Monday, April 27, 2015

Reflecting on homework

Last week, I posted on Twitter asking for help with homework structure and routines to limit the amount of time we were spending in class going over questions, and boy, did I get some great responses.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  5. 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:
If you have other suggestions or blog posts to share about homework structures, I'd love to see 'em!

No comments:

Post a Comment