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Discussion: All Tools on Computer
Topic: home work


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Subject:   RE: home work
Author: Craig
Date: Oct 16 2006
On Oct 16 2006, S. Rhodes wrote:
> Hello ...in some of my classes they
> are telling me that giving homeowrk is not such a good idea to do in
> classrooms now a days. That most of your students will not do it
> anyways so it is a waste of time. I was wondering if any of you
> could tell why you give homework to your students. Beacause some of
> you say its time to see if students learned a skill or not, can't
> you do that in the classroom, and not have it go home with the
> students?

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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