### My Math Homework

Every once in a while, an idea pops into my head out of necessity for something better.  Years and years ago, I was actually teaching 3rd grade at the time, I became fed up with the lack of repetition in my math program.  There just wasn't enough review built in for the kids to grasp anything.  I would teach a concept once and move on.  Done and done.  The problem was, the kids just didn't get it.

After scouring the internet, reading tons of books, and using my own bag of tricks, was born.  And, if you follow my blog, you know I LOVE Calendar.  But it just wasn't enough.  The kids needed more practice then even Calendar could provide.  Word problems, higher level computation....

So I decided that their homework was what needed to change.  I took a complete departure from everyone at my school and created a spiral homework.  It was 10 problems a day, not of what we just learned, but of EVERYTHING that we learned. The kids were constantly seeing the same style problem over and over and over.  Their skills were always being refreshed....and it worked like MAGIC!

So when I moved to 4th, and then to 5th, I took this style homework with me.  And every year I create sheets like this, my students math scores soar.  Because nothing is being forgotten, the kids are always practicing those basic skills they need.   I can honestly say that because of this homework (and Calendar) if I don't get to a lesson in math that day...I STILL FEEL OK!  I know all of the standards are covered and I simply DO NOT EVER stress about math.  Ever.

Doing homework this way has the added bonus of freeing up some time to do all of those concept lessons that I like to do.   I get the kids thinking about math processes, instead of always worrying about the rote memory of it all.   It really is amazing what one little 10 problem page can do.

However, doing the work isn't enough.  The key to this is that every.single.day, without fail, we go over the homework.  I have it worked into my math block (just 10 minutes) to go over the problems.  I don't teach during this time, I just show the students how to do the work, with their help at times, on the ELMO and then they take it home to study for later.  This review of the problems is what makes this homework better than anything I have done before.  If they kids didn't get it at home the night before, they get it when we go over it.  Then, when they see a similar problem on a homework that week (or the next or the next) they *do* get it.

Another thing I add into my week are weekly spiral quizzes.  These are where I get my data for small groups, intervention, and mastery from.  Here is the form I use to break all the information down...and the post explaining it. It is also test prep (and you all know how I love test prep).

I really just love this whole part of my classroom.  I think...KNOW it works and it helps me room to run so smoothly.

I know at this point you are probably sold (I seriously love this...it is my favorite thing I have ever created. Ever.  Simply because of the value it holds in my classroom.)  If you are interested in having it in your own room, I have sets for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.

I realize this isn't super cheap, but it is worth every.single.penny that you spend.  I honestly and truly believe that.  It will help you to run your math block smoothly and keep you on target. (oh and it comes with an answer key too :)

So there you have it....my sales pitch ;)  How do you structure your math homework?

1. Wow... that sounds amazing!! Such a DUH concept to keep reviewing the same things over and over but something that not many people, including myself, think to do! Great Job and I'm sure it will be great!
Taylor
BakingCraftingTeaching Oh My!

1. Isn't it crazy how sometimes we just overlook the simplest of ideas? I do it all the time!

2. Hi Stephanie,

Wow! I am a second year 4th grade teacher, and this homework is exactly what I've been looking for. I can't wait for it to be posted on TPT! Thanks so much.

Kelly

1. Hopefully within the next two weeks! (they really just take so very long to put together...it is slow going over here!)

3. I can't wait to use it this year, Stephanie! It is absolutely fabulous!!!

Jen
Runde's Room

1. Thanks Jen! I hope your students benefit from it as much as mine have.

4. I can't wait for the 4th grade pages!

5. Fantastic!! I can't wait for the 4th grade version to be completed. Yours is the first blog I check every day, I LOVE it!!

1. That is so nice of you to say! Thank you :)

6. Wow! Thank you for doing all of this work! I look forward to it!

7. I agree with previous comments, definitely an approach that makes sense! I'm in Scotland though, some of the content won't be relevant for my wee ones. I think I'll have to purchase one set and adapt it, can't decide whether to go for what you have done already or to wait for your fourth grade ones because I've got primary 4 this August! Anyway, thank you for sharing your work.

8. Your ideas sound similar to the Saxon Math program. The only difference I see is Saxon is set up for a homeschool situation and yours is set up for a classroom. I teach with Saxon in my classroom, and sadly it took a good chunk of my first year to figure it out. However, I was very thankful for the constant spiral review! Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

9. I 'll be watching for 4th grade!! Looks great!!

10. Awesome! Sounds like a great idea and what a way for the kids to actually "get it". Too bad you don't teach 3rd grade this year ;(

11. LOVE this Stephanie!!! CANNOT WAIT for the 3rd grade version!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited?!?!?!

12. You are awesome! I try hard to spiral my homework, but it takes so much time to create your own material. It just doesn't happen quite like this. I don't know how you have the time to do what you do. I'm assuming you run copies for each student for the 4 days each week? I teach middle school but the spiral review is still needed. Can I ask what curriculum your district provides as your guideline and do you really even use it? Like the comment above, you a the one blog I never want to miss. Thanks for everything you provide.

13. I LOVE this idea and can't wait to use it in my classroom!! Looking forward to the 3rd grade ones! Your site is awesome, thanks for all that you do!

14. Woo Hoo! Another amazing Stephanie creation. Excited about what's to come!

15. I've been working for hours trying to get this AWESOME purchase from TPT to download. I've installed the zip...
Any ideas on why I'm having trouble with this one only? I've tried on two different computers. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT!

1. I am not sure :( Email me at TeachinginRoom6@yahoo.com with the user name you used to purchase the product and I will see what I can do.

2. Ahh....must have been our computers last night...worked first try tonight. LOVE IT! It's much better than our Saxon textbook. Thank you so much!

16. Wow! This sounds so amazing! I can't wait until you get the fourth grade one complete! Keep me on the list to contact when it's finished. I read about your blog on Fun in Room 4b. I just started blogging on Saturday! A little (lot) overwhelmed, but I'm learning every time I get on the computer. I'm excited to be your newest follower.

Joanne

17. This is going to be so useful!! I will be looking forward to all of them!! Thanks for sharing!

18. This comment will date me...but the spiral review that the 'old' Saxon math used was why I liked it so much.

Thanks!

1. I really need to look into this Saxon math. A few people have mentioned it and it seems just up my alley!

19. I have done my math homework like this for the last couple years and it has just done wonders for my kids. Buying yours now...can always use new problems and ideas. I love all of your things!

20. This is how I organized math when I student taught. Very time consuming to create these. I downloaded your quarter 1 tonight and it is EXACTLY what I am looking for in a practice program. I can't wait to download the remaining documents. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to offer these.

1. I am so glad they fit what you were looking for. Like I keep saying, they are such a great thing for me, that I just thought others would benefit from them too.

21. Thank goodness I don't teach math since it is my weak area. :) My best friend taught it for 3 years-she used Mountain Math which is a continous daily review all year. Her math scores were out of this world all 3 years. So it's the same concept. If she was still teaching math I would let her know about your homework style, because IT JUST MAKES SENSE! :)

Shannon

22. these are awesome. can you please come teach 6th grade with me.... okay, probably not, but THANK YOU, I am rethinking homework and you have me really thinking....

Elizabeth
Hodges Herald

1. I am glad I could get the wheels turning :)

23. I have a 4/5 split, so I am keen to see the Grade 4 one too! Looks like a winner!

24. Here in Toronto we don't use the Common Core...but we do have provincial expectations. I have used a program called Daily Math for the past 4 years with great success. Like what you have described, it is spriral in the content. Each day looks at a different strand, and there are 5 questions. I have several weeks photocopied and a student helper hands it out each night. I think you have inspired me to write a post about exactly HOW I implemented it in my classroom, the impact on the students and how the other teachers in the school picked up the idea! Come and check it out in a day or two at http://teachingisagift.blogspot.ca

25. Love spiraling! We use math connect amd it spirals throughout. :). We aren't allowed to assign homework at our school, but I may have found a way around it this year. :). I teach a self contained 5/6 class.

26. Sigh:( It's my birthday and I cannot spell! I meant "spiral" in the above post...does turning 44 mean I really am losing my mind? I wrote my post about Daily Math at my blogspot so come check it out. I apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes!

27. I did the same thing- the front side of the homework was practice of that day's lesson. The back was the 'keep it current' section where it could be a review of anything from that school year or the previous year.

I didn't go over it though so I could collect it and see where the students were at so I knew what to review in small group, warm up, etc. How did you grade the homework if you went over it the day it was due?
-Lyn

28. Thank you for doing this....This is wonderful! I can not wait to use with my class! I am excited to see the quarter 2, 3, 4 homework packs....

29. You are amazing. I need to do this for my 6th graders!
☼ Kate
To The Square Inch

30. I have been teaching 4th grade for the past 7 years and I always felt I was working harder not smarter when it came to math. This is exactly what I was looking for! I cannot wait for the 4th grade one to come out so I can download and share this idea with my team. Thank you!

31. Any news on the 4th grade packet of homework and quizzes? I'm anxious to purchase them before the school year begins!

32. Hi,
I am a high school algebra teacher--teaching the "strugglers". I want to thank you for this wonderful idea. With algebra EOC, I can coninu to practice old vs. new!!!
You have amazing ideas and I am most grateful that you are sharing them!!
Have a good weekend!! We are anticipating ISSAC!!!!

33. Can't wait for the 3rd grade set!!!

34. Is the fourth grade second quarter homework going to be released soon? Just wondering what the status is on that?

35. I have loved the spiral review homework. My students and parents can not say enough great things about your review! Any news about when the 4th grade, second quarter will be ready???
thanks

36. How long is your math block if you have time to go over homework and do calendar?

37. My math block is 80 minutes. 60 before lunch then 20 after lunch (to go over calendar and hw)

38. I love the spiral homework. I have been using the math quiz to do mastery learning. I am getting ready to do the daily homework next.

39. This blog is really informative for students who learn online. Thanks for sharing information with us regarding Online Help Assignments keep continue.

40. Any chance you are going to produce this for 2nd grade? This 2nd grade teacher loves the idea of spiraling math concepts for homework.

41. Do you plan to have the last quarter available at TpT ?

1. The last quarter (and bundle set) is available now.

42. What an amazing idea!!! Are you going to do a third grade set??

43. Can I ask how you organize this? Are the students required to keep their hw in a binder to look back, or is it more of a worksheet that they discard?
Also, do you hand out the homework everyday, or do you make copies (front and back to save paper) a week at a time?
I can't wait to begin using this program :)

1. I ask my students to keep all of their homework in a binder and look back on it to help them keep fresh and up on their skills for the state test. I am always reminding them (and the parents) of this, and most follow through.

I give them one sheet per day, though you can most definitely copy off a week's worth (or however much) to save paper and give them it ahead of time. I personally just like to deal with the one sheet a day and since I have the copies, that is how I choose to use them.

44. Thanks so much! I'm excited to try it. I bought the calendar math the other day from your tpt store. I'm going to my classroom today to put up the board!

45. Wow ! this is amazing .Can's wait to use with my class....thanks for sharing .... Math Homework Help

46. I have to say that this is my second year using your spiral homework and weekly review quizzes and I I absolutely love it! I know that everything they need to know is being reviewed again and again. The quick 10 question quiz proves mastery, partial mastery, or lets me know if a student needs this standard retaught a different way. The homework questions are open ended and promote critical thinking. My principal has given her approval as well. Money well spent!

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48. Wonderfully designed superb site.

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49. I would love to see what you have for 5th grade math! Would that be possible?
raquelmaxey@gmail.com

50. After reading the article My Math Homework I found a new face in my math world.
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52. Good one and thanks a lot for sharing!

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54. I teach 6th grade math, but I'm desperately in need of something like this! Would you send me 5th grade and maybe I'll have to adopt for my grade level. My email is annalise_kitchen@bondurant.k12.ia.us THANK YOU!