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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:09 AM
CHCteach CHCteach is offline
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Alaska
How do you get students to do math homework?

I am a student teacher in a high school classroom teaching geometry and algebra 2/trig. The culture in the school seems to be very lax on homework. Only about half of the students do their homework nightly. It is impossible to learn math just by watching someone else do it. The students actually have to do it. I try to give them some time in class to start on it. Homework does count as part of their grade. Any suggestions on how to get more students to do daily homework?
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:00 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
You could try offering rewards if a higher percentage of students completes their homework...

You could also try changing the homework. Instead of solving math problems, have them copy down the definitions or a sample problem or two from the book. Then the students can spend more time working problems in class.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:16 PM
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microbe microbe is offline
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China
1st Grade ESL
I've noticed that students are more likely to do their homework if the teacher does something with it the next day. Is there a way you could incorporate their homework into an in-class activity? It doesn't even need to take up that much class time.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:18 PM
GTB4GT GTB4GT is offline
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I cut out homework for the most part (for the lower level math courses I teach) as I realized many were just copying the work or not doing it at all.For these kids I have tried to compress instruction time so I can get the students working as quickly as possible. as soon as the work starts, the ones who need or want further instruction will seek it. The others will just bide their time or pretend to be busy.The classroom work is usually not graded, it's for practice mostly. I will formally assess with a quiz weekly. This has worked well for me.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:48 PM
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PolarBear PolarBear is offline
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High School Teacher
We have one teacher (Retired Marine, teaching as second career) at our school that will write an automatic after-school detention to any student that doesn't have his/her homework completed. At first I thought that sounded a bit draconian.

After watching his students for three months, I'm a believer. It takes about a week for the students to understand what's expected of them, and what the consequences are for not meeting those expectations. In those first few weeks, I've seen him go from 3-4 detentions per class to a couple per week, for all six of his classes.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:22 AM
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Special-t Special-t is offline
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SPED 9-12
I assist sped students in their core classes. I see the homework techniques of 3 very good math teachers. It's really tough to get the 9th graders to do homework. Limiting the assignment to just a few repetitive problems that were worked thoroughly as guided practice in class works best. Both the higher grade teachers give points on the homework as it's collected and its turned back to the students within a few days to put in the homework section of their math binders. I'd say they have a 90% compliance rate. Neither teacher will accept partially done work. It gets zero points.

The 9th grade teacher I worked with last year consistently issued and followed up on detentions and would not accept incomplete work. This was also successful.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:38 PM
2ndTimeAround 2ndTimeAround is online now
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Something I did in chemistry that would work well with math (won't work with my other courses) is to give a pop quiz the next day. Students could use the homework as a guide on the quiz. So their homework problem might be 24/6 and their quiz problem would be 36/6.

I did this only once in a while, to keep them on their toes, but it did help some.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:18 PM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
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AZ
5th Grade Teacher
To increase homework, I'd suggest the following:

1. Make sure homework is begun in class.
2. Make sure there is a consequence for not doing homework.
3. If you can't think of a consequence, then I would suggest that those who did their homework during the week, get to play a class math review game, while the others must do their review alone with worksheets. Maybe about 15 minutes for the game.
4. Try coming up with a group reward if everyone does their homework in one night--possibly that they can sit anywhere in the class if you have assigned seats. Possibly a fun math game for a few minutes.

The largest is the consequence. Homework is not fun, and if there is not a consequence there usually will be a lot of students not doing their homework--even if their grade is lowered.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:03 AM
GTB4GT GTB4GT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolarBear View Post
We have one teacher (Retired Marine, teaching as second career) at our school that will write an automatic after-school detention to any student that doesn't have his/her homework completed.

What this process ensures is that you get a piece of paper with answers to every question and a name on it. It does not ensure that the student is doing any work outside of the classroom.

Last year I had a few students who got enough points from "doing homework" that they passed the course. I was firm about students turning it in.However they could not come near reproducing the work on the tests or when I asked them to work a random problem.

I realize that every school/classroom/teacher situation is unique so there is no "one size fits all" answer.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:15 PM
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PolarBear PolarBear is offline
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Portland, Or
High School Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTB4GT View Post
What this process ensures is that you get a piece of paper with answers to every question and a name on it. It does not ensure that the student is doing any work outside of the classroom.

Last year I had a few students who got enough points from "doing homework" that they passed the course. I was firm about students turning it in.However they could not come near reproducing the work on the tests or when I asked them to work a random problem.

I realize that every school/classroom/teacher situation is unique so there is no "one size fits all" answer.
I think you'd be surprised. I should have mentioned this teacher pulls his detention kids out of detention and into his classroom, so the time really is spent productively.

That being said, we all know our kiddos fall generally into one of three catagories. The first will do well, or at least make the effort, in all subjects. The second will put out the effort given enough support. That support could entail both positive and negative aspects, depending on the student.

The third group is there because legally they have to be. Many will make no bones about letting you know this, and I've yet found an effective way to reach out to this group.
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