Homework in the Middle School Math Classroom

I am not a big fan of the latest pendulum swing against homework.  I have always had a 100% balanced-approach attitude toward education, and to me, no homework seems like a bit of an extreme measure.

Homework, when done correctly, is a positive thing.  Here are some things I keep in mind when assigning homework in my middle school math classroom.

Reinforce Classwork
Homework should involve targeted practice that reinforces the work done in class.  I always make sure that it directly relates to what we are currently working on.

Easier than Classwork
If I have two versions of practice, I send the easier of the two versions home with students.  I would rather the struggle occur while they have me available as a resource, as well as their peers.

Homework facilitates development of responsibility, time manangement, perseverance, and self-esteem

Start in Class
Why does starting homework in class get such a bad rap?  It’s a great way for students to try a couple of problems, ask questions if they realize they are not sure what to do, and go home with some problems modeled for themselves (or parents if they try to help).

Time Limit
Impose a time limit.  I tell my students at the beginning of the year that if their homework ever takes longer than 30 {focused} minutes, they should stop and have a parent sign a quick note.

Provides Healthy Routine
Being responsible for a moderate amount of homework provides opportunity for a healthy after school routine to develop.  Having a set time and place where students can do their homework is instrumental to their success.

Develop Time Management Skills
The development of time management and organization skills will impact student learning in high school, college, and beyond.

For additional information, check out this great article from Concordia University about how homework benefits students.

Join in the conversation, and let me know what you think!

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