Teacher's Guide to Creating a Math Homework System

Creating a math homework system will go a long way in helping your students become accountable for their homework assignments. Math is often times a struggle for students to comprehend, thus making it difficult to complete homework assignments completely or accurately. Take a look at some ways to help your students get their math homework done.

Get Your Students Organized

Before handing out math homework assignments consider helping your students devise a way to keep track of their homework. Show them the proper way to write down their assignments in a notebook that is systematic. You might consider giving them a template that has a place for the date of the assignment, a description of the assignment, and a place to check whether or not they have completed the assignment. This will also help parents/guardians know what their child is supposed to be doing at home.

Taking Good Notes

If your students are not taking good notes in the classroom, it will be hard for them to complete math homework appropriately. Take time during class to go over proper note-taking techniques to give your students an edge on completing homework assignments consistently.

The Buddy System

Try to encourage your students to work with a buddy when completing math homework assignments. Often times, if students work together on math, they can understand it better, as one might be able to clarify things that the other does not know. Perhaps parents can help by setting up study times after school.

Open-Ended Questions

An effective way to help students learn is to use open-ended questions that make the student give more than just a "yes" or "no" answer. You can certainly use this technique in math with questions such as:

Beginning Questions:
  • What information are you looking for?
  • Why is the information important?
  • How will you obtain this information?
Thought Questions While Working:
  • Is it possible to draw a picture that explains your answer?
  • What other possibilities exist?
  • What if this happened…?
  • What is the next strategy or approach you will use to solve this problem?
Wrap-Up Questions:
  • Does your answer make sense?
  • What approach did not work with solving this problem?
  • Can you show me why your answer makes sense?
  • Were you able to answer the problem successfully?
Eliciting Math Help at Home

As you know, it is an important goal for your students to understand why mathematics is valuable throughout their lives. We simply have to do math problems constantly. You also want your students to become confident with their math skills. In this vein, it is important to have parents/guardians on-board to help children with their disposition towards math. Here are some things that parents can do at home to help your students become more proficient with their math skills.

Encourage parents to point out math skills that are used at home. Give parents the opportunity to help reinforce math skills where you can. For instance, instigate ways to talk about keeping a checkbook, show children how measurements are required for putting up curtains in the home, or teach them that following directions can get them to where they want to go quicker.

Give parents/guardians ideas for games and activities that they can use to help their child learn important math concepts. Give them a recipe to follow, so they can cook something yummy. Suggest board games that require math skills to play like Monopoly or Stratego.

Encourage parents/guardians to use the newspaper to show children about statistics, such as in sports, facts, etc. This is a great opportunity to parents/guardians to talk about why people keep statistics, and how readers use the statistics. Let parents/guardians find some statistics on the Internet on a topic that directly interests the child.

There are many computer games for students that reinforce and teach math skills. You can also suggest some software programs for math that you find particularly helpful to students. The parent/guardian can purchase the software to use at home, if they desire.