Saturday, August 13, 2016

How I would like homework to be


Last year was my first year teaching, my first year collecting homework, and my first year grading homework. After this past year, I now understand why my math teachers didn't always give it back the next day, or that week, or even back at all. Holy cow what a time consumer.

What I did:

What I started doing the first trimester was to collect the homework every day, and grade it every day. All of my classes, every night.  Then in the winter trimester I got lazy, I started to pass it all back at the end of the week.  I didn't give it back every day.  I noticed that students were doing poorly on quizes and doing the same mistakes they did on their homework. Problem was, they didn't know it was wrong. Because I didn't pass back the homework quickly, I never told them it was wrong.

What I started to do at the end:

The last trimester I think I found a middle ground that I liked.  They would come in every day and for the first 3-5 minutes they would correct their own homework.  I had answer keys that I passed out, to each group. (I had groups of 4, each group would get 2)  They passed in their corrected homework for me to finalize into a grade.

I liked this system, the students got immediate feed back and I didn't have to grade every problem!

  • Some students just copied problems they didn't do
  • Some students didn't grade, just gave them selves a 100%
  • Some students would be so worried about getting a bad grade that they would only correct some of it because I asked them too. (They showed an effort to make me think they corrected it all)

  • Immediate feed back
  • Less grading I had to do
  • Students could see that others got problems wrong as well.

How I want to improve for this year:

  1. I want to have students to be able to self grade their homework so they can see what they got wrong, or how they got it wrong. 
  2. I want students to be excited when they solved it a different way then I did.
  3. I want students to be focused on the steps they messed up on and not the fact their answer doesn't match.
  4. I want students to know they were not the only ones that got that problem wrong.
How I plan to do these things;

  1. I will hand out the answer key, either typed (if I find myself bored with nothing else to do) or copy the already done hand written key for students to compare their homework with it.
  2. Students will (if they got the problem wrong) HIGHLIGHT the step in which their homework does not match my homework
  3. Students will write on the top of their homework the problem number they did differently then mine, and I will give them a shout out or something next class for creative thinking.
  4. If a student gets a problem wrong they will put a tally next to the number on the key, when I collect the key's I will say "Looks like 3 people got ____ wrong, 5 people got ____ wrong, those must have been tricky." Or something. So students know others got them wrong.
  5. Have students only have a green pen and highlighter to write in while grading their homework.

How to grade?

I struggle a lot with this one.  I agree with a lot of research out there that giving feed back is always better then a grade.  I want to try doing this, no grades just feed back on the homework. I will write each student comments on the problems they got wrong, or the steps they got wrong.  

But my school loves grades. So to grade the homework I will grade them on:

  • If they graded it correctly.
    • If a student didn't correct a problem then thats points off. 
    • If a student put in an honest effort.  
    • If a student doesn't highlight what their error was then more points off. 
    • If a student clearly wrote in what I had as an answer and didn't attempt a problem, then points off.
    Im still thinking about this one. Last year each homework was out of 100% (school standard) and so I did 50% if completed and turned in on time, and 50% correctness. So basically if they turned it in on time and did well then they got between 85% and 95%. Which for homework effort is just fine with me.

    How do you do homework?

    Any helpful hints for a new teacher?

    Thoughts on my idea?

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