Saturday, October 05, 2013

Correcting HWK

I'm trying something new this year both in AP Calculus and in Precalculus when the students go over their homework, and I think it's a win for me/my class/my students.

For the past several years in precalculus, I would work out the homework, place the key on the document camera, and we would painfully and slowly go over the answers while the students corrected in a different colored pen. I grade on completion since I think homework should be a time to practice. I understand (obviously) there are different philosophies on this, but I feel this works in my situation. I do watch for kids sneakily copying things in pencil and passing it off as their own. I do look over the homework later to see if they attempted all problems.

Anyway, this always took way too much class time, and most likely, students were probably not looking as closely as possible to solutions, and everyone most likely had different problems they were confused about, so some were sitting around needlessly while they waited for their particular problem to be shown on the document camera.

This year, I take my key and make enough copies for 1 per 2 kids. They silently glance over the key and correct their work. This has gone MUCH faster than before. Also, kids can see how I lay out my work and have the time to concentrate on the particular problems they need to see and have good examples of process and thoroughness (or maybe I'm just being idealistic).

I've also done this in calculus. I used to just collect the homework, then put the worked out key on the LMS site for them to check later. I'm guessing that by the time they got back the homework by the following class and had more homework to deal with, they never checked the old homework. This year in my flipped class, they have the key on their table and can carefully go over it and ask questions right when it is still fresh in their minds. Again I like the fact that they have constant reminders of how the work should look if it's thoroughly done.


  1. Grading homework is the worst. Please let us know if this works at the end of the year. I stopped grading precalculus homework because I post all the worked solutions. Kids wanted answers when they worked on it at home. At the same time, allowing this means I won't give them a homework grade. The carrot for getting them to do homework is that they can use it during their daily quiz. It's better than my previous policy but the solution guide does problems sometimes harder than necessary.

  2. Hi Ms. T. I think I already like it. I guess the proof will be in AP results and in a higher quality of homework turned in. I will try to remember at the end of the year :).

  3. I love that you are flipping your classroom. I think if I taught math, this would be the only way to go. Then your students can work with you on the hard stuff they don't understand in class. When I was a math student I would struggle alone at home trying to solve problems I didn't understand. When the answers were provided the next day...I just learned that I got the answer wrong, but not how to solve the how times have changed.. best of luck to you!

  4. Thanks, Cathy. I'm really enjoying the flipped class for calculus, and I think it greatly aids in their success. This is my 2nd year, and I guess I'll see if it works out again.