I am very curious about math homework in middle school, from a teacher perspective:
How much math homework do you give?
What kind of homework do you give?
How do you go over it in class?
Let me explain why I ask these questions. I have taught 6th grade math for eight years, and every year, my goal is to "perfect" the homework issue. My basic issue is that I feel that I spend too much time going over it (not necessarily every day, but often). In the past, we have reviewed homework in the following ways:
1. going over answers as a class
2. self-checking answers that are on the board and sharing any questions
3. partner-checking and then verifying
4. choosing only a few problems to check
When I taught elementary school (for 12 years), I never seemed to have this problem....we had 60 minutes for class and I never struggled to fit everything in. But at middle school, we have 44 minutes (minus time to switch for classes), and I just haven't found the perfect solution...or even the best one! I want more work time for the students, but reviewing homework takes some of that time...
I've considered giving no homework, but I'm not sure if that's the best option.
I did read in Minds-On Mathematics, (I haven't been involved in any book studies, but have been reading it) about a middle school math teacher who gives homework that is arithmetic, and totally independent. This got me thinking that perhaps that idea is a good option...it would give math practice, but wouldn't require much (if any) class discussion...
So, I hope to learn from some middle school math teachers out there - how do you handle homework (especially if you have a shorter math period like me)?