A great deal of mathematics class time is spent going over homework. How can we make it most helpful to students? How can we use this time to have valuable discourse that incorporates the Standards for Mathematical Practices?
Rather than just reviewing content taught, or providing students with a list of answers, how can we include reasoning, making connections, and understanding big mathematical ideas? A session incorporating rich discussion allows students to do the work of real mathematicians: explain their thinking, critique the reasoning of others, look for and make use of structure and patterns, and understand abstract ideas.
What are some changes that you can make in your classroom so that time can be spent building on work and discussing concepts deeper? Here are some tips based on research presented in the article “Making the Most of Going Over Homework” (Samuel Otten, Michelle Cirillo, and Beth A. Herbel-Eisenmann).
The Math Practices Expectations in Math Trailblazers embody the Standards for Mathematical Practice in the CCSSM. See the intersection between the Math Practices Expectations in Math Trailblazers and the Standards for Mathematical Practices.
In order to connect mathematical content and practices, students need opportunities to talk about their strategies as well as time to listen to the solution strategies of others. In order to help teachers encourage students to participate in their math classrooms, MTB4 includes suggested prompts to help guide instruction, and possible student responses that offer examples of how students typically express their ideas and answers. Sample Dialogs address misconceptions that students may have during a lesson. As you prepare for a homework discussion session, think about the suggested prompts and misconceptions featured in the lesson. Use them to help you select the type of homework problems to discuss, formulate discussion questions, and choose problems where there may be misunderstanding.