Why I Assign Homework: Dear Students, I love you…

“If I could change anything about our class…”  About half the responses to that question, mentioned homework.  My students are expected to complete an average of about 40 minutes of algebra homework pretty much every night.  In a decade where the anti-homework voices seem to be gaining momentum, it can be difficult for my students to … More Why I Assign Homework: Dear Students, I love you…

Unintended consequences in best practices: what we did TO our students when they didn’t get it

What educator has not been challenged by the question, “What will you do when your students don’t get it?”  In response to No Child Left Behind and high stakes testing, teachers have become masters at drilling concepts into students in engaging ways:  Kagan, Kahoot, Jeopardy, stations…  Teachers Pay Teachers is wildly popular, not to mention … More Unintended consequences in best practices: what we did TO our students when they didn’t get it

Redo’s for students: I do and I don’t

I suspect that most teachers experiment with retakes and redo’s and change their minds throughout their careers like I have.  Everything I decide upon, though, consistently aligns to my overarching goals which are to develop: Analytical skills Retentive mastery of content Self-efficacy Self-advocacy in asking questions To develop strong analytical skills, I capitalize on inquiry-based … More Redo’s for students: I do and I don’t

When students won’t ask questions

This photo from Lovemeow hangs prominently in my room as a visual aid to inspire transparency in learning.  I hold family meetings before school begins to explain the importance of learning math in today’s economy.  Often parents quietly mention to me that their student won’t ask questions.  Some parents are concerned and looking for answers; others are tipping … More When students won’t ask questions

Homework as a Path to Equity

Every time I read a tweet by another educator who has given up assigning homework, I wince.  Their reasons vary from feeling demonized to feeling enlightened.  If homework is evaluated based on “completion,” I would agree we should abandon homework because of the unintended consequences.  However, thoughtfully assigned homework can pave pathways to higher levels … More Homework as a Path to Equity

Moving Every HS Math Student Toward Academic Excellence

I literally lie awake nights thinking of ways to increasing student engagement, and each year I find more ways to improve; but I always have some students who still seem disinterested in becoming math rock stars.  Go figure (ha!).  I teach average students which means they are all very bright, but there are a million other … More Moving Every HS Math Student Toward Academic Excellence

5 Reasons for Demonizing Homework and Teachers Who Assign It

For many years, the PTA and NEA have recommended 10-20 minutes of homework in first grade and 10 minutes after that.  However, in the past year or so, my news feed has regularly contained adjuration against assigning homework.  Often these appeals are accompanied by references to research that purportedly deems homework non-productive, even damaging.  No … More 5 Reasons for Demonizing Homework and Teachers Who Assign It