Q&A #3982

Math homework

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 20, 2000 at 12:04:42
Subject: Re: Math homework

I like this question. Thank you for asking it. My opinion is that math
homework can serve several purposes.

1. COMMUNICATION - It "can" help to involve the families. I teach middle
school and this year I am teaching 7th grade mathematics. At least once a
month I make certain to assign homework that includes "interviewing" family
members on whatever topic we are studying. My intent is that a conversation
will occur between the adult and student about the mathematics that is being

2. REFERNCE BUILDING - My students use a note-taking technique called Cornell
Note-Taking and I assign homework which includes "reading" parts of the text
and taking Cornell Notes. Because the students have learned this technique I
find that they actually spend some time reading. My intent is that they
realize that the text can be a great resource of mathematical information. I
don't build my lessons directly page-by-page in the text, but I refer to the
text as we work on activities and this reinforces the content.

3. PRACTICE WITH SYMBOLIC EXERCISES - I also assign exercises from the text
for the students to practice once we have worked through an activity. Again
this is a matching idea - I find the symbolic "exercise" that matches the
mathematical content that we have been working through. The reason I find
this important is because of the standardized tests that our students are
expected to succeed on. There needs to be a connection between an activity,
the use of manipulatives and technology back to the paper/pencil problem. The
exercises in the text provide the standardized environment that the students
will be required to recognize.

 -Suzanne A., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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