Day 9: How do you do HW?
I am trying to be paperless this year! A noble goal, but utterly unachievable. I do like having paper in my hands once in a while, and so do the kids. But I am committed to not dragging home literally 5 pounds of paper a night, assessing in some way, and then not having students even look at the comments. I am utilizing many online tools to minimize my paper hauling while also giving student ways to get immediate feedback on their progress. This year our Precalculus team decided to use MathXL for School (and our district curriculum department supported our move financially – we are so lucky!) as a homework tool. What is so awesome is that students get a calendar of assignments and due dates. They have access to their textbook. They get just in time support and then based on their homework results they get a personally prescribed study plan based on their mistakes and number of attempts until a correct answer. Even if the student was sitting right next to me, I wouldn’t be able to do all of that! Besides, this gives me time to develop the conceptual understanding and provide rich experiences with the newly learned skills and mathematics during class; the skills practice is done at home.
I think it will be great, but the students are struggling with technology issues such as logging into the wrong site, clicking “get help” when they should look at “show an example,” clicking before they really are done, etc. They are also learning that they need to read directions carefully, plan their time well so they make the deadline, etc. Today for the first time, students seemed a little calmer about the whole experience. I can’t wait until October…I anticipate the process will be second nature to them. Have you thought about going paperless in your classroom? What do you see as the upside and the downside for you and your kiddos?