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Topic: home work

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Subject:   RE: home work
Author: missp
Date: Sep 21 2006
One of the things I do that has been very successful with my developmental math
students (all are adults, ages ranging from 18 to 60) is to allow them to do
homework in the classroom, after class time is over. I stay in the classroom for
at least another 30 minutes (and often longer) in order to be there if they get
stuck. I'm always amazed that almost half my students stick around to do this. I
make clear to them that they can likely finish homework in 1/2 the time by
staying in class to do it, and that's proven out almost every day. (Extra
benefit--I don't get as many phone calls in the evenings from students who
stick around to do their homework in the classroom while I'm there.)

Also, I work hard to come up with homework that will grab their attention. If
we're doing word problems, for example, I create original problems that use my
students' names and circumstances, often humorously, to get them working on a
variety of difficult concepts. I know this is stuff teachers do all the time,
but I'm surprised to find how many teachers just print up worksheets that don't
have anything interesting on them, just problems in columns. Yuck. I didn't like
that when I was in school; why give such worksheets to my students now if I can
possibly give them something better?

Finally, I create tables and tip sheets that include all the processes my
students need in order to work certain math problems. I've done "flow charts"
before, but those were only slightly successful. Anyway, the tables and tip
sheets help them if they get stuck, so that makes homework less of a nightmare,
and students tend to not put it off as much.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

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