8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 27, 2011 10:25 PM by haleemehm RSS

Math homework

prescy New User
Currently Being Moderated

Educators, I need your inputs.  How do you grade homework? Do you give them numerical value? Or do you just have a checklist of who submitted and who did not? Do you discuss every homework question with the class? Do the students check their own homework paper/notebook? How do you give credit to the students' homework?

These are some of the questions that are bothering me when I was told about the Family Privacy Act.  I don't want to break this law .  I want to be a great Math teacher, and I just want to teach like Rafe Equith in "Teach Like Your Hair Is on Fire". I discuss as many of the homework questions that I think are difficult for the students before I proceed to the next lesson. I ask students to exchange notebooks/papers and grade them according to their number of mistakes. I can't check them  all by myself. I have close to 100 students. Someone told me I may be breaking that privac act. So...S.O.S!!! I need your suggestions.

  • Re: Math homework
    Jane Brown Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Having taught Math for many years, I learned my first semester of teaching that grading every student's homework and making detailed comments to guide them only improved my explanations and didn't seem to help the students. Exchanging papers for grading had its own problems.


    So, the second semester, I had students keep a spiral notebook for homework assignments.  When students walked in the classroom, they told me which numbered problem they wanted to see.  I wrote the number on the blackboard, ok this was some years back, and then asked for students who wanted to write their Geometry proof or their Algebra solution on the board under my notation.  I wrote a name by each problem and students wrote out their solutions on the board while I took care of taking attendance and students in their seats answered a warmup review question from a previous assignment.  We went from problem to problem with each student coming to the board and explaining their solution allowing everyone to make comments or ask questions, including me.  For this, they received a + sign in the gradebook.


    Students worked to write in their missing problems to study that night.  However, some days, they walked in to a surprise one question quiz, where they were asked to solve a question similar the one in their homework with the numbers changed or on some occasions they were asked to copy off a certain problem from their notebook and turn it in (I could "grade" these very quickly.)  Again, they received a + sign for a correct response.


    What did I do at the end of the grading period.  Well, I counted the number of + signs and put them on a sliding scale of of extra points added at the end of the grading period.  These points we never contested.  But more importantly, I watched students working together to understand the material presented.


    I don't know if this helps you, but this is certainly the kind of question I will read responses made with interest.  Thank you for starting it.

  • Re: Math homework
    lwalker New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey there,

    I generally try to teach bell to bell, and then I assign 3-5 problems for homework.  This is pretty manageable for me, and I hate correcting.  If students have a longer assignment to correct I sometimes have them grade their own.  They use a pen or colored pencil to show the correct work on incorrect problems.  That way they can see their mistake and what the correct way is.  Occasionally, at the end of correcting, I have them rate their understanding, rather than just how many correct out of how many total.  Sometimes I have them exchange papers; I haven't had any issues with this yet........

  • Re: Math homework
    mgjohnson New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    For me homework needs to be quality... not quantity, so if in math you are reinforcing that days lesson if you only give 5-7 problems a night it makes it easier to correct together (whole group). At the beginning of the math lesson I will have the students take out editing pens, and make note on their papers as we work the problems together. I will then collect and give credit/no-credit for completing it and turning it in corrected. I can then see those students that clearly got the concept and then know the ones I need to pull for small group instruction. Good luck with figuring out what works best for you.

  • Re: Math homework
    msmstg01 Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have taught math now for 13 years, and I learned very quickly that I just cannot fully grade every homework problem on each assignment. 


    What I do is a constant variety of assessment methods.  Some homework I grade on completeness, some on correctness (which is graded by students switching papers), and some is presented.  It just depends on what I want to get out of it.  If a test is coming, I may want to have kids have the correct answers so they can have more to study while other homework is just so they have the prectice and I want to see that they are practicing.


    I always start class with the answers up on the board and they can raise their hands and ask for certain questions if they have them, otherwise I move on and collect it. 

  • Re: Math homework
    smachit New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Mathematics requires daily homework which can be difficult to grade daily. I usually grade homework based on completion and students showing their work.


    While students are working on the warm up problem of the day I am checking their homework in their math spiral notebooks. I quickly glance at the solutions and answers to a few pre-selected problems to do a quick check for understanding. I will then review a few problems. 


    Many times I assign the odd problems so that students can check their answers in the back of the book as they are working so they know if they are solving correctly before they get to far in their assignment.  This also save me time reviewing the answers in class.

  • Re: Math homework
    mforeman New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Students need to do math homework in order to practice.  I teach high school Algebra 2 and I assign homework most every night.  It is usually only a few problems to re-inforce what we learned in class.  I do not grade it for correctness, I look to see that it is completed.  I agree that it is impossible to correct all the homework every night but there does need to be a way to check for understanding.  I sometimes ask students to copy one or two problems onto another piece of paper to turn in and I consider it as a formative assessment to provide feedback to students.  I often ask students to do an assignment over to correct it. 


    I use an interactive whiteboard everyday and it makes it much easier to display the answers to selected homework problems.  I let students work together to do class work and to go over homework but I do not let students correct each other's papers because of the privacy issues. 

  • Re: Math homework
    haleemehm New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Merly.  I am not a Math teacher, but an English teacher for the past 14 years.  I also spent one year as a math teacher for 5th & 6th graders. I think we both have similar issues, though! I myself am still trying to find the perfect solution, but I have tried several that have worked; it differs for each type of assignment. For example, I give open-note quizzes and mini-comprehension quizzes that incorporate replacement credit rather than extra credit.  I also stamp their homework for completion at the beginning of the period, and then for quality (if they made corrections that were gone over during class). The stamp is equal to 10 points, it would be equivalent to a check, check plus, or check minus.  I have found that students are more willing to do the work if it impacts their grades.


    As for the privacy issue (I am not familiar with the details of the Family Privacy Act), I give students the option of peer grading or me grading their papers. You can also incorporate your classroom grading policy into your rules at the beginning of the year, to give parents an opportunity to not have their child'spapers peer-edited. Good luck!

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