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Q&A #5647


HS math homework completion

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 04, 2001 at 09:02:55
Subject: Re: HS math homework completion

Dear Pam,

Other T2T Associates might respond to you using their high school experience
but as a middle school teacher I will give you my ideas.

I find that more students complete their homework when the homework is given
appropriately. In what I call a traditional classroom, the teacher checks
homework, introduces a topic, explains it a little and the students are given
homework. In this setting often students have no idea why they are crunching
numbers and working out math problems and often they have no idea how to do
them.

In a classroom that is not organized this way but uses an activity to make
meaning of the mathematics and the exercises are sometimes given as homework
but there might be a project or an investigation to complete also as homework,
I know my students will complete it with more regularity. They have more of a
"buy in" to the subject. They aren't just crunching numbers and/or symbols
without understanding what they are doing or how the numbers/symbols connect
to something.

So, I guess my conclusion is that the bottom line is the content of the math
class itself. If you have a handle on that, you'll have a handle on how
homework is viewed by the student -- understandable and worth doing or the
opposite.

 -Suzanne A., for the T2T service

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