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    Algebra question?

    How does HLS handle algebra grades for homework at tests? Do they record grades for homework or just tests?

    I planned to use homework as a learning tool and tests to record a grade. DD has started at the year running 80%-84% on her homework (last year it was solid 90%+). When she reviews it, she usually sees her errors right off. I'm trying to decide at what % of error I should stop and have her redo the lesson the next day, or if I should wait and see how she does on her first test.

    Thanks!
    Bean
    Bean. Long time MP user.

    DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

    #2
    Re: Algebra question?

    Hi Bean,
    I will share from my experience teaching algebra at HLS-Indianapolis. Like you, I view homework as the student's opportunity to learn the material, while the test confirms mastery. But students in a classroom are motivated by having the teacher grade and record the homework, so we do grade and record homework. Interestingly, I find that homework grades in math correlate very strongly with test grades. So if I were you, I would not wait for the 1st test to address this.

    Do you allow your daughter to look at the answers and correct her own work? In my class, I assign some odd-numbered problems that the students check (answers in back of book) and a few even-numbered problems to "keep them honest". I check the odd problems for completion (and mark off if sloppy or incomplete), and I grade the even problems. The idea is that students will realize their mistakes on odd-numbered problems and fix them. Then they will hopefully avoid those errors on the even problems. This seems to work pretty well for diligent students.

    Diligent students usually score 95-100% on homework. (Test scores similar)
    Average students typically score 80-85% on homework, and the test scores are similar.

    Does your textbook have answers in the back? Does your daughter check her answers? I would say the homework is not complete until she has corrected her mistakes. Attention to detail is very important for continued success in math.

    How long does your daughter spend working on algebra homework? If your daughter spends more than an hour, I would reduce the number of problems, but still require accuracy on the assigned problems. In this case, you may also need to spend additional day on those lessons, so that she works an adequate number of problems to master the skill.

    If I have a student who is being careless with the details, I will sit with him/her and watch them work a few problems. I use this time to reinforce good habits and help them identify where they need to pay more attention.

    This last point may go without saying, but I require math homework to be done in a quiet, focused environment that mimics test conditions. No texting, no tunes, no tv. The way you practice determines the way you perform.
    Last edited by Cindy in Indy; 08-18-2016, 05:45 AM.
    Cindy Davis
    Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
    ds-25 college graduate: autodidact, working to pay the bills
    ds-23 college graduate: 1st year med school
    dd-21 college senior: Nursing

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Algebra question?

      Thank you for taking the time to reply so thoroughly. I let my daughter read it, and I like how it reinforced so much of what we are already doing, including requiring homework be done without distractions. Most motivating for her was this:

      “Diligent students usually score 95-100% on homework. (Test scores similar)
      Average students typically score 80-85% on homework, and the test scores are similar.”

      She does not want to be an average student, LOL.

      I do have her check her answers, but not until the end. I think I will have her check after every 5-10.

      I think she is struggling with copying into a notebook. A lot over her errors are doing the wrong problem and things like writing 108 instead of 18. Her pages are very neat, but I think maybe she’s doing too much in her head and trying to make the pages too nice. Algebra is her first time not using a workbook, and I let her use the whiteboard extensively when she started Algebra last year.

      Also, when you say an hour for math- is that for everything, or is that for just the problem set? She spends an hour on math, but that includes reading the book, doing some examples on the whiteboard, doing the problem set, and checking them. Correcting can push her a little over the hour.

      Math has always been pretty easy for her. Working for a grade she wants will be a good experience.
      Bean. Long time MP user.

      DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Algebra question?

        Hi Bean,
        My students are in the classroom 4 hours per week (4 lessons covered). The class time includes the following:
        go over questions from yesterday's homework (your daughter reviewing and correcting her homework and possibly reviewing with you)
        rapid review of previous concepts in preparation for today's lesson
        instructional (your daughter studying the text)
        demonstration (your daughter studying the examples)
        in-class practice (your daughter working example problems on the whiteboard)
        begin homework under teacher's supervision (your daughter begins her homework)

        At home, students spend an additional 55 minutes (6 times per week) completing their homework, reviewing previously missed homework problems, reviewing notes, etc. The 55 minutes are divided: set a timer for 25 minutes and do work completely focused on math. Set the timer for 5 minutes and take a break: drink of water, run up the stairs, jumping jacks, pushups, etc. (This allows the mind to rest.) Set the timer for 25 additional minutes and do focused work. When the 55 minutes are up, student moves on to another subject. One variation is allowed: they can move to a different subject after the 5 minute break and come back to their final 25 minute math session later. That gives a longer "math break" for the mind, which is still processing in the background. Research shows this focus, break, focus pattern to be very effective for math learning and retention.

        So how does this translate to your daughter at home?
        I would estimate your daughter might spend about 30 minutes studying the lesson and examples (this will vary: less time on easier lessons; more time on complex lessons) and then up to one hour working the homework set and making corrections. If she finishes her homework set (with corrections) in less than one hour, she should use the remaining time to go back to old homeworks and rework missed problems to verify she works them correctly now. To make this review time effective, she should note which problems she missed and reworked on the first pass, perhaps by circling the problem number in a different color. (Homework should be done in pencil, of course.)

        In summary: my students spend about 10 hours per week (class time and home time) on algebra. Your daughter's home study is more efficient, so she spends (about) 1.5 hours, 5 days per week, plus a 55 minute review session over the weekend: total 8.5 hours per week. And note: at this pace, she is covering 5 lessons per week, where my students cover 4 lessons per week. So as I said previously, if she needs to spend an extra day on a more difficult lesson, go ahead and take the time to master it.

        Let me make a comment about showing work. In the early lessons of algebra, students are tempted to skip steps and not show work, because it is "obvious". However, showing work for every step is an important habit to establish while the problems are relatively simple. Those habits will pay off on more complicated problems. If she makes a mistake, she can carefully review each step to see where the mistake occurred. I require students to show all work and they lose points if work is not shown (even if the answer is correct).

        One other comment about grading: if she corrects her own homework (after reviewing the answer in the back), then I count it "correct" for the homework grade. The work of finding and correcting mistakes builds skill for mastery. Your plan to have her check answers every 5-10 problems sounds perfect!
        Cindy Davis
        Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
        ds-25 college graduate: autodidact, working to pay the bills
        ds-23 college graduate: 1st year med school
        dd-21 college senior: Nursing

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Algebra question?

          Thank-you! This is incredibly helpful. This is exactly what we are going to do.

          Thanks again for taking the time to answer.

          Bean
          Bean. Long time MP user.

          DD- 9th grade aerospace enthusiast. Using a mix of dual credit, online and classical materials for 2019-2020.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Algebra question?

            Thank you for starting this thread, and thank you Cindy for your detailed answers, so helpful!
            -Amy

            Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 16 grand babies 6 and under!
            2019-20 MP 2nd, 5A, 10th MPOA, College student. Starting 7th year using Memoria Press
            Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Algebra question?

              Yes, thank you so much, Cindy, for once again putting so much thought and time into your responses here. You continue to bless me. I'm hoping for a different and more successful year ahead for my son, switching over to PH Algebra and using MP quizzes. No matter what strategy I try, he continues to get about 10 problems wrong out of every 35-40 he does in his Saxon 1/2 (which he's still finishing up from last year! He has about 3 more lessons! Maybe we should just call it quits.) At this point, the early lessons in the PH Algebra are going to be so easy compared to the end of the Saxon 1/2.

              SusanP

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Algebra question?

                I would say unless you have a burning desire to say you finished the book I would just move on. I can't think of a school based math textbook that ever expects it to be finished or that didn't have an extensive review at the beginning of the text. I like a clean start in the fall...new books, new pencils, sharp crayons Actually, I think one of the hardest things to adjust to when I started in engineering was that there was never a wrap up and new start. One panic just blended into the next for 13 years.

                Dorinda
                Dorinda

                For 2019-2020
                DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
                DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
                DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
                DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Algebra question?

                  Cindy,
                  Thank you also for that response. I really appreciated your point about the 25 min on, 5 min off, and will be making sure to foster that. I have a couple kids who need that reminder, and that is a very clear thing to implement. It sounds like something that would be valuable to encourage during Latin study as well. Thanks!

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                  DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                  DS, 16
                  DD, 14
                  DD, 12
                  DD, 10
                  DD, 7.5
                  DD, 5.5
                  +DS+
                  DS, 18 months

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