didn't understand how they got the right answer.  

Bottom line - I tell the kids that they are responsible for their own learning.
I tell them not to bother just writing in the right answers because it is a
waste of their time and they aren't going to get credit for it anyway.  I do
give homework credit since there needs to be a reward of some kind for work
done, but it is only worth about 10 percent of the entire grade.  I have used
this technique with 4th graders and middle school students and it has been very
successful with the exception of the students that wouldn't do the homework with
or without an answer key.  It has saved me much time in class and saved students
much frustration.  The frustrations used to always arrise when a student
completed a homework assignment without an answer key and found out they did
everything wrong.  That takes so much longer to correct and they aren't ready to
move on.

Just some food for thought to those of you struggling with time and homework.

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