Hey #MTBoS, teach me how to go over hw. I give answer keys, but it still takes like half the period to answer questions & make connections
— Anna Blinstein (@Borschtwithanna) April 24, 2015
First of all, I really appreciated everyone who took the time to give ideas and feedback. This is what makes the #MTBoS so amazing. I've gone through all of the suggestions to see which ones make sense for me and my classes, and here is my attempt to summarize and make a plan for myself:
- Spiral homework so that it lags classwork (great idea from @hpicciotto, @cheesemonkeysf, and @pegcagle) - questions that relate to classwork from a few days ago give students time to process more deeply, have metacognition about their learning, and make stronger connections to the material. I would like to structure my homework into Review (questions that relate to content from a few days ago), Reflect (processing current content and making connections), and Reach (more challenging problems and questions to preview upcoming content) sections.
- Provide answer keys in advance (I try to do this, but it doesn't always happen due to time constraints with developing an "emerging" curriculum... I need to remember that when I don't do it, it means I lose a ton of class time) and upload detailed solutions after we have gone over assignments.
- Remind students that they can ask each other questions on Google classroom. I used to use a more bloggy class blog so students naturally commented and discussed online, but after switching to Google classroom, it has totally faded as a tool for student discussion outside of class. I'm hoping that with some reminders and maybe an assignment to comment or respond to a comment, I can jumpstart this type of interaction.
- After students finish homework, they give feedback regarding their understanding. @z_cress shared an awesome Google Form for doing this, which looks like this and will help me have a better idea in advance of how much time homework will need to take and how much support students need with this content:
- Start class by having students work in groups to ask each other questions and clarify problems for a few minutes; at the same time, ask various students to put up specific problems that many are confused on or that will be useful to discuss as a class on whiteboards. I still need to think through this a bit more - do I want everyone putting up work and circulating around the room and discussing (as suggested by @dandersod here) or more focused on working in groups and having only a few group questions put up on the board? I would like to play around with these and see what works for me.
A few other blog posts on how others are handling homework: