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Topic: home work


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Subject:   RE: home work
Author: markovchaney
Date: Oct 16 2006
This is the sanest post on the topic of homework I've seen from a math teacher
in a long time. Thanks for sending it, Craig.

-mpg

On Oct 16 2006, Craig wrote:

When I first started teaching, my
> answer to "why give homework" might have been "because I had
> homework, and the practice in homework helped ME learn," or "because
> every other subject has homework, so I have to carve out MY time,
> too," or simply "students need the practice."

The evolution
> (ongoing) in my thinking has me now saying that I give students
> homework because I want them to think about, reflect on, and
> reinforce, in a less structured setting, the mathematics we spend
> time learning in class.  So I don't usually give my Algebra 2 or
> Calculus students 20 or 30 easy problems, or even 7-8 more difficult
> problems--usually only one or two that go to the heart of what we're
> working on, every night, and students have to describe their
> thinking process in words as they solve the problems.  Is this
> effective?  For some, probably not--they're the ones who will spend
> the last 5 minutes of their lunch period right before coming to my
> class to scribble down whatever drivel they can gather after
> glancing at another student's homework paper.  But for some, I see a
> very positive effect: homework is not seen as busy work as much as a
> learning experience, and the conversation in class and the
> performance on tests and quizzes is improving.

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