Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Another approach to the homework review 

It's a bit late to be trying new things but what the heck. I'm trying something that my algebra mentor mentioned to me as a way of trying to cut down on the amount of the period that we spend on the homework check and review. I pass out handouts at the beginning of the class on colored paper with the homework problems worked out. The students then can use this to compare their work with mine. This also provides a model for how to show work for class. I check in homework as usual, while they're comparing answers and then I can answer additional questions. The students are still adapting to the new approach, and I find myself writing on the board, exactly what's on the sheet, which does appear to answer their questions. When I do this starting in the fall, I'll work a bit better on training the students on how to ask questions. Perhaps numbering steps in the worked out material could help so that they could say things like, "why did you multiply by (x-1) in step 3?" In Geometry this could be especially helpful. This also provides me with a way of providing some homework feedback to students who are absent. I like it, but it's still a work in progress. The teacher who I'm stealing the idea from copies the handouts onto colored paper and collects the handouts back from the students. I've been doing that, but I'm not sure that there's any particular benefit to doing this, especially with my singleton Advanced Algebra class...

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