Saturday, October 29, 2016

Celebrating: Math Shifts with Homework

Celebrating this week came on Tuesday evening, and I couldn't wait to write my blog post. I am watching the first game of the World Series.  I don't have a favorite team because my heart is with both cities and their beloved baseball teams.  My second celebration happened subtly.  There are so many posts, blogs, and thoughts about homework that I was overwhelmed. I have tried to wrap my thoughts around homework; my district has allowed me to form my own opinions as long as I can support my decision.  I can do that and I did that at curriculum night the third week of school.  My parent community supported my definition of  homework. 

My definition for Language Arts was simple. Lifelong readers and writers.  Choice with both of them and continue to grow in both reading and writing.  Done!

My definition in Math has ebbed and flowed this year.  I'm at crossroads lately.  I've been on both sides of the track with math homework.  I believe strongly in practice (similar) to reading; however, math computations feels and looks different.   Without going into pages of thoughts on math homework, most of math HW is a review including playing games with parents and writing a reflection, explaining a new skill or old fashion practice of basic facts (which are still  desperately needed needed in fifth grade)

This assignment was a first for me...the idea is home learning.  I composed the email and shared it with my students at the end of math class.  My learners looked a little confused, and I showed them how I had taken a few photos from the day to help help them.  As the emails came in tonight, I realized I had a hit a home run - no pun attended with my first celebration.  Just read what CS wrote me. 
Thanks Ruth for encouraging us to to celebrate throughout the week.  I love when my celebrations stand up and hit a grand slam for me.  


  1. You put so much reflection into your thoughts about homework. I love that! Great response email too! Wow!! Happy World Series!

  2. Love the grand slam experience you shared here! You go, girl.

  3. I'm glad you found a way to make homework real learning and enjoyable, too, Maria. Math homework can be grueling, but this time it sounds like it will "stick". I often have believed in the past that visuals are a key to learning, in writing and other topics too. You used a visual and it worked!

  4. Math and homework don't usually make the list of celebrations. You lifted them both up and for a good reason. Celebrating together with you.

  5. I always appreciate being able to read as someone writes about reflective practice. Thank you for sharing!

  6. This seems like a great way to reinforce learning from the day and involve families. :)

  7. Maria,
    Your strength is your commitment to think deeply, test ideas, and reflect. I enjoyed your celebration and the way allowed us to see your decision making journey. Thank you!