Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Homework" in class = immediate feedback for students!

I have been experimenting with my Algebra I classes. The other day, we finished the lesson with 15 minutes left of class. Rather than assigning the 10-15 homework questions and allowing them to start in class. I tried something new. I picked 3 specific questions and asked the students to bring them to me when they finished. If they got them all correct, they didn't get homework. This allowed me to provide immediate feedback to each students.

I thought it would take away from the lesson but the time that I spent going over homework and trying to correct their errors is now spent guiding them in the right direction the first time. The kids love the feedback and the no homework. I love that I get to start each class with a new lesson rather than going over homework questions. I do take a quick walk around to check anyone who did have homework. Maybe I should collect their homework and check it at a later time...or have them turn it in the morning so I can give it back to them in class. Any suggestions?

It is difficult to check each students work, with 25 kids in a class. I get some that finish right early and others that are still working at the bell. I had the kids brainstorm ideas for what to do when they finish early and they requested playing the 24 game, on paper. It worked today but I'm sure that eventually they will get bored with 24. Any ideas for those who finish early? I'm looking for structured, math related activities that have meaning but can be completed in less than 5 minutes. I like 24 because it can never hurt to practice number sense!

Please leave comments/suggestions! Thanks.