Sunday, August 28, 2016

Final Homework Plan. I think.

School starts tomorrow.  Finally.  I feel like all of my peeps on twitter started weeks ago, and I've been sitting here twiddling my thumbs.

Not really, but it'll be nice to finally get back to what it is I've been working towards all summer!

I'm *still* trying to figure out exactly how I want to handle grading homework.
Because I'm going to give a homework grade. In the perfect world, the kids would do it regardless and I wouldn't have to worry about it. But we all know we don't live in a perfect world.

In my Honors Precalculus classes I'm going to use MathXL for homework instead of assigning out of a book. I like the instant feedback that the kids get and that they can't just copy off of their neighbor.

But I don't know that I need to make it due the day after I assign it. We all know that these kids are super involved in every activity/job/whatever under the sun. I know that there are times that they won't be able to get to their assignment or are having internet/computer issues.  So I'm strongly considering the idea that I'll create all of the assignments for the unit beforehand and make them due the day before the test/quiz. That would let the kids do them when they have time and yet get them done before the assessment. I don't want to make them due on test/quiz day so that we have the cushion day beforehand if there's a question that they don't understand.

And these are the type of kids that might want to work ahead, too. Why not give them that opportunity?

But I also would like to check written work; I don't want everything done on the computer/calculator.  So here's my thought on that:
As I create the assignments in MathXL, there are certain problems that I am going to specify that the kids need to show their work on. I've asked them to have a spiral or composition notebook for that purpose. Then at the end of the unit I can flip through and check their work.

Can you think of any issues with this idea?


  1. I tried the "unit" homework due the day of/before the test for my lower level stat kids 2 years ago. Most tended to do all of it the day before it was checked- but at least most of them did it. Last year I tried more frequent checks- that didn't work any better, way too many just didn't do it at all.And it was more for me to keep track of. I am trying the unit homework again this year. In my precalc ( high level) I don't collect regular book homework, but they quickly figure out that my tests often mirror tougher homework questions. I only collect special assignments. Like you I want them to learn to manage their workload- I tell them to put off my regular homework if you have an AP Euro paper and a cchem test the next day, but try the problems the next night. I try different things year to year and have come to the conclusion that there is no ideal answer.

    1. Thanks for your input, Trish! These are kids who typically do their homework anyway but have crazy schedules. If I can get results like yours I'll be happy and hopefully save myself the headache of checking often. :)

  2. I like it!!! 😊 Another thing we do are learning checks on the way to test and quizzes for instant feedback too. They are about 10-12 question done in class and checked off by me with verbal feedback. I usually have them come up after every 3-4 problems worked to check-in. Might be a good way to use those certain problems without collecting notebooks? Homework checking can be such a time vampire, and I have found these very helpful!

  3. Thanks Tara! I like to do warm-ups in class and also have in-class assignments so I'll hopefully have a good feel on where they are but they'll still have practice problems to do outside of class.

    We'll see how it goes :)

  4. How has homework proved valuable to you over time?