Ah…this is a tough one. I have thought and thought and thought about homework, everything our prompt for the week mentions: how much to assign, when to collect, how to grade, etc.
In the past I have assigned homework on a very regular basis for most of my classes. Homework sets range in size, but I intentionally pick a variety of problems that allow students to practice all of the skills covered in class. I don’t have them do 10 of each type, but usually pick 2-3 problems per skill addressed in the lesson. I then add on the oh-so-loved by students word problems, some review questions and sometimes some review skills that will be utilized in the coming lesson.
As for grading, I almost always tell my students I will grade one of the following ways: completion (they LOVE this, of course), graded for correctness (but on a “loose” scale, maybe 85%-100% correct will give them a 10/10, it varies depending on the lesson and number of problems), or spot-checked (I choose 5-10 problems and grade for correctness). I KNOW that it would save me SO much time to just check from completeness, but I.just.can’t….I don’t know if it’s because I greatly fear they will just write down the problem, or maybe because I know in other classes they just fill in random junk, but it is a struggle for me to strongly consider this option.
However, I am going for it this year. Completion grades (why does that almost make me nauseous to say??), here we go. This is why: time…it’s really hard to grade all of their papers (even with small classes) and get them back promptly; efficiency…I think it would be way better to allow them to check their own work, and if we do a completion grade I will do this most of the time; responsibility…I am going to do homework checks along with this. Homework checks will be held once every one to two weeks. I will give them a sheet to copy down their work and solutions for certain homework problems. No work shown = no credit. This should hopefully hold them accountable.
My biggest issue, especially with certain classes, is homework completion. I have tried to give more time in class to work, but there is a fairly large group of students who still won’t complete it. That is really hard in 43 minutes, too. I am hoping that checking for completion on a daily basis + having homework checks will give them time to get help if they need it, and at least attempt problems they may not normally attempt.
I have read about people who don’t give homework, or just give 5 problems, but I am not there yet (as appealing as it sounds!). I haven’t figured out a structure to make this work. My students wouldn’t have enough time to practice skills, or really spend time problem solving if I went that route. Maybe sometime in the nearish future I can figure out a way to make it work!
So, what do you all do about homework? Can’t wait to read all about it :).