Josh from Boom! Feeny is guest blogging with me today about how spiral math homework works in his high school classroom. I love this post because it is from the perspective of one of his students, and it is amazing to see how this spiral math resource has changed the way she feels about homework.
My own personal children love to watch the same movies over and over again or listen to the same radio drama over and over again in the car. They find safety in the known and the routine. Every year I ask my classroom students what it takes to get them to work hard outside of school. Inevitably, I have a few jokesters who chime in saying money or free candy, but after pressing in just a bit deeper, most students are willing to put in the time and effort outside of class if they know what they are getting themselves into. My students want to know what to expect. Below is from one of my students named Karen.
A Student’s Perspective on High School Math Homework
“It’s my first year of high school, and everything’s new: new teachers, new students, new lunches, and especially new material-math material. Math has never been my strongest subject, but I feel like as long as I work hard and ask questions, then I can eventually understand it.
Last year, I had some trouble keeping up with the homework because my teacher would assign us a few problems one day and then a ton of questions another day. Most days I could finish my homework, but other days when I had soccer practice or a big test on a different subject, it was more difficult to get my work done. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day…
So this year when my math teacher gave me this worksheet that outlined our homework for the entire week and told us that he’d only add a few extra problems here and there if he felt we needed more practice, I was ecstatic!
These worksheets make it really easy for me to stay on track because if I know I am going to be really busy on Friday because I have a match, then I can just look ahead and finish the problem. If I don’t know how to solve it, then I can also go ahead of time and ask my teacher for some help.
Another thing I like about how this worksheet is set up is everything is very neat. I can see exactly what I need to do each day, and it really doesn’t get much easier than that! I no longer have to carry heavy textbooks or loose worksheets around in my backpack. Having all of my homework in one place just makes it easier to keep organized!”
My students have found comfort in the predictability of having fixed number of problems each night. As the teacher, I find comfort in the fact that I can continue to introduce new topics yet review previous topics concurrently. Though my students wouldn’t know what to call it, they find satisfaction in the spiraling nature of these homework sheets. Students who have previously struggled with math will get excited to see problems that they recognize and are able to do. We have been in school for only a month now, but I am already seeing better retention than in previous years. This is a great resource and so far it has served me well in my classroom.
If you are interested in the math homework for your own classroom, use the links below to learn more…
Check out my High School Math Pinterest Board for more ideas for your classroom!